How to plan your B2B website budget

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How much should your B2B website cost?

An effective B2B website is designed to generate awareness, acquire prospects, nurture prospects, and qualify sales readiness along your ideal customer’s buyer’s journey. And as companies plan their digital marketing budgets for the new year, we’re often asked “How much should my B2B website budget be when rebuilding for lead generation and B2B best practices?”. Let’s look at how much you should allocate for your B2B website budget and highlight some costs that you may not have considered yet.

 

B2B website budget: design and development

75% of judgments on website credibility are based on aesthetics and its overall user experience. Because of this, your website’s design and functionality are more important than ever to prioritize in your marketing strategy.

While website development budgets can range from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of dollars, you can realistically expect a range of $30,000 to $45,000 for development and $5,000 to $15,000 for design to implement the necessary design and functional best practices to be competitive with online standards or compliance requirements.

This cost range typically includes:

– Refreshing graphic design on the website based on your existing brand (logo, colors, typography, and design elements like icons or graphics)
– Developing your website theme, respective CSS stylesheets, and page templates within an open-source Content Management System platform such as WordPress or Drupal
– Integrating technical SEO best practices such as schema (structured data), competitive keywords, optimized meta tags, and a user-friendly site interface into your website so that search engines can easily access your site and provide the best content to users
– Configuring supporting plugins and security standards
– Applying accessibility standards into website coding and design
– Optimizing browser compatibility for common web browsers
– Optimizing your website for a mobile-first experience across all devices

You can spend more if you need a full brand refresh, require custom tools, want advanced SEO strategy, custom applications developed for your website, or need multiple rounds of revisions to meet complex internal decision making needs. However, most B2B marketing website projects should fit this range whether you are a multinational B2B brand with millions of customers, a growth brand with a very niche audience, or anyone in between.

 

Important B2B website budget items to consider

The following are B2B website budget items that we recommend considering in order to avoid additional challenges during project execution. These items are commonly overlooked when planning a new website project, but they’re important to incorporate in budget planning.

1. Setting the tone: The purpose and goals of your website

While many website projects start with the question “What should our new website look like?” a better process is to ask the following questions to define the purpose and goals of your website:

– What are our objectives?
– What audiences are we targeting?
– What content are they looking for?
– How should we organize the site to deliver our objectives?
– What are our functional and technical requirements?
– What compliance standards need to be integrated and in what ways do we need the website to be compliant?
– What should the design look like?
– How will we measure success?
– What’s working well now? What isn’t?

While requirement briefs are often included in a website project at no extra charge, make sure they cover all the elements listed above to set the right foundation for the rest of the website build.

The answers to these questions will help form a structure that will allow you to deliver a website with better results in a more efficient and less expensive process.

 

2. Site architecture, wireframes, and page templates

Building an effective visitor experience is a science and an art. Your website’s user experience (UX) can make all the difference between an effective website that accomplishes your objectives and an aesthetically pleasing one that does not.

While space on the internet is infinite, each page on your website is actually very limited. Most visitors will never get below the top of any page on your site or are even willing to click deeper than 3 clicks to find what they’re looking for, so you need to ensure that you’re building the right architecture and page templates into your website to support their journey and prioritize your content accordingly.

Site architecture and UX planning generally costs $5,000-$10,000 depending on how large or complex your site is.

The key elements in UX planning that we recommend considering include site architecture to map out your whole site and its content hierarchy, wireframes to map out each page’s structure, features, user pathways, and content, as well as building the right templates that take the logic of your architecture and wireframes and put it into practice in an aesthetically pleasing way that is optimized for search.

By prioritizing these elements, this becomes the backbone and blueprint of your website which will then inform the content, functionality, design, user pathways, and SEO requirements on your website.

 

3. Migration planning and content loading

Content loading is the process of loading and styling content in your website’s content management system. While this can be labor intensive, requiring manual loading and proofing, it can be improved with a strong content development process and the right supporting technology. If your website’s templates use WYSIWYG editors to load content into, you will want to ensure that the person loading your content has enough technical knowledge around HTML and SEO best practices (such as meta title tags and meta descriptions) as well as accessibility compliance knowledge.

