When you decide to hire someone to build your website, it’s important to do your homework. After all, your website is the most important piece of marketing collateral you have with your email list coming in at a close second.
Having a website that converts is imperative to your success, and you need to ensure that the person or company you hire understands this. Whether you are looking for minor tweaks or a total facelift, it’s important to know what questions to ask before selecting a company to take on your project.
Sadly, there are a lot of companies that are very good at making pretty websites, but are not very good at getting your investment back. Finding the right partner to build or remodel your website is imperative. To keep you from making the mistakes so many people have made and avoid wasting money, here is a guide for how to make the right hire for your website build.
Are you going to design a pretty website or one that gets results?
Anyone can design a beautiful website. There are thousands of templates available where you can build a pretty website by yourself with just a little time and effort. However, if you are looking to hire someone, they have to be able to build you a website that will help you clarify your message so that you can have an effective website that creates sales.
Words are what convert visitors to your site into customers, not just a pretty design.If visitors have any confusion about how your business can help them solve their problems when they visit your website, you’ve probably lost that sale. It’s important to note here that it’s not an excess of words. It’s the clear, short, punchy words that people want to see.
Make sure that the person you hire is an expert not only in web design but also in copywriting. They need to be able to help you clarify your message on your website, offer suggestions for how to make your site convert, and ensure that it does.
What is included in your web build?
Sadly, there are way too many website companies that hold their clients hostage. They build them websites and don’t give them the tools to be able to manage it on their own once the project is finished. Sure, most people don’t want to manage their own sites and want to hire out the maintenance, but it’s important to make sure that the website company will give you licensing of all assets used in the project including photos, plug ins, fonts, music, etc. Make sure the company will give you every single password that you need to operate your site. After all, it’s your website, not theirs.
How will they help you succeed after launch?
Find a company that will offer you a website launch companion document once the project is finished. This is basically a manual of how to operate your site and what they did to improve it. This document will likely be way over your head, but that’s okay. It’s a reference guide. Plus, if you ever switch webmasters you can pass the document along to them.
A huge benefit to seek out would be video or in-person tutorials. After all, it’s your website. You should know how it works, even if you never touch it. If a company is willing to offer you tutorials of how to run your website after launch, that’s a big win.
What is their track record?
Ask for a track record from your prospective web designer. What do they find is the average ROI for their clients when they choose to work with them? Ask them for referrals from previous clients rather than just counting on the testimonials and portfolio they have on their website. Contact the references they give and ask them for their honest opinion about the whole project and how their business has improved after the website remodel.
What’s the cost?
This is probably the first question on your mind. Website builds range dramatically in price, but they shouldn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. You can find incredible companies that can totally redo your website for under $10,000. Depending on the simplicity of your site, you can find very reputable people to do work for under $5,000 and still get you a website that gets you the results you’re looking for. Obviously, there are ongoing costs for maintenance, SEO, and other services, but a site remodel does not have to cost over $10,000. If you’re getting quotes for more than that, then your website better be super complex and they are going to offer you the most robust customer service and maintenance.
Now, the thought of spending several thousands on a website may seem like a tough pill to swallow. But think about it this way. A full page ad in most magazines will cost you between $800-$1500. The return on that is incredibly hard to track unless you offer a coupon. A TV commercial for a month can run you $1500. If you invest in your website and it’s done the right way, you will see a return far greater than any magazine ad. Plus, it’s yours! You own it. It’s not a month long deal. It’s yours forever.
Where do you start your search?
If you don’t know any web designers, check with a small business Facebook group in your area. Ask fellow SENPA members with great websites who they use. Conduct Google searches in your area. The market is pretty saturated so it can be overwhelming. However, it cannot be stressed enough the importance of this hiring decision. Finding the right person for the job could save you thousands of dollars and many headaches.