seo and web design

How Much Should You Pay For a Website?

I had a guy call me a few weeks ago. He owned a store front restaurant and he didn’t have a website. He wanted to know why he didn’t show up on Google for any of his target keywords, so I told him,”You need a website to show up in Google search. What is Google supposed to show if you don’t have a website?”

So I proceed to explain to him that first he needs a website, then his website needs to be optimized for search engines (SEO), and he needs to get listed on Google Places, Yahoo Local, Bing Local, etc. Basically, this guy didn’t have an online presence at all, I’m surprised that anybody can even find his restaurant.

So he continues to tell me that his competitors are kicking his butt, and he needs new customers. So considering he only needs a simple website (since he owns a restaurant and he’s not actually selling any products or services online), against my better judgement I say, “I can build a professional website for you for around $1,500 since you probably don’t require more than a few pages.” The guy says, “What?!! $1,500?? I got a friend in Jersey that can build the website for $300. It doesn’t have to be a nice website. My competitors have crappy websites, I just need a crappy website too.”

cheap websiteWow! I don’t even know where to begin with people like this. If you have somebody that can build a website for $300, then why are you calling me asking about websites and SEO? Also, why would you want a crappy website just because your competitors have a crappy website? He didn’t want to invest in a decent website for his own restaurant, that’s insane.

I refuse to believe that this guy runs this restaurant or any other business. I think the restaurant belonged to his parents and they passed it on to him or something. Plus the restaurant is in in Los Angeles, but he called from a New York number, and he’s got a “friend in Jersey.”

Don’t be that guy. You have to take your business serious. Just because you’re a storefront business doesn’t mean that you don’t need an online presence. If people can’t find your local business online, they’ll drive right past it because they won’t even know it exists.

I used to Google “donut shop” plus my zipcode, and the nearest donut shop they showed me was 4 miles away. That’s ridiculous because I know there’s donut shops around here, but I have no idea where they are at. One day I was driving down a street that I drive down all the time, and there was a donut shop right there! Imagine how much more money they’d make if they had an online presence. I must have driven past that donut shop 100 times and never noticed it wasblockbuster going out of business there. That’s why I’m saying from experience; if people can’t find your local business online, then you don’t exist.

As sad as it is, the entire world lives online now. If you run a business, you have catch up to the times or get left behind. Don’t think it can happen to you? That’s probably what the music industry thought, book publishing companies, and blockbuster video. Cable TV is next on the chopping block thanks to Netflix & Hulu.