What Would You Like To Know?
Often times, small and local businesses engage us instead of going with a DIY solution because they want to partner with us and benefit from our experience. They are looking for professional designers, writers, marketers, and certified developers to advance their online business without breaking their bank. As we provide services and grow their business, we help them navigate the waters to becoming a mid-sized business and beyond. We take the long view and are in it for the long haul.
If you are: 1) a one-person business, 2) do not have a minimum website design budget between $2,500-$4,000, and 3) believe that you are capable of implementing the website your company needs to be successful — then a DIY solution may actually be the best option for you. If you are looking for free to inexpensive Do-It-Yourself solutions, we recommend that you check out Site123, Weebly, and Wix. These solutions allow you to write your own copy, choose from their website templates which template works best for you, etc.
Maybe. We’ll have to take a look at your website, your platform, and start from there.
If we can’t “fix” what you have, we will make recommendations and let you know in advance what the project will look like in terms of costs, timelines, and deliverables.
Using the 80/20 rule, 80% of what we come across generally lacks any material value. We know that’s hard to hear. We get it. We love every word that we write, too. We fall in love with an image and only that image will do for that particular page. That is until someone walks up, looks over our shoulder, and says, “Hmm… You happy with that?” Then we hate it and push ourselves to do better. But we’ll hold your hand, have a moment of silence, and respectfully put to rest that which will be honorably remembered.
We do love that 20%, though, that we can keep or at least use as a solid starting point. A good block of copy can spark ideas, it helps when creating new copy, it may lead to great questions to ask you… A good image can let us know what you’re trying to visually communicate.
Unless you’re a developer or have experience coding, let’s just pretend you didn’t do that. We’ll leave any coding that was done off the table. Yes, we’ll take a look at it, but… (it would be more productive to let us know what you were trying to accomplish and we’ll start with that).
Here’s the great news — if there was no money out of pocket, all you’ve lost is time. And time is infinite. We’ll get more.
Are you sitting down? Unfortunately, we see this unfold quite often. This is one of the most challenging situations for us to step into. The front of the story typically varies quite a bit, but the outcome is usually the same — and while, yes, the situation absolutely can be fixed, what it takes to fix the situation is not what you probably want to hear.
Our most common recommendation is that you start over with a reputable Digital Marketing company.
Starting over means you will carry over very little, if anything, from your last go round. This includes code, copy, images, etc. If you’re lucky, you will be able to salvage approximately 20% of your content and either directly re-use it or leverage it to write new content. This unfortunately does not translate to a 20% discount on the project. You will likely pay pretty close to what it would have cost to do it right the first time. You may spend 5-10% less in total if you are able to salvage some content, but content is only part of the project so it’s not a 1:1 savings.
If you contract us to go in and spend time seeing what code can be saved or to evaluate if there is any value in the current platform, that 5-10% savings will be eaten up and there is no guarantee that there is anything of value in the code or platform.
You have a business that you care about and want to be successful. That business deserves a good foundation. While it would be great if a new foundation were free, the good news is it can be very affordable.
Please see below for some optional reading in regards to situations we have come across that required starting over:
- Everything seemed to be going fine, a little slower than I would have liked, but now my developer isn’t replying to any of my calls or emails and it has been almost 2 months now…
- The developer left the country. Just left. They didn’t tell me in advance, they’re just gone…
- When we started, the developer working on my site was an independent contractor, had been doing it for years, and was basically a one-person shop. They just told me that they are taking a full time position at a company and can’t work on my site anymore. Now I’m basically left holding the bag of a half-finished website…
- To save money, I had a friend of a friend who works at a website company (and does this for a living) “do it on the side” for less than half the price quoted elsewhere. Now they say they are too busy with “real” work and get angry when I call them about updates.
- The person that did the website is hosting it out of their house. That was part of the original deal. Now I want to move it and they won’t let me. I like the site, it works great, I just don’t like feeling I’m being held hostage. I tried moving it on my own, but something about the way it’s set up it requires him to do something. I don’t quite understand that part.
- I love my site. It works great. It looks great. I spent a lot of money getting it to where it needed to be and I love it. Everybody I show this thing to tells me what a great site I have. Here’s the thing, when I started this a few years back I had this partner, well I still have this partner, well he’s like a developer, and we were doing this rev share deal…
- I got a quote from a company that said they would have the site up and running in 4 months and cost $10,000. This one guy said he could do it in 6 months for $5,000. So I went with him. We agreed to that original price, but I keep getting told it’s going to take a little more time and cost more. So what can I do? I agree and we work it out. It’s been almost a year and a half now and I’m $10,000 into this and now that we’re at the finish line they say I need to pay another $5,000 or he won’t take it live! Is this legal? I don’t want to pay it. If I went with that other company I could have saved $5,000 and had it up in a fraction of the time.
