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How to Build a Branded Website on a Shoestring Budget

A robust online presence is something all businesses require to thrive, whether they are aspiring startups or established brands. According to Forbes, 28% of business transactions happen online, underscoring the importance of having a website up and running. 

As of 2023, around 71% of businesses already have a website. That means you may miss out on a lot by overlooking this investment. 

A branded website can help you build your brand identification and draw clients in a congested market, in addition to acting as an online storefront. Nevertheless, building a unique, customized website may be very expensive, especially for small and new companies with tight budgets. 

Fortunately, you can create it without going over budget if you put a little thought and ingenuity into it.  We’ll provide some actionable advice to get a branded website off the mark without breaking the bank.

Define Your Brand Identity

Statistics indicate that 55% of first impressions are visual. Your website is often the first point of contact for a majority of buyers, so make sure it makes a great first impression on visitors. Before diving into development, clearly define your brand identity

Here are a few questions you should ask before starting with the process:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What values does your brand represent?
  • What is the unique selling proposition of your business?
  • What sets you apart from competitors?

You can easily decide on the layout and content of your website by having a firm grasp of your brand from the outset. It guarantees consistency and coherence with the rest of your branding materials.

Consider DIY Where Possible

The average cost of professional website design and development can be in the range of $12,000 to $150,000. Even the starting point is a lot for small businesses. You can save a bit by hiring a freelancer instead of an in-house team, but custom-branded design and content can still add to the cost. Fortunately, you can get a site up and running without professional help.

A DIY approach can be a savior when you want to build a branded website on a shoestring budget. Hocoos recommends an AI-powered website builder as it can cover several fronts. From creating captivating designs to generating relevant content, AI can do it all for you. The best part is that you can create a business-ready website in a few minutes by only answering a few questions. 

Content creation and search engine optimization (SEO) are other aspects you can try handling without professional help. Research relevant keywords for your niche, and integrate them naturally into your website content. Additionally, you can seek online resources to learn the basics of technical SEO and link building. 

After your website is live, you must ensure regular maintenance to keep it running smoothly. Learn how to address basic updates and troubleshooting instead of outsourcing maintenance tasks. Look for a website builder with user-friendly interfaces that can be managed without technical expertise.

Focus Only on Essential Features

While a branded website requires extra creativity, you can avoid bells and whistles that increase the development cost. Take a minimum viable product (MVP) approach and prioritize essential features such as a homepage, about page, product or service pages, contact information, and web form to build a basic one.

You may add a blog to showcase your brand as an industry leader and expert. According to research, brands that have blogs get 67% more leads monthly than those without active blogs. All you have to do is share relevant, updated, and informative content on your blog. Besides highlighting your brand’s value, a blog can also give your website the SEO advantage for high rankings. 

Leverage Social Proof

Branding is about building trust with your audience and ensuring they recognize your business in a crowded market. Social proof is the key to both, so it makes an essential part of a successful branded website. Elements such as reviews, customer testimonials, case studies, and trust badges can establish credibility for your business. 

Data shows that 92% of buyers hesitate to purchase from a brand without customer reviews. Additionally, 87% would not even consider one with a rating of less than 3 stars. These numbers showcase the significance of social proof elements for a branded website. Besides enhancing your brand’s reputation, they encourage visitors to take action. Encourage clients to provide reviews on your website and social media and put them front and center.

In conclusion, budget constraints should not be a hindrance to developing a branded website. All you need to do is take the right approach, find a DIY solution, and start from there. With this mindset, you can create a professional-looking website that defines your brand and wins over customers.

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