We don’t have a ton of clients and we don’t build a ton of websites. We’re not one of the biggest agencies in the country… or our state… or our city. We’re a small company in an industrial midwest market that has carved out a very specific niche: We work intensively with a select number of industrial businesses to develop premium websites and lead-generating marketing campaigns.

Despite our size and small client base, our services aren’t cheap and naturally we’re often asked why. That’s a fair question and we think it warrants a fair response.

The short answer is actually pretty simple. 99% of website design companies build online versions of your leave behind-brochure. We, on the other hand, build lead-generating machines.

When we’re invited to share our capabilities presentation with an industrial business, we always show a slide that explains the 2 purposes of business-to-business online marketing:

  1. Generate qualified leads
  2. Nurture those leads through their buying process

A business website is the online center of these two activities, and a website that is no more than a digital brochure simply will not accomplish them.

The graphics that follow compare the anatomy of the average $5K industrial website to the anatomy of an industrial website worth paying for. We also went ahead and broke down where where those dollars go in a website build priced at $25K+.

A $5K industrial website

5K website

A $25K industrial website

25K website

The Basics: Value: $5K

Search Google for “cheap website design” and you’ll find thousands of companies who can build a $5K website that explains your company’s services, lists your clients and projects, and talks about your history and philosophy. Don’t get us wrong – all of this stuff is very important. In fact, they’re all required in our opinion. But don’t let yourself be fooled either. Simply putting this information online will not win you new business.

1. Service pages

Each of your key services should be highlighted and profiled. Include images and well-written copy, and link to related projects from within the content of that page.

2. About your company

Focus not only on your philosophy, mission statement and history, but on your value proposition. What sets your business apart from your competitors?

3. Client list and project examples

It’s important to validate your business. Project pages and a list of clients can help with this, so we recommend including them. The real validation, however, will come through case studies and other thought-leading content for your industry (more on that to follow…)

Brand Professionalism: Value $5K+

While thousands of web design companies can deliver the above, the pool begins shrinking quickly when great design and writing come into play. A website build is NOT a task for the IT department. It’s a marketing task, and should be executed by marketing professionals with skill sets ranging from marketing strategy to design, copywriting and programming.

4. Mobile-friendly, great design

If you care about how your employees dress, how your office looks and what kind of impression you have on prospects you meet, why should the online face of your business not be given that same attention? And in today’s business world, as mobile phone and tablet usage continues growing, that online storefront needs to adapt accordingly.

5. Well-branded, search engine-friendly copy

The manner in which your business communicates with customers speaks volumes. You communicate with confidence and pride. So must your marketing tools. And in an online setting, there’s another important member of your audience that can’t be forgotten. His name is Google, and you need him to find you if your prospects are going to find you. Smart, balanced online copywriting accomplishes all of this.

Lead-Generating Ability: Value $15K+

The real answer to the question posed in the title of this blog post lies here. Great design and writing separates the good from the average, but conversion-focused web design that turns visitors into leads separates the great from the good. Your website can be your greatest salesman if you give it that opportunity.

6. Business blog

Blog posts about topics your audience craves will help them find you in search engines. Well-written blog posts will earn their attention and trust. But without a blog infrastructure engrained in your website, you’ll miss these opportunities.

7. Calls-to-action

What do you want you website visitor to do? Think about it. Should they call you about a free consultation? Should they sign-up for updates by newsletter? Should they download a case study you’ve built about a current customer? Unless you ask, you visitor won’t do it.

8. Lead capture pages and forms

Not everyone is ready to call you and hire you for a $50M or even a $50K job. Most website visitors are just researching (at least for the moment). When your calls-to-action direct visitors to lead capture pages (example: fill out this form to download our case study), you create opportunity collect contact information. And then you can nurture these leads through newsletters and other relevant content until they’re done researching and are finally ready to talk with you.

9. Premium downloadable content

Case studies about client successes and white papers showcasing industry expertise give your qualified website visitors a reason to provide their name and email address. You’re “selling” valuable content, and the price they pay is permission for you to add them to your marketing database.

10. Lead conversion tracking and website analytics

It’s great to know how many visitors your website is receiving and how much time they’re spending on various pages. But website analytics become a lot more useful when you start tracking how a new lead found you in the first place and which marketing spends are producing qualified leads. All smart website builds include systems to collect meaningful data and analyze how it affects your bottom line.

Convinced yet?

If you’re still not convinced that a website could be worth $25K+, we won’t blame you. But we would encourage you to at least shift your mindset on what purpose your site serves. Why invest at all if it’s to be nothing more than a brochure? The savviest, most progressive businesses are learning that lead generation in industrial B2B markets is changing quickly. Your website can be your greatest ally if you equip it with the right tools.

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