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Website Investment ?

 
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Old 05-31-2018, 10:37 AM   #1
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Website Investment ?


I have enough work to last me a while, but my incoming calls are slowing and I want to avoid running dry.

I am looking to spend in the ballpark of 5-$7500 and am having a hard time convincing my wife.

I have a simple website(not seo setup), would you recommend for or against investing in a new SEO site?

I am concerned that spending the money on an updated website would not be as effective as setting up a Facebook campaign, or something else I haven’t thought of.. I am not spending a dollar on marketing at the moment, understand you must spend money to make money- but like everyone else, we need to make the best use of our fixed budget.

Given the ***** I am getting from the Mrs, I need to have the results when all is said and done, or I’m never going to hear the end of it. Maybe some of you can relate.
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Old 05-31-2018, 10:38 AM   #2
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Re: Website Investment ?


By the way, I am a GC doing B2C, not B2B

Business to consumer not business to business, so I figure Facebook or Houzz may be a good route???

Give me any criticism or advice you can

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Old 05-31-2018, 10:59 AM   #3
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Re: Website Investment ?


My advice: definitely invest in your website. We overhauled our site in November of last year and have seen a huge response. It is very much worth it to have a good-looking, functional website.

I took part in a major website redesign with my last job at a paint and coatings company. They spent around $15k to have it designed by a third party. I spent every meeting thinking to myself, "Well I could do that...."

At Atex, I took matters into my own hands and did a complete redesign by myself using WordPress - including all the SEO. Not only did it NOT cost $15k, but I swapped hosting sites from GoDaddy to Google and we are now saving thousands per year (we are able to host through Google for less than $15 annually).

Web design tools are so user-friendly now that if you find someone who knows what they're doing, you can have a great-looking SEO site up in a very short time. WordPress, Weebly, Wix, and Squarespace are all easy to use and can be coupled with most domain hosts. I'd recommend asking around and finding someone to do it freelance.
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Old 06-01-2018, 09:31 AM   #4
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Re: Website Investment ?


As you're facing the scrutiny of the wife in addition to the already daunting task of marketing/advertising, Whatever you select I recommend you have a good analytics foundation so you can show the wife exactly how the dollars you put into it ended up being a good investment. Might make it easier next time you drop spending $5000 on advertising if you can show the backup.

I understand Facebook Analytics is very good for this and lets you fine tune who you are advertising to so that gets my vote.
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Old 06-01-2018, 09:34 AM   #5
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Re: Website Investment ?


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Originally Posted by buildmanbuild View Post
As you're facing the scrutiny of the wife in addition to the already daunting task of marketing/advertising, Whatever you select I recommend you have a good analytics foundation so you can show the wife exactly how the dollars you put into it ended up being a good investment. Might make it easier next time you drop spending $5000 on advertising if you can show the backup.

I understand Facebook Analytics is very good for this and lets you fine tune who you are advertising to so that gets my vote.
All of the web design platforms I listed include plugins to track analytics. We use one called Slimstat that tracks visits, number of clicks, page views, bounce rate, source of traffic, location of visitors, etc.
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Old 06-02-2018, 05:02 PM   #6
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Re: Website Investment ?


Hard to give you an exact answer without knowing the type of work you do, the market you are in, and what competition you are up against.

I work with so many, from DIY where they spend less than a few K (excluding their time) to people who have a rather aggressive online initiative (website, facebook, youtube, professional pictures and videos, and more) with budgets in the 10K to over 15K range.

Some target lower end work while other are looking for very big jobs which require a corresponding image to support that type of job.

But you do not just want to look at your website as a passive topic since it lives on for so long and can really help you promote your destiny for the types of clients you seek. I wouldn't use your wife as a component of the decision, but rather look at your top competitors and see what they are doing since that may better guide you.

Good luck.
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Old 06-06-2018, 12:37 PM   #7
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Re: Website Investment ?


I would say Facebook, Houzz, and Instagram and proper advertising on these social media channels. You should use analytics and have a deep understanding of local advertising and targeting. Hiring an advertising agency that would work on optimizing your website and setting goals together with you on social media is a good idea. But results usually don't come fast. Reasonable investing and patience are crucial.
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Old 06-07-2018, 08:12 AM   #8
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Re: Website Investment ?


Honestly, an investment in a website nowadays is probably one of the best investments you can make in your business... HOWEVER, be clear with the company you are working with on what sorts of expectations you have for dropping this sort of investment. I agree with aquakbd above as well. Make sure you are also taking full advantage of all social media platforms at the same time.. Social signals from these sorts of sites play a huge part in SEO as well if they link back to your site. When you work with a company ask them what local keywords they are going to go after and make sure you set an expectation to be on page one or position one depending on the competition level within a few months.

There is a lot of things a company can do wrong in setting up a site for SEO, see the results they've gotten in the past for other Local SEO campaigns to gauge how "legit" they are.

Good Luck!
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Old 06-08-2018, 07:30 PM   #9
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Re: Website Investment ?


