One of the concerns many small businesses have when they go to get a website is:  “How am I going to pay for this?”  And reading about the return on investment you get from web advertising is sometimes confusing, misleading, or too vague.

How does something like a website “pay for itself?”  Since it is advertising, there are several ways it can benefit your business and those have a monetary value to them.  Think about this:  “What would it be worth to you if your business was seen as the very best in the city?”  Or, “What would you pay to reach people 24/7 365 days a year?  It may be hard for you to assign an exact dollar figure to those concepts but they are each worth the dollars you think would appear as a result of being seen as the best, or being available the minute someone thought about doing business with you.

How do you know you are going to get business from your website?  That is an easier question to answer and it depends on a pretty simple set of factors known as AIM:

  • Attractive – your website has to look professional and well designed
  • Informative – your website has to be clear about what you do and why you are the best.
  • Memorable – when a customer leaves your website they should remember your name, logo and why they want to do business with you.

They may have come to your website any number of ways but once they are there you need to tell them quickly what you want them to know and then move to conversion.  What is conversion?  It is a combination of idea and action.  Let’s pretend I just came to your website.  I am thinking about buying a new car and I’m just in the preliminary stages of considering what and where to buy.  You have my attention now so the IDEA you want to put in my head is that I am already at the right place.  You are the answer.  I don’t need to look any further.  I have the best dealer with the best cars at the best price right now.  What is the second part of that conversion?  Action.  You want me to take ACTION.  Now that I have the IDEA you want it to be easy for me to act.  You may create a call to action such as, “Call today, our friendly staff is standing by to help you right now.”  What if it is after hours? Of course your website will have an email link or contact form so I can act on that IDEA that I want to do business with you.  Make it worth my while, “sign up for our special 0% financing option while the offer is still available!”

Once I have had the idea, and taken the action, the website has created a conversion.  I have converted from a casual visitor to a good lead.  When I drive away in the new car, the website has begun to pay for itself.  No matter what industry you are in, plan your website so that it returns your investment and more!  Will every visitor convert?  No.  But remember AIM?  The M stands for memorable.  Your website should have convinced the visitor that you are the one with the solutions to their problems.  They may come back to you a week or a month later!