CHANGING CONSUMERS TRENDS
The shopping behavior of consumers in Ireland and elsewhere has changed dramatically in the space of six months. Where companies were previously debating the ideal mix of bricks and mortar sites versus an online presence, the debate has ended abruptly. Online marketing it has to be!
If you don’t already have a website for your company, chances are that you’ll be seriously thinking about it. And if you do have a site that’s been sitting idle and unattended to, well now is the time to revamp and to get it up and running properly.
Whether you run a small business or a large organization, your website has just become the focal point of your digital marketing strategy. Like it or not, it’s the place where most of your traditional customers will most likely be going for search and purchase of their favourite brands.
WHERE TO FROM HERE?
If you’re convinced of the need to strengthen your online presence, then you will no doubt be thinking about how to go about the process of developing your site, who will be responsible for this and most importantly, how much it will cost.
Website design is a daunting task and one that most people do not have the time for, or the expertise required.
Basically, you have three options:
- Do it yourself – not recommended unless you have the wherewithal
- Use a freelancer – good for some, but remember the old adage “Jack of all trades, but master of none”
- Appoint a specialist web design agency
Luckily there are many experts out there, in the form of one-stop web design agencies like cliquedmedia.com, Ireland’s Number 1 web design agency.
COST VERSUS BRAND VALUE
Like some you may be a bit of a skeptic, who does not see the need to spend your budget on digital marketing, or your website. If so, then perhaps the best way to motivate yourself into making an investment, is to ask yourself “what will the cost to our business be, if we do not invest in digital marketing?”
Then ask yourself two further questions:
- What value do we place on our brands?
- How are we currently positioned to meet changing consumer behavior?
If you are concerned about both or even one of these issues, then you need to act sooner rather than later. If your competitors are ahead of you on this, well they now have a distinct competitive advantage.
STEPS IN THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
If your decision is to move ahead with the process, then the following are the steps you will need to go through:
- Planning – you’ll need to develop a well thought through digital marketing strategy, that includes a quality website
- Set objectives – an exercise on its own, where you decide on clear objectives that your new website needs to achieve
- Information gathering – This entails gathering all of the content (written and visual) necessary to populate your site
- Briefing – briefing your selected website developer and other suppliers
- Design – Design of the user interface (that consumers experience) and the back end (that allows for administration)
- Content writing – having copy content appropriately written to reflect brand personality
- Coding – the highly technical stuff that makes it all work
- Testing, review and launch – test the site, feedback and finally launch
- Maintenance – ongoing improvements, updates and problem-solving
Who would try to go this alone?
Possibly only micro and small businesses, who would have access to sites such as WordPress, where it is possible to develop your own simple website.
For medium size to large businesses and for anyone who has a meaningful brand to market, there is only one choice. That is to develop a high-quality website, that reflects the brand image, personality and values, and that provides your customers with a great experience while online.
This takes resources and ongoing commitment and should be done by the experts. Cliquedmedia.com is one such Web Design Agency, who will, amongst other services:
- design and develop your website
- encourage traffic with innovative search engine optimization (SEO) initiatives
- develop superior content marketing plans
- run PPC (pay per click) advertising strategies
- manage email marketing campaigns
- provide ongoing maintenance
HOW MUCH DO WEBSITES ACTUALLY COST IN IRELAND?
The answer to this question is ambiguous and very frustrating to the novice.
Once you have started your Google search for qualified website designers and developers it will become clear that the answer to this could in fact be – “how long is a piece of string?”
That’s because no website is the same as another. It depends on the design and complexity of the site including factors such as:
- Degree of customization and design
- The complexity of the site
- The expertise of the web designer
- Having established processes
- The websites’ tools and functionality
- Source of content generation
- Maintenance and services required
Do a Google search on the subject and you’ll find some very generalized and variable design costs, depending on the size and complexity of the website required, or even what city you were in. And the costs involved were by no means definitive.
Apart from the factors mentioned above, you could be quoted prices by the hour, per page or per project. And these will also differ, depending on whether the source was a freelancer or website design agency.
However, to give you a very rough idea, prices range from:
- €100 for a self-developed WordPress site
- €750 to €3,000 for the use of a freelance web designer
- €5,000 to €15,000 for a web design agency
This is for web design only and excludes hosting and many of the bells and whistles that you may want to add, depending on what league you are in.
WHAT WE SUGGEST
To make things less frustrating we suggest the following process:
- Do some online research of leading website designers in Ireland (don’t mess about here)
- Speak to other marketers for input and advice based on their own experience
- Develop a succinct and in-depth agency brief, incorporating your objectives
- Decide on one website design agency, or brief a small selection
- Review the resultant quotations (not based only on price, but also on deliverables)
Remember that professional companies like cliquedmedia.com can assist you right through the process from strategy development to launch if necessary.
Finally, remember that a cheap website will provide cheap results and that as far as website design is concerned “you get what you pay for”.