Content Management System (CMS)
A great number of businesses choose a Content Management System to build their website. It has proved efficient for businesses in terms of building, maintenance, and control as well as pricing. Most importantly, you can find open source solutions that will help you save money while building your website.
What is a Content Management System (CMS)?
CMS is a platform that allows website owners manage the content of their website without extensive programming background. It is a web application used to build and run the website in an efficient way. Specifically, with an admin interface it helps regulate a variety of tasks on the website, such as when and how often to display certain content, how to connect the content with the other website elements, and so forth.
While CMS empowers users to have some control over the content with the browser or even from phones, functionality or graphics changes are not often easily supported without a webmaster. To do that, for most CMS, you will need to pair up with a webmaster that would help you customize your website. Based on the chosen platform, you will spend between $0 to over $15,000 per year on your website. Additionally, a skilled web partner will help choose the most suitable CMS for your business.
There are various content management systems used for website creation and management. Today that number exceeds 1000. Still, most businesses opt for one of the most three popular solutions: WordPress, Magento and WooCommerce. There are several basic reasons guiding the choice of a CMS.
Open source solutions are free of charge and user communities maintain those whereas proprietary CMSs are licensed, offering developer tools, cloud services, high-end security and customer support. Both solutions provide wide range of free and premium themes and extensions, as well as hosting and maintenance services.
It’s a great asset for a website to have a flexible system with the capability for change and modifications, customized content management possibilities, creating user communities, and integrating ecommerce functionality. That said, most businesses opt for solutions that offer flexibility to stimulate and inspire growth.
Apart from building your online brand, maintaining your website won’t go cheap without user-oriented support options. Troubleshooting, configurations, customization and software upgrades are common activities that demand support from the vendor and may cost quite a lot.
- Management permissions
For large content-driven companies, an essential factor to consider while selecting a CMS is complex management structure. Since the website content for such companies is updated on a regular basis by different staff, control over who posts what is crucial. The platform should have a sophisticated architecture to restrict users editing irrelevant pages and publishing the wrong content.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is the most popular CMS, usually used to create blogging websites. It powers over 60 million websites. It works best for small to medium-size businesses, as well as beginners who can easily edit their website without touching a line of code. The interface is user-friendly allowing not experienced developers create their own websites. It also supports a large number of plugins which help deal with complicated functionality. It is easy to install, it is customizable, and free of charge. Plus, WordPress offers community support if you are experiencing issues.
How much does it cost to build a WordPress website?
WordPress is an affordable option if you want your website up and ready in a short time. There is a large variety of themes on WordPress marketplaces, directories and independent WordPress shops. You may find both free and premium themes the price of which can be as low as $20 or less depending on the theme provider and the features included. You ideally want to have a SEO-friendly, responsive theme which are integrated in most themes of today. Alternatively, you may find a free theme to use for your website if you want a simple informative WordPress website.
On the other hand, you may opt for a custom WordPress theme, which is going to cost you a bit more than a template. A WordPress Modified Theme will cost you between $100 – $500 while a custom WordPress Theme will Cost $500 – $5,000. Besides, you need to consider other costs, such as copywriting, photography, any additional features as well as further modifications.
As the name implies eCommerce is electronic commerce or any commercial transactions via the Internet without any barriers of time and distance. It is a feature supported in WordPress allowing businesses execute online sales.
For the past five years many businesses carry out their sales primarily online. Online business can be so thriving that double or maximize the profits of a company. Therefore, those who want a new website look at eCommerce functionality to carry out sales.
What is eCommerce?
eCommerce stands for electronic commerce and refers to the practice of buying and selling over the Internet. Not only physical products and goods but also various services can be delivered with an eCommerce website through online payment. eCommerce is basically a beneficial opportunity for businesses to drive sales via their website at the same time reducing costs, providing efficient delivery, and having increased customer outreach. It is operated with various applications, such as emails, shopping carts and FTP or File Transfer Protocol. That said, many businesses start off an eCommerce website as an add-on to their brick and mortar store or simply establish their business solely based on eCommerce.
eCommerce provides a wide availability of products and services for customers here and now without any clamor. Most of the eCommerce websites are retail stores that sell products directly to consumers rather than to another business. However, business- to-business commerce is also quite common.
A great number of consumers today prefer online shopping over traditional one. Shopping has become more accessible and convenient with the help of various payment options.
On top of that, eCommerce provides multiple benefits to customers, such as:
- quick and easy shopping experience without any queues or delays
- comparison between different products with built-in product comparison tools
- affordable prices due to the availability of a great variety of products
How much does eCommerce cost?
Given the advantages of eCommerce and the time invested to create a solid online store, you should note that additional costs will apply to your overall website price tag. Initial investment is usually between $500 and $5000 which largely depend on the number of products and the eCommerce platform of your choice.
Different eCommerce Platforms
There are over 100 ecommerce platforms to help you organize your online shop more efficiently. However, trying to figure out which platform suits your needs can be tricky. There are a few features to consider while choosing the most appropriate option for your website.
Some eCommerce platforms favor only Paypal while others support third party payment options. Considering this feature is crucial based on your country and the audience you are targeting. You should make sure that your payment gateway is preferred and convenient for your customers.
