What is a fair Website Cost?
Recently, the owner of an auto body shop asked whether website cost quotes he was receiving seemed fair. He was asking a lot of people and getting overwhelmed by the different responses. He did receive one answer I agreed with “Ha! That is like asking me how much a vacation should cost. Where do you want to go and how nice do you want it to be?
If you called me about website cost, I’d ask you a quite a few questions before knowing whether to recommend a $0, $500, $3,000 or $6,000 site for you. It all depends what you want the site to do for you, and how effectively you need it to work.
What is your Marketing Need?
You have an auto body shop, right? How many other auto body shops are geographically competing against you? If you are the only shop in town, in a remote town in Alaska, then you ‘own’ that market, so no need to pay for any competitive marketing, on or off the web. If that is the case, you can spend $0 on 0 websites and be happy.
So how many other auto body shops are you really up against? Let’s assume that in your town, and reasonable driving distance of you, it is 10. Are you happy with how you are doing against the rest of them? None of them eating your lunch? Fine! Again, if you are super happy with your current market share and public image, spend $0, and let’s stop talking.
Search Google for your Services
But, if you actually want more than you currently have, and to grow your business against theirs, let’s keep talking. Let’s assume that personally and professionally, you want to move up the ladder against Al’s Autobody. You want some of the clients he is getting. Let’s look at how you both do online.
Do Not try this At Home! Even if you go to an incognito browser, Google knows who you are and where you work. If you do it at home, you will get false results. So walk over to neighbors a house and google “Autobody shop, your-town-name” See what comes up and take a realistic look at whether you like it.
Search Google for your Name
Looking at the Google results, are you showing up as one of the 3 listings on the map? Are you in the top five in the text listings? Are you even on the first page?
Also, try googling your business name: If you do show up, is it an awkward listing from Facebook or the Rotary Club? Good or bad reviews from Yelp? Or is it a good listing from your business? If you like the way you look, and you are positioning well on the first page of Google, spend $0 on 0 websites, and exit this conversation.
Improve your web Presence
Assuming you were disappointed by how you did on Google, let’s figure out how important it is, and what to do to fix it. As you probably realize, this is not just about the website, this is about your whole web presence. Because all the different parts of your web presence show up in Google.
If you are like a lot of our clients, you probably have a few people telling you “Blah blah Google map page is free… Do a Facebook page … Create a Wix / Squarespace site…” Umm, yeah, right. You know how to do all that? Most of my clients don’t. And they don’t want to put the time in to figuring it out, and even when they do, they realize it just doesn’t look right. I mean, their websites end up looking about as good as my car would if I fixed the body work myself. And, for what it is worth, I have clay filled and painted my own car before now and it looked pretty bad.
So… Whether I quoted you $500, $1000 or $6000 would depend how much needed to be done. Some clients pay hire us to set up or tweak their web presence via
- Google My Business page – the listing that shows up with a red marker on the Google map
- Business Facebook.
- YouTube channel
- Pinterest, Houzz, Instagram etc.
The more competitive your local market is, the more important it is to do all this.
But What About the Website?
People might tell you that you only need 5 pages. Maybe, if presenting a good brochure is important, but getting found in Google is not.
If you do want to get found on Google, you need a page for each specialty – Autobody, repairs, insurance, paint jobs, chrome etc. Someone needs to research the keywords, write the text, find the photos. That all takes time. Web designers can do it all for you, or you can do some of it, but the full, concierge service costs more.
So without asking the questions to find out what you want and need to do, I cannot say whether $1000 is overcharging you for not doing enough, or just right, or you really need more than $1000 worth of help. It all depends what you really need and whether they are accurately supplying it.