You want results. You want more targeted website traffic. You want better conversions from your landing pages to subscribers and sales.
You hire a website design firm or web designer and pay them hundreds or thousands of dollars and expect them to deliver results. Right? Of course you do and so have millions of others. The problem is that there are so many different kinds of web designers offering a wide variety of services and expertise.
Here are five tips to help you find the perfect web designer.
1. Understand that you, the business leader, marketing director or entrepreneur have to control your marketing messages. Web designers may know how to write the code for the site, but they most likely don’t understand marketing. Don’t believe me. Look at your web analytics and consider how well your current website is performing. Many came from either a print design background or a self-taught coding background, but I’ve yet to meet one that came from a business or marketing background. That’s another thing that makes Prime Concepts different; we are business growth and marketing professionals with a team of marketers, writers, SEO specialists, graphic designers and web developers.
2. Decide what your goals are for your website in advance. What action steps do you want visitors to take when they visit your website? Subscribe, download, view video demo, listen to an audio, take a trial, buy something, fill out a request form. What sections, focus and theme do you want? Theme meaning areas of your website, not the design theme… that comes later. Ask your department managers or staff what questions they get asked repeatedly and that will give you an idea of content that you need and how you want to organize it on your website.
3. Interview prospective Web designers and check their portfolio and testimonials. Keep in mind that portfolios are mostly there to give you a sampling and provide social proof that they can do the work. You’ll want to take a close look at their company website. Do you like it? Does it communicate what they do effectively? Is it easy to follow and find their contact information? One of the things that we offer is a quick website critique where we help you identify areas that would help you improve your search-engine rankings, conversions and website performance. This can be extremely helpful in evaluating a new web design firm.
4. Don’t get seduced by the technology. I’m talking about the dark side of the force. You know, all of the bells and whistles that some website designers try to use to impress. Keep in mind that the only reason for your website in the first place is the response that it creates. Are your webpages communicating the value, branding, information and generating leads and sales? Your website is a communications tool. What good is it if you have a full flash website that looks cool on some screens, but doesn’t work on iPhones or iPads, takes a long time to load, or has crazy or confusing navigation? I love flash and other technologies too, but you have to decide carefully why you’re using them and do so appropriately so they improve the visitors’ experience.
5. Select the right Content Management System (CMS) To clarify this tip, you want to select your web designer carefully because I’ve heard way too many horror stories from clients before they came to us about their CMS. For example, in the past, they paid thousands of dollars so they could update and manage their website content themselves, but they either didn’t ever learn the complicated CMS system, the person that was trained left the company, no one had the time to do it, or they completely screwed up the pages. Worse, if they wanted to move to a new host or web design firm, they may not be able to move their website because of proprietary CMS systems, licensing or configuration issues. There are so many different cms solutions (see wikipedia) so you want to consider all of your options and get qualified advice in advance. We suggest that at the very least you have a wordpress enabled blog component on your website. You need fresh content for many reasons and can call it a blog, news updates, ask the expert, or anything else. The WordPress code is open source and once configured on your website it’s yours to modify, move and benefit from now and in the future.
Hope this helps you make your decision to find a web designer easier. Have questions? Ask them below in the reply/comment area or just give us a ring. We’re here to help!