Does your website make you money?

How profitable is your website? When people visit the site, do they take action? Do you even know what you want them to do? Unfortunately, too many organizations fail to ask these questions, and thus fail to understand their website’s ROI (return on investment). ROI is a fundamental business concept, but it’s too often neglected in this specific area.
According to the book Web Design for ROI, there are 3 key figures to ponder when considering a new website project or redesign:
  • 43% of retail sales will either be influenced by or complete on the Internet by 2012
  • 83% of businesses now use the Internet to research potential vendors
  • 75% of users admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on the design of its website

The bottom line is that a large number of people will make business decisions based on the form and function of your website. How appealing is yours?

Even small details such as updated content and appealing visuals can make a crucial difference in keeping people on your site. Imagine a business owner who spent a lot of time, effort and money remodeling the interior of a store, but left the outside looking like an old, crumbling ruin. Customers would quickly assess the credibility of the business and pass it by.

The average home page abandonment rate (the rate at which visitors leave a site within a short period of time) is between 40% and 60% in general. Why? Because visitors decide almost immediately if they’ve found what they’re looking for. What the site actually offers is secondary to what a customer thinks the site offers. What if a small change to the wording or placement of elements on your homepage reduced the abandonment rate by just 10%?

E-Commerce ROI

Nowhere is ROI more critical than on websites that directly sell a product or service. Unfortunately, some studies show that 60% of customers drop their purchase during the checkout process — after they’ve made a buying decision! Imagine a restaurant where 6 out of every 10 customers ordered lunch and left before it was served. Any rational business owner would consider this unacceptable.

E-commerce site owners should constantly monitor the usability of their systems. Does the checkout process makes sense? Is it simple and free of distractions? Think about it… before you lose another customer.

Converting Traffic Into Sales

More traffic does not automatically mean more sales. If the website does not effectively convert customers into sales then the traffic is not useful. Keeping visitors on the site long enough to perform a critical task is what counts. The longer the visitor stays and learns what he/she needs, the more likely he/she is to convert.

How do you track conversion rates? Measure actions — filling out a form, requesting a free sample, ordering a product, or contacting you. Track your conversion rate on a daily basis and see if you can improve the numbers. A simple formula would be the number of people who completed the desired action divided by the total number of visitors. You can even set up Google Analytics to do this automatically and email regular reports to you.

For a consultation on website ROI, please contact us a support (at) cws (dot) net.

One response

  1. One of the things you touched on here is that 60% of online shoppers abandon the cart before checkout. There seem to be a lot of articles flying around about that lately and I think the focus and attention it’s getting will hopefully educate us all and decrease that number.

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