Investing in a website is a necessity for any small business today but some still don't recognize it as such. Make sure your expectations are reasonable and it is a great idea to target local keywords. However, results usually don't come in a month or so, it takes more time. There is one opportunity that businesses don't use - creating Google my Business profile and weekly posting there (Google maps business posts). Make sure you use these regularly, and don't forget to ask your customers for reviews.
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Old 06-11-2018, 07:56 PM   #10
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Re: Website Investment ?


Months ago I proved that aqua kitchens is posting by their marketing people and using more then 1 account.

In 2 seconds I found out they still are doing it, even though their info is sound , why canít they just create a proper username?
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Old 06-14-2018, 03:24 PM   #11
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Re: Website Investment ?


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Months ago I proved that aqua kitchens is posting by their marketing people and using more then 1 account.

In 2 seconds I found out they still are doing it, even though their info is sound , why canít they just create a proper username?
You are one smart guy. I asked this a long time ago too since the replies are "way too specific" for a remodeling contractor.

They have been doing this specific to drive curiosity searches to their website and links whenever possible. Not a real big deal since the details are pretty OK, but they prefer to not have to be bound by the Terms like us other service providers.

The owner of the actual contracting company probably doesn't care, and if I was a betting man, the next replies by them will be "very well thought out" in order to protect being banned by the mods.

I am glad you call it out rather than me though ....
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Old 06-18-2018, 08:28 PM   #12
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Re: Website Investment ?


Hey LPG - $7,500 seems a bit steep for just a website. As a few people have mentioned above I’d recommend taking some of that money, hiring a freelancer (consider looking at freelancer.com) to build the website.

From there you can spend the remainder on advertising. $7,500 will go an incredibly long way with Adsense ads and Facebook ads.

Hope that helps!
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Old 06-18-2018, 11:04 PM   #13
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Re: Website Investment ?


I've posted on CT several times about the success I've had generating leads through Houzz, using a free account. It might not work in every market but it's worked astonishingly well for me here in Toronto - I'm currently getting about 8-10 project inquiries weekly (usually folks who've just bought houses and want to do extensive renovations). I'm currently booked about a year out. I have no company website, Facebook page or other social media presence.

Houzz does well in my local market and I'm guessing it may be in part because Homeadvisor, Angie's List and the like are either little known or nonexistent here. Homestars is the go-to home services website in Canada, but I've avoided listing there as I think it would 'cheapen my brand' to be lumped in with the thousands of duct cleaning companies, junk removal people and whatnot who advertise there, particularly as it is not a photo-dense website like Houzz.

However, I cannot emphasize strongly enough that, if you list on Houzz, don't get sucked into paying for a Pro+ account. Total waste of money according to almost every pro I know who's gone that route. Just stick with a free account, load it up with good-quality photos, and get some decent reviews from past clients.
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Old 06-20-2018, 08:01 AM   #14
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Re: Website Investment ?


I would say absolutely invest! Just make sure they area good and legit company and have gotten good results for their clients before.

We invested a bunch in our bostonlandscapingcompany.com site but it is now ranking really well for a ton of keywords around sod installation, landscaping and hardscaping and brings in leads almost every day during the summer... Best of luck!

Adam

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Old 08-13-2018, 12:23 PM   #15
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Re: Website Investment ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Atex_Molly View Post
My advice: definitely invest in your website. We overhauled our site in November of last year and have seen a huge response. It is very much worth it to have a good-looking, functional website.

I took part in a major website redesign with my last job at a paint and coatings company. They spent around $15k to have it designed by a third party. I spent every meeting thinking to myself, "Well I could do that...."

At Atex, I took matters into my own hands and did a complete redesign by myself using WordPress - including all the SEO. Not only did it NOT cost $15k, but I swapped hosting sites from GoDaddy to Google and we are now saving thousands per year (we are able to host through Google for less than $15 annually).

Web design tools are so user-friendly now that if you find someone who knows what they're doing, you can have a great-looking SEO site up in a very short time. WordPress, Weebly, Wix, and Squarespace are all easy to use and can be coupled with most domain hosts. I'd recommend asking around and finding someone to do it freelance.
A LOT of those builders you recommended are 'bloated' WSWIG sites that are easy to build BUT 'suck balls' for SEO. Google can't crawl them easily so they don't get ranked.

Have a pro do it and then have um teach you how to 'blog.'

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Old 08-17-2018, 05:15 PM   #16
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Re: Website Investment ?


I'd invest that money in Google Ads, personally. You can get or make a good website a lot cheaper.
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Old 08-27-2018, 05:02 PM   #17
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Re: Website Investment ?


$5,000-$7,500 is quite a bit for a website. You could hire a designer to mock up a landing page for you and have someone put it on WordPress, Square Space, Landing Lion, Instapage, etc. for much cheaper. Hope this helps!
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Old 08-28-2018, 07:51 AM   #18
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Re: Website Investment ?


