Google indexes over 8 billion web pages, the vast majority of these never get any real traffic from the search engine, and there are millions of sites that are not even in the search engines. This means that most sites are a waste of time and money, you would probably not even notice if you turned yours off.
Careful optimising of onsite content gave a 400% traffic increase in 6 months.
However a good site, one that is well produced, maintained and promoted can be a fantastic tool. When you consider that a single classified advert in the Times newspaper will cost you nearly £400 spending £4000 on a website that can last for years and be there 24/7 to promote your business, answer questions, inform clients and educate users really is a bargain.
There is a reason why companies like Argos spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on a website, in Argos's case its £1,000,000 of online orders a day in the run up to Christmas. Don't spend £500 on a cheaply produced website, you will literally be throwing money away, if you are looking for that kind of spend get some leaflets printed or offer it as a bonus to your salespeople if they beat their best ever it will achieve more than a bad website.
The really worrying thing is that plenty of people are not spending £500 on a bad website; they are spending tens of thousands of pounds, on sites that just don't work. They then defend them, with what can only be seen as an Emperor’s new clothes type of passion.
If you’re not getting traffic, have no idea how many people are using your site, it’s not being updated and you think that this is the way it has to be, your wrong.
So whether you are a small garage, an estate agent on a multinational chemical company, be aware that anyone can have a website that is under performing but just as easily anyone can have one that really does work for you.