How Much Does a HealthTech Website Cost?
I love talking about budget in the first conversation with a new prospect.
We both gain clarity immediately, we are able to set expectations for each other, and we empower each other to make wise decisions about working together (or not working together).
Even though a financial conversation comes with many benefits, HealthTech companies often delay the inevitable because of awkward feelings about discussing money or because they believe discussing their budget now could jeopardize a negotiation later. However, being transparent about your budget and doing the work to define the scope of the website you need will allow your potential partner to act as a steward of your budget and work with you to find the best way to allocate it.
In this article, I’m going to take the mystique out of what goes into the price of a B2B website and answer these questions:
- What are the key factors and drivers that impact the cost of a website?
- What should you know before you ask for a price?
- What should you expect your new website to cost?
- How long will it take to launch?
Key Components of a HealthTech Website
Your website is the primary manifestation of your brand and the destination for all online engagement efforts.
The goal of every HealthTech website is to communicate your product as the solution to your buyer’s problem, then steer them toward a conversion point. A demo or contact is the ultimate conversion, but more likely they will convert by downloading a resource or subscribing to your newsletter or blog (if you are creating compelling content). Once they’re in your ecosystem, you’ll have tons of opportunities to reengage them.
A sitemap provides the skeleton for all other website decisions. Think of the items on the sitemap as the words in your website header—your “top navigation” bar. It’s usually an outline of all of the pages of your website and often also includes key sections of pages, header navigation categories (such as a “Solutions” dropdown that doesn’t lead to an actual page, but instead houses multiple solution pages), and any external links you might want, such as a link out to log in to your product.
Beyond the basics of “what pages exist,” a sitemap outlines the journey you want your website visitors to take when they arrive. Remember, most visitors will come to your site through a landing page or blog post that has been promoted through email, social, or is the result of a Google search. Your homepage should be strong, but don’t assume that’s where all of your traffic comes from. Users typically find their way there after entering through another door. The sitemap is your way to make sure they have an easy way to find what they want.
If you don’t know your sitemap, you’re never going to be able to get an accurate price for your website.
If someone gives you a price, they are either declaring your sitemap (strategically, or not) or you will likely encounter a change order when the sitemap is defined. Or they pick a big number knowing it will work out fine because they have plenty of margin.
2. The Number of Pages and Unique Layouts
To scope a website, you need to know how many pages you need across how many unique layouts. Most sites share some layouts, which works to reduce the cost without sacrificing user experience or content.
The number of pages needed is detailed in the sitemap, but it’s worth calling out here because it’s such a huge driver of scope. Do you have 6 pages? Or 12 pages? It makes a very large difference.
The second half to this is the number of unique layouts. Some pages may share the same layout as another page, for example, if you have a “Who We Serve” section and want a page for each market you serve, those pages will likely share the same layout, but have different copy and visuals.
3. Website Copy
To put it simply, you must provide the right content in the right way to the right buyers at the right time. Easy, right?
B2B shoppers ask search engines an average of 12 queries and complete up to ⅔ of their research before most companies even know a prospect is shopping. It’s important that you have positioned your content to answer their market problems. Otherwise, you may never be included in their vetting process.
There are two major factors in web copy that impact the website cost:
- Who is writing the copy (your team or the company making the website)?
- How much copy is there? Specifically, how many words across how many pages?
Many HealthTech solutions are difficult to explain in fifty words. You might need 300+ words for every key section. Go through your sitemap and determine the expected word count for each section on each page to get a clear picture of what is needed. You’re never going to nail the word count this early, but you can generally estimate a good word count, give or take 150 words per page.
Writing the copy yourself is a great way to cut down on the website cost, just make sure the copy created aligns with the desired impact.
I often talk to prospects who begin the process with ambitions to write the copy themselves. But then after seeing the sitemap and content outlines, they realize it is a much bigger effort than anticipated. As marketers in healthcare, we all find ourselves writing frequently. It’s not always a matter of ability to compose words, it’s the ability to dedicate the time to focus copy around the buyer’s problems, which is a very different practice.
4. Visual Assets
So you know the number of pages, how many unique page layouts, and how much website copy must be created. The other big user-facing component is the quantity, type, and complexity of visual interest. Visual assets include photography, icons, illustrations, videos, and process graphics. A great way to think of this is any resource you want to show on your website that you would also potentially use in a sales deck.
These aren’t really website components; they are typically brand assets you’re going to use elsewhere. That said, most companies create these during a website project and they are needed to have a compelling site, so here we are.
Icons are typically used alongside features, industries, verticals, and sometimes for company values. These are relatively easy to create and give a nice boost to what would otherwise be 1-3 words.
Photography usually makes up the majority of visual interest throughout a website. You need to have a sense of how many images will be used, where those images will be coming from (provided by you, a custom photoshoot, or stock photography), and how much editing needs to be done. We find the most pragmatic approach is to use stock photos that we augment to apply a branded look and feel. Many companies use a blend of stock and custom photos, but you need to know how many and who is procuring them.
Product screenshots are a great way to easily show your prospect what they can expect from your product. How many you need and how much editing those screenshots require can impact price, but this is not likely to be a significant driver.
Illustrations usually serve the same purpose as photography, but with a “drawing” or “digital drawing” style visual. The decision to have or not have illustrations really comes down to your brand aesthetic. Illustrations take more time to create than editing photos, so the more illustrations you have, the more expensive your website will be.
One of the greatest gifts you can give your prospects is a visual depiction of how your solution works. How many different products do you offer? Or, how many different layers of your solution do you need to demonstrate?
Process Graphics are designed elements that need to communicate a concept or flow of information. Medaxion needed a way to show how their solution allows anesthesia data to be captured, analyzed, and shared in real time.
5. Advanced Functionality
We anticipate that you will have a CRM or marketing automation platform driving functionality on your website, but many of our clients have needed to integrate their customer portal, a hiring interface, or some other custom integration. Some are easier than others to program to cooperate with the website functionality without performance. Be upfront about what integrations you require or desire for your site. Any custom functionality needs to be outlined (or at least clearly communicated) by your team before someone can communicate a price around it.
How Much Does a Website with These Components Cost?
HealthTech websites vary in complexity and thus vary in cost. We see websites that accomplish our clients’ marketing goals with a cost anywhere from $300,000 down to $50,000 based upon everything outlined above.
That said, most HealthTech websites with 6-8 top-line pages, a blog, a resource page section, strong visual interest throughout, and 1-2 process graphics, along with a fully integrated CRM, marketing platform, and career portal cost between $60,000 and $90,000.
How Long Does a Website Like This Take to Create?
When you’ve made the decision to pursue a new website, you likely feel the problem deeply and wish you had the solution yesterday. Nobody likes to hear this, but you should never plan for a website to take less than 2.5 months and you should likely plan for 3-4 months total. The bigger and more complex the site, the longer it will take to build.
You also need to strongly consider which of your stakeholders will be involved and how available they will be to participate in the process. We have had instances where a stakeholder enters the process near the end and ultimately delays the desired launch. A good partner will help you align stakeholders, but if your CEO must be involved but her schedule doesn’t allow the time, you need to plan for that in your timeline.
In today’s marketplace, your website is the most important tool for business growth. Build one that demonstrates your audience knowledge, showcases your brand, breaks down your solution, and converts leads. Build a marketing engine, not an online brochure.