Sean Carton does a great back-of-the-envelope calculation of $3,000 to create a web page in his ClickZ column: How Much Does A Web Page Cost?
I don’t disagree with Sean about the absolute costs. Different companies may use a different mix of people so any given page may cost more or less. His point, that it’s more expensive than you think is a good one. Plus you probably now need to pay for traffic to that page; that isn’t cheap either and traffic is getting more expensive all the time.
My concerns are not with what Sean said. It’s what he didn’t say that disturbs me. Should companies include the cost of analyzing the traffic? Where’s the cost of various versions of the creative to test? Where is the entire cost of optimization in this calculation? Where is the accountability built into the process?
It’s 2007 and we’ve been writing about conversion rate optimization since 1999. For years everyone treated us like we were the crazy ones with all our conversion optimization talk . After two New York Times best selling books I assumed ( always a mistake) that our concepts were more mainstream. If in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king then the fully sighted man is court jester. Are we still so “far out there” that building accountability into the entire process is crazy talk?
P.S. Sean does a great job defending agency costs. Why don’t agencies do a better job of defending the return on investment?