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Get your website right and it will make you money

November 20, 2009

Over the past 10 years I have developed a number of small websites for small local businesses.  Most of these sites did not have direct purchasing ability but were more brochure sites with a contact form.

When I develop a site I always look at how it can improve the business and increase sales and not just being a landing page for an address on a business card.

To do this I believe it is all about the call to action.
Before developing a website what do you want the visitor to do there?
Is it filling in a form?
Is it calling you?
Is it to visit your shop?

With the call to action in mind I then go back and look at what it needed on a website to drive/encourage this action from the visitor.

From an earlier post, it is essential that the visitor is comfortable doing business with you.
Make sure enough details on the site about the products or services you provide so they are confident that their search is over because you can definitely solve their problem.

As an example of this I did a site a number of years ago for a company that did profit-sharing on pool tables.  A club or pub would take the table.  The company would service it and then split the monies taken with the venue.
When I spoke to them they did not have a website and every time we met he kept saying if this doesn’t work I’m not going to do it next year.
I built the site, with no real advice from the owner on the design, images or text on the site.
Then there was the mandatory online marketing, submission to search engines and bit of buzz building.  Not a lot as this was a small, relatively cheap site.
After the site went live I again was dealing with the owner and again he kept saying if this doesn’t work I’m not doing it again.

Well, when the first 12 months were up and it was time to renew I was welcomed like a long-lost relative.  After a bit of chat he told me that the site had opened a new market for them. Selling pool tables to private individuals and that in the first year he had received a 1000% return on his investment in the site.  Considering the 1st year fee was for design and hosting and that the annual hosting was less than a half of the design fee he continued to get over 2000% return from the site for really no work.

In the end I moved country and the owner of the business wanted to get the site updated and I was not in a position to dedicate the time to the site, so he went with a local developer and the site is still live.

The original site was really simple with very basic details on the tables they sold, but with no pricing.  It had a call to action to get people to complete the contact us form for lead generation.
Just this alone with a bit of online marketing proved valuable enough for them to keep the website and invest even more time and money in having it redesigned.

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