The world wide web has changed the way we do business.
Websites are now a critical part of an organisation’s operation; they are the way forward in today’s digital world. Web designers have never been in such high demand.
But are the customers none the wiser?
Are they fitting the bill and getting exactly what they need? What happened to the elusive affordable web design?
If you’re a business owner, no doubt you either have an existing website or you’re thinking about getting one. Maybe you’ve been doing some research into an upgrade or into creating that website that will take your business to the next level.
Like many other business owners, you’ve probably been caught up in the frenzy and think that you need a website, no matter the cost. You’ve probably come across website design packages costing upwards of $15,000. That would put a dent in the budget, but maybe you’ve been led to believe that it’s the only option?
Whilst there’s a lot of work that goes into a website, they range in cost depending on your needs, rather than depending on what the website designer has to offer.
Having a website that is stunningly beautiful is fantastic, but that isn’t going to keep visitors on your site and convert sales.
Many business owners get caught up in the design process and can be led down the wrong path for various reasons. They, like many of us, may not have in depth knowledge about the ins and outs of website design so they let the website designer lead the process, rather than them taking charge.
If you want to get what you want and need and get the most affordable web design possible, you need to know what you want, to ensure that you get it.
You need to take charge and steer the website designer towards what you want, rather than them steering you.
Web design prices don’t have to blow your budget, but like anything, the more you understand yourself (or your business), the more you’ll get from the process.
Affordable web design is at your fingertips.
Now that we’ve determined that you don’t have to close up shop because you can’t afford a 20k website, there are a few things you should understand before you start negotiating the cost of your website.
When it comes to web design prices, preparation is key. The more preparation you do, the more empowered you will be during the process.
Here are 4 Incredible tips to guarantee you an affordable web design
1. Know what you want (and don’t want!)
Your website is a critical part of your business and is ultimately an investment, but making a wise investment is key to affordable web design.
So, take the same steps you would when investing in another critical part of your business.
Determine what you want from the website, as well as what you don’t want. There’s nothing like knowing what you don’t like to determine what you actually do like. If you have a clear understanding of what you want, the process will be that much easier.
Do your research
Is one of your competitors expanding rapidly due to high online sales?
If the answer is yes, then you should be jumping onto their website to see what they’re doing. Now don’t be a copycat, rather get an idea of what they’re doing and add your own spin on it.
The internet is a wonderful place full of information so research online. Read informative articles about the key things you should be including in your website and asking your web designer to offer them, rather than them telling you what you should have/what you like.
Get your staff or others that understand how your business works, involved.
Whether you’re a one-man band or a large organisation, getting a range of ideas will help you narrow down exactly what you want.
If you have a Marketing or Sales team, then they need to be involved in the whole process. Your website should be part of your whole Marketing plan and is an extension of your brand so you’ll need them to be fully involved, whether you like it or not.
Your brand message on your website should be consistent to your overall brand message.
Determine what you want
Finally, now that you’ve done your research and brainstormed ideas, narrow down those ideas and determine exactly what you want from your website, and don’t want.
That way you can approach a web designer with a clear outline of what your preferences are, as well as your dislikes.
Knowing what you want upfront can avoid delays and changes down the track; and that’s key to affordable web design. Changing your likes and dislikes once you’ve already started the process can add to overall web design prices.
2. Communication to visitors
Now that you’ve determined what you like, and don’t like. You can decide what message you want to convey to customers and how you want to communicate with them.
The key to successful communication is giving a clear and direct message.
Well-known brands like Nike are lucky enough to be able to be a bit more creative when it comes to their messaging and branding, because potential customers already know their brand, and what they’re offering.
For the rest of us, we can’t be as abstract.
Your message, including your tagline, needs to give a clear idea of what your business does/what service or product you offer.
You want your message to make a strong impression on visitors to your site, encouraging them to dig deeper, not run away in confusion.
You need to explain your business and its purpose in a clear and concise way.
If visitors don’t instantly understand what you do, they will not stick around. They’ll jump onto the next website that has a clearer message.
