Whether you’re a start-up company looking to build a website or an established company looking to revamp your current site, there are a few things you, as a business owner, should know when you’re shopping around for a web design company.
1. What are you looking to gain from your website?
The first question to ask yourself is why you want a website in the first place. Many business owners build a website, without really considering what they hope to gain from it, aside from simply having a website. If all you’re looking for is a nice looking, informational website for prospects to access when searching for your business, then hiring a web designer may be enough.
However, what many business owners don’t realize is that a website can do so much more – it can actually generate more leads and business. By hiring an internet marketing and design company that will create a website that is optimized for search engines, your website can actually become your greatest marketing tool.
2. What is your budget?
If you’re on a tight budget, you may be looking for the least expensive available option, but as the saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” An inexpensive, template website may fit well within your budget, but you’ll likely be sacrificing design, user experience, and SEO elements by an experienced firm – elements which will contribute to a greater return on investment. The best thing to do is to invest in a custom website with a reputable web design and online marketing firm who will provide a flexible monthly payment plan to fit your budget.
3. What is your “bread and butter” service?
If you’ve decided that you’d like a website with SEO, you should consider what your “bread and butter” service (or product) – that is, the service that brings your business the greatest profits. Let’s say you’re an insurance attorney; your “bread and butter” service in Houston may be personal injury insurance claims. By knowing this, you can help your SEO firm figure out which keywords would most benefit you to rank for and how to structure your website.
4. Who is your target audience?
Much like “bread and butter” services, it is important to know who you’re trying to reach, so that your website will target the appropriate audience. This is especially true if you’re hiring a copywriter to write your web content. A trained copywriter will know that content written for a B2B manufacturing company will be written differently than content written for a chiropractor looking to sell its services to the general public.
For example, if you work in a highly technical field such as electrical repair and you’d like to tailor your content to the common homeowner, you may want to invest in hiring a copywriter who can explain complex topics in layman’s terms in order to avoid turning off potential clients with industry jargon they don’t understand.
5. What is your time frame?
One thing many business owners don’t realize when they decide to have a website built is that the process takes time, especially when SEO is involved. Websites, especially good websites with proper SEO, are not built overnight. You may find a firm that advertises quick turnarounds on web design and development, but the end result will likely not be the best work.
Likewise, SEO is a long and time-consuming process. It is just as much an investment in time as it is in money. Real web design and SEO usually takes anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months, depending on the size of the website, services requested and client responsiveness. Learn more about how you, as a client, can help speed up the process of completing your website.