How much should I pay for a website?

Many people don’t know how much to spend on a website. Without knowing what your money can get for you, it is natural to spend the least amount possible. But like any business investment, you should invest in a website according to what you expect to get back.

Often, by investing more in the right areas you can get a better return. The opposite can also be true. By not investing enough you may get little or no return. Wasting your money.

Website Return on Investment (ROI)

Website ROI is the gain you receive in return for the costs you have outlaid for your website. This is not always an increase in revenue. It can include savings on your expenses.

What are you hoping to achieve from your website?

A common reason for having a website is to increase sales of your product or service. In this case you would count all profit from website sales as the return on your investment.

But your reason may not just be an increase in revenue. It can include hidden savings that aren’t obvious. Such as customer enquiries being handled through the website. Leading to reduced phone enquiries. Or, new clients visiting your store after finding your website.

To understand your ROI, you first need to know what type of website you want. Is the aim of your website to:

  • get more sales
  •  educate about your product/services
  •  create a professional image
  •  communicate through social media with postings and feedback
  •  run blogs to advise on latest industry news
  •  e-commerce tool to sell on-line
  •  improve the efficiency of your business, eg reducing calls

Once you know what your website is for, you will have a better idea of what return to expect.

How do you measure your return?

How you measure your return will depend on the type of website you want.

For websites looking to increase sales, you need to have an idea of the potential number of visitors you might expect to gain. Then calculate how many of these visitors you could expect to convert to customers. A good web designer can help you estimate these figures.

You also need to have ways to measure the success of your website. For websites that do not always attract sales through the website, you will need other systems in place to help. For example:

  • asking new clients how they found you
  • monitoring a decrease in phone enquiries that are now answered on your web
  • noticing an increase in information downloads

Outlays

You can spend as little or as much as you want on a website, providing you understand what to expect for the price.

Before you can calculate your return, you need to consider your costs. Such as:

  • maintenance
  • hosting
  • yearly domain registration
  • cost of website set-up (layout/design)
  • blogging
  • content up-dates
  • social media posts
  • google Ads

It’s important to understand recurring costs, even where it is apparently “free” at first.

Increasing your returns

Low cost websites are harder to customise. So you need to understand which features will give you the returns you are after.

Basic features alone are unlikely to get you significantly increased sales. To increase the effectiveness of your site there are other things to consider. Such as :

  • an understanding of your business to better target your market
  • design and operation of the site to be found by the search engines (SEO)
  • design of the site content to target and engage the right visitors and convert them into customers (copywriting)
  • layout of the site to encourage visitors to buy (consumer psychology and behaviour)
  • links to and from the site to promote visibility by the search engines
  • regularly updated content, such as a blog or targeted pages
  • social media integration
  • monitoring performance and making changes accordingly

There are other additional items that may increase your returns.

Depending on your reason for wanting a website, and your market, spending more on additional items generally increases the returns you get.

There is a point where further investment might not be likely to increase returns. Or it may make sense to invest more at a later date, once you have seen how the site performs in your market.

A good web designer can advise you which ones might work best for your business and the market in which you work. These costs need to be offset against your desired returns.

Lifespan

Like any investment, it will take time to get a return. The longer your site is expected to be effective, the more your costs are reduced over time.

If it is well designed and you put in the time and effort to keep it fresh and up-to-date, then it can last for years.

Get the right visitor

Too often businesses are lured by the promise of a #1 Google ranking.

Attracting many visitors isn’t necessarily going to help you. You need to attract the right type of visitor.

For example, if you only sell specialist quality leather shoes, attracting people looking for shoes will work. But it will also attract people looking for shoes of lesser quality who aren’t going to buy from you.

There may also be strong competition for shoe sales and your target market may be attracted to your competitors.

You will get a higher return if your web designer specifically targets your niche or speciality.

Getting a sale

Having the right visitors to your site doesn’t guarantee a sale. If your site is not well designed, many people will simply leave. If your site does not explain the uniqueness of your offering and convince people to become a customer, they will leave.

Summing Up

ROI is a measure of the return you get through your website measured against what you invested in it. How you measure it depends on your reasons for having a website.

It’s important to understand how to get the maximum return for your investment. To understand which features will get you the outcome your are aiming for.

Make an informed choice: