Marketing Budget for the Web

marketing budget

Imagine your small business is preparing to launch. Marketing is critical to your success. In particular, marketing for the web is critical to your success, but it’s hard to put together a marketing budget to meet all of your needs. Your first step should be to evaluate your website. It won’t matter how good or how proliferous your ads are if they lead back to a lack luster site. The core of your marketing budget should go into your website because it is often the most inexpensive and most effective form of advertising you will find anywhere. There are many ways your website can help you make money not only now, but also in the future. However, everything depends on the performance and appearance of your website.

Hosting


The best web hosting company gives you options. Many offer special plans for small business web hosting. If your business is new, then you will likely need a cheaper hosting package for the sake of your marketing budget. Keep in mind, however, that operating a business online is always cheaper than maintaining a physical storefront or office. If you need a physical location, then you may not need as much from your website, but in today’s world of multi-channel selling and mobile shopping, it’s imperative to invest in your online presence. While customers may not be able to receive personal services online, such as massages or tailoring, they should be able to set appointments, find pricing information, your phone number, your location and hours, and get a good idea of your “stock” from your website.

A website that operates as a storefront faces even greater demands. You should consider options like dedicated servers if you expect a lot of traffic or plan on selling online, because nothing kills a shopper’s inspiration faster than poor web site performance. Small business web hosting doesn’t have to be cut-rate to be affordable, and your website is critical to your success. Customers must be able to order, ask questions, solve problems, and find reasons to shop again. Like a physical store, online displays draw customers. You may not have windows to fill, that draw the eye of passing customers, but you need merchandise and design to bring customers through ads and to keep them interested in your site. This leads us to the next point.

Design


Should you design your website and your ads yourself using free or cheap DIY programs, or do you need a professional? The best websites always have professional help. No matter how good your DIY program is, at best, it can only give you a cookie-cutter website identical to thousands of others. This may feel like a good place to save for your marketing budget, but it’s one of the most important sales elements. Customers only see your product through your website. The design of the website itself will impact how they perceive your business. A creative, original website will leave as much of an impression as your product will.

The best web hosting company will keep your website up and running, no matter how popular your business becomes. Design engages customers, suggests additional purchases, and convinces visitors that you sell quality products. If these two elements are not in place, all of your marketing will be in vain. By using your website to your advantage, however, you can save enough for another round of marketing. Even the most expensive web hosting options are vastly cheaper than running even a small physical storefront. Remember, all of your marketing will tie back to your website, and that is where you need to most heavily invest.