Cold Spring Design Inc.
15 Griggs Road
Sutton, MA 01590

508.865.5191

info@coldspringdesign.com

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What’s the ROI of a Website?

Sunday, Feb. 1st 2009

It’s been a week of SEO over here in Sutton, MA. Lots of search engine optimization discussions, quotes, overviews and work. Time spent doing searches, discussing searches, and especially poring over Google Analytics statistics. Why? Because that’s where the pedal meets the metal in designing marketing websites. Return on investment. We can’t measure success through direct purchases without a shopping cart. But we can look at the traffic, keywords, geographic profile and more. And in doing so, we can justify our work and convince our clients to reinvest in their websites.

Sometimes there’s not a lot of convincing that needs to happen.

What’s the value of being found online? For a business selling a $10 trinket, a lot of trinkets are going to have to be sold to pay for the cost of a professionally built website. Most businesses, however, market products or services that sell for a lot more than that. What’s a single new client worth to a financial advisor? Five thousand dollars a year is a fair number. How about a client for a lawyer? There’s a huge range, but perhaps a bit over a thousand. And it’s not just the “white collar” jobs either. Painting a house might result in several thousand dollars of revenue. Repeat customers are the lifeblood of many tradesmen; plumbers, electricians and carpenters will realize thousands of dollars from new customers over the span of their relationships. Even chiropractors, acupuncturists and other health practitioners, despite earning between thirty and ninety dollars per visit, will see new patients many times and, over the course of a year, earn over a thousand dollars from a single new client.

So how’s it work? Well, the real SEO primer is a bit long to write and there’s a ton of information online already. But after building websites for 200 small businesses and tracking results over 8 years, at least I can talk about getting businesses found in Central Mass or whatever your local market is. See, it’s totally a case-by-case thing. For a big client likeĀ meltsnow.com, we’ve been able to get them ranked #1 on Google for a number of their search terms like “mag flakes” without regard to their geographic area. That’s partly because of their market, partly because of their competition, and partly ’cause Rob over at Chemical Solutions is all over this stuff with me. For clients like holdenacupuncture.com and riveracupuncture.com, we need to look at their geographical market. Searching for “acupuncture” isn’t going to work for a one-person business. Instead, we need to branch off in two directions. We need to target alternative key phrases like “chinese herbal medicine” or craniosacral therapy” (if you’ve never had that done, please call Robin or Emily!). We also need to target a location. Leicester or Worcester, MA is the specific area. We might expand that to Central Mass or other towns near Worcester as well. When we’re done, we get a couple of the top spots for searches like “central mass acupuncture“.

Is that it? It’s that easy to make money on the web? Heck no. Why do you think Cold Spring Design’s still in business? But that’s a start. More later – or contact us and I’d be happy to evaluate your business, your market and your cost to be found…

Posted by Jeff Lerman | in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Web Design, Web/Business Consulting | Comments Off on What’s the ROI of a Website?
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