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"HOW MUCH does a WEBSITE COST?"

Before spending their money, some people like to get every piece of information related to how much it costs to build a website, review and compare, think about it, write up a list of 29 questions, ring seven different business and write down all the pertinent information, go online and fill out the necessary checkboxes, await reply emails with estimates and quotes and then, after all that is done, they make their decision.
Others want the answer straight away (Q. ‘About how much does it cost to make a website?’ A.’Between $450 and $4500’) and once they get an answer, they will work the process the same as the first.
Others just get a ‘feel’ for a digital marketing or web design company and they’re sold in a minute; the process is a formality.

But whatever digital marketing firm or web design business you may decide to ask that same question of, you will never get a definite ‘fixed in concrete’ number, straight away.
I mean, go to Coles and ask for eggs. Or sausages.
The Service desk at Coles (or the Coles stock filler in the aisle you happen to spot) will ask the obvious:
Eggs: ‘What size eggs? How many eggs? Free Range or Caged? What Brand…….?’
Sasuages:’What kind of sausages? Long and skinny? Kangaroo or Chicken? Raw or Pre-cooked….?’
The range of products are so broad, even in eggs and sausages.
Imagine asking Coles ‘About how much does it cost to make an omolette? And a curried sausage pie?’
You would never get a definite ‘fixed in concrete’ answer until a few of the details were known.

Big breakfast of eggs and sausages in a frypan, with herbs and a beer on the side.

So it is with building a website.
There is so much that needs to be known, before a cost can be given.
In this Article, we’re going to outline some of the details required by any digital marketing company or web design agency, whether it’s on the Gold Coast, in the Northern Rivers region, or anywhere else in the world.
The information required to come to an accurate quote is layered in complexity, despite what a digital marketing company may ask of you in their 2 minute muilti- choice questionnaire (which is really just a way of getting your email address) and will take more than the time it takes to finish a latte.
BUT not all of it is complicated and in this PART 1 article, we’re going to outline three (3) of the Easier things you can do to, not only help with getting an accurate quote but also, to reduce the cost to you, sometimes substantially.
These four tips will allow you to have a measure of control over your website build because what you do do, will, not only lessen the load on the website design team but also allow you to express your company style.

RELATED TO: Services to LOOK FOR

WRITING ASSOCIATED CONTENT.

All the Content that goes in to your website, all the content associated with your website, write it yourself. Or don’t; it’s up to you. BUT….
know that every word that your digital team or website developer has to write, will add to the cost. Content creation is either written in to the overall cost or is a separate cost in itself and either way, there can be a significant reduction in the final cost if you choose to do it in-house.

Start with the HOME page.

This should be the page that grabs the attention of the Searcher and within the first paragraph, lets’ them know exactly what it is you are offering.
And do exactly that; make it clear, simple to understand and helpful.
If they feel that you are being long- winded and technical or the purpose is lost in the jargon, they will leave. Your aim with the Home Page is to make them feel that the answers to their problems are just a paragraph away and they can’t wait to get there!

A first time visitor to your website has come looking for a solution.
Your job is to show them, very quickly, that you have the solution to their problem because you have clearly outlined it and that the whole aim of your website IS, to solve their problem.
But do so with the aim of holding their attention by showing them why your website is better than the competition although you are offering similar products or services.
Believe me, this is not an easy task but it is necessary.
Communicate simply, your value and the the extra mile you will go for their business.
To do this, you first must understand what their problem is.
Get that clear in your mind; dwell on it and get the understanding necessary to feel their need.
Only then can you truly say you know what will solve it.

A Businessman smiles and does a fist pump as he finds what he wants to his computer

Follow the Natural flow of things with Headlines and Clarifying Content.
Headlines are there to Grab Attention in less than 10 words.
‘Spacemen from Mars land on Mount Warning’ tells you exactly what to expect in the content that follows; the content clarifies the Headline.

And then, keep the same pattern; Headline> Clarifying Content> repeat…
This settles the mind in to a pattern that is natural and easy flowing, thus easy to navigate.
No one likes to work hard to find information, especially if they are looking to purchase goods or a service.


First Time Visitors need reassurance; they don’t know you, unless you have a well known brand (think, Coca Cola/ Nike/ Toyota).
Make them feel comfortable and confident that you are the Problem Solver they have been looking for.

Your Home page is NOT the place to try and sell.
Imagine getting an invitation to a meal with your local Realtor and the host immediately bombards you with their sales pitch.
Don’t do that.
Keep your Home Page honest, clear and helpful.

FEEL GOOD IMAGES

You need Images, whether its’ photos, cartoons, videos or infographics- you need them.
Or more importantly, your visitor needs them.
And calling them ‘Feel Good Images’ is appropriate: they should make the Visitor feel good.

A website developer or digital marketing team could provide your images for you and you can add that to the final cost. It will save you effort but remember, we’re considering things you could do easily if you chose to, in order to reduce the cost. Just know, the final cost will take into consideration whether or not you provided the ‘feel good’ images.

That being said, it’s not just a matter of clicking shots on your phone and downloading them to a file and sending that off to your website builder.
Images MUST be professional (looking).
A fuzzy image… a tree poking out of someones’ head… a distraction in the shot that takes the eye away from the subject… all these not only look amateurish but more importantly, make your business look shoddy…
‘If you can’t even take good photos on a decent camera, how could you possibly give me a good service or provide me with a quality product??’

