Is Affordable Website Design a Misnomer?
You are in the market for a new website for your business or organization, and budget is an important factor. It makes sense that one of the first search terms you would turn to would be “affordable website design.” But if you’re searching just based on budget, does that leave you vulnerable to choosing a solution provider that may end up costing you more in effort and lost potential? Please take a moment to read on before making a decision just based on the price of your web design project.
What Does Affordable Mean?
When you think of an affordable website, you are most likely thinking in context to your own existing framework of understanding for what a website should “cost.” Something might be “affordable” if you can reasonably pay for it without it hurting too much. Of course, price is always going to be a major factor in any purchase decision, but should it ever be the number one factor? Budgeting is an extremely important part of running a business; but as you know, there are always other things that can be cut if you believe it’s important enough.
“…affordable is a matter of perspective, and doesn’t add any meaningful insight to know if you’ve really found a good web design partner.”
The chances are, if you are searching for affordable website design, you are not valuing the potential positive impact a website can have upon the growth of your business; and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: you don’t believe a website is extremely valuable to your business, so you don’t invest enough time and money into it, and the website therefore doesn’t have a positive impact upon the growth of your business.
Most likely you have a starting point for which “affordable” will fit nicely. Perhaps you worked on a large business’s marketing team, where you saw millions being spent on their website and online marketing; and your own successful business spends 20% of its gross revenue on marketing, a majority of which is for online marketing. An affordable website to you means a website in the $100-150,000 range. Now, let’s assume you are an old-school businessman who believes your product should speak for itself. You rarely spend much money on marketing; and since you can’t compete with the big boys, you don’t view it as worthwhile to invest much online. Your own definition of an affordable website is $1,000, and you’d as soon give the job to your nephew who “knows code” rather than find a reputable (do they even exist?) web design agency.
The point I’d like to make is that affordable is a matter of perspective, and doesn’t add any meaningful insight to know if you’ve really found a good web design partner.
Is Affordable Dangerous?
Now, if you follow my point from the previous heading, I think you might see where I’m going next.
As a savvy business owner, you wouldn’t leave a potential long term win-win opportunity on the table, would you? Of course not, you didn’t become your own boss because you sulked in the weeds and couldn’t make it onto the water. But what if you’re doing just that by ignoring the true importance of being active online? After all, it isn’t just a trend, the internet has seriously changed how the world does business in every sector, and it really levels the playing field for the small players.
“Wait,” you might think, “Did you just say that it levels the playing field? Because from where I’m sitting, I cannot compete with the amount of money that [insert large brand name competitor here] is spending on their website, marketing, and social media.”
The great thing is that you don’t have to. That’s right, you don’t have to compete based on money. As a small business, you actually have a huge advantage when it comes to online marketing and staying ahead of the mainstream curve. Big businesses are like ships, and they turn very slowly; and keeping up with the latest technology is much more expensive than it is for smaller businesses. (This might not be true for all small businesses, I acknowledge. But if you find yourself disagreeing, you might have some operational inefficiencies that need to be addressed as well.)
The first step is to get away from the mindset of affordable online marketing and think about effective online marketing. You said before that you wouldn’t leave a win-win opportunity on the table, so what if setting your website and online marketing efforts as a higher priority meant much bigger opportunities for your business to grow?
So affordable website design is really a misnomer, and it doesn’t mean what you think it means. You may just end up finding ineffective website design.
Affordable Website Design is Not the Answer – Effective Website Design Is
Instead of focusing on spending as little as possible on your website and online marketing efforts, I recommend focusing on spending your money on results. The internet has made it easier, and yet more daunting, to launch a new business; and technology now allows us to track and report results like never before; and yet, too many business owners are stuck using marketing techniques that only give them vague assurances of outcomes. We can now build websites and give small businesses tools that let them engage their customers as powerfully as the big guys, and on a budget that small businesses can afford.
We can track conversions on a website, a web page, a web form, and even a button. If you aren’t tracking the results, then you aren’t measuring the effectiveness of the money you are spending on online marketing. And if you aren’t measuring the effectiveness of your online marketing, then your affordable website may not be nearly as affordable as you thought it was.
If you can’t answer the question, “How effective is my online marketing?” then it’s probably time to have a conversation.