Everything You Need to Know About Business Websites in 2017

Posted by Cydne Stewart Aug 9, 2017 6:00:00 AM

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Having a website is mandatory for your business to succeed. However, with the stiff competition today, and the evolving technology, you will need a website that has much more than static images and simple text.

This means that you will need a modern website that is fully functional. But how much does a website cost? A website cost can vary depending on a variety of factors. This can include the type of website you choose and how enhanced it is.

In today’s information age of marketing and web 2.0, a company’s website is the key to their entire business.—Marcus Sheridan

While planning to develop your new website, there are many things that you should consider. For instance, who is your audience and what are their interests? Include your products or services in a way that helps visitors understand the benefits.

To ensure you have communicated your brand properly, you may elect to use interactive video or other multimedia that helps guide visitors through the buyer's journey. These elements may increase the overall cost of your site, but can provide better results and higher ROI.

Instead of one-way interruption, web marketing is all about delivering useful content at just the precise moment that a buyer needs it.—David Meerman Scott

How much does a website cost?

The first and most important part of website costs will depend on how big your current website is, how it will change, and how much new content will need to be developed. If you are looking at your website as the marketing and sales machine it should be, then your cost will depend on the goals you have set for its performance. Determining website cost involves getting hold of a planning and managing strategy.

If you have multiple people on board, like a web design agency or in-house designers and web developers, you may want to have a few high-level meetings to determine how you will begin. For more on planning a website redesign you can read, Questions to Ask Prior to Kicking off a Website Redesign Project.

There are some other website costs that you may incur, for instance, the type of media and interactive design you use when designing your website. Remember, all images and videos should be clear and provide insight to your target clients about your products or services. Therefore, your website should focus its strategy around two main things: user experience and mobile technology, ensuring customers have access to your website when using their phones and tablets.

Another way to increase success with your website redesign is by having a strong SEO plan that will rank your website highly on search engines such as Google.

You can also improve your website by including videos in your content and displaying them in strategic locations throughout the site. Videos can influence a buyer’s decision and guide website visitors through their buyer’s journey.

With the state of today’s economy, businesses are looking for more ways to cut overhead costs and find more effective ways to build brand recognition and boost lead generation. The value of a well-developed and strategically planned website is undeniable.—Direct Images Interactive

There are two types of online marketing strategies that business' owners adopt. There is the older and more outdated outbound methods and the inbound marketing types that have been especially successful as of recent. Inbound content marketing has been proven to generate 3 times as many leads as the traditional outbound marketing but costs 62% less.

You can adopt an inbound marketing strategy on your website by:

If you are not a web developer, you may find it difficult to always keep up with the ever-changing web technology and practices, for instance, the white glove techniques for search engine optimization, and aspect ratios for responsive design. Therefore, you will need an inbound marketing agency that understands both web development and your project to build a conversion focused website to fit your needs.

The cost of a website will depend largely upon the needs of your current site and the depth of your brand. Your best bet is to schedule a consultation and review your needs with a design firm to get a clearer picture of the scope of your project. If you are not sure of your needs that is alright as well; a well-established design agency will be able to walk you through the entire process.

How can you locate the best website developer?

  • Begin by understanding the services that are offered. Your ideal web developer should have both web design and marketing capabilities. Therefore, have a look at their website and review the important things such as the user experience and the elements they have on their website.
  • The next step is to build a relationship. Follow them on social media where you can easily get valuable information about how they operate, and contact them if you have any inquiry about your project.
  • Get to know the prices. You can contact a project manager or schedule a consultation to help determine how much you will spend and how the project will be budgeted. A reliable company will help you stay within your budget.

If you have a website and it is not helping you to reach the break-even point, then it is high time you thought about a revamp.

Having a well-planned website will help to cut costs and enable you to build your brand recognition to boost sales.

To redesign your website, you will need to think of new aesthetic features to attract your target market. You will also need new content on a recurring basis to help grow your brand and enlighten your community. After all is done, look for a reliable firm not only to launch your site and but also to maintain it for you.

Working with a professional website development company will net you a strategically planned site.

With the state of today’s economy, businesses are looking for more ways to cut overhead costs and find more effective ways to build brand recognition and boost lead generation. Most people wouldn’t think to seek out a marketing agency for a website redesign or a new site build-out, because most people are worried about just making their website work. Instead, they should be focusing on how they can make their website work for their business—especially when 48% of people cited a website's design as the top factor in determining business credibility.

You see, a website is—if properly planned and strategically developed—your hardest working employee.

Often times we have businesses come to us when they have reached their wits end with their website. They have either had a bad experience with previous designers, have put the project on the back burner for months (or sometimes years), or think that a one-time revamp and a $15,000 investment is going to launch their brand to the top.

If this were the case, the top would be a pretty crowded and noisy place, right?

So, should you work with a marketing agency to build a website? Probably not if all you are looking for is a piece of digital real estate. If that’s the case, you can use Squarespace.

However, the value of a well-developed and strategically planned website is undeniable. So, if you are looking for a digital destination and extension of your brand, then yes, hiring a marketing agency to empower the hardest working member of your team is a must.

Let’s review the benefits of hiring a marketing agency to redesign or build out your website.

Marketing agencies build websites better.

User experience is top of mind in any marketing department. When your website is easy to use, your website visitors are logically more likely to visit it. Now think about the value a group of 10 to 12 people devoting their time and energy to getting to know your brand inside and out. Throw in subject matter expertise and a proven process and you have the mechanics of a successful redesign.

