3 things you must do before calling a web designer

Before you book that meeting with a new web designer and definitely, before you pick up the phone, there are three key things you need to consider and be able to explain to them.

A good web designer will ask you about all of these and it is much more helpful if you are on the front foot and know the answers.

Not only does it help steer the conversation and enable the web designer to offer you tailored solutions, it will help clarify the direction your marketing can take. In addition to your website solution there may be other tools your web designer can offer to automate or simplify your business processes.

Know what you want your website to do

It sounds obvious but when I ask the question of some clients, they are not sure that a website can do anything, let alone a targeted action aimed at their primary audience. A website should lead your site visitors from landing to taking action.

I talked here about knowing what the one thing is that you want your website to do. It’s also great to know who your target audience is. Having a good understanding of the types of customers that are your most profitable will help guide the overall look and feel of the website.

You will want your profitable products and services to be really easy for visitors to move forward with – to purchase, to book or to pick up the phone to take the next step. Understanding how to build a great User Experience (UX) that converts your visitor is part of what you engage your web designer to do.

Run your numbers before you jump on the call so you are informed and know exactly where and how you want your business to grow. Your website isn’t just a beautiful part of the internet, it needs to be part of a powerful business strategy too.

Spend some time considering how your website will fit into your overall marketing strategy. Will you use it to rank for keywords via Google search or will you promote it via social media or both?

Is it going to be the primary tool for showcasing your products, your menu or your service offering? How do you want your website to relate to your social presence on line? Do you want to drive traffic from social media to your website or vice versa?

Know your Competitors

At Jagged Crow Creative, we believe that there is room at the table for every business. The world is a big place and with digital tools now part of our daily life doing business is getting easier for everyone.

However knowing your competition is still important so that you can clearly understand what your point of difference is.

  • How do you stand apart from your competitors?
  • What is it about you and your business that bring a unique slant to what you do or provide?
  • What area are you competitors focusing on?
  • Who is their target audience?
  • What are they doing that you know you would never want to do?
  • What are your competitors doing better than you?
  • Why would your target audience choose you?

Considering each one of these questions not only informs your overall business strategy, it will help inform the overall design and functionality of your website. Being able to articulate exactly what sets you apart will ensure you get a web design that reflects your unique selling proposition and positions you as the go-to in your industry.

Budgets and Contracts for a Web Designer

By budget we mean both financial and time budgets.

You certainly need to invest wisely in your web design. You also need to be wary of organisations that promise to deliver the world and then don’t. If you are unfamiliar with what developing a new website entails, make sure you ask lots of questions when you are talking to potential designers.

The good web designers will take the time to help you understand what is required. Taking the time to ask and understand will help you to feel confident that you are investing in the right place and that you will get what you are paying for. No matter what your budget is, you don’t want to get that “ripped off” feeling at the end of the project.

Web Designer Creed of purchasing

It is worth considering your financial budget and having some idea of what you want to spend before you get on the call, that way the web designer can give you an idea of what type of website you might get for that budget. It gives you a starting point to negotiate what’s in and what’s out.

In addition to the upfront costs of the design and build, there are always on-going costs associated with owning a website – a bit like owning a house – you will need to pay for hosting, webcare and other add-ons to ensure your website stays in tip top condition just like the day you launch.

Consider the time you will budget to get your website live. Although you engage someone else to do the technical side of things and the design, your input, feedback and review will be required throughout the project to make sure things are on track and meet your expectations. There should be opportunities to choose certain options or make suggestions with your web designer too.
Committing to a new website is a reasonably major project for most businesses, so unless you have someone you can delegate the work to, it’s going to come back to you.

You need to be available to consult with the designer, answer questions, review work and respond to queries. While this shouldn’t take up a lot of time, your commitment to timely, clear communication can help keep your project moving – meaning you get your new site sooner!

Having your website built or refreshed is an exciting step in your business journey. Choosing the right designer begins with each business owner knowing exactly what they are trying to achieve, understanding their point of difference and allocating adequate resources to the project. It may take two or three conversations to find the best fit for you – that time spent will be well rewarded when you find the right person to trust with your business brand and your most important marketing tool.

Need more help? I wrote here about what you should be asking a web designer in the first conversation.

Want to get started with a new or refreshed website for your business?

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