One aspect to look at is the capacity to easily customise to suit your business goals. This means that the platform has high degree of flexibility to easily modify product display and product information .Essentially, the more flexible your shop is in terms of how you can arrange and display your products, the better the chances that it will best represent your unique brand. On top of that, it will provide a seamless user experience with user-friendly shop interface.
Do you have specific preferences in terms of design for your online store? At least you want your store to look great to leave a professional and trustworthy impression on your prospects. Some platforms come with prebuilt designs to choose from. You may find themes that are free but often you are required to purchase one. If you want a custom design for your store, take this feature into account.
The key to your eCommerce success is when you give people a sense of security. You need to choose a platform that implements security measures. With numerous customers entering their credit card information to buy something on your store, you should look for keeping your customers’ data safe and sound.
- Online support and documentation
Whether you are a professional or a newbie in building your website, you are going to need support which comes in the form of online documentation, customer assistance, etc. Make sure the platform you choose gives enough support to keep your shop stable and going in spite of any technical issues on the way.
Pay close attention to platforms which allows room for growth. If you want to take your business forward as time passes, you need to choose the right platform today that can grow with your business. This said, you will be able to expand your shop over a period of time without limiting yourself by the platform itself.
With the above-mentioned factors in mind, take your time to determine the best platforms for your eCommerce website. The two platforms discussed below will give you insights of features and functionality that do good to your business.
What is Magento?
Magento is an open-source and particularly flexible and scalable ecommerce platform fitting both small and large business needs. If your website has a sudden increase in traffic, you are on the safe side to adjust your store accordingly. It is extremely easy to add features and free extensions to track visitor behavior and suggest the most suitable items based on your visitors’ online unique behaviour. Simply put, it can perfectly fit for growing businesses as it has all the bells and whistles for an online business.
On the other hand, it is much sophisticated and complicated to use if you want to build up your store on your own. However, it shouldn’t deter you from choosing this option as it has a number of advantages, namely:
- it takes security very seriously, protecting both your and your visitors’ data,
- it has a great amount of built-in shop-related features and extensions making your store truly beneficial to function,
- it is SEO friendly helping your store easily get found,
- it provides full control both on the front and back side helping you make any vision a reality. It means you can customize your store without facing any major limitations by the platform,
- it has a supportive community, meaning that you can troubleshoot any issues with ease due to a professional support, thorough documentation and user forums.
Given you are confident with a group of professional developers and your budget, Magento can turn your online store into an immense source of income.
How much does a Magento website cost?
The cost of your Magento store will depend on your needs and, most importantly, your scope. If you need a basic Magento website, it will normally cost you between $2,000 -$30,000 depending on the functions your online shop requires. A basic Magento store usually has simple design or template, a basic functionality, access to Magento community site, no integration with back-office system and easy-to-use CMS.
If you are an established business, a basic option may not fit your needs. Consider a custom Magento website, which is worth $7,000-70,000 and up. It supports custom Magento design, integration with Back-office systems, customer groups, extensions, custom functionalities, etc.
For large-scale businesses Magento offers Enterprise option, which costs $20,000-80,000 and up. It features a vast array of benefits and custom options to make the most use of your business, such as built-in modules, mobile-friendly interface, multiple stores, free professional customer support, social media integration, custom coupons, large amount of SKU’s and much more. It’s an ideal choice for those businesses that want to sit back and relax while Magento takes care of the business.
In addition, in order to take care of the maintenance and updates of your Magento store, you will expect an hourly rate of $80-$200 or more to be charged.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is considered as one of the most popular eCommerce plugins or functional extensions, allowing you to sell products and services. It supports complete scalability and control over your services thus standing out as an efficient choice for many retailers.
You can easily sell digital and physical items and manage inventory and shipping. WooCommerce is a great option to ensure secure payments and automatically figure out taxes.
Most essentially, the software is open-source and anyone can have access to it. Installing and using the plugin causes no complications. In addition, as it supports WordPress, there is a large range of themes supporting WooCommerce functionality. It offers more than 300 extensions for augmenting basic functionality.
Among the benefits of WooCommerce, the following are crucial to mention:
Selling physical, virtual, downloadable and even external products has never been so easy. Perhaps one of WooCommerce’s biggest advantage is the level of flexibility with the products without much consideration of the technical aspects. WooCommerce allows to categorise goods, list sale prices, provide descriptions and attributes, to name just a few, without any difficulties
WooCommerce is not a rigid platform by all means. It has a lot of room for customization and tweaks to make your online store a unique and outstanding one. Changing the themes to the level that it meets your needs is quite feasible. Each theme offers special features to tweak and customise to have a beautiful and appealing custom design.
- User-friendly and easy to use for starters
This professional online sales platform is also very user-friendly and provides easy-to-navigate interface. Apart from being free, it also provides detailed order tracking as well as customer engagement tools. These in turn, give a unique opportunity to track past and present orders, tax settings, inventory,shipping options and offer discounts and coupons.
How much does WooCommerce online store cost?
While downloading and setting up WooCommerce is free of charge, you still need to consider some costs for having a fully functional WooCommerce store. To run an online WooCommerce store, you will need to consider $400–$2000 for annual expenses. Good news is that, the price comprises hosting service, domain, WooCommerce theme and plugins, as well as SSL certificate. WooCommerce premium themes typically cost between $50-$150.
