If you’re a small business owner out to get a website, you’re probably doing it to get into the now all-important digital marketing and get new customer leads by building a place where local shoppers can find you on the web and mobile when they search Google.

You’re also likely to find a world of affordable options out there to build and host your website for next to nothing each month, plus scores of “do it yourself” options that cost close to nothing at all.

This all sounds good, right? So what’s the issue?

Well, all those cheap options may look attractive, but they’re really costing your small business a big hidden fee by not getting you what you’re paying for in the first place – more customer leads.

How’s that, you ask?

  • Just having a site doesn’t get your business seen – Most think that putting a site out there on the web will automatically and instantly get them seen by Google searchers. They couldn’t be more wrong. An analogy I like to use is one of gazing up into the sky at night to see all those shiny, flickering stars. For each one you can see, there are trillions you can’t. A new website is just like all those invisible stars. If you don’t have a great design, a well-planned URL, custom features, well-written info, paid ads, and the all-important technical search engine optimization, or “SEO,” you may as well not even have one. Cheap site builders put out your site as fast as possible with the same templates they’ve used over and over again for other businesses. Then, they leave it alone. Your site becomes stale the day after it launches. What’s worse, most of these companies never even submit your website to Google’s index, so you’re never able to get customers to find you at all! The result? You become just one of millions of unseen websites that cost you cash but never return your investment.
  • Cheap sites don’t get Google search traffic – Search Engine Optimization is complex. Very complex. Plus, good SEO takes building sites with the latest approaches, software and – most notably – continuous monitoring, tuning, and more tuning on an ongoing monthly cycle. Doing so is an expensive process and web engineers cost lots of money. Lots of money. Thus, the profit margins for the cheap site companies on each website they create is very thin. That means all those affordable websites can stay affordable only as long as they control the cost per site as much as possible and get as many people as possible to sign up. That means every customer gets only the minimum amount of effort required and every website must be repeatable for as many customers as possible for them to make money. What’s that mean for you? It means your website isn’t getting much attention, despite what the great-sounding marketing pitch says. When it comes to the expensive, time-consuming and continuous tuning necessary for your site to perform, well, it’s just not gonna happen. Ever. Again, you’re the one paying, but it’s costing you a lot more than that low monthly bill.
  • Google search is always changing, dynamic world – Good search engine marketing is both a technical thing and a “living” process. Of course, your website’s bits and pieces need to be built correctly from the beginning (with things like solid technical SEO, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and mobile built-in), but most significantly of all in today’s SEO is dynamic content. If your website doesn’t have a regular stream of fresh content that engages your customers and adds unique value, Google will drop you in a hurry from their index. Why? Google wants its web and mobile search users to find the most accurate answer to any question they type in the search bar. If your website doesn’t have good content that answers questions your customers are asking, you won’t be seen to have any “authority” on your area of expertise. Just think about it. If WebMD put up a site with a few pages on a few diseases and never updated them or added more, would anyone use them to find answers? Nope. Google analyzes your site’s content with many tools and techniques, such artificial intelligence, to try to “know” what your site is all about. Simply stated, you rank higher for user searches by using your site to show you know – and are an expert – on what you do or sell. That means lots of regularly updated info that informs, educates and helps your site visitors make decisions. Think that cheap site you got last year and have not updated since it went up shows you’re an authority? It doesn’t to Google – or your customers.
  • Cheap sites don’t tell you how you’re faring – Most of these very affordable site builders never give you detailed metrics or info on how your site is performing. Yet monitoring your website’s performance is the only way to know if you’re on track. Why? Ask yourself this question: do you think those cheap website builders really want you to see how much traffic you’re getting for your money? What your best keywords are? Which ones it’s rating for? How long viewers stay on your site? How many pages they’re viewing? What technical issues your site has right now given Google’s latest changes? They do not. Why? Well, let’s just say not many businesses would continue paying for if they showed full transparency into just how well (or not) their websites we’re doing at any given moment. Effective SEO is a moving target and depends heavily on staying vigilant to know about and keep up with changes in customer search habits and Google’s changes. If you’re not monitoring and managing, you can’t stay on top of it. It’s that simple.

These are only 4 of a wide variety of ways those cheap websites are actually costing you cash (and customers!) in the form of lost leads.

While attractive from a dollars and cents perspective, these kinds of sites lull you into a false sense that you’re being found and getting seen. With no real return on your investment, most also miss a big hole in their marketing strategy they never even knew was there.

In fact, in 100% of cases, new VandalsSmile customers for our highly-effective lead generation websites have been getting no Google search traffic at all to their sites – often for years.

Think you can get leads with 0 visits from Google each month? it’s a high price to pay for a small website bill.

How’s your site doing? Let us scan your site with our tools and let you know how much traffic is coming your way from Google.

THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE

Get a custom built website from VandalsSmile with 24/7 SEO monitoring, metrics, and reporting plus monthly updates.

  • Custom-built website with MLS in as little as 5-7 days
  • 24/7 monitoring of your SEO with continuous SEO updates and improvements
  • Advanced on-site lead capture mechanisms
  • In-depth metrics on your lead gen and site performance
  • Integration with your CRM or email automation system
  • Real-time lead notification alerts via email, SMS, CRM
  • Optional targeted digital ads on Google, Facebook, and Twitter

About the Author

Jason Polancich

Jason Polancich is app designer and digital marketing lead for Musubu.io. Polancich is a linguist, software engineer, data scientist, intelligence analyst, and real estate broker and investor with his wife and business partner Rebekah. He's also the founder and lead architect of VandalsSmile, a data-driven, small business marketing and lead generation network making big data work practically and usefully for owners. Polancich also originally created HackSurfer/SurfWatch Labs (Pre-VC), a cyber analytics firm founded in 2013 that provided highly accurate, timely and actionable information to businesses regarding the cybercrime threats they face. Polancich is a serial entrepreneur focused on solving complex internet commerce, data analysis, and cyber-defense problems. Novii Design, a company he co-founded in 2005 with Rebekah Lewis-Polancich, was based on his contributions to cloud architectures, distributed computing, data analysis and systems integration. The company assisted the U.S. Intelligence Community and Department of Defense in building some of the largest data warehouse and analysis systems ever put into operation within the government and defense contracting sectors. Novii Design was sold to Six3/CACI in 2010. Polancich is also a service-disabled veteran of the U.S. Army. Amazon Author Profile.

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