As a small business owner, having a website makes your business a whole lot more attractive to your customers. In fact, 84% of consumers prefer businesses with websites, and 81% of small business owners say having a website helped them grow. But to build a great website, you need the right website designer. With this in mind, here are key tips to help you find the ideal designer for you and your small business website.
10 Things To Consider When Hiring a Website Designer for Your Small Business
1. The Right Expertise
Website styles and functions have as much variety as fish in the sea. A designer who can do one thing well might not have experience with another type of site or functionality.
The designer you choose should be able to provide exactly what you’re looking for in your website. This might be e-commerce options, online booking and orders, product demos, blog posts, private membership sections, portfolio galleries, simple one-page landing pages, or something else altogether.
Clarify What You’re Looking For
To prepare for this, it’s best to get clear in your own mind what you want your customers to do when they reach your site. And then, browse existing websites, both in and out of your industry, collecting successful model sites that you particularly like.
When you approach web designers, this will help you to clearly explain what you want. You’ll find out more quickly if they have the right expertise and experience to provide it.
2. Small Business Website Specialization
Ideally, your web designer should specialize in helping small businesses just like yours. Small business websites often don’t need all the bells and whistles that a larger company might require.
With many small business websites, less is more. You might only need a simple landing page site, for instance, asking the visitor to take a single action. And if your clientele is locally based, then your site should be geared toward local SEO without concern for gaining traffic from different cities, states, and countries.
3. An Impressive Portfolio
When perusing potential website designers, make sure they have a great portfolio of past projects. Take the time to visit the websites they’ve previously built and browse through the pages. If they don’t have a public portfolio, ask for examples from prior clients; preferably ones that are similar to your business.
Remember that if you hire a designer, your website will be of similar quality to these samples. Ideally, their sample sites shouldn’t seem cookie-cut from the same template. Look for signs that they’ve customized each site to suit each individual client’s industry, customer base, and desires.
User-Friendliness On Any Device
Consider how easy it is to navigate each of their sample sites and how well they’re designed to attract customers. Bear in mind that, these days, 60% of internet users browse with their mobiles.
Mobile searches are particularly common with small local businesses, where your customers are quickly searching for a service while on the road. So for each potential designer, make sure their sample sites look and feel fantastic on mobile as well.
4. Glowing Reviews and Testimonials
It always helps to see what prior customers are saying about a designer. Some designers will have client testimonials on their own websites.
You can also browse Google My Business and search for the designer’s social media presence for further reviews and customer comments. Whenever you see a review, check out the reviewer’s actual website to make sure it’s legit.
5. An Efficient Work Process
Good designers are efficient and respect deadlines. The last thing you want is a project that drags on indefinitely for months or even years. With modern tools and systems, the best designers and firms can have a top-notch customized site up and running within 30 days.
Ask potential designers about their work process and how long their sites typically take to build. Ask how many other clients they have on their plate at the moment and how much time they can dedicate to your project. You want to gain a sense that they’re extremely well-organized and focused on your project.
6. A Complete Turnkey Solution
When you have a house built, ideally, you want to be able to move in the day it’s done. Likewise, with your website, when it’s finished, you want it to be 100% finished and ready to receive visitors and convert them to paying customers – no extra work required.
Many web designers only create the basic site layout and pages but neglect to handle all the other important aspects, such as copywriting, links to your social media, traffic analytics, email autoresponders, sales funnel components, and various other essential website functions. This is like handing you a new house without the doors, decor, or furnishing installed. Ask potential designers exactly how much they provide, and ideally, look for a complete turnkey website solution.
7. A Bird’s Eye View of Business
Most designers can create a visually attractive website, but only the best of them can understand how a website fits into the bigger picture of your business offering.
Ask potential designers about how your website will interact with search engines, social media, and all your online and offline marketing efforts. Ask them about how traffic will arrive at your site and then convert to paying customers. Try to gain a sense of their overall business acuity and familiarity with your industry.
8. Local SEO Expertise
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a must for most small businesses. If you want your website to be found by potential customers browsing Google nearby, then your site should be perfectly optimized to beat out your competition.
This might mean having a blog on your site. You should also have a Google My Business page, directory listings, and social media pages. Ask potential designers how your website will connect with these various platforms and be optimized for local SEO. Hopefully, they’ll provide you with a knowledgeable answer.
9. Ease of Communication
If you’ve ever hired a specialist for a project before, you know how important communication is. There might be slight hiccups or disagreements along the way, and those tricky moments are when you want to have easy, respectful, prompt communication.
So before you hire a designer, spend a little time talking to them face to face. You can do this on Skype, Zoom, or any other face chat tool. Simply make sure that you get along nicely. Also, ask them how much input you’ll have in the project, how they deal with feedback, and what happens if you’re less than satisfied with the website as it starts to come together.
10. A Price Within Your Budget
Services and pricing vary hugely among web designers. You wouldn’t go house shopping without a firm budget in mind, and likewise, it’s unwise to shop for a web designer without knowing what you can and can’t afford.
The better you can determine your budget beforehand, the easier it will be to make a decision. Preparing a very clear picture of what you need from your website will also help you to gain more accurate quotes from potential designers.
Schedule a free strategy call today with Next Level Media Crew to have a custom website up and running in 30 days. We build turnkey sites with effective sales funnels and high conversion rates.