There’s no such thing as a perfect website. Many websites are close, but 0.00% are there. Which means there’s always something to improve. But the question for you is, how much improvement is needed?
We already talked about how the number of pages on your website impacts the cost of SEO overall. But it’s also a factor in the condition of your website.
Small websites typically have fewer problems, but that’s not always the case. A lot of it depends on the content management system (CMS) the site is on. WordPress comes search engine friendly out of the box and with a few added plugins, but it’s not perfect. And other CMSs? Don’t even get me started!
Having a larger site doesn’t automatically mean that the condition of your site is going to be a problem, but it does increase the odds. Not only that, but the size of the site amplifies the problem as well. Sometimes that means a simple fix in a template will solve a problem across thousands of pages, but that can also mean that the thousand-page fix you need isn’t so simple after all.
And all of this plays into how much work is needed to truly optimize a site. The more problems you have, the bigger the monthly expense of your digital marketing campaign will be (or the longer it will take to get the results you want).
Importance of Website Audits
But here’s the tricky thing. SEOs can’t always know in advance how good or bad the condition of your site is. They can run some tools through the site that report back on some basics: Missing headings, misused titles, duplicate content, etc. They can even look to see how mobile friendly your site is. But without spending hours doing a detailed analysis of your site, there’s just no way to catch everything. And even a detailed analysis won’t catch it all.
This is why I often recommend starting with a website audit. SEOs should do a baseline review of a site before generating a proposal, but it’s impossible to know the full extent of a site’s issues without a complete audit and review.
An audit, when done right, provides more than just a regurgitation of data found by a quick run of tools through the site. It’s requires getting hands dirty in the coding. And the actionable recommendations you get from an audit should be valuable in their own right. That’s why they cost money!
When to Start Over
But even knowing what problems to fix and how to fix them on your site are two different things. Different sites bring different complexities into the equation. It’s not often that we come across a site that turns out to be so bad that it needs to be rebuilt. But sometimes that’s the best way to go, usually because of the CMS and other coding complexities.
I always try to work with the site I’m given. That means I’ll make recommendations to re-develop the website only when absolutely critical for a client’s success. But if it’s clear that a new website would be beneficial, I would be derelict in my duties not to point it out. Unfortunately for the site owner, it becomes another considerable expense just to make the site search engine-friendly and web marketing-ready.
Assessing the Damage
But only once the extent of the damage is known and a deep dive into the coding is made can the marketer determine the cost involved in fixing the issues. Which goes back to the audit recommendation.
If you want to have an ironclad idea of the costs involved in fixing, optimizing, and marketing your site, that’s the best way to know without diving into a long-term contract. Initial assessments are just that. They are not a full diagnostic of all of your website’s problems.
And all of that leads back to the question many people as, “How much does web marketing cost.” The answer to that can only be known once the extent of your site’s condition is known.