Your Guide To Ekeing Out Your Website Design Budget
Everyone wants a great-looking website, and why not? Your website is a window into your company's soul, and looking great every day is second only to showing up for your clients.
The trick with "website design" is not to put all your money in the design basket but instead understand all the components that go into creating a website so that you can allocate funds proportionately across all the required modules that go into producing a money-making machine.
Sinking the largest portion of your digital marketing budget into the design alone is a big mistake. I've written a complete guide to website design costs.
That's the subject of today's blog post, and I'm going to show you the exact steps to take so that you can amaze your staff and clients with your frugal brilliance.
Dividing Up The Digital Marketing Pizza
Let's divide up your digital marketing budget so that you have a bird's eye view of the digital marketing roadmap with my pepperoni pizza.
I've divided your pizza into slices representing a part of the digital marketing mix.
Ultimately it's down to you to decide how you wield the pizza slicer and apportion your marketing budget. Still, the following will help you gather all the ingredients together and ensure they all go into the oven simultaneously and come out baked to perfection.
Leaving ingredients out will give you a substandard pizza, and no one wants that!
Here I'm going to give you a brief overview of all the ingredients that make up a great website marketing machine.
But before I start, let's answer your most burning question:
Can I Build A Website Myself?
Should you pay a professional website design company to do this for you? After all, couldn't you save a lot of money by doing it yourself?
This is where being frugal is a benefit, but trying to drive on the rims is a mistake.
Just because you CAN design a website by doing it yourself does not mean you should.
Website designers keenly appreciate how white space should be used on a page and which fonts or typefaces work well together. Most often, when a layperson tries their hand at a subject in which they are not well versed, it ends badly.
Just look at all those DIY fails on Youtube!
A website designer also understands how to work alongside a website developer to create extra website functionality. Unless you have a penchant for late nights and debugging code, you're better off leaving it to the pros.
At Wildwood Digital we have worked with many businesses with a small marketing budget. In this situation we start with a small one-page website (to keeps costs down). We then build on this and add pages, case studies and extra content as it starts to bring the leads in and earn more and more money.
WordPress is the most common platform to build a website with, and for a good reason. It has all the tools you need to develop a terrific website.
Buying a custom WordPress theme and modifying it to suit your needs is the quickest and most cost-efficient way to get a website design that your customers will love. Best of all, you won't have to break the bank to do it.
It pains me when I see a great website design let down by substandard content. Give some thought to the number of content pages you want to go "live" with, and spend some time thinking about the text that will live on those pages.
As we mentioned above we can start with a simple one-page website, however, if you're looking to be a little more aggressive and grow your website quicker you should consider the following set up:
Your website should start with a home page for your business's name and introduction and a page for every service or product you provide. A clear contact us page and a more detailed about us page will help customers get to know you and your business and help convert viewers into leads.
Take the example below, Leeds Bespoke Joinery is a team of Joiners that provide three services
- Bespoke Alcove Units
- Fitted Wardrobes
- Bespoke Shelving
- Bespoke Furniture
On their website, you can see their Home Page which introduces their business, and links to a page featuring their team of Joiners and other pages for the specific services they offer, the four services bullet pointed above.
The home page also has two contact forms and a website chat widget so viewers can very easily get in touch.
When building your website each page should have useful information to answer any questions the viewer may have and if relevant have examples of work that you have carried out or reviews from users of your service or product.
Sourcing your images and the time spent cropping and resizing them to fit the pages should also be taken into account as part of the content brief.
Spending money on a great-looking website will be wasted unless you can be found in the search engine results pages (SERPS).
Getting an SEO expert to analyse the best keywords for your site to be found is one part of the equation, and the second part is transposing those ideas onto the page to create a cohesive message.
This SEO slice of the pizza is often an afterthought and is often made up of a few forlorn-looking cheesy drips in the box when the party is over.
Don't let that be you. Allocate a decent slice of the pie to SEO so that all your hard work does not go unnoticed.
How are you going to carry your message to the customer? Building a website but then sitting on your hands will not cut it.
We manage many successful websites and the number one thing we see is the importance of regularly updating your website. This could be as simple as adding a few photos of a project you completed such as fitting a new bathroom if you're a Plumber or adding a case study about that underfloor heating project you installed.
Consider all the different ways you can convey your message and pick one channel you think you would be good at doing or have the resources to make it happen.
A common mistake is trying to cover every marketing angle right from the beginning, but that's a mistake as you'll spread the sauce too thinly over your pizza.
- Blogging is the most common content marketing method and the most cost-effective, but you have to be consistent to get good results.
- Youtube videos are great, particularly if you can make content whilst doing customer jobs.
- Podcasting is inexpensive but very effective; again, consistency is the key factor.
- Don't have time to commit to regularly creating content? Try creating a few case studies for the type of customer you specifically want. Check out this blog on how to write a case study and see how Wolfe Design Build created just two case studies that earnt them £000's over the years.
Building Citations & Gaining Reviews
Citations and reviews are a great way to improve your ranking in local searches.
They help demonstrate that customers engage with your company and should not be overlooked when creating an online presence for your business.
Google Business Profile is the main platform you need to focus on, as it will be the primary source of information about your business in the SERPS. Keep this up-to-date and add all relevant information, including images and videos, whenever possible.
You should also encourage customers to leave reviews but remember that you must actively manage them so that if any issues arise, address them quickly. This can dramatically increase customer trust and loyalty.
Check out the screenshot of Norton Plumbing's Google Business Profile below. We have worked with Alex for around 5 years now, you can read our case study for Norton Plumbing and his kind video testimonial here.
He has got just 2 - 3 reviews every month by simply asking customers for a review and sending a simple email, that we created for him (and all of our customers).
Here we are 5 years later with a spectacular result and his business is thriving because of it.
Could you get a few reviews a month for your business?
Social Media Can be a very effective marketing tool, especially if you are a local services business such as a Builder, Carpenter or Bathroom Fitter. As these are all very visual services and people will love to see photo of the projects you undertake.
Pick a channel and try to dominate your local area with your posting.
Each social media platform has its image size requirements to be the most effective, so unless you want to spend all your time cropping and resizing your posts for all the different channels, it's best to pick one social media channel and become good at regularly posting there.
A common mistake I see new companies make is to post across all social media channels using the same image size. It looks terrible, and you should avoid that.
Besides, you will quickly figure out which social media channel gives you the best results, and you should concentrate on that.
When I say "paid advertising", you probably automatically think of Google Ads, but there are many other ways to get your message seen.
Paid social media advertising is often overlooked but can effectively generate leads and sales.
Influencer marketing is gaining more traction and is a quick way to get your product in front of a captive audience.
Email marketing is the best way to get your message across to your client for the least cost.
If you have an existing email list, it can easily be imported or exported to the various formats needed for digital sending, and if you don't have one, then now is the time to start building it!
Email marketing should be used to engage and inform your customers, not just flog them a product. Yes, you need to generate sales, but educating without being too pushy is vital.
You can also use email marketing for surveys with your customers so that you can get feedback on what they want from your business in terms of products and services. This can be very effective in keeping up with the ever-changing market demand.