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 […]
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.
Facebook is huge and is no longer a NEW platform (been around since 2004). Consequently, it has grown and matured tremendously, and like most other publishing platforms, their primary profits are driven through advertising. Facebook is home to over 219 million US users and over 1.9 billion monthly users worldwide, which is a HUGE network […]
Your leads are only as good as the website that produces them. Fortunately, designing a website that’s built for leads doesn’t have to be overwhelming or time-consuming. By looking at examples of some of the best converting lead generation websites, you can learn precisely what works — and most importantly, why it works. The following steps are proven lead generation boosters that can not only increase conversions, but can also increase your rankings in Google and overall site authority.
1. Include a Contact Number
Adding a contact number to your website may seem counter-intuitive, especially if you sell a digital product. Doing so however, increases consumer trust and lends credibility to your offer. Even if your customers don’t actually call, the presence of a phone number does bring them some comfort.
One lead generation site for an Arizona based Pest Extermination company incorporated their phone number for the 3 major areas that they service. This helps to promote the fact that they can service Phoenix but also the other large AZ markets.
2. Include Contact Forms on Every Page
Having easy access to the actual lead generation form is paramount to increasing the number of viable leads through your website. The less information they ask for, particularly on the first step, the more likely people will be to part with their valuable personal details.
Notice how the example below uses a contact form that is actually a part of the slider. Customers filling out this form are also more likely to do so because they did not have to give out too much personal information on the first step.
3. Add Testimonials For Greater Credibility
Testimonials can be a powerful marketing tool, but adding photos or even rich media such as video or audio can take them a step further. While the rich media versions may be too bandwidth-heavy for lead generation websites, solid testimonials can have a powerful impact and lend support to your offer.
4. Use Trust Seals – But Make Sure They’re More Than Just Eye Candy
All of the major trust seal providers claim that incorporating a trust seal on your website can increase conversion rates, but the actual statistics are hard to come by. Rather than installing a seal for pure visual security benefits, choose one that is backed up by a rating system or guarantee to the consumer. Some of the best seals that can be used come from sources such as The Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce or industry specific organizations.
Notice in the example below, we were able to incorporate several trust seals on the slider of the home page for our client. These seals immediately help to create a sense of professionalism which will gain trust of visitors and help increase conversion rates.
5. Avoid “Cookie-Cutter” Site Templates
It should go without saying, but when it comes to quality lead generation, you should avoid any cookie cutter “all-the-work-is-done-for-you” website templates. Instead, invest in the best possible website you can afford, and make sure you make the page’s purpose clear up front so that the designer can tailor it to generating leads rather than looking nice or having all the bells and whistles. Having a well-designed site also increases trust and customer confidence levels when shopping online.
6. The Bottom Line for Best Lead Generation: Test, Test, Test
None of these tips will do you a bit of good unless you test them for yourself and determine what works for your unique situation. Number and quality of leads is a conversion factor just like any other – one which you’ll want to see increase and improve over time.
A lead generation page is also a great way to test crucial design changes before applying them sitewide. By split testing changes from one landing page to the next, you’ll be able to see whether or not your lead gen efforts pay off. Of course, having the right testing and analytics software in place will help you determine exactly what’s working – with real-time data, historic timelines, trends and conversion funnels that let you segment down to the smallest details.
July 1st marks the official half way point of the year. Time flies, right? A lot of people set resolutions on January 1st, but let the half way mark pass them by without a blink of the eye.
Have you stayed on track with your New Year’s goals? Whether you answered yes or no, we think that any business owner or marketer should mark this day as important. This is a great time to review your current strategy and make some adjustments to help take your business to the next level.
Search Control has listed 4 simple tactics that any business owner can implement and we are here if you have any questions. We hope these tips help you and your team out and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.
Understand the buyer’s journey.
There are many different offers that can be used to help get new business in the door. We’re sure you’ve used them in the past, things such as 20% off sales, free consultations, flat rate pricing, free trials and the list goes on. Take a minute to understand your potential customers’ decision process, and what’s most important to them. Once you do that, you can match the right offer.
Use Google, and learn how to use it well.
Take a webinar (or a free consultation with Search Control) in Google’s suite of tools, and make sure to keep up with the rapidly changing services they offer. Ask fellow business owners what is working for them. Google ads, SEO and YouTube marketing can make or break your online presence. Analyze what is working and what isn’t with rigor and tweak often, not just the offer but the design and layout too.
Turbocharge your customer service.
Make sure whoever is answering phones is prepared to book appointments, upsell, offer special discounts and incentives and take orders on the phone. Getting the customer to call or click is only half the equation. Take a page out of Zappos’ book and make sure your customer service people understand your product, understand your customers, and are a pleasure to talk to.