But there’s so much more to migrating your website than content loading. When changes are taking place on a website, every single decision needs to be weighted from both a UX and SEO standpoint. You may have decided that certain pages from your website should be removed to improve the user’s experience, but without a clear redirect plan it may actually result in damaging your site’s organic search visibility. On the other hand, having too little text may cause search engines to think that your content isn’t valuable, therefore having a negative impact on your ability to rank for that topic and even possibly affect your overall domain authority. To ensure that decisions are being made with both in mind, consult an expert with extensive experience in both B2B SEO and UX from the very beginning of the project so they can discuss the potential consequences of every change you’d like to implement and so they can develop a holistic website migration plan for you.

Business stakeholders often do not anticipate site migrations to be so time-consuming and resource-heavy. What most stakeholders are unaware of is that it can take just a few days for organic search visibility to tank, but recovery can take several months, making this migration planning stage critical in any website redesign project. Migration planning, QA, and content loading generally costs $4,000 – $10,000.

 

4. Content development

Content development is often the biggest challenge in almost every B2B marketing website. How you tell your brand’s story is a critical element in delivering better B2B marketing results. Many are so focused on the design and architecture of the website, that content development becomes under-budgeted and delegated to a junior copywriter. Avoid this mistake by creating a content development plan earlier in the process — one that’s focused on the objectives you defined using competitive SEO and filling the content gaps that your prospects want or need to know.

To start, identify your key audiences, their intent, and the content they are looking for as they define their problem, learn how to fix their problem, and decide where to purchase from. Then, take an inventory of all existing content that should be migrated “as is” to your new website, existing content that can be edited and repurposed for your new site, and new content that will need to be developed. This stage also provides an opportunity to refresh old content with insights into what people are actually searching for.

Getting the content development efforts done is where most in-house website projects hit major delays. To ensure there’s enough time to get everything completed for your website launch date, start your content development efforts as soon as you begin website design and any coding.

Typically content planning & development in a website redesign project averages $8,000 – $24,000 depending on the amount of content needed.

 

5. Transcreation

If you do business in multiple languages than you should consider a multilingual website. There are terrific language translation management technologies available that can dramatically reduce the cost of developing and managing multilingual sites to less than $6,000 in additional development costs.

Depending on the language(s), the varying lengths in copy can drastically affect the overall UX of your website both on desktop and mobile devices, making it unpleasant for certain languages. Enhancements to the experience in each language is ideal, often done after launching the website as ongoing optimization efforts.

Multilingual features can cost $6,000 plus content translation which can run from $200 to $500 per page, depending on the length. Enhancing the experience for a particular language can increase this cost to $16k+ depending on the amount of content.

 

6. Technology integration and analytics

Implementing basic web tracking tools such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console should be included at no charge in your website design and development project.

If the structure of your website has changed, you’ll want to ensure a web expert has appropriately configured Google Search Console and Bing’s webmaster tools as well as updated the submitted XML sitemap. After launch, it will be important to keep an eye out for crawling errors to avoid any negative impact to your sites organic search performance. This should also be included in any website revamp project.

If you are using marketing automation platforms like Pardot, Hubspot, Marketo or Sales CRM platforms such as Salesforce Sales Cloud or Microsoft Dynamics, then you will need to integrate them into your site as well. Basic integration of these tools should not add any cost to your design and coding budget, but you will also need additional landing page templates, form styling to match the design, updated HTML email templates, and page scoring rules.

Marketing automation and sales CRM integration typically costs around $3,000, but can increase depending on the complexity of the assets needed.

If you want to use additional technology integration such as customer portals, support tools, catalogues, custom Google Analytics configurations/reports/dashboards, and e-commerce capability, they can often be accommodated with offsite links, Google Tag Manager or iframes. However, they will need detailed use-case and requirements discovery to really determine if a quick implementation is enough or if custom code is required.

The cost of technology implementation really depends, but it’s much cheaper (sometimes no additional cost at all) if you plan your website project with these in mind from the start.

