How much does a small business website cost?
How much does a small business website cost?
Most business owners understand the benefits of a strong digital presence, but some businesses don’t think they really need a website. Maybe they only go to Artisan Markets to sell bits and pieces, or perhaps they have a shop front so already get traffic. Sometimes they just don’t know what difference a website could really make. Well, a website is a vital piece of your overall branding strategy and not having one can make it harder for you to gain consumer trust and attract more people. So before we get into how much a small business website costs this is a hint of what it costs to go without one!
When deciding to bring your brand online you need to think about finding a cheap website package that will attract customers and develop with you whilst you grow. When done right it can help you to reach more potential customers and become a huge part of how they view your brand. Your website needs to be more than just good-looking, it needs to be optimised for your industry and customers. Without a well-built website, people could struggle to find your business on search engines as badly built sites rank lower.
Now you know the importance of a website you probably want to create the best one you can without breaking the bank. Here’s a list of the top questions that small business owners ask when looking for an affordable website and the answers to help you make an informed decision.
Can I Make It?
It can be incredibly tempting to take the do-it-yourself route with your website. And you are not alone in this thinking. A quick search of “how to build a website for free” into Google gets you almost 50,200,000 results in about 0.6 seconds. Simple builders like Wix can make it look easy but there are issues in taking this route. For example, Wix websites don’t rank as well as WordPress sites on search engines. The trouble is that most people don’t know the downsides of these builders and are missing the knowledge that is crucial to building a successful website. For example, how to word your copy so that it can be found by major search engines and which keywords people are actually searching.
Self-built websites can be a great quick fix but finding an affordable website package will benefit you more long-term. It might seem like a daunting investment at the start, but think of it like this – would you draw your own signage and put it on your shop front? Or would you leave it the experts? Finding a website design package makes having a great website much easier and cheaper! You have all the hard work done by people who really know what they are doing, rather than spending your valuable time trying to learn a 100 new things.
When looking for a Website Designer, you need to make sure they aren’t too good to be true. Research the brand carefully so you don’t end up with hidden charges or free WordPress themes that don’t work long-term due to out-dated elements and plugins. Packages that seem very cheap may also mean they spend less time researching competitors, search terms, consumer behavior, and industry trends. This means you might end up with a website that looks good but doesn’t convert your target demographic or rank well on Google. Good agencies don’t just make pretty websites. They make ones that convert.
How Important Is Design?
If your website is badly designed, consumers may not trust your brand. Initial perception is important when trying to gain more customers. You want to create a user experience that invites rather than frustrates. People judge a business by the way it looks and a bad website design can actually cost you business. Your website needs to work on all devices, not just PC and Laptops – if not you can turn people away from your brand. Almost 60% of users say they would not recommend a business that has a badly designed mobile site.
Another reason design is important is that it’s your opportunity to showcase your brand’s values and successes. You need to show what makes your business special and win them over. Studies have shown that when given 15 minutes to consume content, ⅔ of people want something beautifully designed rather than plain. People like to look at pretty things and a boring dull website can disengage them. Consumers need to believe that your business can provide them with excellent products or services – but if your website isn’t beautiful why should they believe you can that?
As mentioned earlier, web design is not something you can master overnight so you need to share your thoughts with your website designers. Offer them guidance on what you think your customers will like but give them the freedom to include current trends and best practices into the layout. They will know what designs grab consumers attention and entice them to purchase. The things they know may surprise you. For example, most small businesses believe users hate exit intent pop-ups, but they usually increase conversion rates. A knowledge hungry marketing agency will understand what is popular and how your brand can use this to help boost your sales.
Can I Manage It Myself?
You can but it might not be the best idea. Websites are complex creatures that need regular updates and alterations. Every year Google changes its search algorithm around 500-600 times. Most of these are minor, but there are occasionally ‘major’ updates that can affect search results significantly. An experienced agency will know when the changes will come into play, what will need to be updated, reworded or reformatted, and be able to make the changes to ensure that your business keeps ranking well on search engines. People who aren’t experienced in website design and coding can find the updates difficult to manage, be unaware of the algorithm changes, and can even break their site completely trying to fix them.
The best thing to do is find an affordable website package that offers a monthly maintenance option where the agency stays responsible for the upkeep of your website. Agencies that specialise in Small Businesses are more likely to offer this as they understand that their clients may not have the time or understanding to keep their sites running smoothly on their own. For a small monthly fee, you can have peace of mind, knowing that a team of experienced individuals is caring for your site and making sure it stays fresh.
Will It Need SEO Optimising?
Despite what you may think SEO optimisation is not a one-off job. It needs to be done continuously! Search Engine Optimization (often shortened to SEO) is quite simply the variety of techniques used to increase your ranking on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. Over a period of time, using these methods can start to move your website up the page results and into the view of your potential customers.
The reason SEO optimisation is so important is because you, and your customers, are far more likely to click the websites that appear on the first page of results rather than websites that appear on the second page. There are a variety of methods to improve your SEO when working with a WordPress website. Your agency will customise SEO terms, meta descriptions and alt tags, all which can help you rank higher on search engine results.
However, if you opt for an out-of-the-box website made by builders like Wix, options can be limited and make achieving a high search engine ranking very hard. Sites like Wix lack decent SEO tools. This is one of the main ways we see small businesses struggle with their websites. If you have a website with limited abilities when it comes to SEO you can really struggle to rank for multiple phrases and keywords.
Another notable aspect of SEO optimisation is having a mobile-friendly website. Google has stated many times that a mobile-friendly site is an important ranking factor. WordPress experts and agencies can create pages that are enticing to consumers no matter the device, whilst also taking into consideration your branding. But, with sites like Wix, although they offer mobile-friendly pages the customisation is limited. If you don’t like the way the mobile or tablet version of your site looks, there is little you can do about it.
If your small business needs a website that will be beautiful, engaging and optimised, Cheshire Cat Marketing can help. We’ve built websites for a wide variety of sectors and pride ourselves on making the process easy for our clients. We know that when you run a small business, funds are limited so we work to all budgets – with prices starting at as little as £179+VAT.
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