How Much Should You Pay for a Website?

Looking to save some money aren’t ya? Do you really have to choose the 4 or 5 figure bid over the 3 figure one? Spending money on your business can hurt sometimes, I know. But sometimes it is necessary in order to grow in the long run. A website may or may not seem like a important expense to you. You may be biting your tongue trying to figure out if it’s worth the cost. In this article we’ll dive into a bit of pricing and the true business value of a website. So let’s jump right into it!

There are just 4 factors to consider when it comes to website pricing on your end. You need to understand

  1. Person/Company Past Experience
  2. Potential Results
  3. The Person/Company as a Whole
  4. Scope

You should understand these 4 factors and more importantly, the result of each factor. In other words, how it translates to your business in the long run. Please read this article and carefully to get a full understanding as your business is on the line here.

Web Designer’s Past Experience

Yes. When you pay higher prices you pay for experience. in this example, that web developer charging you more may have more experience. They’ll have more ideas on how you can improve your site and get more value out of it. They’ll know what works based on their experience!

Having past experience also gives you the opportunity to see their past work and whether or not it meets your standards.

With an experienced developer, you’ll go through less project hiccups during the project and there’s less of chance they’ll just up and abandon you. This has happened to so many of my current clients. 50% of my clients have gone with the lower bid before working me and the person was more than likely overwhelmed by the project that they just ghost my client. The reliability factor in the website marketing industry is a huge issue so be weary of someone with no experience if your project is important and requires a tentative eye.

In addition to reducing the risk of someone taking your money and leaving, a web designer with past experience will have a smoother process which means less headache for you. I know this because in the beginning, my projects were rough. After doing this for so many years, I have the process down smoothly. So you can focus on your business and not worry about every phase of the project.

It really is worth the price.

Some Caveats

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “aren’t there companies that charge low fees and have tons of experience?”. Yes there are! Just keep in mind, in this industry, you must compromise to achieve that. These companies that pop out full websites for practically nothing are very template based and aren’t worried about website conversion and ROI. Being template based, you can say bye to customization. If you don’t care about any of those things you are good to go with the lower bid!

Potential Results

A good redesign or rebranding can double, triple, or quadruple your results! Get a new website up can get you more exposure bringing you more business as it makes the sale for you.

Websites play a huge part in all types of business or personal ventures. What do you need a website for?

  • Do you want a better image online that represents who you are and what you’re accomplished?
  • Is branding the #1 goal for you?
  • Do you need higher conversions or feel your design is outdated? Outdated design usually means lower conversions.
  • Do you just need simple fixes done on the website?
  • Do you feel your online marketing can be improved as a whole in addition to just creating a website?

There are so many uses for a web designer (or as we say here website marketers). Know what you need first because results may vary. Let them know your issue and see how they respond. Do they know what it takes to solve your problem? Do they have past results that prove they can help you with your ultimate goal and reason for getting a website done?

Know what you need and make sure your chosen designer understands the issue and potential results fixing the issue can get. If they can help you increase your revenue or improve your brand for better exposure, I’d say that’s worth the higher price, wouldn’t you?

The Web Design Relationship

I don’t know about you but I like to work with good people so this part is simple. Are you happy with the experience so far? Sometimes you pay for a good partner. Working with a marketing partner that’s friendly, gets along with you, and is there to help you when you need help is a BIG deal and easily worth the price.

So know the kind of relationship you want with your web designer and choose the one that provides that experience.

Scope

Scope is probably an obvious one but worth mentioning still. Scope is the size of the project. It shows how much the project entails in terms of functionality and ultimately time on the end of the developer. It can change the pricing greatly. For example, if you needed membership or ecommerce functionality on the site, that adds a lot of time as there is more work and setup that goes into these website elements. You will pay more for them.

One thing I can guarantee you is someone charging low pricing (under $2000) for ecommerce setup WILL NOT do a complete job or allow any changes to the already incomplete job within the price range. I’d bet my front door on it!

So beware low pricing and understand common web design costs for additions like ecommerce. Scope is related to time and understand higher pricing will reflect that.