Along with these basic components, you will also be expected to purchase some extensions necessary for solid functionality:
If you are in need of custom design, you might consider budgeting for site design as well. An estimate for a custom WooCommerce website design may cost between $1,000 and $10,000. Larger-scale projects, however, will require more funds depending on the company’s requirements.
Website Design or Theme Creation
With myriads of themes available on the net, most people typically opt for a cheaper solution by building their website with a theme. Others, however, prefer website design to showcase the uniqueness and distinctiveness of their brand in a more representative way. So what is the difference and pricing options for the two?
What is web design?
Web design is a the art and science of defining the main strategies for and building a collection of electronic files that display the layout, colors, text styles, structure, graphics, images, and use of interactive features that your visitors are exposed to. Your business success depends on the subtle ad grounded decisions of the web design which helps it appear credible, professional and appealing. Best website design is user-friendly and easy to navigate that speaks well with the content.
How much does a web design cost?
While considering the expenses of web design, you will need to hire a professional web designer or a team of designers to convey the right spirit of your business. Usually the prices tend to range from $250 to $20,000 for a web design. For small to medium businesses it is reasonable to pay $1000-$7500. The cost depends on whether you have UX strategy set up, your branding defined and your company logo ready or you want to rely on the designer to provide solutions to all of these. Any add-on, such as special illustrations, vectors or wireframes will augment the costs of the web design.
To put in a nutshell, the more prepared and knowledgeable you are, the less you will spend on your website design. If you have a clear idea of the colors, graphics, if you have some quality photographs ready for your website, your designer’s task is easier and therefore quite cost-efficient.
What is a custom theme?
A custom theme can mean two things:
- A theme of your choice with slight customization and added design features of your brand.
- A template made created scratch to suit specifically your business needs.
Both options are common in web development industry. If you don’t have a bulging budget, you usually go for a template and have it customized. It easily makes your theme stand out among average themes on the market. You will ask your web designer to make a few modifications here and there that will take him or her a few hours before having your website up and running.
However, if you are shooting farther, you will need a design from scratch. An experienced WordPress or other CMS guru will come up with exceptional design solutions to create a theme that will be used only by you. This is an excellent choice with your branding in mind. Custom theme from scratch manifests unique user experience and professional look to your website that benefits your business and digital marketing.
How much does a custom theme cost?
Given the amount of time a talented developer invests on your custom theme, you should consider a bit more costs for your website than in the case of a template. WordPress with a modified existing theme may cost you anywhere from $300 to $2,265 depending on the complexity of the design and the web designer’s expertise.
A custom theme design, on the other hand, requires $1,000 – $6,200 worth investment. At the end of the day there are more custom features included and your website is tailored to your specific needs. The costs are pertinent for the value it manifests.
Web Development or Theme installation
What is web development?
Roughly speaking, web development is the process of creating a website including client-side coding, server-side coding and database integration. Web development refers not only to plain websites but also website applications and social network applications. It typically does not refer to the design aspects of a website and mainly deals with back-end aspects.
How much does web development cost?
The core programming and coding of a website is usually based on how many hours will be required to complete the website development. While professional web developers charge over $70-300 an hour, you will find more affordable options as well. If you rely on a firm for more than one service, you will benefit other services, such as web design, digital marketing, SEO.
Website development is also charged by fixed price. In Australia $2000-$5000 is a fair deal for website development for small informational websites. With larger scale, your investment may be doubled.
What is Custom theme Installation?
If you have your custom theme ready, the next step is installation for it to display under your domain. Infrastructure of WordPress does not easily support custom theme installation, or third party themes, unless you are a developer and know how to do that.
You may install a custom theme in the following ways:
- Using the admin panel to install the theme
This is a straightforward path to install the theme. You simple upload the zip file of your theme and click install. Very often, however, it fails to work, so you need to consider other options.
- Installing using FTP
this option works by uploading your website files onto the host server directory. Then, after you see it available in your WordPress administration panel, all is left is to activate the theme to go live.
- Installing via cPanel
Uploading the theme into the themes folder in cPanel is another solution. It later needs activation on WordPress to make the theme function.
How much does custom theme installation cost?
Theme installation and configuration are not complicated tasks for a webmaster. Still, they take time and effort. You may get away hiring a freelancer and having your theme installed with less than $50 or you may rely on a professional webmaster who will charge you a few hundred dollars for the task. DIY can also work if you have a small-scale website. However, to ensure that the task is handled professionally without any risks of security, spending $300-$1200 is worth the price.
What is copywriting?
Copywriting is the process of writing promotional and marketing content, as well as catalogues, brochures, emails, website pages and many more. Copywriting is all about making the reader take a specific and measurable action in regard to your content.
While choosing a copywriting service, you should be looking for
- Up-to-date mindset
- Mindset of a salesperson.
Copywriting is a service to consider for your website if you want unique, compelling and appealing content. It takes a skillful and talented copywriter to write a copy on your website that will inspire action and do magic with words. Copywriting can save you a lot of time and bring a lot of profit. In spite of your exceptional writing skills, it is most likely that you lack the essential skills of a copywriter to write with an appropriate voice, conversational language, use SEO-friendly tags and keywords and finally beat your online competitors. Therefore, you will need a copywriter for a short or long term to take up the writing tasks of your website and business.
