It's a big question with our clients and proves to be a very interesting debate. With a huge range of other digital channels for businesses to be visible on - is a website really worth it?
Research by Approved Index, has revealed the number of UK SMEs operating without a website and calculated the predicted uplift in revenue if they were to launch a new site, by industry sector and business size.
Despite living in a digital age where consumers’ first point of call is the internet, the results revealed that some 1.98 million SMEs currently have no online presence, costing them a mammoth £343 billion every year.
If sole trader businesses were to introduce company websites, they could see an annual revenue uplift of over £32,650... £32,650!
So how much does a website cost?
You can build your own website for free, there are some great tools on WIX and Google where you can do it yourself. Of course the free models may not have all the things you need but it's a start if you've got no budget.
For websites that need more functionality and design it's probably worth looking at getting a web designer to look at it on your behalf. To give you an idea on cost, our prices start from £350 for a simple website and depending on how many pages/features your website needs, the price will go up.
A lot of small businesses do not need a huge, 100 page website, the magic is in the planning and thinking about your customer journey. Ultimately you need to make it as easy as possible for your customers to get in touch/buy your product. Whatever designer you work with, be prepared for a planning meeting so they can understand more about your business and work out the best website structure for you.
Other set-up/ongoing costs
Once you've found your designer and agreed a price on your website, you'll need to think about other set-up costs:
You need a server to hold the data of your website, depending on what supplier you use it will be around £120 per year.
A domain name
A domain name or URL is like a car registration plate, the more unique, the more expensive they are but they can start from as little as 99p. You need to pay for your web address every year.
A company email address
Some businesses use Gmail and Hotmail email addresses for their business, however it may not look very professional. You can get a business email address which costs around £60 per year.
Maintaining your website is hugely important, any broken links or poor content can damage your position in Google rankings. With technology constantly evolving, competitors encroaching on your territory, it's essential to continually maintain your website.
See it as going for a haircut every 4-6 weeks, you just need to keep it tidy.
If you're confident enough with the website software, you can do this yourself or you can ask your web design agency to look after it on your behalf.
Our monthly 'Babysit my website' package sees us reviewing our client websites every month, checking the analytics, reviewing the keywords to help with their Google rankings. If you're closing for a holiday or changing your operating hours, we can update this information on your behalf. Anything that's ringing alarm bells, we will get fixed so your website will continue to perform at it's best.
But Facebook is my website...
And that's OK if your prospective customers are all on Facebook, but it's important to not put all of your eggs in one basket. By just having a business listing in one place, you run the risk of potentially losing everything if that channel were to disappear. All of your content and the followers you have could be gone in the blink of an eye.
It's really important to diversify your online approach, this can be with various social media pages, a website, an email strategy or listing your business on Google and Yell. Wherever you are online, make sure it's consistent and you keep it updated.
Think your business will benefit from a website?
We think so too! Get in touch to see how we can help.