In recent years, more and more business owners have opted for a custom design, pay monthly website – and with website prices varying considerably from agency to agency (anywhere between £1,500 & £10,000), it’s easy to see why.
As a new or small business owner especially, it can sometimes feel as though you only have 2 options when it comes to building a new website for your business.
- You spend £1,000s for an agency to design and build you a custom website, or;
- You spend hours and hours building one for yourself using a website builder such as Wix, Go Daddy or Square Space.
But there is an alternative.
More and more specialist agencies are popping up to offer Pay Monthly Websites. They bridge the gap between website builders and large agencies, offering a completely managed service which generally includes: design, development, hosting, domain renewals, professional email and dedicated support.
At Head2Web, we are one such agency – and in this post, we look at 8 common reasons small business owners are choosing Pay Monthly Websites [and why you may want to consider one too].
#1 – A Unique, Professional Design
It’s no secret that website builders such as Wix, Go Daddy and Square Space offer generic website templates. These templates can be restrictive, look basic and fail to give your business the online presence you truly desire. Not only that, if you have no design knowledge yourself, even a clean, minimalist template site can become a mismatch of images, colours and confusing text (although you may not know it yourself).
Beware – even some large agencies charging clients £1,000’s for a ‘custom designed’ site will still use templates (yes, this happens – and it’s more common than you think), so you need to be careful when prospecting agencies or freelancers to work with.
As well as getting a unique website, hiring a professional designer / developer will also ensure your website is built with SEO and conversions in mind. Good coding can also increase the speed of your site – important, as ‘Site Speed’, we are told by Google in this video, is a ranking factor.
At Head2Web (and across our various businesses), we have been responsible for 100’s of SEO, PPC and Facebook campaigns, and one of the main reasons a campaign flops is down to the website or landing page traffic is being sent to. It’s often the foundation upon which a business is built and therefore too important to ignore.
With a professional web designer at your disposal, you can rest assured your site will be unique, engaging and encourage people to contact you.
#2 – Value for Money
For any business, big or small, price is important. You know you need a website, but can you afford to spend £1,000’s on one to be professionally built?
If you do not run paid ads to generate traffic to your website, the answer to this question is almost certainly no, but that’s not to say your website should be anything less than a professional representation of your business.
If, for example, your business generates most of its revenue from telesales, that’s great. However, many of these prospects will do further research into your business to see if you’re as good as you say you are on the phone. You can guarantee several of them will visit your website, and if it’s not as professional or informative as your biggest competitor, it could be game over.
According to a Travel Market report, Expedia says consumers visit an average of 38 websites before making a booking.
This statistic will vary in every industry, but the same principle applies. Consumers are more informed than ever, so your website needs to be well designed and informative too.
With a custom designed, pay monthly website, you can provide visitors with all the information they need – all for as little as £47 per month.
Once a website is built, most agencies will charge upwards of £60 per hour for additional help and design changes! With a pay monthly website, changes are included in the price. For many business owners therefore, (running paid ads or not), an all-inclusive, pay monthly website is a no brainer.
#3 – Mobile Responsive Website
Having a mobile responsive website is imperative in today’s digital world.
Several years ago, Google announced that more searches were being made on mobile devices than on desktops – yet according to Impact 20% of websites are still not mobile responsive. Worrying when they claim that more than 80% of internet users own a smartphone.
We can’t speak for all pay monthly website providers, but at Head2Web mobile responsiveness is a big deal. Our experienced designers know what transfers well (and not so well), from desktop to mobile. Whenever we embark on a new project, the way a website will look on a smartphone is at the forefront of our minds.
#4 – Search Engine Optimised
All business owners, big or small will have heard of the term SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Even long established website development agencies often forget about SEO. If your building your own site you probably won’t have the foggiest idea what you need to do to make your website visible to search engines.
The following list shows the measures that should be taken to ensure a website is indexed and easy to find in search engines such as Google.