Person with a bag over their head, with a downturned mouth and the words WORST... UPSET...AWFUL etc



It is possible to go online and get free images or a paid subscription to images.
You can use CANVA or a similar to produce something you will be happy with, so take advantage of these tools.
Be aware of the laws regarding licensing.
The old adage ‘There’s no such thing as a free Lunch’ applies here too.
Just because it says
it’s free doesn’t mean it’s free.
Read the fine print!
Some of the “Free’ Images require you to include the Name of the photographer with the relevant image. Others allow you to use it for personal but not commercial or business purposes unless you buy the rights to it.
Make sure you understand your obligations because the owner of the image could act against you legally, if you breached their rights.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

When it comes to data, it’s easy to overwhelm your visitors with all the facts and figures, written down in text.
When the mind needs to make sense of it, effort is required and while it may be important information for them to consider, if it is too overwhelming, they may decide not to bother.
So use infographics.

Here’s an example of one.

Infographic of the best times to post on Social media



With a Quick Scan, the information is easily absorbed. Could you imagine how much text you would need to say the same thing?

Remember, the idea is to make the Visitor experience easy and enjoyable so think from that perspective and you will be well on the way to delivering images and information that your visitor will appreciate.
There remains an opportunity to take the initiative and produce something unique to your business if that is what you are after.

And understanding what you can do will help you to accept the quoted price, knowing that within that price, you have done all you can to personalise your website and keep costs low, if that is your preference.

Make sure to use ALT TEXT for all images, which is just a sentence or two that describes the image to the visually impaired. Write it as though you were describing the image to someone who cannot see it. Google will appreciate this and reward you for it.
If you don’t do it, Google will do it for you but it is never descriptive enough and for such an easy task, it pays a good reward.

WRITE A GOOD ‘ABOUT ME’ PAGE

A good ‘About Me/ Us’ page is important. Why?

A man thinks deeply, with his fingers resting on his chin

Prepare this section well because it is here that you will sell yourself.
Visitors, businesses, employers want an idea of who it is they are engaging, so look to give them details about four (4) things.

First, what is unique about your business?


FOR EXAMPLE:
“GC Digital Marketing has been connected to PINPOINT Local for over 18 months and deliver MORE Customers to their clients by IMPROVING their Online Digital Visibility. This results in MORE Revenue for their Clients.
GC Digital Marketing is focused on Better rankings and Delivering real results, not just pretty websites”.

Secondly, what do you LOVE about your job?


FOR EXAMPLE:
“GC Digital Marketing is a family business, happy to be working in the Local Northern Rivers region of NSW, from Tweed to Brunswick Heads. We love living where we work and being involved in helping our community, whether it’s in the business area or through our regular donations and support of the Local charities and Sports Clubs”.

Third, what do you consider your best work?


FOR EXAMPLE:
“The best work we have done has been our work in the USA, where the websites we built were not only awesome websites but rapidly rose to #1 on Google in three (3) weeks!

This was a good result in a competitive sector and increased Customer Awareness to the point where traffic on one of these websites rose 225% in six (6) months.
GC Digital Marketing now bring that same opportunity to the Northern Rivers region NSW business sector and have seen similar growth here”.

RELATED TO: GOOD RESULTS FOR BUSINESSES

Finally, What are you looking for NOW?


FOR EXAMPLE:
“GC Digital Marketing is in the Northern Rivers region, from Tweed to Brunswick Heads and is looking to partner with businesses here. We offer MORE visibility to MORE Customers with our fully optimised websites and history has proven, this always leads to MORE Revenue for those businesses. Contact us here (info@gcdigitalmarketing.com.au) to learn HOW we can help”.

So now we know.
Like eggs and sasuages, a website has many options that can mean a significant difference in price if we do some of the work, as detailed.

IN SUMMARY

(a) Consider the writing of content.


Let’s say, you (or your team) have little to no skill in this area. It’s not unimaginable. An excellent and gifted accountant may be at home with Higher Math and numbers but actually struggle to write any sort of content.
There is no disgrace in that; it is what it is.
So you acknowledge that weakness and decide it would be better to outsource it.
On Fiverr and Upworks, you may find a copywriter for $5 per hour to $500 an hour, so you could look there. Let’s sit near the middle, at $210 per hour.
Consider the content.

You need them to write a Homepage, an About Me/ Us page and three (3) blogs.
Let’s say that in total, that will take 9 hours.
Now remember, their time is charged, not just for the copywriting itself but also for the Time taken to research, gather and sort through all the relevant information required.
So… nine (9) hours; x $210; equals $1, 890 all up for the Content.

(b) Consider the images.


You decide to be safe and avoid all the drama over possible legal action by staying away from the ‘FREE’ images instead, opting for a paid subscription to someone like ABCfotos.
That will still require Time and some skill for the ALT TEXT and perhaps some editing, so let’s say $50 per hour for 12 hours, for 15 images… $600 right there.
Even if you hired a photographer to arrange a portfolio of shots AND added the ALT TEXT to them in your own time, it will still be on your dollar.
So we’ll say $500 for the images, whether you hire a photographer or buy and edit them yourself.
So right there, you are up for an estimated $2,400 +/-.

Man holds a piggy bank in one hand while his other hand holds a hammer, as he prepares to break the bank!

CONCLUSION

By having a go at the content and the images, you may save yourself some serious money.
And if you or your team do it well, it could reflect well on your business.
But think about whether you could better spend you’re time doing the thing you are professional at, while leaving the website content and images to those who are good at that.
It would mean less stress on a chore that may end up being second rate and hurt your website, more than help it.
As Google looks to adjust it’s sights and lock onto the proper optimisation of images for both desktop and smartphones, these need to be flawless and unique to have any impression on Google.
Likewise, content needs to be created that offers visitors a good experience and pages full of technical jargon, incorrect spelling or grammar, meaningless headlines and ineffective keywords will only cause harm to a website, once Google robots have finished crawling all over it and finding out every little flawed detail.

In Part 2, we will look at some of the Harder things you could possibly do to save yourself some money.
For more Information, contact us at info@gcdigitalmarketing.com.au

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