Be mindful not to confuse copywriting with copyright, which is, simply put, the exclusive legal right of an entity to print or publish materials.
How much does a copywriting service cost?
Because content is human-driven and demands talent and energy, there aren’t absolute measures for determining the price of powerful content. Some companies with definite branding guidelines spend millions of dollars per year on in-house or freelance copywriters who do justice to their business goals.
Generally the price of copywriting would depend on the amount of research needed, graphics needed, the speed of the content creation as well as the experience of the copywriter.
Some copywriters charge based on project, others charge based on time spent, while many others charge based on a word count. In addition, most often deposits will apply for copywriting services.
- Charging by hourly rate, you might expect to allocate
- $50 – $70 per hour for novice or less experienced copywriter
- $70 – $100 per hour for mid level copywriter
- $100 – $180 per hour for top-notch copywriter
- Charging by word count usually starts at $0.15 per word up to $1 per word. However, this not an advisable option, since many copywriters might take advantage and stuff the copy with redundant expressions for the sake of word count.
- Charging by page or article starts at $50 and goes up till $500. Keep in mind that a $500 worth copy may provide high level of conversions and return much more funds than you initially invested.
- Project based fees vary considerable based on the type of copy.
- Article or blog post (up to 500 words) – $300 or more,
- Landing page (up to 500 words) – $350 or more,
- Sales email – $200 or more,
- Small website with 5 pages – $900 or more,
- Medium-size website with 10 pages – $1,500 or more,
- A four page brochure – $550 or more.
For your business to succeed, you cannot overlook the power of marketing. Your business may offer valuable products and services but it may go unnoticed if you fail to promote it to your potential customers. Brand awareness has become one of the most decisive components for business success. Therefore, you should direct your efforts to reach out to prospects with your marketing strategy.
What is digital marketing?
This term is often bounced around along with website building leaving people buzzed at what it is and why they need it. In simple terms, digital marketing is the practice of promoting a company or a business using various digital channels. It encompasses numerous aspects, such as search engine optimisation (SEO), social media marketing, content marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, email marketing, web analytics, to name just a few.
With the prevalence of digital media on the Internet, digital marketing has become a crucial component of marketing. Buyers are more empowered today and making profits without consistent and growing marketing is out of the question. Having a vast expose to large audiences trough electronic media, companies are able to engage a wide audience with their product with well-established digital marketing campaigns.
Digital marketing leverages electronic sources to grasp visitors’ attention and readily deliver them the most suitable solution. Digital marketing agencies and consultants have the capabilities to provide valuable insights about your company’s marketing and support their decisions with measurable results.
How much should you consider for digital marketing?
Most marketing agencies and consultants opt for one of the three commonly practiced approaches for payment:
- Monthly retainer contracts
- Project-based fees
- Hourly rates
Monthly packages usually start at $500 per month offering basic services, such as SEO, content marketing, social media posts, email marketing. The level of quality and the monthly hours spent increases with standard packages with the price of $1000 per month. A more sophisticated and inclusive service will require monthly investment of $2000. Based on the agency experience and size the monthly retainer costs can go up and offer services with $5000 per month.
Project pricing is also popular for digital marketing services. The costs per project ranges between $1000 and $7500.
If you choose the option of hourly rate, you should expect to allocate funds between $60 and $400 per hour. However, you should be looking for value rather than time when deciding on the payment method. Many agencies benefit by assigning your project to less experienced staff members and win as a result by charging more hours and reaching results later than you might expect.
To sum up, there’s no black and white answer to the costs of digital marketing but you should realize that the more services you require the more your costs will be.
Inbound Marketing and Outbound Marketing
When we talk about digital marketing we often encounter terms like inbound marketing and outbound marketing. Businesses get puzzled as to which option to choose that would be beneficial and less costly for their business. What’s the difference between the two? Read on to distinguish between the two.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing involves the practices of earning customers’ interest rather than buying it by offering them valuable and relevant content to engage before they are even ready to buy something. It naturally pulls your audience towards your company. They later become active promoters of your brand and provide leads and conversions for your business. The core of inbound marketing is engaging rather than offering a sales pitch, which inevitably works well to get the message through more easily.
As opposed to traditional marketing methods, inbound marketing is intended for visitors seeking out answers online. Apparently, a person looking to buy a new TV set will most likely land a decision by searching and finding informative content on it rather than blindly following an ad of the best TV set.
Inbound marketing includes a plethora of techniques and tactics practiced with the following services:
- Social media
- Video marketing
- Live events and webinars.
Why should you need inbound marketing?
The goals of inbound marketing are diverse. Gone are the days that customers relied on advertising for making decisions. Today the majority of consumers fast forward ads and ignore extensive marketing emails. Through paid and organic methods, inbound marketing helps connect to your customers and establish a trusted relationship. Among many benefits of inbound marketing, the following are the core advantages:
- Develop relationships and build trust
- Generate social media shares and referrals
- Increase brand awareness
- Ensure ongoing retention of customers
- deliver higher ROI for your business
How much do inbound marketing services cost?
