If you own a local small business, digital marketing should be part of your marketing strategy. This doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, when using the Internet for marketing your small business, you don’t have to feel like it is an overwhelming, daunting and expensive task. There is so much that encompasses digital marketing, that […]
Have you been wondering if the Google reviews your business has received will impact your ranking? This is a common question and one that you should learn about to know what may (or may not) be helping or breaking your business. Ranking and Google Reviews: What You Need to Know The answer to the above […]
You naturally want your business to show up in Google searches, but your company’s website presence alone is not enough for real success. To greatly increase your amount of customers and to spread awareness of your brand in general, it important to take advantage of Google AdWords. This online advertising network is not only Google’s largest source of income, but it has also grown to be the biggest network of its kind worldwide with guaranteed exposure for its clients. Keep reading to learn about five different ways you can make sure you’re reaching more customers with Google AdWords. Read more
No matter the time of the year, you need to be looking backward and evaluating how well your content marketing efforts are working. You’ll want to integrate the best practices that you pinpointed from your past content as well as include new strategies. Let’s explore six digital marketing trends that you need to start incorporating […]
One of the most common questions we get from local business owners is “how can I improve my Google Places rankings?”. Once you have optimized your Place page, it comes down to five things which we explain below.
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We’ve been in the marketing space for over 8 years & one of the most common questions we get is “how much should website design cost?” It’s a difficult question to answer without some details as every business has unique needs and goals. With that being said, we’d like to give you a review of the process and an idea of what you can expect to pay.
Phase 1: Planning and Scoping
There are several things to consider when determining what you should be spending to hit your goals. The first thing you need to know when trying to budget web design costs is what you’re actually going to need. There are a number of things that can influence the cost of your website such as how much custom design you will need, content creation such as services pages, cost of stock images or videos and additional features such as member dashboards, calendar of events or photo galleries.
The majority of our customers are really just looking for a nice and contemporary looking website that is mobile friendly, easy to edit and update and is equipped to rank well in Google, Yahoo and Bing. Many of our clients own brick and mortar local business are looking for 10-15 pages of content that features services, products and promotions, staff biographies, information about the company along with contact information with a clickable phone number and map, lead capture forms. Other clients require a much more robust website with additional functionality that requires more resources and time to implement.
Here are some questions to ask your self:
– Is this a new site or a redesign?
– Do you need blog or content management functionality?
– Do you have graphics already created or need custom images created?
– Are you using a template or using custom HTML/CSS?
– How are you planning on servicing mobile customers?
– Do you need multimedia (Flash, video, etc.) on the site?
– How much content do you have and how much do you need created?
– Do you need other special features like social media, SEO, ecommerce, or something else?
– Who is going to maintain and support the site?
Phase 2: Pricing and Examples
Typically, a website budget is determined by the estimated number of hours required to design and build it. Website developers have different rates depending on their overhead. An offshore web company may charge anywhere from $10 – $40/hr while an established US web agency may charge between $60 – $200/hr or more. You may find a solo web developer in the US charging between $25 – $100/hr.
However, we do not recommend that any serious business use a one-person shop or an offshore team. Successful website design leverages several distinct disciplines (marketing, user experience design, visual design, programming, and project management) and these are very hard to find in one person. When hiring a professional agency, you should write up a requirements document for all the candidate agencies to reference in their proposals, so you are comparing apples to apples. This document doesn’t have to be too complex (a page or so in length will do), but it should describe what kind of website you want, what types of pages you want (News, Contact, Services, etc.), desired functionality, and your business goals for the website. It’s also helpful to provide examples of websites you like. We even have a Launch Document that will help you get this info organized.
Listed below we will reference some clients of Search Control and give you a general idea what similar websites might cost.
Phase 3: Implementation and On-Going Support
Outside of the main cost of designing and building a website, there are other costs that can impact your budget during development and on an ongoing maintenance basis. Following is a list of those associated costs.
Domain name: $10-15/year
Hosting: $50 to $250+ a year depending on traffic and hosting services. For example you may want to pay extra for regular website backups and extra security features.
License or cost of plugins: There are thousands of extensions, plugins, widgets, modules and applications that can add great features to your website at a low cost. In the old days we had to build these from scratch. Now it’s a matter of paying a small fee $0 – $300 or annual license $20 – $1,000+ and adding the feature to your website. Keep in mind that these plugins are mini-applications that have versions so at some point the version will “expire” and need to be updated. Updating an expired plugin can be simple as one-click or complex taking many hours of effort. Usually a professional developer will have to upgrade or update your expired plugin.
Continued website maintenance and upgrades: $500-$1,000+ per year, depending on level of support and updates required.
Stock art: Royalty-free stock art photos and graphics can range from $15 – $100+ each depending on license fees and usage.
Marketing/Advertising and SEO: $250-$5,000 a month and up to proactively market your website.
If you’ve read this far, you must be serious about your web business. Take the next step by giving us a call at 480-269-4884 or filling our short inquiry form. We will get back to you ASAP with our no-obligation Web Site analysis.
Who We Are
Search Control has an amazing team of talented individuals that have built thousands of successful marketing campaigns and usable websites for over a decade. Which means we are really old and wise in web years!
While we have national and international clients, the bulk of our customers run small businesses that are focused on getting in front of local customers. Having a strong local web presence is one of the most effective ways to show your potential customers that you are the best, and we understand that. Our well-rounded team of skilled individuals is focused on finding, creating and publishing content that is not only industry-relevant, but also provides value to your customers, no matter what part of town your business is in.
Our team has won many awards for our past work and we truly understand what it takes for a business to succeed online. Everyone on our staff works for you and we are confident you will be able to tell we are passionate about our results.