- The person that I contracted with is horrible. I guess the website technically “works,” but he said he could do the writing and pictures and stuff and it is embarrassing. I can’t put this up. I would be laughed at. Let me send you the link to see what it looks like. He’s still working on it so you can’t just type it in and get to it, you have to follow this link I’ll send you…
- I went with someone to do my website and they just aren’t listening to me. No matter what I say, they tell me, “no, you shouldn’t do it that way” and they do something completely different. Like I wanted a section on the site that searches by part number. They guy says, “nobody’s going to search by part number.” I wanted to jump through the phone and *argh* you know? Because I know my business and they absolutely do! This guy is an idiot. And we fight like this about everything all the time. I’m done with it!
If you don’t mind us asking, we would like to know who you went with to build your site. While this situation does happen from time to time, it is less common to happen with a reputable company.
Sometimes a company skews more development (backend) focused and they may not shine as well in terms of copy or visual design. Sometimes they are more of a design shop and their backend skills may be a little limited. Other times they started as a traditional agency, expanded into digital marketing, and now also do website design work… and that can unfortunately get clunky sometimes.
We can check them out and try to get a better sense of what the issue might be.
If they are providing value in some areas, just not others, it may be most effective and efficient to all work together. We will partner with you to accomplish what you need on your behalf. We like to think we play well with others.
Otherwise, if it’s a situation where they are failing in terms of project management, not meeting deliverables, keep asking for more time and more money, the project has become a death march, or you have come to a point that the situation is just toxic… we’ll be your advocate. We’ll partner with you to just take it over and do what we can to keep any drama to the minimum.
Sorry that you’re going through an experience like this. We understand how frustrating it can be to switch horses mid-race.
We’ll do our best to make the transition as painless as possible.
The process varies based on what you need.
We prefer to partner with your teams and work as an extension of your company. Much like onboarding a new employee we’d like to understand your goals, your strategies, your current internal processes, etc. While we may already have a good understanding of your business and experience in your category, your company is unique. Investing up front to learn these specifics really helps identify the low-hanging fruit in the near-term and pays big dividends in the long run.
Having said that, we also understand that sometimes you just need a plug and play solution. We’re good with that, too. If you have your goals lined up and can clearly communicate them, give us some general direction, and provide guidelines (so we know what’s out of bounds) we can usually take the ball and run with it. We’ll ask questions as necessary, document as we go, stay in constant communication, present change orders as needed, but otherwise let you and your teams keep moving and doing what you need to do. It will be up to us to hit our deliverables, stay on time and on budget, and produce great results.
Either way, we will prove to you that we can run with your tribe, be enjoyable to work with, and drive success whether it is a marathon or a sprint.
Let’s connect — feel free to give us a call or fill out our contact form.
Every 2-3 years.
That’s on average. Some do it almost every year, others do it less frequently.
The real question is why are you asking? Chances are it’s because there is something bugging you about your current site. Maybe you were never happy with the design. Maybe your site has too many little things that don’t work anymore. Maybe it’s hard to update. Maybe it’s just something in your gut that seems to be saying, “it’s time.”
If you have a smartphone, think of it like your smartphone. Technology changes, design changes, usability trends change… if it’s an important part of your business, it might be time for an upgrade.
If you have a flip phone or really old smartphone… you know the reaction you get from folks when you pull that out in public? That’s the reaction people might be having when they come to your site.
It all really depends on how much planning went into your latest version of your website and how well the design and functionality is holding up. Given that 75% of people judge the credibility of a company based on the design of its website alone (Stanford), it would be wise to err on the side of caution and try to update within that 2-3 year window.
If you’re still not sure what to do and would like a second opinion, feel free to give us a call or fill out our contact form. We can take a quick look and let you know our thoughts.
Yes. You should regularly post new content on both your website and social media channels. Regarding how frequently, that really depends on your business, your content strategy, and most importantly — your goals.
Before we go any further, though, let’s make sure we stress the importance of QUALITY over quantity. One of the more unproductive things you can do is set up an arbitrary calendar, decide that you’re going to write a blog post once per week, and throw up thin content or slap something together to hit your deadline. Poorly and hastily written content does not provide any real value.
Now let’s talk about why you should post new content frequently, or at least regularly.
