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How Much Does that Cost? 7 Online Marketing Definitions and the Average Prices

The Internet dominates much of today’s marketing sphere. With shopping, socializing, learning, and more available at the world’s fingertips, it’s vital for businesses to have a robust online presence. However, without having some background in computer science, digital marketing, or technology, it can be difficult to understand the inner workings of your website and online marketing. When you speak to a Cary marketing agency, you might wonder about the terms they use — and what cost to expect on a proposal.

If you need a little help with your Internet lingo, don’t worry; we’ve pulled together some of the most useful web and online marketing terms for you to know and some of the going rates.

1. Hosting: Also known as “web hosting,” a “web host” is a business that provides storage space and access to the files that make up a website. Hosting typically costs around $10 a month or less if you’re sharing server space with others.

2. URL/Domain: A Uniform Resource Locator (URL), or a Domain, is the address of a website (e.g., It functions just like a physical address; you give it to your computer, and it searches for the website’s online location. Computers use Domain Name Servers (DNS) to translate the URL into a numerical location (think GPS coordinates). The numerical location is called an Internet Protocol, or IP.

Before naming your business, it’s a good idea to check if a URL is available. Some companies pay thousands, even millions of dollars for their web domains. According to WhoIsHostingThis, the average annual cost for a domain is only $10 to $15. Most of the .com names are taken, and the shorter the domain name, the more expensive it is. If your desired name is taken, you can try a variation or use a .net or .biz version.

3. SEO: Search Engine Optimization is the effort to make sure your company website appears early in search engine results. For example, if you type “dog daycare” into Google, the businesses which appear at the top of the first results page have excellent SEO. There are lots of ways to improve your SEO, such as by creating regular content or fixing broken links. The cost to hire someone to manage your SEO starts at a few hundred dollars per month and goes up from there. Beware anyone willing to manage your SEO for less than that. Also, avoid anyone who guarantees you will get on the first page of Google search results.

4. Custom website vs. template: When building a website, you’ll have two design options; a custom website or a template. A template is a pre-made site design, which usually works well for a low budget or a more restrictive development timeline. However, using a template means risking the chance that another business has the same website layout. A template could cost anywhere from $30 to $200.

A custom website design shows greater professionalism and individuality. While big brands pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a custom website, small business owners can find help in this area for $2,000 to $10,000.

5. Keywords: The words you want customers to use to find you. For example, if you sell pencils, you want someone to type in “red pencils” and find your website in the search results. You must use these keywords on your site when describing services or products. However, it’s essential to balance this with how often keywords are searched. For example, “red pencils” is searched far more often than “Raleigh red pencil shop” or “red pencil with a blue stripe and large eraser.” While you won’t get as many “hits” or visitors to your page with the latter, they are far more likely to buy, because they are searching for something specific. You can use Google’s keyword planning tool for free, though you’ll have to set up an AdWords account first. If you find this confusing, give us a call to talk about SEO.

6. PPC: Pay-per-click (PPC) is a method of online marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time their advertisement is clicked. For example, if you advertise your restaurant, you would pay Google a few dollars for every click that your ad received. This is an economical option for many small business owners because you can focus your advertising to a specific group of people or by time of day. You can also track the types of people clicking on your ads and adjust accordingly.

Questions about your marketing? Contact us to get a free consultation for marketing your Cary or Raleigh business.

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