It can be tempting with all the options for building a cheap website for your business. Saving money is always a good thing when you are managing costs and budgets. However, if you try to cut costs by having a cheap website your potential for attracting customers will be severely damaged.
Your website is the most important part of attracting new customers online. It is the sales funnel for getting new leads and converting to customers. If you don't invest in a professionally designed website it will make your business look unprofessional and shoddy.
Think of your website as your online showroom for your store. If you have a brick and mortar store you know the importance of creating a great first impression when customers walk in. You wouldn't want your business in an old dilapidated building. You want a nice clean environment with nicely painted walls and good lighting. It should be inviting and comfortable and encourage your customers to stay around long enough to buy something.
This is what a professional website does for you on the web. By using current designs combined with clear messaging and appropriate calls to action you can guide your visitors through the website to highlight your business and sell your services.
You Get What You Pay For (So make sure your spending wisely)
I understand the need to save money if your business is new and there's not a lot of cash available for advertising. The problem I see is a lot of businesses don't spend the proper amount of money on the right kind of advertising. A good rule of thumb is to spend 5-10% of your gross yearly revenue. So if your business makes $100K/year then you should be spending $5K to $10K per year.
In the above example the total advertising budget would be around $7500/year on average. If you split that into normal outbound ads like print or radio that would leave $3750/yr for inbound or online advertising. If you consider the lifespan of the website is 4-5 years on average then your budget should be $15000 total over 4 years.
That may look like a lot until you consider all the ways to market via the internet. An average breakdown in this scenario to cover 4 years would be as follows:
- Website construction - $5000
- SEO - $2000
- Inbound Marketing (internet) - $8000 ($2000/year)
This is a rough estimate of where I would consider the best way to appropriate funds for an effective online marketing strategy. There are many more things to consider when setting up your campaigns and measuring results. Our approach is always to look at your business as a whole and determine the best approach based on your business and budget.