Inbound marketing should be looked at as a long-term investment. You should be prepared to pay from $1000-$12000 per month for measurable results. The sum largely depends on your needs, so make sure to define your needs before hiring an inbound marketing agency. Usually the smaller the size of the business, the less you will need to spend. For large scale businesses the monthly sum may exceed $12000.
What is Outbound Marketing??
Also known as “interruption marketing”, outbound marketing is a combination of traditional marketing techniques aimed at seeking out to customers with an intention to make a sale. It is considered a more aggressive marketing method and is currently being pushed away by inbound marketing. Many companies are trying to switch from outbound marketing to inbound marketing for the sake of targeting quality prospects and being readily accessible as a result of customers’ search queries. Outbound marketing has proved less effective in modern age with people taking measures to block out ads, ignore calls and object to the hard sale.
Outbound marketing is carried out with the help of:
- TV commercials
- radio commercials
- print advertisements, such as newspaper and magazine ads, flyers, brochures, catalogs
- cold calls
- Email blasts.
Apparently, outbound marketing is today looked at with a skeptical eye although many businesses continue to hold to this method and allot their budget on outbound marketing campaigns.
It is essential to note that both inbound and outbound marketing are essential for the success of your business. A professional agency can deploy a balanced approach to make best of the two marketing methods to reach desired results. Additionally, outbound marketing can turn effective for older customers who are used to scanning through newspaper ads before buying a product. It also helps reach a wider public with TV adverts and often does justice if served with a creative ad.
How much do outbound marketing services cost?
Outbound marketing is said to cost more per lead compared to inbound marketing. The prices largely depend on the channels (TV ad cost) you use as well as the materials (brochures, letters, etc.). You are often faced with the need to produce high quantity materials to distribute to potential clients.
- Inbound marketing essentials
The consecutive sections will walk you through the most popular inbound marketing techniques: SEO, PPC, Facebook ads and LinkedIn adds. If catered effectively, these essentials will put your website on a whole new level.
What is SEO?
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is the process of attracting more quality traffic into your website by adjusting your rankings in organic search engine results. Chances are that people find you by searching your service on Google and Bing rather than by typing your website URL into their browsers. Google only is said to process over 40,000 search queries a second so SEO strategy is a key for appearing in the results list. SEO constitutes a number of activities to reach a desired ranking with the help of the right keywords and link building. SEO will certainly put you ahead of competition
SEO specialists are aware how search engines crawl and index websites and provide respective advice to adjust the website and make search it engine-friendly. They provide on-page and off-page solutions to drive more targeted traffic into your website.
Small Business SEO
Small businesses often build their revenues on online sales. Therefore, SEO is essential for business visibility and branding to beat off competitors in the industry. It is the main way to get noticed by potential customers who are searching to find the best match to their needs. Most small businesses know little about how to secure their online presence with SEO and need to reach out for professional tailor-made services for their website. For the sake of your business success you either need to do SEO in-house or outsource to an SEO company.
It is essential to optimise your website for search engines, because:
- Chances are that your customers will click through the first five search results when they search for keywords related to your business. That said, you should be looking at better rankings in search results to drive more traffic.
- In addition to better rankings, SEO positively contributes to the overall usability and experience of your website.
- SEO helps build trust and authority.
How much do you have to pay for SEO services?
If you want to know how much you should budget for SEO. Apparently, you can benefit from SEO without having to spend a fortune on it. As with other web-related services, pricing models for SEO are charged by either hourly rate, per project, or monthly. A good SEO agency should offer a detailed list of services so that you will not look elsewhere if they lack essential services. You should be looking at full service providers while searching for an efficient SEO agency.
SEO Services with hourly rates
One of the most common and popular pricing models is services per hour. Usually, you would negotiate how much the team would commit each month and what services and perks would be included. The hourly rates usually fluctuate between $20-$400 based on the specific requirements of the company.
Project based SEO services
Project based payment is also commonplace especially if you do know how many hours will be spent on a project. You usually pay a 30% deposit of the whole price and divide the other costs into milestones to pay throughout the completion of the project.
Monthly SEO packages
Services expanding over one month do well with monthly packages which appear quite reasonable for most businesses. Choosing the right package based on the activities that would be performed to improve better ranking chances, can cost between $500 and $5000 per month. A typical SEO package includes
- On Page SEO / Off Page SEO
- Keyword research
- Content marketing
- Link building
- Conversion optimization
- Ongoing monthly reporting
- Google Analytics traffic analysis
What is PPC?
Pay-per-click (PPC) has become an integral part of every inbound marketing campaign. It is a digital marketing model where advertisers pay every time an action is taken on their ad. Unlike organic means of earning visits to your website, PPC is a way of buying visits. This is usually done in an online auction where you bid for ranking in paid search listings.
Usually the higher your bid the better your ad ranking. However, there is also the quality score which affects your ranking. It is a score given in regard to the overall effectiveness, usefulness and relevance of your ad content, landing page and keyword to the searcher.
The cost per click can be $2 or less but if it results in a $200 sale, then your PPC campaign is doing justice to your business. Therefore, it is essential to devise and manage PPC campaigns with due consideration to avoid spending funds on keywords that are irrelevant for your business and may draw the wrong traffic to your website.
