As you navigate the vast expanse of the internet, perusing small business websites, you can’t help but wonder, “How on earth are these businesses generating any revenue with websites that look like this?” Let me tell you upfront that this approach is fundamentally flawed when it comes to evaluating a website’s success. Surprisingly, we have witnessed some of the simplest websites outperforming their larger, more expensive counterparts in terms of generating leads and driving sales for businesses.
Before delving into the reasons behind this phenomenon and unveiling how you can achieve a website for your own business that matches or surpasses the success of these seemingly modest websites, let’s begin by examining a series of statistics. These figures will hopefully motivate you to evaluate your own website critically and make informed decisions that will yield better results for your business.
There are a staggering 1.13 billion websites in the world, but only a fraction of them are actively used and regularly updated.This simple statistic shows that business owners are following trends, not making the commitment to grow their online business. That’s a surefire way to burn money fast. You’d be better off starting a bonfire and at least drinking a few beers or wines while you watch the money burn. [Kind of funny, kind of not.]
Astonishingly, 82% of websites are inactive, implying that a mere 200,121,724 out of the 1.13 billion websites are actively maintained and visited.[How mind-boggling is that!]
In 2023, 71% of businesses had a website—an increase from previous years—which can largely be attributed to the transformative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. As companies adapt to online commerce and remote work, they have come to realise the significance of establishing a digital presence to reach a broader audience and maintain a competitive edge in today’s digital landscape. [However, having a website does not guarantee success or activity; it merely indicates that businesses recognise the need to participate in the online game.]
A notable 28% of all business activities now take place online. [This encompasses more than just sales and leads; it also includes research, credibility checks, courses, downloads, podcast and newsletter subscriptions, and more. Websites solely focused on online sales often miss out on substantial opportunities to expand their business.]
Recent research reveals that 43% of small businesses plan to invest in enhancing the performance of their websites in 2023. This trend highlights the growing importance of establishing an effective online presence for businesses of all sizes. As consumers increasingly rely on the internet to inform their purchasing decisions, a well-designed and optimised website becomes critical for a business’s success in today’s digital landscape. [You might be thinking, “Okay, I need to invest in my website.” Wrong! This is precisely why we wrote this book: to save you from wasting time and money on the wrong strategies.]
A significant challenge faced by 21% of business owners is low website traffic. This issue can hamper their ability to attract and retain customers, resulting in diminished revenue and overall success. [However, this is only true if you adhere to expensive and ineffective website practices. Many businesses erroneously believe that they have no control over their online traffic or results. It’s not a matter of chance or luck but rather a strategic game that requires consistent effort—something we will discuss in detail in this book.]
Calls to action play a crucial role in a website’s conversion strategy, and their effectiveness can be measured by the click-through rate (CTR). The average CTR across all industries stands at 4.23%, meaning that, on average, only 4.23 out of every 100 visitors will interact with a call to action. This statistic underscores the significance of strategically placed and well-designed calls to action on a website, increasing the likelihood of conversions.
[While this holds true if you follow common website practices, it’s important to note that relying solely on paid ads might yield slightly higher results. However, is it profitable? For the average small business, it becomes a costly game to play. The good news is that you don’t have to play by those rules; by understanding the game and implementing a better strategy, you can achieve higher conversion rates than the average.]
Website users take an incredibly brief 0.05 seconds to form an opinion about a website. This emphasises the criticality of making a strong impact within a remarkably short span of time. Websites need to be designed to captivate visitors’ attention, as first impressions hold immense significance. [Interestingly, this statistic is somewhat exaggerated.
Google suggests that the window for creating a favourable impression is around 3 seconds. While this may sound daunting, it explains why Google considers speed as a ranking criterion. Your website needs to load quickly and capture the attention of the right audience.
Why the emphasis? Because the attention span of the right customers tends to be slightly longer since they are actively seeking the product or service you offer. When you create a website for everyone (which is not a wise approach), you won’t hold their attention. There’s a clue here—get it?]