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$5,000-$7,500 is quite a bit for a website. You could hire a designer to mock up a landing page for you and have someone put it on WordPress, Square Space, Landing Lion, Instapage, etc. for much cheaper. Hope this helps!
Keep in mind many designers (but not all) have more of an artistic capability when it comes to a website, not a marketing capability to generate leads. Sure, they may know a little about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and they passively sprinkle the website with a few topics. So the site may look good but it may not generate any activity. Many contractors may not specifically tell the designer they are looking to ensure the site generates leads. And the designer may not be aware of what it takes to beat the existing competitors.

So a good question to a website designer is "How good are you at SEO in addition to your graphic capabilities?". And separately, another good question is "How good are you at marketing to guide me what else I need to do to make it a successful site?".

I work with some rather successful website developers who were clueless in our industries SEO topics, but were more than receptive to learning. Then there are other programmers who minimize the topic only to promote a lower cost and then the owner eventually gets upset over time when the site doesn't help generate any new activity. So Yes, you may get a site for less, but it may not help you generate business and it may not be up to par with the local competitors either. Better to do a little research before waiting for a year to find out if you made the right decision.
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:19 PM   #19
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Re: Website Investment ?


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So Yes, you may get a site for less, but it may not help you generate business and it may not be up to par with the local competitors either.
I started of with a lawyer that was $200/hr and when I found out that that one wasn't competent I moved to a $400/hr lawyer. There was also an online presence of reviews from people who had used that lawyer and I could make an educated decision.

When it comes to web designers, I've not been comfortable in finding a competent individual. The recommendation from my HBA was a dismal failure.

So, how do we contactors go about finding a competent website guy? Are we talking about the difference between a $60/hr website guy vs a $300/hr website guy?
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Old 08-30-2018, 05:31 PM   #20
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I started of with a lawyer that was $200/hr and when I found out that that one wasn't competent I moved to a $400/hr lawyer. There was also an online presence of reviews from people who had used that lawyer and I could make an educated decision.

When it comes to web designers, I've not been comfortable in finding a competent individual. The recommendation from my HBA was a dismal failure.

So, how do we contractors go about finding a competent website guy? Are we talking about the difference between a $60/hr website guy vs a $300/hr website guy?
Excellent question, and unfortunately it is not straight forward. I am working with some really good industry sources as well as many more independent programmers and am also aware of a handful of companies that various members here on the forum like to promote.

Keep in mind that not every web designer is good at web marketing. In other words, a site can look pretty but not necessarily generate leads. In fact, I have two clients right now, that each were working with talented website designers who had no experience with marketing for this industry. But both are very receptive to being coached and these clients will be able to retain the relationships with those who they thought were not capable. That is not always the case since some programmers are introverted or not open minded to learning what they do not know.

The talented marketing programmers should be busy in this market. If you speak to someone or some company, and they say they can start working on your account this coming Monday, then run! I do not know any good resources that are not busy. So someone having nothing to do with existing clients obviously has an issue. Sure, they may come up with something to say to make you feel that they really want to close the deal, but I would be skeptical of someone who is twiddling their fingers just to start on a new account. Keep in mind this is a long term investment so it should be treated as such.

Do they have industry marketing experience, or is it generic? By that I mean, they may be doing some really nice websites for various local businesses, but each business type has its own issues, and not understanding the business can really make or break your marketing objectives. For example, a local doctor's office is more focused on people coming to them, while a local service provider is more focused on the destinations they target to go to, and this strategy has a different mindset. The question is, does the website company understand this? Another harder example is having the person understand the difference of residential versus commercial topics and not just assuming a picture of a store is just a store since perhaps it may be a Build Out or some other industry buzzword.

The hourly wage is something that is good to know, but so is the average range of what they charge for a finished website, and how cookie-cutter to custom to you desire, or possibly need. By that I mean, there are some inexpensive options that look inexpensive yet are limited in growth. And sometimes the inexpensive work because the local competition is weak. Sometimes the inexpensive isn't even an option when someone is promoting upscale remodeling.

Another thing is to decide if you are looking to work with an individual or a company. The reason that is important is, over time, things will come up and you just need to be realistic on how fast someone can respond. And be weary on anyone promising unrealistic turn around time since then you can go right back to the original comment on how fast they were available to start a project for you.

Remember that many contractors may not know exactly what they want. So to be fair to the website companies, you want to ensure that you are a good fit too since they should be open to explaining what responsibility you have to the equation. Have pictures? Have Testimonials? Are you comfortable explaining what a picture is telling? You looking for the right website company should be equally important for the website company looking for the right clients. Be weary of someone sounding excited to get your business when they really do not know what that business is.

Just like I share many of my varying client names and websites to demonstrate industry expertise, any website company should make it easy for them to show off their work and client relationships (two different topics all together). I can easily spot an cookie-cutter website versus a marketing-website-with-active-client-engagement website. Both can cosmetically look appealing, but the ongoing connection may or may not be known by just looking at a website.

At that point, it becomes subjective as to what you are willing to pay and what some will charge. But before thinking of the hourly rate, have people learn what your business is about, what is or is not in your arsenal to create a good site, and also ensure the competition is understood. From there the price range for the final product should be more important than the hourly costs.

Hopefully this helps you and sorry I couldn't just give a simple one-shot answer.

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