How Much Does A Website Cost? A Small Business Budgeting Guide
Are you at the stage where a website presence is a crucial part of your marketing strategy and business success? When looking to have an engaging website design, there are several elements you need to look at first. You will need to start by planning the main business objectives, strategies and design elements for your website. Do you want to sell your products online or create a broader awareness of your product capabilities?
Crucially you should firstly begin with establishing the purpose of your website. What exactly are you looking to achieve from the website? Is it sales, is it enquiries, is it credibility?
1) Initial Planning
Ask yourself the question: What do I want my website to achieve? There are three main elements that you should consider.
- Do you want to sell your products online or just raise your product awareness?
- Do you want to attract new customer enquiries?
- Are you wanting to ensure your existing customers have access to important website news, downloads and more?
Your website homepage is likely to be where many people gain their first impression about your business and your capabilities. Therefore you need to establish clearly what you want their first impression to be. You may want them to be impressed by your website and see that you are credible. You may want them to download some information or take a particular action like call you. When doing your initial planning it is important to look at successful websites in your industry.
You should look at how they portray their products, services and content and what they are doing effectively and not. You can then establish any gaps they have and make sure you include these on your website.
Additionally you should ensure you write down the key unique selling points of your products and services, to then be included on your website. What differentiates your products and business from your competitors? This gives people clear reasons why they should buy from your business and not from one of your competitors.
2) Your Budget
There are a range of website designs available to you depending on your business objectives, product and service range and budget. Beginning with basic websites, which are low cost, through to custom designed websites for big impact. Advanced websites will require a larger investment, as they will be custom built purely for your business.
Custom built websites will take into account the unique impact you want to make as a business. They can also integrate your systems such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems, email and accounts systems. By integrating these things into your website you may be able to save yourself some time and money.
Which type of website will be most suitable for your business?
Follow our comprehensive guide below to determine the website most relevant for your business.
If you currently have a small product range or very small business, you are likely to require a website consisting of 3-4 web pages. These websites are used to create a very basic web presence for your business. These websites can be created by yourself, in a short time frame and for a low price and sometimes even for free. It is important to note here that these types of websites are not very likely to be picked up by Google and very unlikely to feature on the first page for search results.
Custom Design Websites
If you are looking for a website to actually work for your business, in other words, to bring you a return on your investment in the form of leads and enquiries, you should be looking to employ a web design agency. Look for an agency who will manage the entire process for you from your initial website set up, design, content creation and aftercare services. When choosing an agency for custom web design it is always an advantage if they have marketing experience and are not just graphic designers.
Custom designed websites require a larger investment than basic websites, but offer much more. Additionally a Content Management System design framework will be used to develop these website designs. A content management system allows you to be able to manage the content of your website once it is built. You will have full access to update and change the content as your business requires. You can find out more about CMS services here
Additional website services can be added on to custom designs such as mobile websites, ecommerce capabilities for selling online, as well as Search Engine Optimisation.
Advanced websites are bespoke and usually offer advanced design features, such as animated graphics and interactive pages. Advanced sites are built to really make an impact, your website design will truly stand out and look unique in comparison to your competitor’s. Even though these websites require a bigger investment compared to basic and custom built, you need to think about your target market and the image you are looking to portray to them. If your products or service has a very high average order value, you will need to be able to display prestige with your website. You cannot sell a £10,000 product or service on a £100 website. It is not congruent and your customers will pick up on that. The website simply will not convert. In these instances it is better to get your image right even if it means paying a little more for it.
There will be additional costs you will need to consider as well as your website design cost itself. These include an extra charge for the purchasing of your domain name (website address). Depending on the imagery you require for your website this may also incur an extra cost. You will also need to decide if you need the website company to source stock imagery for you or if you will organise personal photographs to be taken by a photographer.
Additionally if you would like a professional copywriter to write engaging content for your website this may be an extra charge. Website hosting is another additional cost. Hosting is a regular cost normally monthly, that you pay to your website provider. This will cover any maintenance costs to update your website, regular backups of your site, server rental space for your site and in some cases customer service.
If you do not have a content management system built into your website, when you require changes to be made to your site you may incur additional charges.
Once you have your completed website design and it has gone live, don’t just see this as your website being fully completed. There are other targeted marketing strategies you can employ to make your website more successful. You don’t want your website to stand still. You want your website to keep gaining increased website traffic, to then increase your leads and sales. Your website, once built, will not automatically transform your business. You will need to monitor it’s performance, using analytics, and make continuous effort to enhance your search engine position and visitor traffic to your site.
For more information on how to use google analytics to increase the performance of your website have a read of this article…
Search Engine Optimisation
SEO increases your website visibility in Search Engines through using a range of strategies. Many website design companies offer SEO services, so you can enquire directly with them what SEO strategies they will use and how they will be measured. When looking at SEO services it is important to really do your research in order to choose a company who knows what they are doing. Here is a guide of what to ask before hiring an SEO company …
Online advertising can dramatically increase your website presence. Google Adwords advertising, in particular, is a targeted method to direct prospects towards your site. You can set this up yourself, however unless you really know what you are doing, this could be a sure fire way of loosing a lot of money. More information on Goggle Adwords campaigns and the benefits of outsourcing this can be found here…
It is advisable that you turn to an agency to help you get started with Google Adwords. Your Agency will initially undertake 4 key research strategies to make your Adwords campaigns successful. These include;
- Keyword Research
- Competitor Analysis
- Website Review
- Advert Copy
This will maximise the likelihood of prospects clicking on your advert and viewing your website. Adwords campaigns are also focused and clearly measurable for your business. Your Agency should also provide you with accurate reports on your progress every month.
Website and Digital Marketing companies can create a range of profiles for you including; Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Linkedin and Google+. Your Agency can additionally provide regular copywriting services to update the posts and videos on your Social Media profiles.
Regular posting is significant for Social Media success and it shows that your business is continually moving forward, knowledgeable and closely linked with your customers.
Social media icons can also be added in prominent positions on your website such as your home page to link directly to your business Social Media Profiles.
To answer the question what should you pay for a good website, give one of our team a call and get a free website critique. There is no way of knowing what you should be investing until we know what you are looking to achieve.
Article by Laura Morris-Richardson