How much a website should cost is a tough subject for most businesses — and understandably so. Businesses are bombarded with alluring ads to create a free website in a few hours to huge expansive projects that span months.
And in many cases, a quick, instant website is a perfectly fine way to jumpstart your online presence. However, for your website to drive real ROI, your business needs to start putting money — or time — behind it. Creating a pretty website is fairly simple with the help of other web companies and software. But making a website that ranks and converts is a different beast entirely. So how much should a website cost?
Truthfully, your website should cost at least $5,000 to create if done correctly.
Here are a few critical components that drive smart website designs:
Are you researching the words you want to rank for and how likely you are to rank for them? We create a thorough SEO plan for our clients so they can rank organically for keywords that convert best for them.
Say your company sells and installs blinds and window coverings for the Los Angeles area. Instead of going after a keyword like “blind installations,” you’re probably better off ranking for “Window Treatment Installations – Los Angeles County.” Why not blinds? Because that keyword is slightly harder to rank for while “window treatment” has a fairly high search rate but fewer competitors vying for it.
We spend at least 3 hours researching and composing an in-depth keyword plan for our clients’ websites. We also set up Moz SEO software to see where your current site ranks and how we can better improve those rankings — and not hurt them. It’s crucial that you don’t kill high-traffic pages during your website redesign. Too often, companies redo their website but forget to move over half of their pages.
After we’ve defined the keywords we want to target, we help write content for your new pages with SEO in mind to help boost these rankings and traffic.
2. Coding the Site Correctly
This usually means hiring a developer that cares about SEO — not just making the site work. You can go ahead and create a page on Wix.com, but it will probably make a bunch of <spans> instead of <h2> or <h1> tags. Assigning correct tags is paramount to getting good SEO value. For example, using <strong> instead of <b> or <em> instead of <i> can make a huge impact.
You’ll also need someone to put alt tags on every image and adjust image sizes. Using an image that’s far too large for your website can bloat page load time. These are all things that could be missed if you’re doing the redesign yourself.
Coding a site could take anywhere from 25 to 200 hours. It really just depends on how many pages and/or products your site will contain.
3. Design That Will Convert
All designers are not created equal. Print design and web design are very different. Just because your friend created a beautiful business card for you doesn’t mean she knows all the elements that go into designing a solid website.
At Human Marketing, we consider who you’re marketing to and what kind of messaging would work well to convert this audience into a customer or client. We test CTA placement and inputs to strike the right balance without overloading your audience.
Designs can take around 10 hours to get the correct feel based on your brand and preferences.
4. Goals and Tracking to Determine Next Steps
By this point, your website will be about ready to go live. But before pulling the trigger, you also need insight into user behavior. (If you're redesigning an existing website, this will help you measure the impact of the new site.) You’ll need to put in Google Analytics tracking codes and goals to see where users are navigating, for how long and other revealing metrics.
But what about calls coming in? How can you attribute those to the correct sources without having to ask each caller? We help set up call tracking for our clients to see whether prospects have called as a result of organic, PPC or direct. This helps complete the picture for your user journey and experience.
Documenting lead type and source also helps you make smarter decisions on where to invest next in your website.
Setting up and analyzing data should take around 2 hours each month.
Overall, a website done the right way would take around 50 hours to create. Hire professionals to create your website.