Many small business owners tend to take on every aspect of their business by themselves. Unfortunately, one of these aspects usually ends up being the web design. Since they’re not web designers, it often leaves them with an “ugly” website.
Later, when it comes time to sell the business, those entrepreneurs still fail to realize how big of an impact that ugly website had on the final valuation and the offers they were receiving from investors.
If you’re one of these business owners, I want you to start looking at your website’s design as an investment.
Investors that are thinking about buying the business from you may buy the business in spite of the fact that it has an ugly website, but they’re going to look for a deal and will try to cut the price down.
By addressing your website’s design long before you put the business up for sale, you’ll get to capitalize on the increased growth and later, the higher sales price.
Here are 5 key ways an attractive website design can boost your business’ sale price.
#1 – Turn Visitors into Customers
A good website design is going to dramatically increase your conversion rates. Conversion rate optimization is your ability to continually optimize your website so more visitors are being converted into paying customers.
To help you understand how effective proper optimization can be, let’s assume that your website brings in 100 visitors per day right now and you convert 1 of the visitors into a paying customer for a $100 product. This drives $100 per day in revenue to your business through your website.
Now, let’s assume you optimize how well you’re able to convert those visitors and raise your conversion rates up to 2%. Instead of generating $100 per day, you’re now bringing in $200 per day in revenue without having to drive more traffic.
#2 – Drive More Search Engine Traffic
There are two things that the major search engine algorithms look for: recent, unique content and high-quality backlinks pointing to that content. If you have both factors in place, you will be able to rank highly in the organic search results.
However, search engines are evolving. They’re going to spend more time looking at how visitors are interacting with your website and whether they find it useful after navigating to it.
Let’s say a visitor finds your website in the search results, navigates to your website and then bounces back to the search results. The algorithms will assume that your website wasn’t useful to those visitors and lower your rankings for that keyword as a result.
To make sure you stand apart from your competition, ensure that your website is attractive and easy to navigate so your visitors aren’t bouncing right back to the search results pages.
#3 – Build Your Brand
Some businesses have been built around an ugly website because they wanted to be known as the business with the ugly website. However, for most businesses, this simply isn’t a good idea.
A knowledgeable website designer can help you create your perfect brand messaging and then portray that messaging to your target customer type through your website’s design.
This makes it easy for you to make your business “memorable” so your visitors come back when it’s time for them to buy or they have a problem that your products and services can solve.
To help you understand the effectiveness of a good website design and branding campaign coupled together, think about it like this: a run-down storefront that has busted windows, a front door that won’t open and the products are nowhere to be found.
Then, think about a business that has an inviting front door, the store is well-maintained, and the products are visible in an organized way.
Which business do you think is going to be more memorable to the customer?
#4 – Your Marketing Becomes More Effective
There comes a point in a business’ life where they will hit the coveted “critical mass”. That’s the point where they do not have to promote their business as aggressively and customers take over the marketing process through word-of-mouth referrals.
When a business hits critical mass, the marketing costs are reduced and it costs less to acquire a customer. Visitors will already be warmed up to the notion of working with the business and buying their products and services.
If you have an ugly website, reaching this point of critical mass is rather unlikely. Many visitors will not share an ugly website to their social media profiles and bloggers and other websites will not link to those websites, either.
#5 – Your Readers Will Appreciate Your Effort
If you were to get a focus group of 100 visitors to a badly designed website and got them to give you honest answers about their experience, you would find that more than 50% would complain about not being able to find the information they were looking for.
Your website should be designed so that it is easy to navigate and the most important information — your customers frequently asked questions and information about your products and services — are easy to find.
By investing in your website, you will not only keep your visitors happy, but you’re also going to reduce your employees’ workload. They will not have to spend as much time providing customer support and answering questions that are easily answered if you put the right content front and center on the site.
Your goal may be to keep your business for the long-term, profiting while you own it, or to sell it within the next 12 months. The above 5 reasons should give you the reasons you need to think about investing in your website’s design.
Investing in your site will help you grow your bottom line, generate more profits and give you the ability to easily stand apart from your competition. These are factors that buyers will look at when they’re thinking about submitting an offer to acquire the business from you.
Jock Purtle is Founder and Owner of DigitalExits. He is considered an industry leader and expert on valuations of high growth internet companies, website valuations, and website brokerage. He has been featured and quoted in publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Inc.com, Wired, CBS News, Geekwire, TechCrunch. He was the runner up in the Australian Global Student Entrepreneur awards