Blog | Online Business, Website Design & Marketing

Bargain Website! Or costly mistake?

Jose Garcia - Friday, December 19, 2008 Bookmark and Share

I’m sure you have seen $299 website design offers; some even as little as $169. Sounds like a good deal, but is it worth it?

These packages can be a template based design or custom made and include 2, 3 or 4 pages. Some give you the domain name and free hosting for the first year. Most additional services are extra, such as: contact forms, additional pages and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Now that you have your Bargain website and it’s up on the web, how do you get people to find it? The main purpose of your site is to sell and generate leads, and for that, you need traffic. So the question is:

Did your bargain site come with search engine optimization (SEO)?


- Did you know that search engines handle most of the traffic on the web?

- That it can take a couple months for your new site to start showing on search results?

- Did you know most people don’t go beyond the first 30 results? So you need to be in the top 30!

- Is your bargain website targeting the best keywords for your product or service?

- SEO experts say that each page on your site should target 1 specific search term.

If you sell 5 products and got a 3 page site… you’re in trouble!

 

Bargain Sites Offering SEO

Some bargain sites offer SEO for an addition $99 - $150. They will program your homepage with up to 10 keywords and submit to search engine. Remember experts say it should be 1 keyword per page! So to optimize your homepage with 10 keywords really waters down your chances of reaching the top 30, doesn’t it.

If you read a little about SEO and SEO Tips you will quickly learn that SEO is an ongoing marketing effort requiring constant changes and monitoring of your keywords, text, link exchange, directory submission and more. Typical SEO professionals charge upwards of $100 per hour and ask to work 4-5 hours per month on your site. They also provide you with traffic and ranking stats on a monthly basis.

The Value of SEO

Paying a professional $500 per month to do your SEO may sound like much but let’s use an example to view the value of their service.

Let’s say you have a Bicycle store and want to sell online. You get a Bargain site and after 6 months you are nowhere near the top 30 results for your keywords. However, from your local advertising and yellow page ad you are sending visitors to your site and sell 5 mountain bikes per month making a $1000 profit each month ($200 profit each).
Now you hire an SEO professional for $500 per month who after 6 months doubles your search engine traffic and sales are now 10 bikes per month. That’s $2000 in profits, minus $500 for the SEO company, leaving you with $1500. Another 6 months of SEO work and now you are selling 20 bikes per month; now making $4000, minus $500 for SEO, and keeping $3500 a month for you.

That is the Value of SEO!

 

Tracking Traffic and Position

Install a good analytics programs to track visitors, search engines they used, keywords, how many pages and even track conversion rate. Don’t use the stats provided with your hosting… they are a joke.  Your SEO will give you monthly reports so you can track the progress of your site. This way they measure the effect of their work on your site and can make adjustments to further improve ranking.

Ethical SEO

Beware of companies that use trick and techniques considered illegal by search engines. Using these tactics can get your website banned permanently from search engines. These tactics include link farming, creating duplicate pages, pages with invisible text, multiple domain names that redirect to the same site, etc. 

You can read more on this here:
http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35291&topic=15260

Cheap SEO Companies

I have seen companies that used techniques to improve the ranking of your site which involve some proprietary code which they will remove from your site if you cancel services with them. Not sure how I feel about that. It may be worth speaking with them and get clear info as to what you are getting for the money.

Do It Yourself

There are many resources on the web providing solid tips on SEO which you can implement yourself. Submitting to free directories and exchanging “text” links with industry related sites are 2 of the most important things you can do as a website owner. 

A bargain website can work well for you so long as you educate yourself and learn about their pros and cons. My goal here is to make you aware of the importance of SEO in order to make your website profitable. Only if you have the means to promote your site through TV, Radio and mass media, does SEO become less important.

A website without SEO is like a store with no address,
no phone number and no windows

Your comments, suggestions are welcomed.