 

7. Search Engine Optimization for B2B

As we mentioned above, basic technical search engine optimization should be included in your website design and coding budget at no extra charge. Website content management systems now handle most of the technical side of SEO such as URL structure and page titles. You will still want to ensure that your content remains competitive on an ongoing basis, which means optimization can include any of the following:

– Competitive market analysis
– Keyphrase analysis
– B2B SEO content enhancements
– Advanced schema recommendations
– Custom Google Analytics configurations
– Custom Google Data Studio reporting
– Site positional tracking (keyword ranking, SERP features)

Technical SEO should be included in your site design and coding costs, but once you get into optimizing and developing the actual content on your website for organic and local search, you can expect to see a range of $5,000 – $15,000 on a monthly basis to continue getting the most out of your new, optimized website.

8. Launch and continuous improvement

Two weeks prior to launch day, you’ll find yourself in the QA and testing stage, going through each page of your website to ensure everything is in place and ready for launch. This is where you should be on the lookout for missed bugs that need fixing, grammatical errors, and technical issues such as missing alt tags or redirects. Ensure a thorough website QA checklist is being used through this period so you’re fully prepared for a smooth launch day. If necessary, conduct a final review of site content with your legal team. In summary, be prepared to handle changes. Everything is a matter of timeline, budget, and scope. Success at this stage is finding a nice balance of them all as you work through polishing changes.

Finally, launch day has come! Have your technical expert scheduled and ready to help migrate the new website and officially launch your website. Once the site is launched, QA and test again to cover all of your bases.

You’ve now launched your website, however the work of creating an effective B2B website should not stop at launch. There are plenty of opportunities for you to gain even more from your website by performing maintenance and providing constant website updates.

Start by ensuring you have the right dashboards and data to help inform necessary optimization updates on your website. Think lead generation, organic traffic, visitor behaviour and ROI. Based on these insights, you’ll want to plan monthly updates to your website that will make the most impact against these success metrics. Plan to continually publish content across your website, make tweaks to the design, functionality and overall user experience, test out various conversion rate optimization tactics and continue to ensure the technical foundation of your site is sound, so all of the work and effort you put into optimizing your site is effectively read by search engine crawlers and continues to be compliant.

This asset should give you a general idea of how much to budget for a smart, B2B website revamp. Remember, launching is not the end of your website project… it’s just the beginning. After all, websites aren’t made of stone. You should continue to iterate and improve.

Other considerations for your B2B website budget

  • Additional design such as icons, graphics, photography, video or animation
  • Additional applications such as ROI calculators or needs assessment tools
  • Additional content development for your resource center or blog
  • Server setup and administration including automated backups and 24/7 site monitoring
  • Awareness and lead generation programs
  • Integration and planning of personalized dynamic content
  • Whether or not you will stick to a custom built resource center or move into a more robust solution such as Uberflip – check out our guide on how to choose the best content marketing platform here

Total Website Launch Budget: $60,000 – $140,000+, with an ongoing improvement budget of $15,000 – $30,000/month.

 

Budget Line ItemCost Range
Discovery and requirements briefN/C
Site design and coding$35,000 – $60,000+
Site Architecture, wireframes, and templates$5,000 – $10,000+
Migration planning and content loading$4,000 – $10,000+
Content planning and development$8,000 – $24,000+
Transcreation$6,000 – $16,000+
Technology integration$3,000 – $20,000+
Search engine optimization$5,000 – $15,000+ /m
Launch & continuous improvement$10,000 – $15,000+ /m

 

Next steps:

Want to ensure that your website is contributing to the development of a healthy sales and marketing pipeline? In this webinar, Nolin LeChasseur, Brainrider’s founding partner and CMO, discusses the three core concepts that high-performing B2B marketing teams use to turn their B2B website into a pipeline marketing machine. Watch now.

Looking to get a more accurate assessment of how much your specific B2B website will cost? We’re here to help. Get in touch with one of our experts at Brainrider.

 

About Brainrider

Brainrider is a B2B marketing and creative agency. We provide content, web, MarTech, and digital marketing services through a flexible resource model to meet your business’s specific needs. We’re focused on helping you achieve your business objectives and identifying opportunities for continuous improvement so you’ll always stay ahead of the curve. Contact us here to learn more.

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