Now Go and Choose Wisely

web design pricing guide

Keep these 4 factors in mind with pricing. I just don’t want people to run into mistakes that end up costing them more in the long run. It is very common for most consumers, including myself, to choose the option that means less up front but that often isn’t the best option. In everything we do, we should always think long term. That’s how business works, relationships work, money works, and so on.

So save yourself the trouble and use the four key factors to choose your web designer carefully.

Don’t Build a Website Until You Have a SOLID Web Strategy

I would LOVE to get right into the meat of this article because everything in here is absolutely essential to building a site that will get you sales, calls, and leads — but it may be important to start with the what and why first if you don’t mind. So…

What is a Web Strategy?

Web strategy is not discussed often enough in web design. The truth is most designers you encounter don’t have much knowledge of what this is and no intent on doing anything after your site is built. But web strategy is essential, otherwise you might as well not build a website.

A web strategy is a plan of action to get your website out. To get qualified traffic coming in and then get that traffic to take a specified action. A web strategy involves your website first and then everything else you may need outside of that. So for example, you need to make sure you have the right keywords on your website and you also need to setup the appropriate social media channels outside of your website.

It is a complete plan of action for leads through the site after it is built.

Why Bother?

Well, if you care to get any business or customers, it kind of matters. You see, many people think they can build a site and people will just come. It is important to keep in mind that a new site is just one of the ten million made that month. I don’t mean to get you down, but that is the truth. The good news is that most of those websites do what I mentioned previously. They just build it and that’s it. Most will not get their site out there by implementing a website strategy. So read on to learn exactly how I do it here at MarvelousWeb Media. Follow this plan of action and you will EASILY make your website stand out amoungst millions!

Let’s Dive In

Your site has to be built for your audience

Traffic doesn’t mean a thing if you can’t convert it. Before you do anything outside of the site you must make sure it is something your audience will like. Learn what your audience values when it comes to your services. Understand their motivations and what they are looking for when they browse for your services.

Let’s say you are a roofer in this example. What would your customers value? Let’s explore:

  • Someone who needs a roof on their house is looking for something that will last a long time and not degrade and cause damage in the long run. It needs to be solid and long lasting.
    • What do you do? Show warranties on your work within the website (preferably the home page). Make it clear in the copy that you do a solid job and all your roofs stand the test of time.
  • In most home services, trust is a big deal. You have someone coming to your house, you don’t want it to just be any random person. Establishing trust is very important to your customers.
    • What do you do?  Show that you have been doing this a long time. Show any reviews you may have from past customers. Show any accreditations you may have from popular companies like BBB.
  • Your customers may wonder if you offer what they need and if you do a good job.
    • What do you do? Display photos of past work. Explain clearly who you serve and what you offer. Do you only work on commercial roofs or do you serve residential and commercial? Make this clear right off the bat on the home page. We don’t want to waste anyone’s time if you don’t offer what they need.

Take this example and apply it to your own business. Really think hard about your customer and what they may find important. You can even think over frequently asked questions to get a good idea of what people are concerned about when it comes to your service. Then take the answers and address them on the website.

Other key elements to making a high converting site are having a nice readable font, a clear call to action, and an easy to navigate menu.

When I build a site here at MarvelousWeb, I ask specific questions to my clients that help me get all these little details out. If you were interested in starting a project with me you could get a taste of those questions on the Get Started  form.

Getting Those Keywords Just Right

When I say keywords in this sense, I am referring to keywords as they relate to Google but also as they relate to your customers. We’ll start with customer keywords.

Customer Keywords

Customer keywords are what I call keywords that mean a lot to your customers. Since I just got finished with a home remodeling website that will be the example for this bit.

If you were a home remodeler what are some words your customers may use. You would find that “dream kitchen” or “dream bathroom” are really big ones. So you would want to play on that in your copy for the site.

Other phrases they may relate are “transforming your space”, “perfect family area”, or “extra space”. These are all important phrases for someone who is remodeling their kitchen or basement so you will want to use them throughout the site to show them that you understand and can really deliver on what they need.

So know your customer, understand what they recognize and relate to, and use that in your website. That’s an essential key to conversions.

