When you think about it, a website that looks good is really just that…. a good looking website. As a business owner you want more. You want a site that both looks good and gets results. Which means you want to hire a firm that will impact your traffic, total subscribers, and sales numbers.
When hiring a web design firm you have to look beyond the clean lines and complimentary colors of the aesthetics and ask these key questions aimed at growing your business.
1. What are your fees?
There are firms that just do design, and then there are firms that offer design as part of a larger, more comprehensive package. If the price is cheap, you might be paying just for design. When the price quote includes services like Search Engine Optimization, Inbound Marketing, and Social Media Management then you can feel certain that your package (and your price) will be aimed at impacting results.
Remember also to request a detailed list of the services included in the quote as well as a time frame or mile markers.
2. How Much Time Will You Give Me?
Good design takes time and a good design firm knows that. It also takes researching and planning. You want a firm that will put in the time to analyze, not just your business, but the market and your competitors.
A quote of 3-10 hours of preparation (depending on your business size and market) is a good ball park. This is time that should be spent discussing website functionality, your content structure, your calls-to-action, and various other big and small details.
3. What Kind Of Market Research Do You Do?
You might be proud of your site and the work that went in to it, but it’s not really for you, right? It’s for your customers. The web design firm that you hire needs to research to understand who those people are, what they want, and how to connect with them. Good web design will bring you and your buyer personas closer together – leading to long term relationships and brand loyalty.
4. What Kind Of Competitive Research Do You Do?
Your competition is your competition for a reason, they are likely doing something right. It’s essential to research them and then learn how do things better than them.
5. Can You Show Me Examples Of Easy To Navigate Websites That You’ve Designed?
A beautiful and flashy website is one thing – you might impress many people with that. But if your visitors and customers can’t easily find information and accomplish their goals with your site, then you’ve just paid for an epic fail.
A good design firm should be able to show you examples of basic and functional usability. They understand navigation and create a design that utilizes this easy navigation to achieve business goals (think calls-to-action, leads, and sales).
Remember, you’re not aiming to mesmerize, you’re aiming to communicate and convert.
6. What Analysis Do You Do Before And After Design?
Your current site has strengths and weaknesses. It’s necessary to analyze it to learn what’s working and what needs overhauled. Which pages have low bounce rates? Does the blog have high subscribers?
Once a new design is in place, you want it to work as hard as you do – which means using analytic software to keep ahead of what’s working and what needs tweaked. How much traffic does each page get, are there certain pages getting more conversions than others, where is your traffic coming from and why? The numbers don’t lie, and the numbers can help you to continuously shift with your customers to keep them happy.
A good design firm has multiple methods of analyzing your results to maximize results.
7. How Will You Help Me Achieve My Goals?
The right firm for you should sit down with you to discuss your business goals. Good design really can’t proceed until everyone at the table knows what they’re aiming for.
Maybe you want to increase subscribers by 15%, or increase overall website sales by 20%? Maybe you have specific goals about social media followers or improving your Pay Per Click campaigns? There are also less tangible (but equally important) goals like increasing brand loyalty and confidence or education.
Whatever your goals, make sure they are realistic and measurable.
Once that’s established ask your potential design firm to share case studies about how they’ve helped clients achieve goals. What was a goal of Client X, how did you work toward it, and what were the results?
If the firm can show you, “Client X wanted to increase sales and 8 months after the redesign they achieved an 18% increase,” then you know you’re dealing with professionals.
Remember that a website is a tool that needs to do more than look good. Your website should work hard for you and get you results that impact and grow your business. Finding the right web design firm means finding a partner to help you get the results you deserve.