How much does a website cost?
Now that you’ve decided what you need, how much should your website cost? The simple answer is “it depends on what your needs are.” Website pricing can range from just a few hundred dollars to millions of dollars, all dependent on the functionality and customization needed and the team of designers that you choose to work with. Agencies or web design companies, for the most part, will provide higher pricing than hiring a friend-of-a-friend because they provide strategy and consulting that many freelancers can’t. Plus, with an agency you get the added benefit of working with a team of specialists in their respective field (creative design, marketing, programming, etc.). There are hundreds if not thousands of agencies and freelancers in the United States alone, and a lot of them do very good work. The problem is finding one that fits YOUR needs. Here are a few questions that you should ask yourself in your search for a web designer.
- How important is my company’s brand? That is, how custom does the design need to be to match my brand?
- This question is important as it can determine whether a template website can work for you. Template websites are exactly that, basic layouts that can be used at a cost. The problem with templates is that other companies in your industry may use them, even a direct competitor, so there is very little to differentiate you from the competition. However, custom designed sites can be more costly but can lead to better conversion rates due to their relevancy with your brand.
- How much control do I want to have over my website?
- This is very important. If you don’t mind paying someone to update your website now and then, this isn’t a major concern. However, if your serious about using your website as a marketing tool, you’ll want as much control as you can have to reduce ongoing costs and increase the speed at which you can add new content. Make sure you find a company that can give you control over the content that you want to have control over.
Now, while searching for an agency, here are just a few ideas on how to separate the “snake-oil salesmen” from a true partner who wants to help you grow your business.
- Submission into search engines
- Many web design companies tout this as one of their “core services,” especially for their search engine optimization services. This service is actually free and can be done by anyone. Here are the links.
- “Naturalized SEO”
- Many companies offer SEO (search engine optimization) services along with their site design services. That’s not unusual. However, as of recent, we’ve discovered a handful of companies that offer “naturalized SEO.” While this is most likely standard SEO services, this terminology isn’t used very frequently in the industry. If you run across agencies that state that they offer specific services but use nomenclature that you haven’t seen anywhere else, make sure that they have the references to back it up. That, is, as with any partnership, make sure to double check a company’s references before signing a contract.
- To the Top of Search Engine Results
- Many companies promise or offer to get you to the top of the search engine results with a guarantee. Honestly, any company can get you to the top of the rankings, the problem comes when asking for what keyword. Ranking for terms that no one actually searches for is very easy and that’s what many of these companies specialize in. On the other hand, many companies offer great case studies on the number of #1 rankings that they assisted a company in achieving and received a legitimate amount of traffic from that work. Now the problem is whether or not that traffic converted to business. Traffic that comes to the site but doesn’t do anything but visit the site and leave isn’t worth a lot in the scheme of things. Your site exists to generate business/leads/contacts/communicate/etc., not simply to collect pageviews. Remember that an Interactive Marketing campaign should cause interactions, and a valuable campaign will cause valuable interactions.