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The True Cost of a Website

 

Sooner or later, every business owner finds themselves asking the same question: “Is it time for a new website?” That question is often immediately followed by another thought: “How much is that going to cost?” 

You might need–or want–a new website for a variety of reasons. Maybe the design is completely outdated. It might not be generating leads like it used to, or it never generated many leads at all. Perhaps your business has grown or changed over the years, and your website just doesn’t properly communicate what you offer to customers. 

Often, it’s a combination of these factors. It’s easy to focus on the price tag that comes with a brand-new website and decide it’s simply not worth it, but it’s much more important to focus on the true cost of a website. 

Instead of asking how much a new website will run you, ask yourself this: By not investing money in my website, am I costing my business money? 

The answer is almost always yes! 

Your Website Is More Valuable Than You Think 

Your website should be your business’s most powerful and cost-effective marketing tool. When you take full advantage of what your website can do for sales, you’ll find that it easily pays for itself.  

Consider these key performance indicators (KPIs) commonly used to assess website performance: 

  • Leads 
  • Sales 
  • Average order amount  
  • Conversion rate 

The cost of a new website will vary depending on the scope of the project, but you’re likely going to spend at least a few grand to get it done. If a new website could boost these KPIs by 10%, for example, what would that mean for your company’s overall revenue? 

How much would a new website have to boost KPIs in order to pay for itself? Chances are, your KPIs wouldn’t have to increase that much to make a new website worth it. 

If that’s the case, then you’re leaving money on the table by continuing to stick with an outdated website. 

Boosting These KPIs Is Worth It 

Just like with any tool, a website is supposed to make your job easier. If your website isn’t generating enough leads or sales, then it’s time for a new one. 

Let’s take a look at a real-life example: Our client, Lion Country Supply, needed a new website, so we built them one using growth-driven design 

The new website we built managed to improve their KPIs across the board: 

  • 29% increase in revenue 
  • 26% increase in overall transactions 
  • 2.57% increase in average order value 

Even with these significant improvements, their conversion rate stayed relatively the same, which is also great to see.  

In years prior, Lion Country Supply’s old website saw small or even stagnant growth year over year. This trend is what pushed the company to explore the possibility of having a new website built. 

If your website’s KPIs have been stagnant over the past few years, the cost of a new website will be relatively small compared to what kind of revenue improved KPIs will bring.  

Why NOT Building a New Website Will Cost You 

Take a look at your website’s KPIs from the past five years. Has your revenue gone up, down, or stagnated over this time period? 

If you don’t have access to this information, then you definitely need to talk to us. If you do have access to this information, the numbers will say a lot about the performance of your website. 

Take Lion Country Supply, for instance. In the years prior to upgrading their website, they saw revenue increase about 5% year over year on average. If they had opted to stick with their website and the 5% growth in revenue–instead of the 29% increase in revenue the new website generated–they would’ve missed out on $650,000 in just one year. 

How Is Your Current Website Holding You Back? 

Business websites struggle for a variety of reasons, any of which could be the cause of your troubles. A poorly designed website can definitely be the culprit, but there are also a few common SEO-related reasons for poor performance: 

  • Lack of Content: In a way, the amount of content on your website determines the size of the net you cast to draw interested users to your business. The bigger your real estate, the easier it is for potential customers to find you. If you only have a few pages of content on your website and you only target a few keywords, you won’t get much traffic. However, if you build a well thought out web of content and target keywords focused on solving problems your customers might have, you’ll get more traffic. 
  • Poorly Written Content: Having content is important, but it doesn’t guarantee traffic or sales. If your website features a ton of blogs that are poorly written, visitors won’t stay on your website for long and Google will take notice. Additionally, even if your website generates a ton of traffic, failing to have a clear call to action (CTA) will cost you many leads. Useful, well-written content is essential to website success. 
  • General Age: The older your website is, the more problems you’re likely to have. Not only has website design changed significantly over the years, but mobile-friendly websites are a must these days. A website that is very outdated isn’t going to do you any favors. Not to mention, broken links, outdated content, and irrelevant images are not likely to lead to conversions. 

Calculate How Much Your Website Is Costing You 

It’s easy to focus on the price tag, but the true cost of a website is how much you’re leaving on the table when you decide against upgrading.  

To help you get a better sense of how a new website can benefit your business, we’ve built a new website ROI calculator. You can easily compare your current website’s revenue trajectory to the revenue trajectory a new website can deliver. 

 

 

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Companies often decide against springing for a new website - one they know they need - because they fail to think about what their current website is costing them in revenue that is forever lost. Next time your company is tossing around the idea of developing a new website, make sure to consider the cost of not building a website instead of just focusing on the initial investment a new website requires. 

Robb Luther

A lifetime resident of Ligonier, Pennsylvania, Robb joined Pittsburgh Internet Consulting as an Internet Marketing Consultant in September 2007. Robb’s work experience covers a full range of website design and development, marketing (both online and off), and training responsibilities.