PPC marketing can be carried out with Google Adwords, Yahoo! Bing Network, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn ads and other advertising platforms, the most popular option being Google AdWords.
What is Google AdWords?
Google AdWords is an advertising service developed by Google where businesses are given a chance to place their ads on Google and pay when someone clicks it. It is largely focused on keywords so that you can target people who are interested in your niche.
There are at least two good reasons for considering Google AdWords for your business:
- High volume of traffic: As the vast majority of internet users use Google to perform search, Google has the capacity to drive a tremendous amount of traffic into your website if your AdWords campaign is managed and executed on top level. Google gives you access to a great number of prospects who are actively searching your service or your product on the net.
- Immediate results: Unlike organic search optimisation, in the case of which you have to wait some time before you measure results, Google AdWords can guarantee top position for your ad on the spur of the moment resulting in numerous click throughs into your landing page.
Google ads usually are listed at the top of a Search Engine results Page. These listings look quite the same as organic results with the exception of a small green “Ad” label that Google places to indicate the paid results. A study has reported 40% of Google users don’t distinguish between ads and organic search results which leads them ignoring organically high ranked pages in favor of top paid search results.
Google AdWords allows your business to benefit with the following features:
- Showing ads at certain times of day
- Specifies the location and language and even the age of the user
- Allows call for action links in your add
- Quickly track your results
- Advertise across platforms, such as smart phones, tablets and computers.
How much does PPC management cost?
Now that you know how beneficial PPC and particularly Google AdWords can be for your business, you might be wondering whether these marketing essentials can fit your pocket. Pay-per-click advertising has proved to generate conversions and record instrumental results for many growing businesses. Note to be taken, however, that if managed poorly it may cost a fortune and ruin your whole digital marketing efforts.
In order to have better insights of PPC marketing costs, first and foremost you should determine whether you or an agency will be responsible for your website’s PPC marketing.
- If you want to take over your PPC or Google AdWords marketing, you may get away with the monthly bid prices only.
- Understand your business profits and carefully plan your investment.
- Set your daily budget for PPC to run out of the risk of being charged by Google more than your business could afford.
- Organize your campaign to know where your budget will be focused. If your business has an area that is underperforming or you have a brand new product that needs more exposure, an ad can be the right decision.
- Monitor and readjust your bids to make sure your clicks translate into qualified leads.
- If you decided to outsource your PPC to an agency or a consultant, you will not only need to allocate budgets for the fees of your bids per clicks, but also the service. PPC marketing services are priced with the following models:
- Percentage of your account expenses: Agencies often charge their fees based on how much you spend on your account. If you get more clicks on an ad and end up spending $10,000 per month, your agency may charge 10%-30% of the total sum as service fee.
- Hourly rates: Hourly rates can start at $50 and demand little monthly commitment resulting in less expenses for the PPC management service. For sophisticated PPC campaigns of bigger businesses, this option may be quite costly.
- Flat monthly price: After deciding your monthly service scope and plan, you are offered a suitable package. Usually the packages start at $350 per month and can cost up to $5000 or more.
PPC campaigns are usually quite flexible and the costs may greatly vary from month to month. Depending on your ability to bid and modify your bids on a timely manner, you may easily avoid any unnecessary expenses.
Social media – a force prevailing in our world today – has become great means for businesses to spread the word and attract prospects more easily. With that in mind, you simply cannot overlook Facebook as part of your inbound marketing campaign. With over 1 billion Facebook users, you can have instant access to your potential customers who actively search for products and services on social media.
What are Facebook Ads?
Facebook allows businesses place ads on this platform which appear in News Feed and in the right column of the page. You may advertise an event, a page post, your website, news stories and products to get wider outreach.
The most appealing feature that Facebook has made possible is to select who should see the ad, or more specifically, set the visibility of the ad based on location, demographics, interests and other factors. Choosing the audience that may quite surely find your ad helpful and tracking the progress of your ad, makes Facebook an incredible place to advertise.
How much does a Facebook Ads campaign cost?
Facebook adverts are known for their cheap pricing compared to most other PPC costs. However, because facebook ads work like in an auction, there is no fixed price to mention. Your budget will largely depend on how far you want to go with your ad campaign. The average Facebook ad cost per click is $0.27 which is reasonable and efficient taking into account the rate of conversions.
You may find an affordable solution with an agency specialized in Facebook ad optimisation which will typically charge based on:
- The amount of your account expenses: Similar to Google AdWords management, you might expect to pay an agency based on the amount of investment you make on your account, that is, the scope of your Facebook marketing. Typically, the agency will charge 10%-30% of the total expenses on your account.
- Hourly rates: Charging by hourly rates is another common approach with roughly $50 per hour rates. Knowing how many hours the agency will need to allocate on your campaign you can easily form an idea of your monthly costs.
- Flat monthly price: Most agencies decide the costs of Facebook ads campaign after analysing service scope and strategy, your company type and profts. Based on these criteria, you are offered a suitable monthly package which can cost anywhere between $350 and $5000 per month.
LinkedIn is a social networking website with focus on professional networking and employment opportunities. LinkedIn provides a platform for businesses to advertise their services and products as well as get more awareness among targeted audiences. LinkedIn ads have become a useful component of inbound marketing.
