Business Websites: Costs, blogs, search rankings and more.


by Karen Newcombe

Has your website been updated in the past few weeks? Months? Ever? 

Maybe you don't have time to add new content every week, so, you probably aren't using all the great inbound marketing methods that can bring more potential customers to your site. Adding new content helps move your site up in the search rankings, and useful information will attract potential clients.  Here are a few common questions I get about business websites, and my thoughts on them. 

What does it cost to create or update my business website?

The average business website with five or six main pages and a few dozen  subpages can cost anywhere from $1500 to $5000. This range depends on the amount of information to be collected, writing to be done, and images or videos to be prepared, as well as creating a site design, identifying Meta Tags, and Search Engine Optimization. There are small annual and monthly fees related to owning a domain name and hosting your site at an ISP.  Costs to update an existing site depend on whether you need a few new paragraphs or a major overhaul. 

Can I buy the very top listing in Google for my service/product?

Site ranking can’t be bought. Google and other search engines have complex ways of ranking sites. They make daily changes to the algorithms and two to four major overhauls every year. No one can guarantee that you will be first. However, you can improve your site’s ranking by:

  • Having fresh and useful content that you write
  • Adding new pages regularly 
  • Making good use of links within your pages
  • Adding regular blog entries, video, articles and other content to your site
  • Understanding and using good SEO practices
  • Linking to your Facebook page and other social media

Based on a chart from HubSpot.

What’s the best system to use for creating a website?

I use Karelia Sandvox to create and maintain my clients’ and my own websites. This excellent and inexpensive program runs on Mac. Anyone can learn to use the basic features right away, and it offers numerous deeper level abilities that make it incredibly versatile. My process is to set up your site and maintain it for a period of time to ensure regular updating is being done and that search engine results are improving over time. If a client feels they have the free time and want to take over maintenance, I help them install Sandvox, teach them how to use it, and support them as needed. Many web designers recommend WordPress, but I no longer use it.  In my opinion it has become overly complex, is a target for hackers, and often requires professional troubleshooting that can drive up your costs up unnecessarily. 

How can a website help me get more clients?

People want to buy from or hire people they like, and whom they can trust to solve their problems.  Your website needs to do three things:

  1. Turn up in your clients' and prospects' searches for useful information.
  2. Show that you know your field or product thoroughly and are willing to share your knowledge.
  3. Be friendly! People hire people they like, so your website should make people feel like they’re having a conversation with a friend. 

What makes some websites attract more people and rank higher in the search engines than others?

Highly useful content, including blogs with useful ideas in them, links to useful articles or resources inside or outside the site, videos, testimonials from clients, eBooks, reports, Top 10 lists, anything that one of your clients might go looking for online. Every site needs some basic information: What business are you in? Where are you located? What are your hours?  But when you share your knowledge and ideas, that's what helps draw people to your site and your business. 

How does a blog help my website? Aren’t blogs for kids and political pundits? 

My goal is to help your clients feel like they already know you, like they’re having a conversation with you when they’re at your website – so they are ready to buy when they walk in your door. Your blog is the best way to do this - you can answer clients questions, share ideas, inform them of new products, post a top ten list, anything to attract potential clients and help raise your ranking in the search engines. 

Typically I will help you identify several months’ worth of blog entries at a time. I’ll spend ten or fifteen minutes interviewing you or your staff for each entry, then write the blog in your words using search engine friendly language. We post the blog under your name or a staff member’s name, and use Google Authorship to make sure your name and photo will show up with the entry when it appears in a search result, like this one: 


What about Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and all the other social media?

Whether you use one or all of these will depend on your particular business and who you’re trying to reach. Right now I like my clients to have, and use, a Facebook page. I recommend other social media based on what is most useful for your needs, and of course, social media preferences can change over time. 

If you need help building or updating your firm's website, please call me – I am here to help. 

Photo credit InboundMarketing: Gavin Llewellyn / / CC BY

232QAWS© Karen L. Newcombe 2016     Email:   Phone: 954-428-5457