Those of us providing web design services struggle with the fact that what we produce is not a tangible product. You can’t touch it, feel it, lift it, smell it, taste it, and when you’re seeing “it” what are you really seeing? I say we struggle with it, but it’s really our clients who struggle with it. There are companies out there that will spend $20,000 on a big sign for their building, but would balk at paying the same price for a website, simply because the sign is something that is big, heavy, and tangible. But companies that discount, consciously or subconsciously, the value of a website simply because of it’s intangibility might be putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage.
What is the value of a sign on a building? Trust me, I’m not going to discount its value. We have a nice sign on our building and I think it was worth every penny. We get great exposure and brand recognition because our building sits close to the freeway where the sign is very visible. But if I had to choose between the sign and our website I’d choose the website any day based simply on the revenue our website generates for us vs the sign.
While a lot of people see our sign, most of them don’t know who we are, what we do, and even if they did know, they wouldn’t care. They’re simply not looking for what we do. Our website doesn’t get as many eyeballs as our sign does, but the eyeballs it does get are attached to the brains of people who are, for the most part, interested in what we do. Even though only a fraction of those people are potential clients, I’m sure we get more potential clients visiting our site each day than seeing our sign, and I’m confident the same goes for just about any other company with the exception of brick and mortar retailers.
Not only does a website establish our brand, just like a sign, it also provides information about our products and services. Sure, some signs do too, but certainly not like a website can.
Of course a website isn’t worth anything if nobody goes to it, which is where search engine optimization comes in. SEO drives traffic, and a good website design hooks the traffic and turns it into leads, sales, and revenue.
You might think a website won’t really help your company. That’s not how your customers find you. Well, of course they don’t find you that way if you don’t have a website. They wouldn’t find you in the phone book either if you didn’t have a listing there. A website doesn’t just generate business for companies that have something to do with the Internet, it can be a valuable marketing tool for traditional businesses like law firms, manufacturers, accountants, realtors, and home builders. If you’re a home builder it might help you sell five more houses per year than you currently do. How much is that worth to you? If you’re an attorney it might help you sign up ten new clients this year. How much additional revenue would that mean for your firm? Start thinking in terms of ROI rather than tangible deliverables.
And why focus on the intangible vs the tangible? Because your customers are. More and more people are researching products and services online than ever before, and the number is still growing quickly. Phone books are dying out. So are newspapers. TV is struggling. The Internet is taking over. Sure, it will take time, perhaps 10-20 years before we have a truly high level of adoption, but in the meantime do you see the Internet as a threat or as an opportunity? If you see it as a threat then change your perspective, because there are still opportunities out there and you can get ahead of others who are still holding back.
Are you interested in seeing what MWI can do to empower your website? Learn more about our internet marketing services here.