How To Fit A New Website Into Next Year's Budget

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Time to read: 4 min, 45 sec

A website can be a powerful way to promote your business and help you reach new customers in numbers not possible by traditional advertising. As a marketing tool, your website can be uniquely positioned to draw in your target audience, interest them in your brand, feed them information, and convince them to come back. Attractive, informative, fresh websites can lead to amazing numbers of conversions - it's an incredible way to 

communicate with customers while still applying the same marketing campaign principles that have always worked for your brand. 

Where do you begin?

Business owners must realize that they are building a brand and not just designing a website. Of course, a website is not a stand-alone marketing tool. In many cases (today, especially) a website is your customers' first impression of your brand. Making a great impression is crucial to the conversion process.

First, how much do websites cost?

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Website price tags depend on the company. The price of a website can vary greatly depending on the needs of your business because it should be tailor-made to fit each individual company. The more design and technical functionality you want to your site, the more money it will cost. 

Cost of keeping a website:

(These are ballpark prices, these numbers have nothing to do with our pricing. Please contact us for an exact idea of cost.)

Domain name - On average, it's about $15 a year for a .com

Hosting - $50 to $100 and up. This depends on the hosting service, the size of your site, and traffic to your site.

Website maintenance - $100 to $1000 and up. This depends on the amount of support needed, the complexity of the site, whether you can make your own changes to the site or not, etc.

Cost of website design:

(These are ballpark prices, these numbers have nothing to do with our pricing. Please contact us for an exact idea of cost.)

Basic site - $4,000 - $6,000. This often comes with a couple of pages. It has a simple design and functionality. Make sure it will be mobile friendly/responsive. 

Partly custom site - $8,000 - $12,000. This will be a pretty basic site but might feature one or two more complicated features.

Custom site - $20,000 and up. This will have custom functionality and design. It will be able to do everything you want. 

Cost of Website Success:

SEO set up - $1,000 and up. We highly recommend this for new websites. It is crucial to make sure your site is fully optimized for Google. If you can't be seen on search engines, what is the point of having a site? Keep this in mind with cost. 

Content creation - $500 and up.  Do you have a copywriter that will make sure your brand is loud and clear on your site? Will anyone be adding content to the site? Nowadays, adding constant content to your site is a great way to gain organic traffic through Google as well as a social media following. 

Site performance management - $500 and up. Your site receives traffic and conversions. Will you have someone tracking your site's performance every month? If you want your site (and business) to be successful, you need to have someone to fill this role.

next, Set a budget

How do you go about determining a budget for your company website?

The whole process should start by establishing a realistic marketing budget. Most experts will agree that a marketing budget will vary depending on your industry. A general rule advised by most professionals is that the budget should be between 2% and 12% of gross sales.

So for example, if you're a million dollar company, you should set up a budget between $20,000 - $120,000.

If you're a $100,000 company, you should set aside a budget between $2,000 - $12,000 to market and promote your brand

Once you have a marketing budget, you have to decide how much you're willing to put towards a website. Obviously, you have more marketing efforts than just your website, but part of setting the budget for a website will be understanding the importance of having a fresh, customized company website. An excellent online presence is not free, just as great billboards or magazine advertisements are not free. The key is to understand how vital a website is for your marketing efforts and factor its price into your budget.

Determining your ROI (return on investment) can help in knowing how much money to allocate for a website.

lastly, create a plan

Sit down with everyone involved in the new site process and create a plan:

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  • Who will be the main person that will be communicating with the website design company?
  • What is your budget?
  • Do you have an idea of a design?
  • What is the absolute most you can spend on a website?
  • Who will be writing the content for the site, will the agency be assisting you in that?
  • What will the main voice/brand of your site?
  • Do you have a deadline for the website?
  • Who will be doing SEO for the site once it has launched?

If your company wants a great site, consider prioritizing this area of your budget and allocating enough funds to do the job really well. A poorly created site will be a huge disappointment and waste of money. Every company is different, so make sure to create clear expectations for what you want from a website, and also know what kind of marketing budget you have to work with. 

Written by Ryan Boog

Ryan Boog

I am the CEO of Happy Dog Web Productions. I look forward to taking web, mobile design and digital marketing to the next level with Happy Dog. Follow Happy Dog at @hdwebpros or me personally at @ryanboog.

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