Quality vs Quantity: Stay focused.
We have had greater success cultivating a smaller number of people and guiding them through a very intentional sales funnel, than when we cast a wide net to people who might not fully align with our target customer.
Let Search Control help you start the second half of the year off right with a FREE service of your choice:
Search Control is here to help you reach your sales and growth goals. We are currently offering several services FREE OF CHARGE! We feel confident that you will love working with us and may even be interested in additional services. Don’t let your sales fall behind when you could be dominating your market.
- Creation of Facebook business page and Twitter company profile
- Setup of Facebook Advertising account and creation of 1 designed and managed ad
- SEO audit of website and competitor analysis
Call us today to take advantage of our offer and see how Search Control can help you!
We were recently asked by a client to help them re-brand and create a new ‘character’ to help promote their brand. This got us thinking about some of the best, and worst, “spokespersonalities” in recent years. We surveyed our team to gauge which brands have done the best to promote their products or services thorough their fictional brand ambassadors. There were a few that the team unanimously agreed were great and others that we all hope will fade off into non-existence like the Micro Machine guy. Here is a list of some of the best and worst in the opinion of the Search Control team.
Our Top 3 Picks:
The Most Interesting Man in the World: He lives vicariously through himself. He has won the lifetime achievement award, twice. In museums, he is allowed to touch the art. He is …The Most Interesting Man in the World. This was an advertising campaign for the Dos Equis brand of beer starring Jonathan Goldsmith as “the world’s most interesting man” and are narrated by Frontline’s Will Lyman. The advertisements first began appearing in the United States in 2006 and have since then become one of the most popular spokes characters of all time also becoming a massive internet meme. In March 2016, Dos Equis announced Goldsmith’s retirement from the role, with a commercial sending him on a one-way journey to Mars amid much acclaim, and the narration: “His only regret is not knowing what regret feels like.”
Mayhem: For years, Allstate’s antihero spokesman has warned about the dangers of texting drivers, faulty GPS systems and raccoons in the attic, and more recently, the Mayhem is your own ineptitude (Do It Yourslef Projects). Playing Mayhem is an “outside-in” job, says its star, Dean Winters: He puts on the suit and the makeup, and he is immediately in character.
The Old Spice Guy: For years, the deodorant maker has built its wacky brand universe around a split personality: the high-octane intensity of Terry Crews and the debonair, groomed swagger of Isaiah Mustafa, although Isiah was the original. Mustafa is widely known as the main character in the series of Old Spice television commercials, “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”, a muscular former NFL player who usually appear shirtless.
Our Bottom 3 Picks:
Flo: Flo is actress Stephanie Courtney, a veteran of L.A.’s improv scene, episodic TV and movies who started the insurance ads in 2008. She has a career most TV commercial actors would die for: a steady gig, a contract and salary reported to be $500,000 a year. Flo, who is seen by many, with her too-happy demeanor and plastic sheen, as somewhat creepy, Is BY FAR one of our least favorite on this list and we hope she would just go away.
The Aflac Duck: Since it’s conception all the way back in 1999, the Aflac duck has starred in more than 30 commercials. For 11 years the duck was voiced by non-other than Gilbert Gottfriend until he was dismissed dude to postings on his Twitter account cracking humor at the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. He was soon replaced by Daniel McKeague, a television advertising sales manager. The Aflack duck is so popular that in 2005 the company logo was changed to incorporate the duck. There’s no signs of this duck going away, but we really wish it would.
Jared from Subway: Although he is was not playing a fictional character, it is without question that this spokesperson needs to be at the furthest bottom of the list. We definitely were tired of seeing “the pants” for all those years and with the recent discovery of him being associated with a child pornography ring, we are glad to see he is finally done.
The NAMM show is an annual gathering in Anaheim, California where all those involved in the music business attend to showcase new products, watch musicians play, talk music advocacy/education, learn from each other in exciting seminars featuring industry leaders and of course, network in order to make it work in the “new music” business.
This year was the 115th year that the NAMM show has taken place and it was an incredible one, to say the least. Close to 100,000 individuals attended this show that was not open to the public. That means that everyone who came was either a musician, manufacturer, educator or sometimes all of the above!
We had a great time learning a lot in the NAMM U sessions about social media for musicians and how musicians specifically succeed in the digital market.
NAMM is an exciting time for us at Search Control because in addition to our extensive web knowledge, over 75% of our employees are musicians themselves. We like to think outside of the box and use creativity to problem solve and connect with audiences.
Plus, we also got to see Graham Nash of Crosby Stills and Nash, which is pretty darn cool as well.
If you’re a musician, looking for a web company that gets it, be sure to contact us for additional information and our competitive pricing packages
Contact Search Control
8930 E Raintree Dr
Scottsdale, AZ 85260