Ninety-three percent of global internet traffic is driven by Google, making it the dominant search engine worldwide. However, do you know which search engine takes second place? With over 33 billion visitors, YouTube secures the second spot as the most visited website. [This insight suggests that videos can potentially assist in capturing and retaining the attention of the “right customers.”
Ultimately, all we seek are the right customers, don’t we? But what defines a “right customer”? The average response would be customers ready to make a purchase. This means that most businesses within an industry are competing for a mere 5-7% of customers who are prepared to buy. What about the remaining 95-97%? What strategies do you employ on your website to engage with them? This raises an intriguing point, doesn’t it?]
On average, website users devote 5.59 seconds to reading written content on a site. This factor carries significant weight for businesses aiming to engage their audience and effectively convey their message. [This statistic holds immense importance for small businesses as it offers an opportunity to distinguish themselves within their industry.
It also highlights the significance of understanding certain SEO practices (although not all of them). Most importantly, it reveals the greatest disparity between businesses and their websites—BUSINESS OWNERS BELIEVE THEY CANNOT WRITE ENGAGING CONTENT, leading them to hire individuals well-versed in crafting content. However, such individuals may lack an in-depth understanding of the business’s customers or its unique nuances.
Our experience has shown that any business can produce relevant and compelling content with straightforward guidelines. So don’t worry; your business website can be engaging, and you already possess the skills to write the precise content you need.]
On average, website users spend approximately 6.44 seconds reviewing the main navigation menu on a site. This emphasises the importance of a clear and easily accessible navigation menu to facilitate a positive user experience. [As if the internet wasn’t already crowded enough, business owners often inundate their websites with excessive and convoluted content that the average visitor finds difficult to decipher.
Navigation should not require a secret decoder; instead, it should present a simple and logical path that anyone can follow. We want visitors to become buyers, but most websites fail to simplify decision-making. This should serve as another clue for you. Take a moment to review your website: Can you easily find what you are looking for? If not, don’t expect visitors to have an easier time.]
Nearly 9 out of 10 online users will not revisit a website if they have a negative experience with it. This demonstrates the criticality of providing a seamless and user-friendly website, as a poor experience can result in missed opportunities for engagement and repeat visits.
[Furthermore, even if a visitor has a decent experience on a website, most businesses fail to provide compelling reasons for them to return. Remember the first and second statistics: 82% of websites are inactive and neglected. This means there is nothing new to explore, giving visitors no incentive to come back. Do you see the significance?]
In the second quarter of 2022, a staggering 58.99% of all web traffic originated from mobile phones. [This statistic is unlikely to decline anytime soon. It implies that your website must not only be responsive but also offer a user-friendly experience across mobile phones, tablets, and laptops. While customers may not complete purchases through their mobile phones, they constantly have them at hand for quick searches and information lookup.]
So, how can you utilise these statistics alone to gauge whether your business website is effectively fuelling your growth? Take two steps: First, think like a consumer. Reflect on your own behaviour when searching online or visiting a website. Your actions are likely not far removed from those of your customers.
Keep this in mind as you move on to the second step: visit your own business website and don’t simply browse it—make a purchase as if you were a customer. If possible, use an alias to get the authentic experience without receiving preferential treatment as the business owner. Evaluate your on-site experience.
Were you able to find answers to your questions? Did the website provide sufficient details for you to make an informed decision? Could you trust the site and its information? Would you recommend the site to others? Was placing an order easy or challenging? And once you placed the order, what was the communication like? Did you have a positive delivery experience? Were your inquiries promptly addressed?
By undertaking these two steps, you will likely discover that enhancing branding, implementing SEO techniques, or relying on paid ads won’t dramatically alter your results. In fact, we conduct five additional tests with our clients to provide a comprehensive client experience. We even offer tissues for the tears often shed when they witness their own business’s performance. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.
If you like or need more of this kind of insights that can transform your website’s results and drive your business growth, I encourage you to download the full Permission to Grow eBook [Click Here].
Alternatively, if you desire personalised attention and already recognise the need for assistance with your website and marketing efforts, I invite you to book a Discovery Session. Let’s join forces and propel your business to new heights together [Click Here].