What is LinkedIn ads?
LinkedIn ads is a powerful advertising service offered by LinkedIn to help you advertise with a specific professional audience in your target. There are two advertising formats available on LinkedIn platform: Display ads and sponsored ads. The first option shows your ad along with a specific call to action which helps spread awareness of your brand. The next option allows to promote content in users’ new feed along with the option to follow the company and like or comment on the post.
It allows you to choose between several types of ads for your business:
This is a unique opportunity to gather data about your product, services, users’ preferences and opinions at the same time raising your brand awareness.
- Join group ads
- Social ads
- Video ads
What makes LinkedIn ads a solution for inbound marketing is the large variety of targeting options available. It is a crucial feature ensuring that your message reaches the right and relevant audience. Here are several targeting options you may choose:
- Company name
- Company size
- Employer title
- Job function
- Field of study
- Work experience
How much do LinkedIn ads cost?
The LinkedIn self-service platform allows you to broaden your outreach for $10 a day. There are two pricing models for LinkedIn ads: Pay per click (PPC) and pay per 1000 impressions (CPM). For both options you are free to choose your bid against competitors. LinkedIn often suggests the most appropriate bids for your ad. The CPM option is beneficial if you are more concerned with exposing your ad rather than having people click it.
LinkedIn, however, requires the following minimum costs
- $10 for a daily budget. If you have more than one campaign or ad, you will need to consider $10 per each campaign.
- $10 total budget. Your total budget cannot be lower than $10 per campaign.
- For both CPC and CPM $2 minimum bid. Unlike other PPC platforms, this sum is higher but can provide efficient return on investment.
Regarding the pricing of marketing agencies for LinkedIn PPC management, there isn’t a carved in stone answer. This is because of two reasons:
- Most marketing agencies take a holistic approach when it comes to LinkedIn advertising including it in their whole inbound marketing or PPC service list. Therefore, it is difficult to throw out a set price that companies charge for taking care of your LinkedIn campaign.
- The costs greatly depend on your niche and marketing objectives. The more time and campaigns you need to operate, the different the costs will be. The cost varies so greatly that giving estimates is quite unreasonable. Luckily, most agencies conduct free audits and provide a free quote helping you determine your costs before you embark on your LinkedIn marketing campaign. The monthly costs can start at $200 up to $500 based on the company and the total workload. Some premium monthly packages may cost up to $1500.
In overall, the advertising service by LinkedIn has a number of benefits, including advanced targeting criteria which make it possible to segment by company, job, skills, groups, age, gender and so forth. That said, with a focus on building trust and relationships as well as advertising your brand in highly professional circles is made possible with this platform.
Outbound Marketing – Email marketing
In spite of the relative fall of outbound marketing as a marketing medium, it still proves effective for lead generation and brand awareness. This is partly because of decrease in the number of competitors who engage in traditional marketing.
However, some outbound marketing campaigns are still quite demanded and efficient, namely email marketing. Perhaps one of the most successful outbound marketing components is email marketing. It is particularly useful tool for customer loyalty building, acquiring new customers and distributing promotional offers.
With email marketing, businesses can easily inform their customers of special offers, discounts and coupons in visually appealing emails. For non-profits or charity organisations, it’s a great means for informing about the advancements and progress of charity campaigns helping customers stay connected with the organisation. If managed efficiently, customers will find value and express interest in the content.
What is Email marketing?
Email marketing usually takes place with specific software which helps better manage the emails, create personalised mailing lists based on users’ likes and dislikes, and get instant reports on the performance of the emails. Most experienced agencies know how to balance the number of emails per month and how to provide segmentation in order to avoid attrition.
Bear in mind that email marketing is much more than simply writing emails. It demands skill in design and writing, as well as high level of planning and management techniques. It shouldn’t be about pitching every other day or shouting your business out with spam content. Email marketing is about providing useful information to customers who want to have insights and updates about your product or service.
How much does Email marketing cost?
To begin with, most email marketing agencies provide free trials allowing businesses test the service and the effectiveness with most basic features included.
As to regular pricing, email marketing is usually priced based on the number of contacts or subscribers of the company and the number of emails sent monthly. For instance, for 500 or less contacts the monthly cost can be as low as $10 and reach up to $150. The sum depends on the business size and additional requirements. For a company with 100,000 contacts the basic package starts at $400. There are many options in between the price but usually compared with other marketing mediums, email marketing is quite affordable, isn’t it?
In addition, most agencies offer custom pricing and custom services which ensure the overall success of the campaigns.
Ongoing Website Maintenance
Building an excellent website is one thing but keeping it up and running is another. If you own a website for your business or personal brand, you should constantly have an eye on on-going maintenance and related costs as your company evolves. Your amazingly designed website may end up futile if it is not updated, maintained and enhanced regularly and appropriately.
Modern websites need regular upkeep to ensure smooth functionality that grows with your business. You don’t want a website that fails to represent your brand today. Additionally, you strive for a website which is secure enough to stand against any hacks or attacks.