They have endless choices out there so don’t forget that. Attracting their attention immediately is key.
What is your offering?
Determine what your company’s offering is (if you haven’t already done so), and construct a summarised version. Getting an outsider’s feedback on your message is a quick way to determine if it’s clear.
You’re inside the business’s operations day in and day out, so you know what your business offers.
But getting an outsider’s perspective, who is not involved in the operations, will give you an idea if your message is clear and concise.
If someone who is not involved in the business quickly and easily understands the message then that’s a good sign.
Come up with a tagline
Now that you’ve summarised your offering and have come up with a clear and concise message, you can come up with a tagline.
Once again, it should be short but descriptive, so visitors to your site will understand what your company does by reading the tagline.
And if they don’t, add a sentence explaining it to make it clearer.
3. Call to action
Now that you know what you want, or don’t want, and you’ve come up with a clear message about what your business offers, you need to determine what you want visitors to do about it i.e. how they should act on your offering.
A call to action is a statement that tells your audience what they should do once they’ve seen what you have to offer. In this case, what they’ve seen on your website.
Your call to action can’t be fluffy, it needs to be straight forward, giving the visitor clear direction on how they should act next.
Words should include action words like “order”, “shop”, “subscribe”, “buy”.
You need to tell your website visitor exactly what they need to do next. If you get this wrong, it will directly affect your bottom line, you’ll lose potential sales and your revenue will not be what is should.
When you approach a web designer, you should know what journey you want your visitors to take on your website, rather than them telling you how your visitors should travel through your website.
If you take the lead, you’re guaranteed to get a more affordable web design. Knowing exactly what you want dictates to the web designer exactly how they should build the site and what functions you need from your site.
You want visitors to get excited to act, so decide on the type of actions you want them to take.
You can use special deals to get visitors excited, like “get 20% on your first purchase”. However you want your visitors to act. Create a concept around their next steps on your website.
Create an array of action orientated messages that you can incorporate in your website, and give these to your website designer upfront.
The more information that your website designer gets upfront, the more they can tailor their offering to what you need, so they won’t offer something to you if it’s not exactly what you need.
4. Sales Message
Now that you’ve decided how you’re going to tell your visitors what to do (or what you’d like them to do), you need to tell them what they can expect next.
What are you promising them?
Basically, when someone buys something, they’re fulfilling a need, you’re solving a problem for them.
So, decide how they’re going to benefit from your service or product. What gap are you filling for them? What problem are you solving for them?
This is the final and most important point. If visitors don’t see a benefit from your product or service, they’ll leave your website at a rapid rate.
You need to draw them in with a clear and concise message but you need to keep them there by offering them a benefit.
So, how does your product or service benefit your customers?
Concise messages are key. Confused and frustrated browsers leave websites instantly.
What is your unique selling point?
This is where your offering should stand out from the crowd.
You need to determine what your unique selling point is. This is something that you do, that your competitors don’t. For example, a price beat guarantee.
The internet is overloaded with millions of products and services, so with all the choice, why should a customer choose you? Why should they spend their hard-earned money on your product or service?
Looking at your offering from the outside in is the best way to do this. Look at your business from the customer’s perspective.
What makes your business special?
Having the sales message clearly outlined when you approach a website designer will ensure that you get what you want.
It’s no doubt that website designers play an important part in website design. But you need to take the lead on this project.
If you want affordable web design that gives you a website that’s not only visually appealing but functional too i.e. it converts those sales, then you need know what you want.
Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to web design prices.
There’s no point in paying a premium price for a website that looks fantastic, but doesn’t give you what you need – more leads / sales!
eCommerce revenue is growing at a rapid rate year by year, so if you don’t have a functional website, someone else will.
And they’ll be getting the sales and revenue that you’re missing out on.
Digital Marketing Agencies that provide website design services are a great way to get the best of both worlds.
You’ll be working with a company that knows how to create websites that are functional and aesthetically appealing.
But they will also design a website for you that converts!