UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU'RE PAYING FOR WITH A WEBSITE BUILD
To estimate how much a site will cost to build, test, go live, host and work continually efficiently to build your business, it’s important to be clear on what you’d like your website to achieve, what results you want it to return and what your business can afford.
Unless you have a clear idea about what you’d like your site to achieve, (is it just a business portfolio/handsome contact page? Do I need to sell product and services? Do I want lead generation so I can build an email list? Do I need a membership site?) this is like asking how long is a piece of string.
Think of your site like building a house – it could be architect designed and craftsperson built to fulfil your every need (a bespoke built site), or you can buy a ‘renovator’s delight’ (hello Love Communications HQ) and slowly tinker with it yourself on the weekends to wrangle what you need (you install wordpress and a theme and build it yourself, learning as you go - cost may be easier, but your building your site, rather than working on your business...)
YOUR SITE LIST:
On a basic level, to get online to showcase your business you need:
- A domain name – your business name or your own name
- Images, logos and other branding
- Page and blog content with an idea of what keywords you want to be ranking for
- A website that reflects your brand and industry
- This consistently branded website should run quickly and efficiently across all devices because Google loves nimble, well designed, easy to navigate site
- Keyworded titles, meta descriptions, image names and alt tags (the accurate relevant descriptions of your images that are screen reader friendly)
- Well written page and blog content that engages your audience and answers their queries
- The ability for your customers to contact with you really easily, purchase your product, engage your services and keep coming back to you because you’re easy to find, your site looks great and your customers experience was dreamy
IMPLEMENTING YOUR LIST:
For this, your site builder has:
- Directed your domain name to point to secure, dedicated (not shared), efficient, well supported hosting
- Built your site with a responsive content management system (preferably wordpress as it’s SEO ready, well supported, easily maintained and updated, is supported with infinite plugin solutions for any function you can think of)
- Ensured your site is performing well and fast and looks great across all devices
- Delivered content support to ensure titles and descriptions are keyword rich and make sense for your audience
- Ensured your contact form delivers to your email
- Ensured the internal links between pages and blog content all make sense and guide the user beautifully
- Installed woocommerce or another ecommerce solution for selling products and services, and tested this across devices, browsers and payment gateways then tested again, and again
- Installed a secure certificate
- Ensured your site is connected to search engines, the google search console and has a site map for easy search engine crawlability
Our rule of thumb for this basic level of website build, with consistent, branded styling, around 8 pages and should cost you around $4-6k. Having your page keyworded, proof read page and blog content ready to go helps smooth this process.
Extras here include site content, image search and optimisation (making sure they're sized to be small and light but still look good), graphic design for logos and information graphics,
GOING BEYOND, ongoing...:
Now you have website 1.0: a well designed business resource. What's next?
Do you want to be in front of your customers at the very moment they are looking? This is SEO – optimising your site to be relevant for the queries your customers will be inputting into google and other search engines.
To do this, you need a short form and long tail keyword strategy – queries that your customers will be putting to google, so your content is ready to be served up as google’s answer.
You should also have a strategy for ongoing blog content to help you rank for many many keywords relevant to your business. Best practice here is to mix your content types: video, audio, written content, shared out and repurposed as tweets, LinkedIn, instagram and facebook posts. Be as relevant to your customers as you can be.
This outreach helps you get a 'backlink' strategy. If other authentic, trusted sites link to you (with emphasis here on authentic and trusted - not link farmed!) Google sees your site as an entity that is rankworthy as well. This, paired with a well running, fast and responsive site, (Tick! set up already) performing as google wants it to gets you a long way toward strong google ranking.
Share out your great content on social that features consistent branding, messaging and calls to action
It would be a pity for such a well built new site not to be read, used and loved, so GDPR compliant list building is implemented and your email gathering software is integrated, with a generous and valuable sign up offer. This is Lead Generation - generating leads to whom you can market your business ongoing, through generous, valuable, helpful content your customers will want to read.
Want to launch a new campaign? Landing pages act as neat and tidy shortcuts straight to your message - link to them from your social media so people go straight to engaging with this new content, without having to go through the front door (your home page)
Then you may need a booking plugin with bitcoin payment for your talks and events, a private membership area for your online course, galleries, live streaming, video walkarounds... the configurations are only limited by your imagination.
To get you started plotting out your website needs, take a look at our ‘website worksheet’. Our questions prompt you to describe what your business needs. Using it gets it clear in your mind, and makes your conversation with your site developer far clearer
Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions about this road map, or if you see anything I’ve left out. This is a high level overview more than a step by step guide, but please let me know if you have other ways of working out your cost and needs.
Love Communications can help you with digital marketing for every aspect of the site build and outreach. Contact Love Communications if you have any queries or if you want to talk about your site build and how much it may cost.
CONTACT LOVE COMMUNICATIONS
We LOVE to help you communicate
- Be as clear about what you need on site before you start building or engage a developer.
- Love Communications' rule of thumb for a simple 8 (ish) page branded site featuring your own well written content, on secure fast hosting that runs efficiently across all devices, with keyworded titles, image names and alt tags and a tested contact form, and ecommerce if needed is between $4-6k
- Extras require extra co$t - think SEO, Lead Generation, SEM and any other function your business needs
- Our website worksheet can help you plan what you need.