Keeping up with the Marketing Joneses.

Because we are working with websites and the tech industry every day, we tend to nerd out on Google algorithm updates and keep updated lists of new technologies and digital capabilities. So, keeping up with the latest developments in marketing technology, industry norms and consumer trends is not just a non-negotiable; it’s just what we do.

We know technology is touchy.

There are a lot of boxes that need checking when you are building a website—especially when 94% of people cite website design as the reason they mistrusted or rejected a website.

So, when something changes especially with significant overhauls, things tend to break. Because a marketing agency always has presentation top of mind, we know where, when, and how they happen. If it can break, we have a process to fix it.

Ultimately, your website is a place to provide your products or services as well as a place to create a digital experience to nurture your visitors, leads and customers.

So, during your next design strategy, choose a marketing agency to handle your website design—creating a 24/7 lead-generating machine for your business.

Website Development Costs: Frequently Asked Questions

Good web development starts from the beginning. Much like marketing, you cannot have a successful website without a strategy. The centricity of the web and business success creates a demand for more than just a static website.

Design is the silent brand ambassador of your brand.—Paul Rand

What's the difference between web design and web development?

Web design and web development are complementary, yet distinct disciplines in the digital world.

In short, web designers focus on creating aesthetically pleasing websites that frame your brand in the best light and give customers the experience they're after.

Web development, on the other hand, ensures that the fundamentals of the website are coded properly so that everything stays (technically) glued together.

Web design

Web design tends to be focused on the user experience, and you may have even heard web design terms like "UED design" bandied about once or twice.

That's because a website that has been optimized around a user experience design (UED) involves web designers enhancing the website's usability and navigability.

Web development

So, if web design is the front-end of a website, then web development would be the nuts-and-bolts technical processes that bring the website to life.

Web developers program the code—usually using open-source software such as HTML5—that tells the website how to function while also allowing you to make updates with a content management system (CMS) years down the road.

Why does your company need a website development firm that does both?

If you're seeking out a website development firm to launch a new website for your company, you'll want a firm that does both web design and web development on an in-house basis.

This helps bring down the cost, significantly streamlines the process of marrying the form of web design to the function of website development, and gives you more confidence that website development extras like SEO and e-commerce integration are coordinated properly.

In this evolving market in which two-thirds of your customers have smartphones, you need a website that's both mobile compatible and responsive to a range of other devices (e.g., tablets). Your bottom line literally depends on it as 40% of prospects will leave your website altogether if it takes more than three seconds to load.

A website development firm that has both web designers and web developers in-house can ensure that everything runs smoothly from the proposal and planning stages to the beta testing, optimization and launch phases.—Direct Images Interactive

What are the benefits of a new website versus a website redesign for your business?

If you're a business without a modern website, then the benefits of a new website are profound in terms of inbound marketing opportunities, lead nurturing, and overall exposure for your brand.

A responsive website enables social media and email advertising initiatives, viral marketing, automation and greater analytics vis-a-vis your customers' preferences.

Redesigning or updating your old website with modern features like increased responsiveness and e-commerce integration tools (e.g., Magento or Shopify) can greatly increase your sales and customer satisfaction ratings.

How much does a website redesign cost? Are the costs fixed or variable?

You may have already contacted a web design firm and gotten a few different—perhaps wildly disparate—estimates back.

These numbers shouldn't put you off, however, since most new websites cost between $5,000 and $35,000, even for medium-sized companies. The price for a website redesign can be itemized further based on how many of the following features you're looking for:

  • Ongoing blogging services
  • Content management system
  • E-commerce integration
  • Ongoing social media management
  • Search engine optimization
  • Web hosting
  • Continued website maintenance

One cost that you'll want to seriously consider adding to your website is mobile responsiveness. This can raise the overall cost of your website by approximately 20%, yet the consequences of not reaching mobile customers could spell much more in lost opportunities over time.

Also remember that 80% of consumers use their smartphones for shopping, as this might put an extra incentive on business owners to buy e-commerce integration as an add-on service. Social media management also makes a lot of sense in light of the continued ROI of bringing more prospects into the fold and increasing your brand exposure.

How can business owners get the ball rolling?

Whether you want a new website or website redesign, taking the time to fill out a request for proposal is important for establishing a set of goals and expectations early on in the website development process.

You can also get a more competitive estimate of the job you're looking for (e.g., search engine optimization on a pre-existing website) if you're specific with the web development firm.

At the request for proposal stage, you tell the web development firm the assets and limitations of your current site, or what you're hoping to get out of a new website given your target audience and functionality requirements.

Be sure to mention things like search engine optimization, branding development, e-commerce integration, and ongoing website maintenance if you're interested in those services.

Food for thought: “Websites promote you 24/7: No employee will do that.”― Paul Cookson

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Choosing a website design agency that is well versed in marketing, website development and design is vital to the success of your project. If you have questions about getting started or need a quote for your website development costs, please feel free to sign up for a complimentary consultation where we will discuss the benefits of an agency, the details of your project, as well as review any questions you may have.

Until next time, keep your communication lines open. Don’t know the answer—ASK. If you have questions you would like to see featured in our weekly FAQ, please submit them in the comments below or mention us @DirectImages on Twitter.

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Suggested Links

FAQ Friday: Website Optimization Best Practices

FAQ Friday: Inbound Marketing Website Design

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Topics: Online Design

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