Today, there are more opportunities than ever for targeting your most ideal legal clients online and marketing your firm. With a smart and diverse digital marketing plan, you can get in front of the right online users at the right time wherever they are in their online journey, whether that’s in Google searches, on social […]
The technology age is a brave new frontier for anyone interested in elevating their unique perspective about, well, just about anything. We all have a digital footprint across the web that has been cultivated and curated by ourselves, friends, family, and coworkers. The question has become not whether or not you have a personal brand, but whether or not you’re choosing to cultivate it. So, if you choose to develop your brand, here are a few ways to get started.
1. Think of yourself as a brand. What do you want people to associate you with? Are you an expert in a particular industry? Identify this area of expertise and begin to voice your opinion, write articles, and share content that is relevant to what you’re passionate about.
2. Get your site set up. Having a personal website is a fundamental way to get yourself seen on searches and move through the search rankings. Don’t stress about it being over-the-top. Start with something basic but informative with clear access to your social networks and body of work. Add to it over time.
3. Google yourself. Knowing who you share a name with, and what’s being said about you (or someone with your name) is an important part of cleaning up your brand. Carve out your space by using your middle name or initial, especially if your name is a common one (hello, John Smith). Keep tabs on what’s being said about you with alerts too.
4. Be authentic. This ties back to the first point. As you build your brand, it should be a reflection of who you are and what you’re about. People want to feel like they’re connecting with other REAL people. Assess and develop your true self, people who like what they see will want want to engage and stick around.
5. Act purposefully. Every speaking engagement, article written, tweet sent, and Instagram posted has an impact on your brand. Once you’re clear on what you’re about, strategically manage what you’re sharing to nurture it in the direction you desire.
6. Leave room for growth and change. Some of the people with the best personal brands are on their second and third acts: think Martha Stewart, Richard Branson, Mark Cuban. They haven’t left their original passions behind, but they have created avenues to share their other interests while remaining true to their original narrative. No one remains static on their thoughts and interests, allow your brand to be ever evolving as you will be too.
In the years since its inception, Google’s growth from simple search engine to provider of multiple web services has seen it release a number of tools and programs for both users and webmasters to take advantage of. Some, like AdWords and Gmail, are well-known by name; others fly under the radar and take a little more digging to discover. One example of these lesser-known programs is the Google Grants program. Although the criteria for this are rather specific, it is set up just like an AdWords campaign – albeit with some limitations. If you’re familiar with AdWords and are eligible for the Google Grants program, this may be perfect for bringing your non-profit business the online boost it needs.
This article consists of two parts. The first half will give some background on what the Google Grants program is, who is eligible for it, how you can apply if you meet the criteria and certain limitations advertisers face. The second half will outline a real-world case study, showcasing how an agency using the Google Grants program worked to improve the position and click-through rate of their campaign.
Part One: What is the Google Grants Program?
Google defines the Google Grants program as follows:
“Google Grants is the non-profit edition of AdWords, Google’s online advertising tool. Google Grants empowers non-profit organizations, through $10,000 per month in in-kind AdWords™ advertising, to promote their missions and initiatives on Google.com.” –http://www.google.com/grants/
So, in short, Google Grants is “AdWords for Non-Profits”. If you’re running a company that meets Google’s criteria for this, the Google Grants program gives you a helping hand with promoting your products and services. Businesses that are eligible and participate in this program receive a $10,000 monthly grant for their campaign.
Eligibility for the Google Grants Program
There are several criteria that a business must meet in order to be eligible for the Google Grants program.
They must hold 501(c)(3) status, as determined by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, and must acknowledge and agree to the application’s required certifications regarding non-discrimination and donation receipt and use. The program is only available to companies in the countries listed here, and governmental entities and organizations, hospitals and health care organizations, and schools, childcare centers, academic institutions and universities (with the exception of philanthropic arms of educational organizations) are not eligible.
A full list of criteria is available at http://www.google.com/nonprofits/join/
How to Apply to the Google Grants Program
- Read the eligibility requirements
- Apply to the program
- Once approved, enroll in specific Google products
- Get started with product tutorials
Limitations to the Google Grants Program
There are some restrictions to using the Google Grants program. Daily budgets are set to $330.00 USD, Costs-Per-Click are limited to $2.00, campaigns can only be keyword-targeted and ads can only be text ads.
The full list of restrictions and limitations can be viewed here.
Additional information on limitations:
Limits to Where Ads Show
Ads can only be shown on the Google Search Network, not the Display Network or on Search partners. Campaigns can only be keyword-targeted and cannot use CPM bidding.
More information on limits to where ads show is available here.
Limits to Budgets and Bids
The maximum daily budget you can set is $330 U.S. dollars, which is equivalent to about $10,000 per month. Within the last year, Google has increased the Cost per Click bid for keywords to $2.00 USD from the original $1.00 bid per keyword. Accounts can only use Manual bidding for clicks; automatic bidding is not allowed. You are unable to set Display Network bids or managed placement bids.
More information on limits to budgets and bids is available here.
It is important to note that Grant accounts will only run for as long as your organization remains actively engaged with your AdWords account. Google states that they reserve the right to terminate your organization’s participation in the Google Grants program for any reason without notice at any time. We recommend to any Grant Account Managers to consistently check in on the AdWords campaign at least once a month to keep the campaign active and to check for any urgent notices from Google or changes to the Grants program.
Why spend so much time getting the Grant approved and then waste it away on inactivity? Getting accepted in Google’s Grant Campaigns is an extensive process, but the benefits of the program are limitless. Do not take the campaign for granted and be sure to check in on the campaign multiple times each month to be on the safe side and it’s also a great practice to follow for any AdWords campaign.
Part Two: A Google Grants Case Study
Contact Search Control
8930 E Raintree Dr
Scottsdale, AZ 85260