Should you put your prices on your website?
Updated 20 October 2019: Should I put my prices on my website? I get asked it all the time. Its not a yes/no question in a services business. It depends on your industry, your competitors and your business goals.
The reality is that there is no “should” about whether your website should have prices. But there are some things you should think about to help you decide whether you should put prices on your site or not.
So should you put your prices on your website ?
Is your price within the range charged by competitors?
If your price is more (or less) than your competitors, you need to communicate why, which might be better done in person. And if it’s much more expensive, you definitely need a website that supports that. You’re not going to sell an Armani jacket on a website that makes you look like Kmart. (Did you know we review websites?)
Is everyone else doing it?
If everyone else has their prices on their website, you could lose out if you don’t. If someone gets enough pricing information from cruising your competitors’ websites, they’re probably not going to jump through some extra hoops to get that information from you. They’ll take the negotiation to the next stage with your competitors.
If someone gets enough pricing information from cruising your competitors’ websites, they’re probably not going to jump through some extra hoops to get that information from you. They’ll take the negotiation to the next stage with your competitors.
Need some Google love?
Could you do with more visitors finding you through Google? Putting your prices on your website can help with your search engine optimisation.
We have in the past offered business book ghostwriting. That’s something people search for, but the same people also search terms like “how much is a ghostwriter”? By putting indicative fees online, we become an answer to that question. That means Google sends those people our way because they can’t send them to our competitors — they don’t have any ghostwriting fees information online.
How do you feel about tyre kickers?
Maybe you do charge a premium and you’re sick of wasting time on people who wont pay what you’re worth. In that case, you might as well filter them out. If you charge more than the average bear and you’re worth it, you don’t need to waste time talking to people who don’t have that kind of money or any interest in paying it.
Not so fast, though. The other side of that is that you might have potential customers who don’t think they want to pay your fee but that’s only because they dont know how much value youre going to bring.
When you don’t publish your prices so people have to make contact, you have a chance to sell them the value you provide. Otherwise, the number might do all the talking in the absence of any context.
What’s it worth?
If pricing information in your industry is scarce, people might be willing to pay for it by giving you their email address. Once you have their email address, you can follow up.
That follow-up doesn’t even have to be manual. You can put them into a marketing automation sequence. Mailchimp will do that for you for free with a simple autoresponder.
If you do decide to put your prices on your website…
If you decide to put your prices on your website and you’re not the cheapest, your website copywriting needs to work hard to prove value. You need testimonials, case studies, data…
Do you know what the price is?
This question came up recently and was a new one on me. The client is launching a test version of its product. It has no idea yet what the market will pay, so it hasn’t set it’s price. Right now, it just wants users.
Should it have a pricing page?
Now, this case is different from the others because there’s no way to actually put the price on the website because no one knows what it is. But the client could have a pricing page, which would necessarily have nothing more than “contact us for pricing”.
My view was that it would be deceptive to have a page labelled “pricing” in the menu when you have no intention (because you can’t) of fulfilling the implicit promise of that page.
What do you think?
Should you put your price on your website? Its a great question. Its one that applies mostly to services businesses. In product businesses you would probably expect to see a price on a website. When it comes to services, theres a lot of debate as to whether you should put a price on the website, or not. There are a number of things you need to consider.
Firstly, is your price comparable to your competitors? Somebody who arrives on your website and sees your price, might well have spoken to, or seen the websites of other people in your industry. If youre a lot cheaper, or a lot more expensive, thats something youre going to have to explain, and its something that your website is going to have to support.
If youre more expensive than your competitors, then your website has to look higher quality and more premium than your competitors. Your copy has to explain that away.
If thats something that youre worried that your website doesnt do, or you cant do in the copyrighting, you maybe be better of holding back and waiting, until you have an opportunity to talk to somebody, so that they can get a feel for you, and you can talk to them about why your price is different from your competitors.
The second thing to look at is, of course, whether all of your competitors are listing their prices on their website. If they are, and you dont, that could knock you out of the running. When somebody goes online to do their research, they find a few people in your industry.
They look at the prices. They come to your website. You dont have your price on. Maybe theyre not even going to bother to call or email you, unless theyre so impressed by your website, or theyve been referred to you, or theyve had some other sort of recommendation of you. You could knock yourself out of consideration, if youre not providing the information that everybody else is providing.
The third consideration, regardless of whether everybody else is putting their prices up online, is whether you could use a bit more traffic from Google. In my experience, for instance, I offer a ghostwriting service. A lot of the traffic to that service comes from people asking, What does a ghostwriter cost?
Because Ive got some information about my fees on the website, I attract traffic. On the whole, ghostwriters dont talk about their fees online.
If youre in a business where people dont put their fees up online, you could win the war for getting traffic from Google by providing a good answer for Google searches, to that question of, How much should somebody in this industry cost?
Another consideration is whether you get a lot of tire kickers. Going back to my ghostwriting example, I found that I got a lot of people making inquiries in the early days, who couldnt afford somebody to help them to write a book.
One of the biggest reasons, therefore, that I put my prices online, was so that people could come online, they can see how much ghostwriting a book cost, and they wont go and bother to get in touch with me, if that wasnt in line with their budget. I got a lot fewer inquiries, but the inquiries I got were of a higher quality.
If you find yourself getting a lot of tire kickers who just dont have the budget or the interest in paying what youre charging, you could find it a really good idea to exclude them and that hurdle, by putting up your fee.
On the other hand, you might be in a business where people think they dont have the budget for that, but they dont understand all that you do and the value that you bring. You may, therefore, want that opportunity when they make the inquiry, to have a chance to talk to them, and say, This is what it costs, but this is why it costs that much. This is what youre getting.
Another idea is to give people the price, but to, if you like, charge for it. Again, with the ghostwriting example, I have a page about the fees. But if you actually want to know what the fees are, you have to give me your email address. In return for that email address, you automatically get sent a PDF with the discussion of ghostwriting fees, and why they are what they are.
Ive got your email address. I can do some marketing to you if I want to, and you get a valuable piece of information you cant get from a lot of ghostwriters sites. Again, you might find thats a way to differentiate yourself from your competitors, and also, to give you a way of gathering email addresses from perspective clients, so that you can do some marketing to them.
There are other considerations when it comes to putting your price up on your website. These are just a few of them, but they give you some sort of idea of the fact its not a yes or no question. Its to do with your industry, your business strategy, and what you stand to gain by putting the price up, versus what you might lose by putting the price up.
When you start to run the question through those sort of filters, I think youll be able to come up with an answer for yourself.