If your business is in the market for a new website and has been looking for a web designer or digital agency to partner with, you’ve probably come across many web design companies promising that a ‘website will help your business grow’.
But what does this really mean? What are the tangible, real-world benefits of investing in a new website? What sort of return-on-investment does a website offer and how is this measured?
This article investigates the various ways a website can meaningfully help a business.
Case Study #1: Website shame: what it means to finally have a website that works
About the business: Established small business in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, working in the educational travel sector.
The problem: The business’s old website was not-fit-for-purpose and they were ashamed to send potential customers to it. The website did not communicate the business’s value. It was hard to read and understand, badly designed and had no clear call-to-actions.
The solution: As the new web designer for this project, I spent time getting to know the business through one-on-one consultations and research. I then thought deeply about:
- How the business’s key audiences will use the new website. This helped me to plan out a new website that is user-friendly and intuitive.
- How a new website can help the business increase leads and nurture those leads into customers.
- Improve and rewrite the website copy so as to communicate with clarity. (When it comes to website copywriting, simple words and shorter sentence structures are easier to read and understand).
The outcome is a new website that transforms the way the business feels about what they do. Now, the website communicates the business’s value and makes it easy for visitors to take action by signing up to one of the mailing lists (I created mailing list sign-up forms on each of the key audience web pages that each triggered a sequence of emails).
The ongoing plan is to use the website as a foundational tool in the business’s sales funnel (how they attract new enquiries and nurture them into customers), integrating Facebook and LinkedIn ads, webinars, landing pages and email marketing.
An investment in a new website has helped this business tap into the power of digital marketing and grow online.
View live here – https://africaninsightacademy.co.za/
Case Study #2: Building a business’s online presence in order to get more customers/clients
Many people head straight to Google to search for products or services. If a business doesn’t have a website that comes up on the first page of Google, then it is losing out to those competitors that do and which are showing up on the first page of search engine results.
About the business: An established small local business in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, specialising in precision manufacturing services, including milling, turning, surface grinding, wire and ram EDM and high-speed small-hole drilling.
The problem: Although this business had built up a trustworthy reputation with a loyal client base from all over South Africa, they had no online presence (no website). This meant they were losing out to a whole new client base who were using Google to search for services that they offered. Not having a website was limiting the business’s growth.
The solution: I spent a lot of time immersing myself in this client’s business since I knew nothing about precision EDM (which stands for electrical discharge machining). This included consultations with the business owner, independent research and competitor analysis. I helped the business decide on the structure of the website (what pages); what content should go on the site (I also wrote most of the website copy); and what sort of call-to-actions the website needed. In consultation with the client, I identified key search terms that potential customers would use to find their services and products and I made sure the website copy and structure were optimised to include these key phrases. The website also included an online quotation form that has helped the business streamline the sales enquiry process.
The result: A strategic website that is designed to appeal to the business’s key audiences; communicate the business’s services and make it easy for website visitors to take action by filling in the online quotation form. In addition, the website is now appearing at the top of Google search results for key search phrases including ‘precision edm services south africa’, leading to increased visibility online, more leads and new customers from Google search.
An investment in a new website helped this business communicate its value, reach new potential customers and grow online.
View live here – https://cosmoswire.co.za
Case Study #3: Covid-19 and the evolution of a restaurant brand
About the business: Iconic and beloved restaurant in Pietermaritzburg.
The problem: Forced to close / severely limit business due to the South African Government’s Covid-19 regulations.
The solution: Help the business change direction and plan out an entirely new website, focusing on eCommerce and an online artisan food shopping experience. I helped the business structure the new online shop, decide on content, write copy, refresh the brand colour palette and fonts, and set up email marketing. This project also included store management training – I created tutorial videos showing the owners how to publish products and manage the store.
A notable feature of this project is the new made-to-order cake landing page. When designing this page, I made sure that it would be suitable to use in both social media and email marketing campaigns as a landing page. I also created a custom cake quotation form. This has really saved the owners’ time – they no longer need to respond to so many cake enquiries.
The outcome is a modern, bold and happy online store that helps this business evolve and keep growing through a crisis because now they can sell the most amazing, locally-sourced range of fresh produce, bakery, store-cupboard and frozen food to a much bigger customer base.
View live here – https://www.sagewoodcafe.co.za
What sort of return-on-investment does a website offer and how is this measured?
The answer is unique to each business since each business needs a new website for different reasons. The key is to work with a web designer who helps the business define tangible and measurable ways a website can help solve real problems and support growth.
It’s important to create a clear plan before any design work begins. This means that both the business and the designer’s expectations are aligned; everyone is clear on the project scope, outcomes and goals from the beginning.
Measuring return-on-investment depends on the goals set for the project.
Here are some ways to measure goals:
- Track the number of contact form enquiries and email subscribers.
- Analyse the number of people who visit the website, what they do on the website and where they come from (social media, search, referral, direct).
- Track conversions and sales.
- Track the website’s position in Google search results for targeted keywords and phrases.
I’m Meg, the owner of Nutmeg and a web designer / digital marketer with over 12 years’ experience in digital marketing, digital design and communications. I design beautiful + powerful websites that grow businesses online (even if the business has no idea what sort of content needs to go on their website to make it amazing).
I would love to chat with you about how a new strategic website can help your business grow online. Book a free, no-obligation discovery consultation with me here.
In essence, a website is an investment
That’s why working with a strategic web designer makes business sense. They will help you figure out how a website aligns with business and marketing goals, and identify what transformations and increased profitability can be achieved through purpose-driven design.