So, You want to build a website?
Remember the movie field of dreams with Kevin Costner, in a dream he told to build a baseball diamond in his field and the great old player will come and play on it. He’s told in the dream to “BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME.” That definitely doesn’t apply to websites.
Currently online, there is one website for every 7 people on the planet. Let’s put that another way, there are 1.751 Billion websites online.
With the right planning and by setting goals your website can be a powerful digital marketing tool.
Below are some areas to consider when preparing to have a website built for you.
What Features Do You Need?
Every website has it own unique requirements based on the purpose and goals of the website. An e-commerce website may have a different set of requirements than music studio.
You may want to use your website as a lead generator for your business, or you may just want to have a blog where you can share stories from your most recent trip.
It's important to have a clear idea of what you would like your website to accomplish before you start searching for a web designer.
- Approximate number of pages will you need? Ie. Homepage, about, services, contact, etc.
- Do you want/need a blog? Blogs are a great way for you to easily post news and fresh content to your website. Regularly updated blogs are a great way to improve your search ranking.
- Do you need to publish content regularly? Having a system (like a blog) will give you the ability to regularly publish new & fresh content to your website. This is great for educating the public on what you do and a fantastic way to improve your search engine rankings.
- Do you want to be able to schedule appointments or take bookings through your web site?
- Do you want live a live chat feature on your website?
- Do you want to have your social feeds displayed on your website?
- Do you want to display all your Youtube videos in a gallery on your website?
- Do you want to display all your Google or Facebook reviews on your website? (see my reviews page)
- Do you need to sell products are accept payments for services through your site?
- Do you need a members area?
- How important is it for your website to be found in search engines?
- Do you plan on doing email marketing?
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the possibilities, but a good place to start.
Do you have a budget?
Web design pricing varies drastically! Every agency has a different formula to determine the cost of a web design project. Ultimately, the actual needs of your website and the extras you choose will be the largest factor in determining the price of your website.
Here are some of the average prices for different kinds of websites in the US:
- Brochure Website (including 1-3 pages): $1000-$3000
- Informational or Small Business Website (including 3-16 pages): $3,000 – $9,000
- Corporate Website (17-75 pages): $10,000 – $35,000
- eCommerce Website (100-1,000 products): $5,000 – $55,000
Most business that are just starting out or just want to get a site online will not require much in the way of functionality.
As it becomes more important for a site to be found in search engines or for your website to require e-commerce this will add additional costs, and these costs can grow quickly.
It’s best to have a price range that you’ll be comfortable within. Developers can can provide you with realistic expectations of what they can provide within your budget.
It’s important to note, that a website is an investment. With the proper planning and clear goals becomes an asset instead of an expense.
What content do you require?
A website is a collection of text, pictures and videos, all of which is content. And in web design CONTENT IS KING. You can have a pretty looking website with all the bells and whistles, but if you don’t have the right content it’s all for nothing.
The content of your website informs the design or your website. It affects the user experience on your website. And most important, it determines the success of your website.
There are two main methods agencies use for web design content:
- You provide the content. You understand your business and are able to explain best what you are trying to convey through your business. You provide the text, the images and any other content you want on the website.
- Done for you! You provide an overview of what you want the site to convey and a professional writer, does the work and write professional copy that will help with your search engine optimization and work at getting conversions. Your designer will then add and/or create appropriate graphics that accentuate your copy.
The World Wide Web is a enormous place and it gets substantially larger every day. Every minute there are 150,000 messages shared on Facebook, 500 hours of video uploaded to Youtube, and 347,222 users post to Instagram stories.
I know those numbers are huge, but it's important to note that you're not trying to dominate the whole web, you're trying to reach your ideal customers.
By having a clear set of goals, you will be form the proper strategy to reach your ideal customers.
Based on your goals and timeline, your designer can recommend which of the following method(s) are best to reach your goals.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Pay Per Click Advertising
- Social Media Marketing
- Print Marketing
All of these methods are effective, but differ in success rate based on money and time. Search Engine Optimization will be the most effective and lasting, but will cost additional time and money.
Congratulations, you’re ready to start building your website!
Your website is a serious investment in your business. You don't want just anyone wo build your website.
If you’re thinking: are we a good fit to work together? Take time to contact us to discuss about your website needs.
We look forward to speaking to you about website design needs.