A recent study by BtoB Magazine shows that 70% of companies will be looking to invest in website development over the coming months. Not exactly a surprising statistic considering the heavy reliance on websites for content marketing and lead generation; although it is reassuring to know that business owners recognise the importance of ongoing investment in this area.
A website shouldn’t be a static object. Rather it should be continually evolving to meet customer needs, take advantage of new technology, and be seen as a rich source of information for both potential and existing clients. Implementing these continual changes does of course require a commitment of time and money.
Every year, companies will spend a significant amount on various marketing channels including traditional media advertising, online advertising, social media, email marketing and so on. The exact mix of these will depend on the type of business and the audience it needs to reach.
However having an effective, well designed and user-friendly website is the cornerstone of many marketing strategies. It is for this reason that companies are realising that they should invest a realistic amount of money into website development, content creation and website optimisation so that their website delivers the best possible return on investment.
Investment in website development this year will mainly focus on:
- Responsive design: making sure the website renders correctly on tablets, mobiles and laptops and provides a superior user experience is increasingly important. Having a single website for all platforms is a must for new websites.
- Conversion rates: design, content and usability directly impact bounce rates and conversion rates. Investment in this area is on the increase.
What about social media?
Social media has had an incredible influence on how we interact with customers. It plays a part in many marketing strategies, but the degree of involvement and importance of social media needs to be carefully evaluated by individual businesses. Just because it seems like everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean it is necessarily right for you. You need to take into account who your customers are, the nature of your business, and which of the many channels available is the most suitable.
The report shows that 65% of companies rate social media (we include blogging in here as well) as their second favourite channel. Social networking can be very effective in spreading the word about your business, but there is a need to maintain control over your content marketing. The very nature of social media means that the general public can directly affect your brand’s reputation, and once it’s out there on the worldwide web, it’s out there forever.
By comparison, your website remains firmly under your control. It’s also easier to track the effectiveness of your website and to establish the ROI from your investment in web design. Little wonder then that so many are looking increase their spend on website development in 2013.
By Aaron Enright