We've all seen them. "have your website built for $499" or some similar cheap-as-chips advertisement to have your business or e-commerce website developed. Today we have a look at what you generally get for your money with these 'cheap' website developments, and more importantly, what you don't get and why they are actually expensive in the long run.
First, lets dig deeper into how business and e-commerce websites actually translate into revenue for your business. The analogy is simple. Your website is your bucket. The bucket is empty when built/designed. The goal is to fill your bucket with customers. The question is, how do we fill our bucket with customers that want our product? How do customers actually find and click to our website? In summary, there are only really two efficient methods to get customers filling your bucket(website). The first is paid advertising(or Pay Per Click advertising). Obvious examples are Google Ads, social media advertising such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. The second, which we will focus on here in this article is SEO. We wrote up a good summary of the differences and pros and cons of both here. To summarise SEO for the sake of this discussion, SEO(or search engine optimisation) is the ability to optimise your local map listings and website in a way that search engines such as Google believes you are the best result when people are searching. When someone clicks on your website from the search engine results page (SERP), this click does not cost you anything. This is called organic traffic.
Now, without going into details of HOW SEO is implemented so that you show up on page 1 of Google, we will again summarise WHAT the result is of the SEO process. As an example and a case study, one of our clients Sure Conveyancing that we manage their Google Ads campaigns, SEO and developed their website for, came to us and wanted to rank on page 1 of Google. Following our strategy planning, we identified and implemented a SEO strategy which we guaranteed they would rank on page 1 of Google for certain suburbs her business was servicing. Essentially, we selected 20 search keywords or phrases that have a good potential to rank high in Google. For example, "conveyancer seven hills" was one of the keywords/phrases which we have Sure Conveyancing ranked on page one of Google. Here you will see they are on page 1, and in fact in top spot. Numero Uno! Take a look here to see.
SEO guidelines that website developers must follow
Did you know that Google actually have guidelines how to develop and design a website so that it is able to rank high in search results? This is called white-hat SEO, and is a list of best practise methods that must be implemented on a website in order to have any chance of ranking high in Google. Check out their guidelines here.
Why cheap websites usually mean that your website wont build your revenue
Now that we have the explanation of how customers find your e-commerce or business website out of the way, lets get back to the original question:
WHAT HAS THAT CHEAP E-COMMERCE WEBSITE REALLY COST YOUR BUSINESS?
It should be bloody obvious by now, but lets spell it out. If someone is searching for your product in Google and you don't show up on page 1, you don't get traffic, hence your business cant make revenue. So, why are some websites 'cheap', and some cost more? The answer is that those 'cheap' websites aren't cheap at all. All they do is use a free wordpress template and replicate it thousands of times. This could literally take them a few hours from start to finish. There is no customer support after they are paid, and most importantly, they do not implement SEO properly(or at all) for your website and your products. This is the be-all and end-all of the matter. SEO is everything. Getting your website to page 1 of Google is everything. That's why you should always consider having your website built by an agency that not only builds websites, but is also proficient in digital marketing. The last thing you want is to build a bucket(your website), and have no eggs(customers) in it.
Further, it is important to understand that SEO must be built into each and every product or service you sell to ensure each unique product ranks in Google. For example, if your business sells three different types of black shoes, it is not enough for a digital marketing agency to just implement SEO website-wide focusing just on the keyword/phrase "black shoes". It is critical to implement targeted SEO for each unique product, service or location. So a holistic SEO keyword list would look more like this: "black running shoes sydney", black squatting shoes sydney", black hiking shoes sydney". With this keyword list and strong SEO implementation and management, anyone searching for those phrases would find this customers website on page 1 of Google. Those clicks turn into leads, and some of those leads turn into sales and revenue.
I can see your nodding your head now. It all makes sense doesn't it?
That's right, that 'cheap' website offer you saw really is VERY expensive. It's expensive because for the sake of saving a few hundred bucks or so, you lost out on a lifetime of exponential sales with a well developed and designed website with SEO Plan/Package.
Other costs to consider
Most 'cheap' website offers require you to pay additional ongoing monthly costs for website and business email hosting. These monthly costs are generally around $35/month for shared hosting. So, again if you think about the long term cost of this ongoing fee, you will quickly understand how expensive that 'cheap' website really was. For a business which is operating for 10 years, this cost ends up being $4200! It is our personal belief that website developers should not charge customers for website hosting and business email hosting. We have fast and secure servers around the world to host all our customers websites. This is an all inclusive part of our website design/development service and we never charge for it.
Additionally, we have heard from most of our customers that have moved to us from other 'cheap' website development companies that the previous company would not provide basic support or make even the more minor changes to their website after they were paid. Any reputable website developer, or any reputable business in general for that matter will provide basic support to you. If they don't...RUN! Why? because every time you do need some minor support or change, they will charge you an arm and a leg! So, again, your 'cheap' website ends up costing you a lot in the long run.
Hopefully you now understand why it's important to invest in a fully functional digital presence. I hope this helped you understand that it's not so much about the cost, but about the value of a well built website and digital marketing campaign.
As always, if you have any questions, just head over to our website suretechco.com and chat with us now using our live chat function or shoot us an email or phone call.
SureTech Pty Ltd
02 8625 5118