What is a Marketing Website, what is a Credibility website, and why does it matter?
In this article you will learn:
- What are the two types of websites
- Questions to ask yourself to know which type is best for your business
- What are the types of costs associated with each
Every day business owners and marketers come to me seeking help and guidance for a building a new website for marketing their business. Everyone I talk to knows their company needs a website, but what I’ve found is not everyone knows what kind of website they need.
I’m not talking about WordPress, Squarespace, or Shopify websites. Those are Content Management Systems (CMS) and while it is absolutely critical to choose the right CMS for your company’s website, what I’m talking about is the question that comes before, “What CMS should my business choose?”
The question is, “What is the purpose of my website?”
Is the purpose of your website to attract and generate new business leads and/or sell products and services?
Is the purpose of your website to make your company look professional and credible after a potential customer talks to someone from your team?
I would argue there are two main purposes for any modern website which are:
- Show people that your company is credible, professional and trustworthy
- Generate new business, either through lead generation or selling online
While every company needs the first item, showing credibility, not every company needs to proactively generate business online. Let’s dive into what the differences are
A credibility, or “brochure,” website is a simple, beautifully designed site that helps prove to your potential and current customers and employees that you are a professional and legitimate business. Key pages or sections of a credibility website include:
- Industries served or Products/services
- Examples of work
In addition to the sections above, a credibility site should have some trust indicators like associations you belong to, accreditations your business has, and testimonials or reviews from current clients.
There are two ways to get a credibility website. The first, and lowest price option, is to do it yourself. Find a template or theme that you like from Squarespace, WordPress or GoDaddy and start filling out the sections. This will take time and you’ll need to write all of your web copy and source all of your images. This is a great way to start if you’re willing to get to know the platform and have the time to make it happen.
The costs include: buying a domain, hosting and photo licensing costs. Between the domain and licensing costs, expect to pay around $50-$1K, depending on the name and images you are looking for. Hosting will usually run $40/mo or less.
The other way to get a credibility website is to work with a freelance professional or small agency. If you go this route, you’ll work with someone who will set everything up for you. You’ll likely need to provide web copy, but a good web designer will help give you direction as to how many words to write and what types of headlines are appropriate for your site. Additionally, the more time you spend at the beginning of the project working with your designer to better understand your company and your ideal customers, the better outcome you’ll have.
Like the first option, you’ll have the same domain, hosting and licensing costs and will need to add $3.5K – $8K for the designer and web developer’s time and expertise.
A marketing website has all of the features of a credibility website but is built in a way to attract ideal customers (i.e. a site built for inbound marketing). So what does that mean?
It means that the purpose of the website is to generate new business. Key features of a marketing site are:
- Built with SEO best practices
- Regularly optimized
- Has strong Calls to Action
- Has landing pages for paid ads
Unlike theme or templated designs (used to make credibility sites) which are bloated and difficult to make changes to, custom sites load fast and are designed to support your unique business without the extra pages or colors you don’t need.
A good marketing website will usually start around $23K and will go up from there, depending on the size and functionality of it. It’s important to remember that a marketing site is an investment in future revenue, so you need to track ROI from the site.
If you are in the process of redesigning your company’s website, schedule a free, 30-minute consultation. Regardless if we work together, we’ll make the call valuable to you by giving you honest feedback and referring you to someone else if that’s the right thing to do!