Need a New Website? Consider These Things Before Hiring a Web Designer
Nowadays just about anything can be found on the Internet, especially businesses. If you have a business of your own then you most likely already have a website up and running for your business. If you don’t, then you are definitely falling behind in the times. The Internet is the number 1 way businesses reach their customers. Let’s face it, nobody really looks through the yellow pages anymore, let alone even owns a phone book. In this day and age, it is all about having a visual website that can impact your potential customers in the way that they are used to.
Thanks to mobile devices, internet usage on said devices have jumped up 78% from 2012 to 2013. So now it is not even enough to have a website, but you now need to have a Responsive Website. This means that whenever somebody visits your website on their mobile device, the layout of your normal website adapts so that it can be effectively viewed on their device. If your website does not have a responsive design, then the layout will look all mixed up and out of proportion to the point where it will turn away that prospective customer/client. Brands and businesses can no longer afford to offer Internet experiences that aren’t compatible with these devices. The good this is that having your website set up as responsive shouldn’t cost you penny extra. When building your website, this “feature” should be a given. Anything less is not worth your hard earned money. So when you are speaking with your designer and you ask them if the website will be responsive and they say, “no”… IT’S A TRAP! Run in the other direction FAST!
If you need advise as how to go about doing Internet marketing, ask your web designer!
Moving on - proceed to ask your web designer to make sure that your website will be optimized. If they look confused or ask you to elaborate… you need to find somebody else. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the lifeline of any website. SEO determines where your website will pop up in a search engine search, such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing. 97% of consumers use search engines for local products and services and 89% of them are using search engines to make purchasing decisions. The thing is, you’re paying for a new website, not for SEO, but you should DEFINITELY inquire about their SEO services if you care about anyone seeing your website.
Now you will always meet someone that will brag about how they can build the best looking website for you, but the sad truth is that only a fraction of them actually can, because guess what? Not every web designer knows the principles of good design or how to achieve it – shocker right? The majority of web designers out there will just add the content of what you want involved to a pre-made website template that they downloaded online and call it a day... I have seen this too many times. While it may look neat and visually stimulating, it is not unique and there are probably several other websites out there that look exactly the same. This is not what you want to spend your money on. You are paying for a unique look, not a carbon copied one.
A good web designer will start by asking about what goals you have in mind and will not listen to you when all you say is something to the degree of, “My goal is to have a new website”. They should ask you if you want more blog readers, customers, or if you would like to be a leading information source for your field of business, etc. They want to know why you’re willing to pay them a good amount for their services – as they should! Functionality for websites starts with good design, and high quality websites usually have high quality conversion rates, which is derived from high quality design. It is always good to pay a little extra for good design.
Once you have your website built and looking super fine, you may think, “Yay! I’m done! This is awesome!” You couldn’t be more wrong… This is only the beginning. There are many companies that have spend upwards to $20,000 on building a website to look breathtaking, and then they stop there and not spend a dime on online marketing. This makes absolutely no sense! Why would you spend big money on a website that nobody will see? Think before you spend people! You absolutely need to invest in online marketing for your new website with some social media campaigns and e-mail blasts for example. Your website pretty much acts as your best sales rep, and people need to meet it!
If you need advise as how to go about doing Internet marketing, ask your web designer! They have seen it all and can usually make good recommendations according to your budget. If they don’t know, then most of them can provide you with a referral of someone they know that could help you out.
Lastly, when deciding on who your web designer will be – make sure you like them! You will be collaborating with them quite frequently over time. Though you do not want somebody that will take a year or longer to complete your website and then only responds to your emails every few weeks. Pick someone who is willing to learn about you and your company and values what you are trying to accomplish. This is the only chance you have of enjoying the whole process so it is definitely worth it.