Deciding how much to invest in digital marketing is tricky. Many small businesses want to increase their digital spend, but are unsure exactly what channels they should devote time and energy to in order to find and maintain more customers and generate more profit.
According to the Clutch 2018 Small Business Survey, sixty-two percent of small businesses invest in their websites, more than social media (61%), email marketing (39%), SEO (25%), or content marketing (20%). Having a beautiful, up-to-date website is a critical first step in any digital marketing strategy, and for good reason. In 2015, Verisign found that 91% of potential customers turn to the web when they need goods or services. Ninety-three percent research their purchases online before spending any money at all. Investing in your online presence is the first step to reach more of these customers.
Investing in Company Websites: The Core of Any Digital Marketing Strategy
Websites provide companies with visibility, advertising, an e-commerce platform, and a 24/7/365 presence. In 2015, GoDaddy retained RedShift Research to examine the web presence of very small businesses with one to five employees. The study determined that nearly 60% of these businesses did not even have a website – mostly because they felt they were too small, too non-technical, or simply could not afford one. Even in 2019, too many businesses overlook the many benefits of getting a website, and damage their growth potential because of it.
Without a website, businesses – especially small businesses – are invisible to consumers. The same GoDaddy/RedShift study found that nearly half of respondents plan to invest in company websites within the next five years. Doing so, they believed, would grow their businesses by at least 25%, while allowing them to expand locally, nationally, and globally.
Half of those creating websites expected to grow by offering e-commerce. These expectations are not unfounded. Nearly six in ten business owners with a website saw their businesses grow very soon after their websites went live, and 83% of business owners with a web presence felt that they had a competitive advantage over competitors without a website.
Worth Doing It Right
The cost to create a custom built website with unique functionality can be over £10,000. But for the level of website that most people need when starting out, costs can be as little as £500, even with the help of an experienced web designer. While it is tempting to “just get online” by building a rudimentary site yourself, paying a little extra now means you will reap higher overall returns in the long run. Remember, you get what you pay for.
A better company website not only gets you online and in front of potential customers; it also reflects best practices for search engine optimisation (SEO), which determines where you appear in search results when someone searches for your business or for what you do. Beyond that, a website designed correctly will feel professional, and work correctly – on a range of devices. An Econsultancy study found that 46% of consumers would not return to a site that performs poorly. A better quality of website really does equal a higher quantity of customers.
While other digital media channels like social media, email marketing, and content marketing are all valuable tools in engaging with customers, a website forms the basis of any sound digital marketing strategy. Without a web presence, customers likely will not find you, or be able to get to know you. Investing in a better company website is no longer a nice-to-have in today’s business climate; it is a requirement for any viable business.