SEO keywords

Recognize and use high volume search terms on the website. This will get it on the search engines radar so they know what you offer and can rank/index you accordingly. Make sure to use your company name in the actually text of the site, not just the logo. Google can’t read an image. Also use the name of your services where it is sensible. All this will ensure you rank for your own company name and can get indexed for the right services.

You’ll find that just doing this is usually enough because the majority of search terms revolve around the name of your service. So going back to our example, if you were a bathroom remodeler, you would use that term on the website and that is also what people might search to find you.

Moving Off Site and Getting Traffic

I’ll make this section simple with three key ways to get traffic. People may try to complicate this but it doesn’t get any harder than this. These are the three ways to get traffic to your site

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO is an excellent way to get traffic to your site. It is actually what I consider the best way to get traffic to your site. I love SEO because it is the modern billboard. If you were the leader in your industry in the 80s you would have billboards everywhere. That is how people would know you are the top dog in the area for your service offering. You would have those cheesy commercials on every channel and everyone would know who you are.

But in the 21st century that is not how things work. People are looking online to find what they need.

If you really are the dominate business in your industry you will rank high on Google. Especially in your local area. And you will reap all the benefits that come from it. If someone is on the first page, I promise you they are paying for it and getting that money back ten fold. So that is why SEO is the number way to get traffic. The only issue is that it takes time, financial investment, and patience. This makes it harder for some small businesses to take the leap but they really shouldn’t let that be a barrier because it all pays off big time in the end.

For SEO, you need to decide on your keywords and find places where you can post your link.

Social Media

Most social media channels are perfect for building a brand and getting people talking about you. Even though it may not translate to direct sales or traffic, getting people to talk about your business is a big deal. It seriously helps in growing your authority online.

If web traffic and sales are your goals, I think Facebook might serve you well. Not just a Facebook page but also Facebook ads. Get in on it while it’s hot!

Other social media like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and LinkedIn can really help you to boost your business depending on what you have to offer.

If you aren’t feeling you need social media, at least get a Facebook page up. Like, come on man.

Ads

Google Ads, Facebook ads, Youtube ads — when used correctly, these can be the lifeblood of your business. People may want to complicate PPC (pay per click) but it is rather simple. Focus on ROI. Ensure for every $10 you spend you get a minimum of $10 back. But that’s a poor goal. You should look to get at ten times your investment back from your ad spend. If you spend $100, you should get $1000 back in return. If you can get this result consistently, all you need to do from there is scale. Invest more and get more back. That is literally it (but not really. you need to be able to handle all the business coming in properly and then leverage that new business to get more business and have the team ready to handle even more and scale accordingly, then review and innovate to make sure your business lasts and doesn’t move backwards, then……..but that’s pretty much it.)

But there has to be more to it right?

Well, yeah. You of course need to put in the work to get those results. You need good ad copy and more important than that you need to know who your target audience is. You can run great ads with wonderful copy all day but if you are targeting someone who isn’t in your audience, your money will be for naught.

Other great free methods

Don’t have a lot of money to invest in your business? That’s fine for a while.

If you really can’t put any money into ads or SEO or social media, there are some other options out there for you.

The first thing I recommend to my clients is a Google Listing. Even if you don’t have a physical location, a Google Listing is a must. I have multiple clients who get most of their business just from a Google My Business Listing. It pretty much counts as free SEO in my opinion. Slap some reviews on there and you could take over locally!

If you need any help with this, I’d be more than happy to assist. Head on over to my Contact page and let me know you’re interested.

Chances are you already have a listing for your business but it hasn’t been claimed yet. If that’s the case, you need to claim it right now. Anyone can claim it in the mean time, taking away your access. You really do not want that to happen.

Offline guerrilla marketing

I may be young but I still know the importance of word-of-mouth, cold calling, and hanging up some flyers in your neighborhood or reaching out to some friends so they can spread the word. You can place business cards in books at the library, or walk right into a place where your ideal customer is and put up your business card somewhere. Good old fashion guerrilla marketing never hurts. It can actually be fun.

And the final free method is learning.

You can learn SEO and how to properly use social media. If you learn it, you can implement it yourself. It mostly comes down to whether you have the time or not but it is totally an option. One of my favorite sites for online learning is Udemy!

