Back by popular demand… these are the types of websites that both marketing and sales managers dream about. We’ve brought back 9 of the top bits of know-how every web marketer should observe.
Here are three key features that separate the more profitable websites from the ones who don’t rack up as many sales:
1) The best business websites present highly valued offers.
This is obvious, but it’s also worth mentioning. No amount of great design, search engine optimization, or web programming can help you overcome a poor business model… at least not for very long. What a great business website can do, however, is help you emphasize your competitive strengths and express them to customers in a way that makes them want to take action.
2) Successful online marketers leverage a strong reputation.
This is becoming more and more important, as buyers are turning to Google, social sites, and online forums to find out how well your products hold up, whether you have treated other customers fairly in the past, and if what you’re selling offers real value. If you build the right kind of reputation over the Internet, they can help you overcome differences with pricing, product features, and other details.
3) Great businesses win repeat customers.
Just as some football teams are perennial favorites, successful online marketing campaigns are the ones that can win back the same groups of buyers time and time again. Repeat visitors don’t just place larger orders, but also tend to cost a lot less in the long run. Given that, it’s a mystery why some businesses don’t place more of a priority on making offers to existing customers on a regular basis.
Here are three ways to tell if your business website would pass a drug test:
1) Clean business websites have content that has grown naturally over time.
Just like the NFL star who comes back from the off-season with 50 pounds of additional muscle mass, a business website that suddenly added dozens of new blog posts seems a bit suspect.
2) Clean business websites have their own original content.
In endurance sports, it isn’t unusual to hear athletes trying to swap blood and other fluids with others to enhance performance or beat tests. In the web marketing world, copying, duplicating, or “spinning” pages from your competitors is a great way to turn off customers and be banned by search engines and social sites.
3) Clean business websites have inbound links that make sense.
One of the surest ways to catch cheaters and sports is to look for “statistical aberrations” – things that don’t make sense in the context. The same is true with your business website. If you suddenly have lots of people linking to you from outside your area or industry, that’s a fairly clear-cut sign that you’re doing the wrong things to try to game the system.
Here are three bottom-line business website pricing guidelines:
1) The lowest-end website template companies are generally going to charge between $500 and $1,000, and you can expect to get exactly what you paid for (which honestly isn’t much).
2) A truy business-oriented website for a small to medium-sized business, designed and coded by a team of experienced professionals, will likely cost you between $8,000-$25,000, depending on the size of your site and features needed. For that fee range, you’ll also likely get technical support, a basic online marketing plan, and a running start on what you need to make your new website succeed.
3) For larger businesses, and those needing advanced features, $25,000 and up isn’t uncommon.
Remember that, in the end, it’s all about long-term value – what you’re going to get from your new business website – more than it is the exact price you pay. If what you get helps you grow your business, shrink your expenses, and introduce your products to a wider base of customers, then you’ve probably gotten a good deal, even if it cost you a couple thousand dollars more.