6 mistakes to avoid when choosing a web designer
(If you’re looking for a website that will help you attract leads and customers that is).
If you’re looking for a website purely to confirm your existence, this guide isn’t for you.
If you’re looking to overhaul your website because it is failing to deliver what you want it to, then you must read on.
A mistake is a mistake, and it will take time and money to reverse or start again.
Is this the risk you want to take with your business?
We have customers coming to us who have made these mistakes and now want to do things properly.
So we want to help you avoid the pitfalls, and make the right decision and investment now.
Your website is a key part of your marketing strategy. It is not (or shouldn’t be) just a bunch of images set into a template with a few words about when your business was founded and other information which makes your visitors yawn and move on.
But when you’re searching online to find a web designer to help you, how on earth do you sort the wheat from the chaff, the strategic thinkers from the template builders, the top-notch team from the average-Joes?
By avoiding these six things.
#1. Too cheap
We’ve all heard the mantras.
‘If it’s too good to be true, it probably is’. ‘You get what you pay for’. ‘Pay peanuts, you get monkeys’. Etc etc.
We see web designers advertising their services for knock down prices well under £500.
Ask yourself this.
Given that a high performing website that’s optimised for performance, well written, well designed, and well planned to drive customers and leads, takes a fair bit of time and effort, how much work do you think can possibly go in for this price? Either, not very much, or someone is being paid very little. The chances are, you’ll be compromising on the quality of work you’ll get.
Of course, everyone has their budget, and you’ll have yours. But if it’s results you want, it’s results you’ll have to invest in, so exploring payment plans or hanging on until you have the budget would be a better step than doing it on the cheap.
#2. No reviews
These days, most of us won’t buy anything without careful consideration of reviews. And that’s not client owned testimonials, that’s independent verified reviews such as Google reviews. Testimonials are helpful yes, and you absolutely should look at these. But Google reviews are a more trustworthy source. If any business has no or very few reviews, and if some of those reviews send up red flags in your mind, listen to them.
It isn’t easy to get reviews out of customers, so you’ll know that if a company has a good number of strong ones, they must be doing something right.
#3. No copywriting
After doing our own research we were ASTOUNDED by the number of web designers in Surrey (pretty much all of them we looked at) who made no mention of copywriting in their description of service.
Not even as an add-on let alone the fundamental aspect of the service that it should be.
This should send up a big red flag as to the understanding of the web designer of what makes for a successful website.
Because the content of the website is absolutely key – to SEO, to connecting with your target audience, to identifying your selling points, to powerfully conveying what’s great about your business.
Without the content being right, the prettiest website will still fail.
An absence of content being at the heart of the web design process also means they may well be expecting either you to write it yourself, or source your own copywriter. Both time-consuming options, and if you’re not a copywriter, which you’re probably not, it’s unlikely what you write will be good enough (no offence – it’s a professional skill).
#4. No strategy
If the web design process doesn’t begin with an in depth brief and A LOT of searching questions, then something’s amiss.
Because if the team in charge of your new website hasn’t sought to fully understand your business, your target audience, and your specific objectives, how can they hope to build a website that will help you achieve your goal? Answer, they can’t, they will be supplying something generic and therefore ineffective.
Your website is part of your marketing strategy and therefore it should be consistent with everything else you are doing in brand, tone, messaging, and purpose. It should also offer the online experience that your customers are looking for.
#5. No next steps
Once your website is built, what next?
Too often, web designers either finish the job and then send you on your merry way or tie you into an expensive and wasteful maintenance contract that you’ll rarely need or benefit from.
Most importantly, your website is not going to miraculously drive customers all by itself.
You’ll need to drive traffic to it by promoting it consistently and powerfully to your target audience. This might be done through SEO, adwords, advertising, social media, content marketing, direct marketing, or any combination.
At the very least, advice on how to raise the visibility of your website online once it’s launched should be a no-brainer.
And last but not least…
We shouldn’t even need to mention this, but…
A perusal of some web designers’ websites revealed quite shameful errors. Seriously, if their own websites are littered with errors…what hope will there be for yours?
So there you have it, the six main mistakes to avoid when choosing a web designer.
As luck would have it, at Winning Websites we are a mistake-free zone. We’re not saying we never make mistakes (we’re only human after all). But we’ve developed our premium service specifically to provide the quality of advice and service that will give your website the best chance of success.
We’re not cheap – but we do offer tons of value. And we’re comfortable with our pricing because we know our clients will benefit from a talented, experienced team who will put time into their project and relationship.
At the foundation of our service is the in-depth brief, a part of the process that mustn’t be skipped over and must be valued. This deep dive into your business and customers is not just valuable to us, but to our clients who are encouraged to think hard about what their customers want, and how they deliver it better than the competition. Many a light bulb moment has come out of this brief resulting in a different direction or marketing idea for the business.
We come to web design with marketing hats on, looking at your website from a strategic point of view, and making sure every page has a purpose and is structured to achieve it.
Copywriting is at the heart of Winning Websites, because what you say and how you say it, can be the difference between capturing the hearts and minds of your customers or having no impact at all. The copy must tell your story, get across the benefits, establish you as the go-to business in your sector, and compel your readers into action.
And our Next Steps Marketing Power Hour wraps the experience up with advice on what you should do next to ensure your website gets found and seen. This might mean staying with our team for further marketing services or going elsewhere. Either way, you’ll not be left thinking ‘what now’.
We hope you’ll avoid some, if not all of these mistakes.
And we’re here to help if and when you’re ready to invest in a Winning Website.