Wrapping it all up

This is it and don’t forget it.

When it comes to growing your business, this is it. This is how you get your name out there. This is how you get traffic to your site. This is how people can start to find you on Google. This is it.

So if you are wondering, “hey, my new site is up now how do I get traffic and sales?”, this is how. You need a Google Listing, you need social media, you need SEO or ads running. That is how you will get sales and traffic. Get an awesome website designed to be the center of it all and you will take off.

If you have any questions let me know. I love being able to help out whoever I can and give free advice to those who ask. Just let me know your name, business, and what you do.

Making a Website is Hard???

Is it easy to make a website?

Do you need to know AJAX, HTML5, CSS3, Javascript, jQuery, Python, PHP and other complex languages to design a website? Well we are going to figure that out right now. Let’s see how “easy” it is to make a website…

Erasing All the Confusion

I was in a local forum on Alignable recently answering common questions about starting a website, specifically an ecommerce site. I scrolled through the answers and saw so many web designers formulating their answers to scare the person who asked the question. They were saying that to make a site you need to learn AJAX, and networks, and all the common languages of web development. They were saying even when you make a website you are just a pebble in the ocean and you need their help to make that not so.

My face was one of utter confusion. I had to check for a moment and make sure the past 8 years of me designing websites was real, because everything they were saying was such rubbish.

“You know that you can get a decent site up without ever even looking at code?”

No exaggeration there. When I started so many years ago, HTML scared me too. I saw it and did everything I could to avoid it. And guess what? I was still able to make websites, sell products, create landing pages, embed optin forms, and so much more. No coding required.

No Worries

So no worries, ok? A basic website does not require a thousand years of programming knowledge. You can build one right on WordPress with little to no experience. Now, you may be thinking about other platforms. You know, the ones that promise no knowledge of anything and you can build your own perfect site. Sites like Wix and Squarespace.

I will not be nice here or hold anything back.

I don’t exactly like those website builders and my clients don’t either. Nearly half of my clients have come to me from one of those website builders because they just couldn’t deal with it anymore. And many of my hours were spent in just the transfer to WordPress.

My advice is to stay away because while you don’t need code to make a great website, you need experience. Experience in marketing.

It’s Not About Looks

A website must have substance. It must have purpose. Mostly anyone can design a decent looking website but whether or not they design it to convert leads into customers is another story. A website is useless if it doesn’t convert or optimize traffic. Designing a website for me is fun and my knowledge of the industry and experience makes it easy but not simple. I put a lot into the process before I even work on the design. That’s how much there is to it all.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying you can’t create a high converting website. You can learn anything if you put in the time and practice. It’s just important to know that is the deciding factor on whether a website is easy to make or not. You can make a great looking site without touching a bit of code but will it work and do its job, which is to help you reach your revenue goals? That is what really matters.

So What’s the Point of Me

You can learn how to create a WordPress site easily. You can purchase a theme to get the look you want. You can put in the time to learn what makes a website convert. WordPress has loads of plugins to solve most problems you may have so why would anyone hire me?

Here’s why most do:
  • Higher end website with cool effects and a premium look
  • My years of experience in creating sites that convert and generate good revenue
  • Time (really big one) – why waste time learning skills you will only need to use once and not hire someone who does only this for a living every day
  • Customization – I love coding and my clients love having a design that is perfect and designed special for them. I don’t use themes.
  • Assistance – if something goes wrong, I am here to fix any problems rapidly with your site
  • Special Functionality – this is where the serious programming comes in, but I happen to love it!
  • Beyond the Site – what do you do after the site is finally up? You can’t have leads without traffic.
  • Further guidance – I don’t just do websites. I look at your whole business to see what can be done to get you to your goals fastest with a good ROI

You Can Do Pretty Well on your Own

Coding isn’t really the problem at all. You can do pretty well on your own. It is only when you really want to amp things up that someone like me may come into play. Otherwise, it is pretty hard for me to tell you that making a website is hard or that you need to know every programming language in the book. You can do anything if you put in the time and effort.

Because the process of creating a high converting website takes time to learn, I put together a short ebook to summarize my process for making a normal website into one that pumps customers into your business. If you don’t have it already, you can download it here