So you are a small business, and you need a website? What will it cost you?
- Only R99 pm!
- 5-page professional website, only R270 pm
- Basic website – R4,500
Deals like these can be found whenever you consult the Oracle of Google, but these claims may be just as far-fetched as the dubious prophecies of Delphi.
The real answer is that for a comprehensive website that will bring you more business, you can expect to spend anywhere from R10,000 upwards.
Why so much when basic 5-page sites are on offer for as little or even less than R1,000 a page?
Because today you also need to invest in the kind of content that will help your website to do its job. So unless you are skilled in writing content for websites, you will need to pay someone to do it for you. And writing the content is just as onerous as building the site.
A specialist website writer will also know how to incorporate the keywords needed for SEO, and will know about how to write to achieve your marketing objectives. Be warned, stay away from a writer who is happy to write up all your content without first understanding your branding and marketing strategy.
Here is a reality checklist of the five fundamentals that a basic working website needs:
- Five pages of information – Home, About Us, Services/Products, Articles, Contact Us
- Keyword research for SEO, and all pages written to be SEO- and Adwords-friendly
- A home page that provides enticing entry points for all the journeys that the user can take through the site, with prominent calls to action
- Content that presents your offering as irresistible and compelling, with all the most important information on each page placed above the fold (i.e. you shouldn’t have to scroll down to find it)
- A contact request form with automated capture of all new contacts in a back-end database
If you can’t yet afford to spend around R10K on a website, you can still get started with online marketing using social media platforms. It doesn’t cost anything to set up a Facebook, Linked In or Twitter campaign, and they can be highly effective as long as you apply a well-planned strategy and put in the time needed to make it work.