- Add Site to Google Search Console
- Sitemap Creation and Submission
- Create Robots.txt File
- Optimise Meta Tags, Titles, Descriptions
- Optimise Internal Linking
- Optimise Image ALT Descriptions
- Optimise Site Speed
- Compress Images
- Conduct Mobile Friendly Check
At Head2Web, we also set-up Google Analytics and goal tracking so that clients can see how much traffic they are receiving, and how many conversions (leads) their website is generating.
One of the most important aspects of an SEO friendly website however, is the written content on the site. For this, you will need to conduct keyword research (and then write the content, of course). When talking to our own clients at least, this is one of the main reasons behind opting for a pay monthly website from Head2Web.
Content writing for a website is complex, as you’re not only writing for users, but also search engines. Sometimes it’s simply easier to outsource.
Tip: See how your current website is performing in Google’s organic search results with an SEO audit from our dedicated SEO team: http://bit.ly/2CGDQLm
#5 – Fast, Secure Hosting
One of the most crucial aspects of any website’s performance comes down to hosting.
Before choosing a hosting provider, there are several things to consider. These include:
- Price (It’s common to pay for more than you need)
- Technical Specifications & Support
- Features & Ad-Ons
- Customer Reviews / Satisfaction
- Email Features
- Control Panel / User Interface
Another important consideration is security. Does your hosting provide free SSL Certificates? Lots of adverts are now actively promoting secure websites – so it’s more important than ever to ensure your website is protected. The ‘s’ in https stands for secure and signifies a website has all the necessary security to combat cyber-crime.
#6 – Time Saving [& Less Stressful]
Without a doubt, one of the most time-consuming projects for a start-up or business owner is creating a business website using a website builder such as Wix, Go Daddy or Square Space. They may be advertised as easy to use, but for some, that’s simply not the case.
Take Tania at Fit Foodie Nutter for example:
“Having had a go at building a DIY website myself once before, I gave up at what was meant to be an easy solution (it wasn’t!).” You can read more about how we helped Tania Here: http://bit.ly/2m9Yhcr
As well as design, writing compelling sales copy, selecting appropriate images, learning about SEO, installing SSL certificates, setting up hosting and maintaining a site is also very time consuming and can become a huge pain point for many business owners.
With a pay monthly website, all of this is taken care of for you – and if, like Tania, you’re better at running your business than building websites, it’s a huge bonus.
#6 – Easy-To-Use Content Management System (CMS)
Although every Pay Monthly Website provider is different, each of the websites we build at Head2Web is powered by WordPress – the world’s most popular CMS. According to BlogVault, it powers more than 26% of the world’s websites – and for good reason.
The WordPress platform is completely customisable and with 1,000s of plugins, the functionality you require for your website can be easily achieved. If you have a recruitment business and need to post jobs or give users an account, no problem – there’s a plugin for that. If you run a B&B or hotel and want users to be able to check availability and book rooms via your website, no problem – there’s a plugin for that too.
You get the idea.
What’s more, with a pay monthly website, you have the flexibility to login to your own CMS and make minor content changes yourself (like updating images or changing copy). We can even provide training for you when we hand over the website, at no extra cost.
#8 – Dedicated Customer Support
As we have already touched on in this article, one of the main reasons a pay monthly website model is popular with business owners is the on-going support. Each of the clients we work with is allocated their own dedicated account manager – you can email them anytime, or phone them during business hours.
Whether you choose to make changes yourself, or require help from one of the Head2Web team, the price you pay will remain the same –so you can have as much, or as little involvement in the management of your business website as you choose – a big selling point if you’re a solo entrepreneur or small business owner with limited resources.
If you have an existing website and would like to know how you can improve it, you can download our FREE checklist: 10 Common Website Mistakes [and how to fix them] here: http://bit.ly/2AqRsKz
If you would like to book a FREE 30-minute consultation with one of our experts, you can do so here: http://bit.ly/2AEIlUN
Have you had experience with pay monthly websites? Would you consider one? Let us know in the comments!