How Much Does a Website Cost?
In marketing, we will always tell you that your website is your number one marketing asset. It is the tool that defines your brand, products and services and measures your past, current and future marketing and promotion solutions. It is your go-to-market platform that provides details of what you do and why you do it.
So the question is, how much does a website cost to build and does your business really need it?
Firstly, Why do You Need a Marketing-Friendly Website?
If the digital revolution hasn't yet made your business realise the need for a fully reactive web offering, then the changing attitude of your customers will. More than 85% of your customers will search for your brand first online, before making any committed calls of action. Therefore, having a marketing-friendly website is an absolute must.
If you’re ready to take your website to the next level, here are some ways to make it function as a marketing tool - although we have to clearly state that there is so much more to it than just these 7 steps.....
1. Make it attractive. Ugly websites send customers bouncing back to the results page. Remember that your website is part of your brand and says something about your company, its standards, its professionalism. What do you want it to say?
2. Start with your customer in mind. Forget what the design committee wants. What does your customer need and want from a website? Create a persona for him or her, with a name, description, personality traits, income, education, and everything else you know about your average buyer.
This persona is a conglomeration of your typical customers and should be at the forefront of your content and other marketing efforts. Write to this person. Design for this person.
3. Communicate simply. Your website is communicating with customers. Make the communication concise and easy to understand. Remove jargon and anything that may distract the visitor from the goal of buying or contacting you to purchase. Give them what they want.
Don’t force your customers to hunt for answers to fundamental questions such as: Where are you located? What is your phone number? What if I have a problem? How does your service or product work? This information should be easily accessible.
4. Encourage action. Every page of your website should contain a call to action. Your CTA may vary based on your type of business. For example, an ecommerce store will encourage visitors to buy, while a B2B will encourage potential customers to either sign up for the service or contact them.
We can discuss the various qualities of pop-ups versus other options, but whatever style you choose, you must have something telling a customer what you want them to do.
5. Give away something valuable. Many B2Bs will find it useful to give away information or content in exchange for an email address. That gives your sales team a warm lead for later follow up or for your email drip campaign.
6. Think mobile-first. More than half of your customers are using mobile devices to find you, and that number is only going up. In some industries, it’s far higher. Make sure your website caters to small screens. (This is also critical for search engine optimization.)
7. Stay fresh. A website is never done. Refresh website photos once a year. Your SEO team should keep an eye out for broken links. Add useful content as you can.
How Much Does it Cost?
One of the most common questions we hear in the marketing industry is 'How much does a new or rebranded website cost to build and run?'. The answer, like most marketing projects of scale, is based on the needs, wants and long term capabilities of what the website needs to do for your business.
We suggest, in part, that there are three types of websites to consider; business, news and ecommerce.
There are also three main ways to build a website: use a website builder, build with WordPress, or hire a web designer. Costs also have to factor the back office, the CRM, the CMS, the CTA and the customer feedback and care.
How important is your website for your business? Once you know this answer we can follow the next steps.
One of the biggest decisions your business will face is how to leverage the medium that is your website. Your number one marketing asset is the landing pages for search, enquiries and information your customers want to find out about you and your business products and services. So let us consider market research first to identify the need for a new or rebranded website.
What Type of Website do You Need?
We break this down into three generic types that cover the industry needs; Business (corporate and information based websites for services and brands), News (publishing sites for live news, blogs, content and featured information with a call to action) and Ecommerce (shopping sites with direct to purchase products).
You may want to incorporate all 3 or take snippets from each. The main understanding is that your website is a marketing super tool.
Who Will Build Your Website?
As discussed, there are three common ways to build a website; use a website builder (GoDaddy, Wix, Squarespace etc), build with WordPress (Standard CMS platform), or hire a web designer (can work with the above or commission their own site building application).
Standard Website Building Costs in the UK?
On average, it costs around £250 to build a website, with an ongoing cost of around £60 per month to maintain it. This estimate is higher if you hire a designer or developer – expect an upfront charge of around £5,000, with an ongoing cost of £1,000 per year. This is for a standard Business site that you can utilise for marketing needs.
What if I Want to Spend More?
Standard websites are much easier to build and be cost-effective thanks to modern website builder tools and platforms. However, if your site needs to incorporate essential details like data management, customer profiles, shopping carts and elaborate interactive content, then you may want to move away from a standard build and look to invest between £25,000 and £50,000.
The high costs are built on the platform, maintenance and integrated CRM tools to optimise your marketing automation - if you are a larger and traffic-heavy business.
Where do I Start?
Unfortunately, cowboys exist in the world of website building and we have found many 3rd party agencies to be very dishonest in their approach to costing and delivering a suitable website design package.
The alarming costs have resulted in many business failings that can be averted if the right understanding and research is project managed first. Your website is not a race, take your time to perfect what you offer in the digital landscape.