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Need Advice on Local Business Strategy

Discussion in 'Local SEO' started by Avid Learner, May 7, 2015.

  1. Avid Learner

    Avid Learner Regular Member

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    After some research it seems there are plenty of local businesses (in a large US metro area) that don't have websites, or have very poorly designed ones.

    Idea is to build a client list, starting with getting them on a decent website (and, perhaps hosting it for them), then adding services (e.g. local seo - as skills are built) over time to build a monthly stream of business.

    The question is: In a world where people can build "free" websites (e.g. WIX), is $1000 out of line? Some local operators seem to charge in that range, but their crappy, dated websites suggest that they don't have many takers. Maybe the price gets buried in what some local seo companies are charging?

    It will be mostly cold calling so want to be able to charge enough to make the enterprise viable.

    Also, someone posted on BHW a strategy of building a prototype site first for the client to see - but wouldn't clients then devalue the work (as it was already "done")?
     
  2. Dj Co2

    Dj Co2 Elite Member

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    Charge less for web design then upsell services like SEO, reputation management, social media etc
     
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  3. genetwist

    genetwist Registered Member

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    Also be part of our affiliate program.. and add our local directory/page maker to the mix :D
     
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  4. Avid Learner

    Avid Learner Regular Member

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    Thanks. I take it then that $1000 is a reasonable "baseline" from which to offer a discount, correct?

    Indeed, I have ideas of segmenting services (even beyond online services) and up-selling.

    I came across sites like these two (not local, but much more professional looking):
    Code:
    http://www.executionists.com/blog/much-website-cost-2015/
    and
    http://inclouddesign.com/website-design/website-pricing/
    The first seems to suggest it takes $4K (with a good breakout of the components - probably more than a small business needs initially, IMHO - but no SEO), the second $1.25K (more basic, but includes low level SEO - maybe it is semantics and both only offer on page SEO). So, not exactly apples to apples, but the second one is closer to what I have in mind on offering (using a CMS like Wordpress).

    That is quite a range, and both are far from the DIY of services like networksolutions, websitebuilder, and shopify - all examples of what some of these businesses use. Lots of downside to them, but they are cheap.

    The questions are:

    Is this part of the market already going through a disruption, given these cheap or free online services, eventually rendering the business completely unviable?
    Or, if not, is building websites for businesses at this end of the market really just "loss leaders" to grab a longer term stream from upsells? Seems like a hefty price to pay and risk to get that business.

    Also, any links folks can suggest?
     
  5. blasterweb

    blasterweb Regular Member

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    Also interested in this. Also thinking whether I should make sites in Wordpress or use Bootstrap 3 to make them, and possibly develop my own CMS that I will use to build websites for all kinds of businesses in my country (not US)
     
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  6. Avid Learner

    Avid Learner Regular Member

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    Leaning to Wordpress because of the large community. The selling point is that if the client wants to work with someone else down the road they can find the skills more easily.

    Not sure how big the Bootstrap community is, but the mobile focus / aspect is attractive and might be more important for some clients.
     
  7. Dj Co2

    Dj Co2 Elite Member

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    You're looking at this from an expert's point of view whereas you should be thinking from a small business owner's perspective.

    Normally, a person like that doesn't have the capability to build a website even by using those free tools. So your point about these businesses leaning towards using free web design tools rather than hiring an expert is baseless.

    That said, you do need to do your homework before approaching a business. Some will pay upwards of $1k and some won't pay more than $500.

    At the end of the day, it's all about how good of a salesman you are.

    P.S. you can also work on ranking your web design services website for your city keywords. That way you'll have the buyers coming to you, rather than you going to them. Warm leads are always better.
     
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  8. Avid Learner

    Avid Learner Regular Member

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    Thanks for your reply!

    Fair point. They must have hired someone, who really just pounds out something basic using those tools/sites.

    Then, maybe it makes sense to approach prospects with a free "mini-audit" - and have a one page summary in hand for the initial meeting.

    Agree - persuasiveness in content and delivery is key.

    Two aspects to salesmanship, based on other IRL experience:
    1) Establishing expertise - the mini audit may help, but do need to comfortably know and speak to the ins and outs on a broad range of related topics;
    2) Establishing value add - the problem for them is driving revenue through this channel - a web page is more utilitarian / transactional, but if that can be wrapped around a story of the potential this offers, and what they are "leaving on the table" (vs competitors) it will be compelling. The challenge is in articulating how much that might be - as this would be key to whether they'd think $1K is worthwhile investment. Not sure how much homework ahead of time can be done on this point. Maybe just the fear of losing out to competitors is enough.

    Anything else?

    Great point - a worthy investment. Definitely adds to credibility, too, for cold calls. Besides, it is a way to practice one's skills.