I was referred to a prospective client recently that had their website redesigned. They paid $60,000 for a site that really does nothing for them. It is a simple brochure site that provides visitors nothing and it certainly does nothing to convert traffic into sales. Since all their budget went to design, they have no money left over to properly market the site. Mistake #1, don't pay $60,000 for a branding exercise.
A corporate website is about supporting the business. The beauty of the Internet is there is no guessing. You can measure pretty much anything. What are you trying to accomplish? Increase traffic? Generate leads? Increase sales? If it is yes to one of these questions, then a $60,000 investment should have measurable targets tied to it. Can a brochure site deliver a 80-95% ROI?
Web design is a commodity today. The cost of the design should represent about 25% of your total spend. Design costs are competitive today, so spending more than you have to should be the last thing you do. There are excellent open source Content Management Systems (CMS) that give you the power to manage your own content. The cost of the software is $0 to you.
The value of web design is working with companies that can understand what you do. To properly market the site, you should be investing up to 10-12x on what you invested in design. If you are a small company that is spending $4,000-$8,000 on a basic website, you should plan over 12 months to invest an additional amount in marketing. The dollars spent on marketing brings traffic to the site. Simple rule: more traffic through the front door means more business.
Unlike other advertising, you can control your spending and measure your ROI pretty quickly. You can turn your marketing dollars on and off depending on the performance, it is all measurable.
One of our clients went through the redesign process. We built a Search Engine Friendly website that allows them to manage content on the site. Prior to working with us, his website was not listed in the top 100 on Google for popular keywords. Since working with us, his visitors and page views have increased. But most importantly, he has doubled his bookings from this time last year. And, he did not spend $60,000 on his web design.
If you need help evaluating a prospective vendor, here are some questions that may help you understand their knowledge: