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If your business had unlimited cash it would simplify the question.  You could estimate how much new business can a new or redesigned website bring the business for each dollar invested.

Reality for most is that while there is no limit in what Internet marketing can accomplish, there is a practical limit on what can be budgeted for it.

When weighing your options it is useful to ask yourself the question: “If I knew a redesigned Internet marketing campaign would reliably have a high ROI and that the more added to the budget the more business would result, what is the maximum my company could invest in it?”  Having that figure in your mind simplifies the rest of the process.

While there is no requirement that you do invest that much, it does give you a figure to use when evaluating possibilities. (Just as you have a figure in mind when you shop for a new car)  If a proposed plan exceeds that figure, you cannot consider it regardless of how wonderful it sounds.  And, if a proposed plan is significantly lower than that figure, you can evaluate it knowing that your business can afford it if the anticipated results are positive.

So, with the price or cost figure no longer the primary item under consideration you can answer these questions about any proposed plan:

  1. Overall
    1. Does the proposed plan integrate with our current Customer Management System?
  2. The website
    1. Does the appearance of the site reflect well on our business image?
    2. Does the site format well on Pads and SmartPhones where 80% of prospects will be?
    3. Does it include a Blog that we can maintain either in full or partially? And are posts syndicated to other channels?
    4. Does it integrate with our social media channels such as Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram and others?
    5. Does it automatically post new online reviews on Google, Yelp, Superpages and other review sites?
    6. Does it make clear immediately what our business does and how it can benefit our visitor/prospects?
    7. Does it offer attractive value propositions to motivate a visitor to register their contact information so we can nurture them as a lead?
    8. What is a reasonable expectation of website traffic and conversion rate? What are the estimated figures for the first six months, the first year and thereafter?

It is up to you to decide how conservative you want to be initially.  You need to weigh not only how much the initial up front cost is, but also what the ongoing cost is for site maintenance and modifications.  You also need to establish how to measure results and how to factor in time.  Typically costs are relatively high in the initial months and returns are low while over time ROI climbs and cost drops.

Starting small might seem to minimize risk, but it means favoring short-term outlay at the expense of long-term growth.  An aggressive but affordable start is almost always the best strategy.  Factor in what a well-designed marketing campaign can deliver long-term, a continuing stream of quality, targeted leads, and you’ll realize it doesn’t take more than a few new clients to repay your entire investment.

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