- Timeliness — when visitors come to your website and view your social posts they see that you are actively engaged and keeping up with the latest issues that relate to your industry.
- Perspective — blog and social posting allow readers of your content to start forming an impression of your company and the people that work there. Do you have a unique insight that has not been commonly expressed? Do you advocate specific approaches, solutions, partners, or products?
- Familiarity — studies show that familiarity breeds trust. The more content you produce, the more your audience will feel that they are getting to know you. Is your company dry and straight to the point or more approachable and casual?
- Thought Leadership — regular posting of quality material will begin to attract a following, depending on your goals this following could be peers or purchasers. Either way, establishing a foundation of content can lead to speaking engagement invitations related to your industry or establishing you as a go-to
- SEO — the more quality content that you produce on your website increases the chance for search engines to index that content. Content that increases your website traffic and time on site helps you rank higher in the search engines.
In summary, start with a good content strategy, map out your goals, and then fine tune your frequency based on goal attainment.
Yes. Yes we do. We do a great job at it. We are especially adept at bringing video content and marketing opportunity to small and mid-sized businesses that typically feel the cost is out of their price range. We provide high-quality, affordable solutions that generate amazing results. We do both the production aspect as well as leverage it via marketing.
One of the most common questions we receive, especially from small and local businesses, is about pricing. Website design and hosting varies based on many contributing factors like business requirements, user functionality, number of forms, e-commerce capabilities, etc. Below are examples of basic ranges of typical projects that we execute:
- WordPress website for small businesses, lead generation — $3,000-$6,000
- NopCommerce website for small business e-commerce — $10,000-$25,000
- Mid-size company, general website — $15,000-$35,000
- Large corporation, general website — $25,000-$65,000
- Mid-to-large business, e-commerce — $50,000-$100,000+
- Design, custom development on-demand, IT support — $100/hr-$150/hr
Again, these are typical ranges and based on your particular project requirements, these ranges may vary. We believe in being transparent and provide a detailed statement of work agreement outlining all costs for your approval in addition to constant communication during the project.
This question is one of the hardest to really manage someone’s expectations because it varies even more wildly than website development. Your digital marketing budget will 100% of the time be directly correlated with your specific business, industry, and sales goals. If you want to get a sense of what various spends get you, this still varies wildly, but it’s almost easier to work backwards describing budget sizes and what they typically get you.
- Small spend — $500-$2,500 per month
- Most likely a trial or exploratory campaign to test the effectiveness of digital marketing for a small to mid-sized company. You might not have done digital marketing prior or tried previously and want to give it another go.
- Alternatively, a budget this size may be related to a local business or small company that does not require a large budget to get a high return on their investment and this is where the data implies that the effectiveness of their budget is maxing out.
- Modest spend — $3,000-$10,000 per month
- This is sort of the graduate level from test campaigns. The size of your company, the geographic area you are targeting, the products or services your offer, etc. warrants coverage large enough to “feed the beast” of your size.
- Alternately, you may have a small or local business and not be a very large “beast,” but the type of product or service you offer warrants a larger budget because of your particular situation. For example, the average CPC for the Attorney category is $47.07 (WordStream). The keyword phrase “methothelioma lawyer” may seem outrageous priced, but when there is over “$30 billion set aside for victims…”
- Moderate spend — $15,000-$35,000 per month
- Spends of this size are sometimes associated with medium-sized businesses that may have more than one location and a little larger staff size, but still have a limited marketing department; perhaps only 1-2 marketing FTEs, and they may be wearing multiple hats.
- On the very low end they may have as few as 50 employees and are minimally in the $5M annual revenue range, but they are more likely to be at least a 100-person shop with $10-25M in annual revenue or more.
- Prior to this level, most of the paid media spend likely gravitated around search + social with spot buys elsewhere (i.e. limited display advertising, re-marketing, etc.), but in this tier there is good chance that most display/interactive campaigns are being maxed out and other channels are being leveraged as well like affiliate marketing, in-game advertising, etc.
- Large spend — $50,000+ per month (at this point things can quickly jump to $100,000/mo to $1,000,000/mo, it’s a wild ride)
- Online Retail
- Travel + Leisure
- Education (especially prior to the for-profit sector taking a hit)
- Internet and Telecom
Bottom line — our team members have managed marketing spends for clients that are as small as $500 per month and up to $1,500,000 per month. Yes, you read that correctly, that’s quite a range, right?
DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION FOR US?
If you have a question that you did not see answered above, please feel free to ask us. We will do our best to reply as quickly as possible.
It all starts by reaching out.