In 2014, which is only 2 years ago, it was stated in an article in Canadian Business Magazine, that only 41.1% of small businesses in Canada had a website. What is worse than this, are the businesses that have invested in a website that are not sure what business results in the way of leads and sales they are receiving from their website.
Importance of a Website for Businesses
With 87% of Canadians having access to the Internet, it is amazing how so many businesses have not gotten on the digital bandwagon when it comes to investing in a website and digital marketing for their business. This is one investment that even a struggling business cannot afford not to have. The Internet is here to stay, and customers are getting younger, so it is no longer an option to have a website. For those businesses that do not have a website, they are going to be left behind and will start to see their business suffer over time.
Making a Decision To Have a Website
Choosing to make an investment in a website is only the first step in this journey. Next is having the right website for your business developed. Before you think, I know a cousin that knows HTML, STOP. This is your business and a website is not a placeholder on the Internet. A website is your storefront on the Internet whether you sell online or not. The impression that visitors have when they visit your website will be the one they have about your business. If the impression was poor, your business might be discounted without any consideration to the strength of your business and products.
What Is Important To Have In a Website Today?
Now I Have a Website, Now What?
A website is a constantly changing and as a business owner, someone in your company needs to take ownership of this task to keep the website up to date. This should be part of your ongoing marketing efforts and should be budgeted as part of marketing. It is also up to you as the business owner when purchasing a website to make sure your staff has access to the metrics, especially if you are paying your web company for maintenance and SEO. Do not just believe someone telling you that you are moving up on Google, you need to verify this. No one can promise you Page one. This times time and must be done correctly otherwise your website could be banned by Google. Those making these promises are using black hat tactics and no longer know what they are doing. It is about waiting and developing the right content today. You cannot beat the system once you optimize your site and develop content.
Google Analytics is FREE and your website will have been set-up on Google Analytics as part of your website project. If this is not included, then this is not a reputable web company to use. You or your staff should also be given access to Google Analytics along with having some basic training.
In addition, someone needs to track the leads you receive from your website. This is as simple as keeping track of all the leads that come through forms or asking clients when they call how they found your business. Online leads must be followed up on within 24 hours of being entered into your site. If you wait to answer, you have probably lost that potential lead.
Basic Metrics To Watch and Track
The metrics below are included in Google Analytics. This is not an inclusive list of everything that is tracked, but is meant only as an overview of the base metrics that are available.
Audience – Who are your visitors?
If you are serious about growing your business, having a professional website for your business is a must. Whether your target prospects are B2C or B2B, all are searching for information online before calling or visiting your business in most cases. This is an important investment in your business and is one that needs to be as much of a priority as hiring a sales person. If you have an inadequate website or cannot be found by your prospects, it a guarantee you are losing out on potential business.
Once you have a site, it is then important to keep it up to date and measure performance to make sure you are getting expected results. We work with many reputable web companies, and refer our clients only to firms that create professional business websites that conform to the standards outlined in this article. Choosing the wrong company without due diligence can cost your business greatly down the road.
RK Fischer & Associates