Getting a return on your investment in your website

Having qualified as an accountant more than 20 years ago and having spend the last 12 years selling websites I am well qualified to blog about getting a return on your investment in your website .

This article is aimed at the very busy small medium business owner in the Helderberg where we offer our web design services.

For small medium business owners time is a scarce commodity and the saying time is money rings true. This article aims to educate and has very little to to with the designing part of websites. While design issues (the look and feel) can impact on the action of visitors to your website it is the content of your website and the ranking of your website in Google's index that determines who visits your website in the first place.

Seeing that you and I are busy I am to keep this article as short as possible hoping to hit home some very important concepts, important concepts for a business owner looking for a serious marketing strategy. This blog is inspired by a new client looking at a serious marketing strategy. Usually in this day and age when people use these words we see not only a website but also social media marketing such as via Facebook.

Marketing your website via search engines like Google can be acheived via organic and / or paid search results. The first requires time and effort to create content which would comply to Google's quality standards in order to be indexed in Google's search engine. That's one of the problems of spending time on Facebook thinking you are speaking to the world wide web where in fact you are only speaking to a small percentage of your friends who see your posts or a small percentage of the people who have like your business page. In general content that you post to Facebook is not taken up into the index of Google while a blog you write today might be kept in Google's index for years to come.

It is also important to note that with social media and search engines things do not remain static but change over the years: For example below is a Youtube video which explains How search works or How Google works. Over the years I have shown this video to countless people I have trained in SEO. There has been a few changes such as adverts no longer displaying at the right of search results. Other changes are Google Partner sites in the accommodation industry also coming up in search results before organic search results. But still this is a short video that explains well how a search engine like Google works.

An important consideration when looking at the cost of your website, perhaps Google AdWords advertising, the time spend on your website is to realise that these expenses are not fixed overheads but variable overheads which can have a direct impact on the turnover of your business.

This simple table can explain it better:

Cost R Increase in Turnover R
Website 4,000 100,000
Time on website 8,000 20,000
Google AdWords 10,000 100,000
Total advertising / Additional revenue 22,000 220,000

This very simple table would proof very difficult in real life to measure and the costs of measuring it would probably exceeed the benefit of knowing the return on your website and related expenses but it is important to understand that there is a direct relation between the money paid or time spend on your website and the increase in your expected turnover. Consider also that having a website will actually save you time in your daily operational activities by answering for example frequently asked questions by potential clients.

Lastly consider that it takes money to make money. In the simple example above we use figures representing a ceratin time period. But shouldn't you also take into consideration that you would build up recurring customers and get referals from them. This is called the goodwill of a business.

Most small / medium start up businesses fail to realise the competitive environment they operate in and do not make provision for a sufficient start up marketing budget. 

To be continued...




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