Depending on your business needs, the volume of modifications and changes may greatly vary. Sometimes you can do quite fine with simple maintenances which you can do yourself. Very often, however, you will need to rely on a webmaster to ensure relevant updates. The most common maintenance activities are as follow:
- Theme updates
- CMS updates
- Plugin updates
- Content updates
- Design changes
- Security updates
- SEO updates
- Responsive design
- Page additions
- Cross-Browser compatibility updates
- Functionality additions
- Testing new apps
- Basic code changes and enhancements
- Database backups
- Video and image integration
- Troubleshooting and bug fixing
Your web partner will help you identify the maintenance activities as well as the frequency of actions to take place to ensure full functionality for your website.
What does web maintenance cost?
Your website maintenance costs mainly depend on your website type, volume of edits, monthly commitment requirements, and other factors. To maintain your website, you need to continuously make an investment for it.
Usually, you will need between 1-10 hours of monthly maintenance work on your website. If you are skilled enough to perform your website maintenance by updating content or plugins, you can get away without spending extra money. However, your website will be at risk of falling apart if you do not have basic programming skills.
Most people opt for professional web maintenance services to ensure high quality results. Very often the choice is the original web developer or web development company that started building your website. You might expect to be charged for hourly rates or monthly maintenance fees. Again, the costs vary from company to company and from developer to developer. On average, the hourly rates start at $50 and the monthly fees start at $40.
Does the cost of a website vary by its type?
Probably one of the most defining factors of how much your website will cost you before it is up and ready and during maintenance, depends on its type. Whether you choose a website with a preselected theme or a custom design, whether you entrust your website development and design to an established company or an experienced freelancer, at the end of the day the price will largely depend on your needs. That is: What type of website you need.
With the rapid growth of internet, there is a large variety of websites types, such as
- Blog or personal website
- Business website
- Job board
- social networking website
- portfolio website
- online community
- school or college websites
- a web application website
Even more, each listing can be expanded with various types, subtypes and categories. Having a clear idea of what type of website your business needs will greatly contribute to your website development efficiency and success. Additionally, having a solid idea of what you have to offer, puts your website into a whole new level. It will allow for more elaborate requirements and plain expectations of the results making both your job and your web partners’ job easier than ever.
If you are not sure which website type would best fit your business, fortunately, most companies offer free consultations and audits to discuss and offer the best custom solutions.
In either case, knowing what type of website you will need will help you identify your potential costs more easily. You can start planning your budget without wasting time based on the average costs per website.
Informational or Small Business Website
Informational websites are designed to provide company information or story to current and potential clients. It is mainly content and design-driven without advanced functionality integrations. Small businesses often start off an informational website which serves as a company brochure and marketing tool.
Typically such websites have up to 6 pages and include a gallery or a slideshow. Informational websites are typically static without much functionality. In overall, small business websites have the following features:
- company logo
- about us page with essential information
- blog page with weekly updated blog posts
- Responsive web design
- Cross browser compatibility
- Testimonials and reviews
Appealing design and valuable content – these are the essentials of a successful informational website. Your website design is capable of conveying professional impression on visitors helping them make the right perception of your brand, services or products. Most importantly, the content should be presented in a user-friendly manner helping visitors easily locate the information they are looking for.
How much does a small business informational website cost?
Small business websites won’t cost you an arm and a leg unless you are considering some advanced features and functionality to be employed. If you are able to eliminate extra costs, such as those of planning and consultancy, logo design, photography, and small edits that you can do yourself, you will find cost-efficient solutions for your website.
Typically informational websites for small businesses cost between $800-$5000 with the following included
- 8-15 pages
- Custom graphics
- Web forms
- Stock photos
You will need to consider your domain and hosting expenses, marketing and SEO, as well as maintenance costs separately. Such websites usually take up to 30 days to be up and running.
Another solution for a small informational website is that of a CMS, such as WordPress. In this case your costs can be quite reasonable if you decide on a template.
The next type of website, probably the most common and profitable one is eCommerce website which determines the amount of your investment. Ecommerce websites allow for online commercial transactions. Ecommerce websites are beneficial as they help reach global markets without huge amount of investment.
There are several types of e-commerce websites, namely
- B2B or business-To-Business
- B2C or Business-To-Consumer
- C2C or Consumer-To-Consumer
- C2B or Consumer-To-Business
- B2A or Business-To-Administration
- C2A or Consumer-To-Administration
Usually it takes an extra effort and time to build up an ecommerce website, as it demands testing of the shopping cart, shipment, payment gateway, ensuring that each product page displays correctly for the visitors, and many other tasks.
How much does an eCommerce website cost?
Unlike simple informative websites, eCommerce adds a more advanced touch to your website therefore increasing the initial investment costs. Because your web partner should ensure that your electronic commercial transactions function smoothly, more time, effort and expertise will be required, not alone expenses. It takes about 60-120 days to build a functional eCommerce website. Therefore, you should expect to invest $1500-$15,000+ for your ecommerce website. This cost usually covers the following features:
- 100-1000 products
- Payment gateway integration
- Product descriptions
- Quality images of products
- Sales tax and shipping calculation
Website development is a significant step for your business success. Website planning, developing and promoting are indispensible if you want to reach out to costumers in today’s completive market. That said, consider your website costs as a necessary contribution for the long-term prosperity of your business. Bear in mind that you are capable of minimizing your expenses by clearly determining what you need, devising a reasonable strategy and considering the most appropriate services for your business niche.