Thanks to the Internet, businesses no longer need to outspend their competitors to outperform them on the marketing front. Small companies can go toe-to-toe with established, deep-pocketed enterprises, virtually overnight.
But how? By leveraging the value a well-versed website designer brings to the table. Regardless of a business’ size or industry, a proficient website designer can help:
- Achieve a desired image and appeal to specific markets
- Enable prospects and customers to quickly find relevant information and easily complete tasks
- Build a customer base and increase leads, sales and revenues
Oddly, businesses frequently fork over significant marketing budgets to PR firms, radio, TV, and print publications. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, businesses spend about $400 billion on advertising annually, much of the money going to traditional channels, like television commercials. However, when it comes to their website — the marketing hub that pulls all marketing operations together — business owners often tighten the purse strings.
Case in point: a home renovation business owner recently complained to our web copywriters about the lack of return on his $6,000 print ad investment. We suggested he would get a better return by upgrading his poorly designed website. “How much to get it done right?” he asked. When I estimated a basic redesign might cost $5,000 to $8,000, his jaw dropped.
I then asked him whether the website represented his business in a professional manner. He responded, “No.” Did it generate any leads? “Not one.” Considering the company’s typical sale exceeds $3,000, a well designed website could pay for itself in little time. But the dreadful website is still online, and will be for the foreseeable future.
Quality Web Design Boosts Online Sales
Why are companies like this willing to pay thousands of dollars for print ads, but can’t seem to justify hiring a professional to design an effective website?
Doesn’t it make sense to invest marketing dollars where consumers are increasingly spending their time? Consider these facts:
- In September 2009, nearly 27 billion hours were spent on the Internet globally by a record online population of 1.2 billion people ages 15 and older, reported Netcraft.
- Generation Y spends 17.4 hours a week watching TV versus spending 8 to 33 hours on the Internet, revealed BBM Diaries and 2008 BBM Nielsen Meters. Moreover, an nGenera survey asked this “Millennial Generation” which medium they could do without, and TV lost to the Internet in all 12 countries surveyed.
- A Harris Interactive poll revealed in December 2009 that 50% of respondents who were online bought something on the Internet during the previous month.
It’s undeniable: More people are spending more time on the Internet, and the vast majority are turning to search engines and social websites to find and research products and services.
Plus, as people get used to making purchases online with credit cards, they’re ordering more than low-priced books and electronic equipment. Our web copywriting firm has clients who successfully sell everything from high-end lab services to multi-million-dollar green homes online.
Studies also show that offline shopping is heavily influenced by the Web. In fact, thanks to Internet search, nGenera reports 83% of Y Geners say they usually know what they want before going to buy a product.
So how clients perceive a product or service on the Web is critical, particularly since it’s often the first point of contact. Whatever customers may look for in a product — innovation, craftsmanship, fashion, status, and so on — a web designer plays an increasingly important role in creating the perceived value and interest.
Remembering When… and Thinking Ahead
As the Internet kills the old music institution, eliminates print journalism, and transforms the TV and movie industries, many businesses seem stuck in deep denial. They refuse to acknowledge that whole industries, likely including their own, are being remade.
The business world is being digitized, which allows smart companies to increase reach, locally or internationally, and boost revenue sources. Those who leverage the Internet can make enormous strides in little time, while headstrong dinosaurs suffer slow but sure deaths.
Not long ago, entrepreneurs were forced to spend tens of thousands of dollars getting a business off the ground, on everything from architects and tradespeople to permits and rent.
Marketing costs were no different. Small local print ads only had so much reach, while promotions in radio, TV, and established print media often cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Spending a major chunk of a marketing budget on one ad or direct mail campaign provides a single shot. If it misses, it could put a business in a cash-strapped state and cause its demise.
A Good Designer Provides a High ROI
Some business owners decide to get a website because “the other guys have them” or “customers expect us to have one.” Sadly, those business owners don’t appreciate the vast opportunities online presence can provide, and they put little thought, effort and resources toward their online marketing and branding.
It doesn’t matter how low website design and development costs are kept; if the website doesn’t generate a return, the money is being wasted.
With more than 75% of North Americans using the Internet, a well designed website can help businesses cost-effectively break into new markets, generate new revenues and maintain growth. Our copywriting firm has teamed up with numerous designers who created websites that paid for themselves in as little as three months.
Website Designers Help Businesses Excel
This success is not by chance. Behind most successful websites are designers and developers with knowledge, experience and a keen desire to help businesses achieve their goals and objectives.
With more than 230 registered domains competing on the Web — 46 million websites were born between January and April of 2009 alone, according to Netcraft — it’s crucial to stand out from the crowd and get key messages to intended audiences. A qualified web designer can build a website that cuts through the clutter, and can help even a start-up business “outbrand” and outperform established companies in almost any industry.
As consumers and businesses spend more time and money on the Web, companies need to realize that good website designers are imperative to their future well-being and growth. Investing in a good web designer makes perfect business sense.
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Web designers don’t get respect when they act like amateurs, but the pros are, as this article states, valuable and hopefully appreciated.