Ten things your web designer should know about your business before beginning your website.

Be Prepared for Web Design Success

innovation-web-designThe Internet will be everywhere according to leading economist.  It will be in your watch, phone, computer, traffic lights, perhaps even built into the very asphalt under your tires. You need to concentrate on it today and the reason you do is different than any other media.

Why? Because right now your business is being scored on its web presence by leading companies that account for such values, like Dun and Bradstreet, Google, Bing, and other research firms that decide whether your company has value.  These companies keep a score based on over 200 criteria and the results of that score will determine whether your business is a success of failure when it comes to your Internet website and ultimately how much money you put into the cash register or your bottom line.

Some criteria is well-known.  How long have your been in business, how long have you had your website, how many links feed into the website, is that website mobile friendly, and is that website coded properly. These are well known factors and no secret to the masses of Internet design companies.  Yet there is much more that goes into the final score and still these are just some of the things that great web designers consider before building your website. Believe it when I tell you it is not how it displays on a computer monitor.

How all of this applies to your business is evident in the results you get from your Internet presence. But there are areas of development that will be excelled if you can answer basic questions that are important to your success.  Once you have answered those questions a web designer will have a better idea of how to design your website.

These are most important questions you must answer to get your website built right.

push-the-button-1064362-mWho are your competitors?

Your new web development team needs to know who your competitors are so they can examine the websites owned by those companies, the links that feed into them and how they are branded and promoted.  This may not seem important to the client at first but we in the web design business need to look at the source code, link feed, applications employed and as much other information as possible, to know what those competitors are doing to bring customers into their business through the web.

What sets your business apart from these competitors?

Building on the first question we need to know how we are going to expand your business and bring it to the attention of potential customers. Noam Chomsky once said, “you don’t know what you don’t know” and neither do your clients.  We need to tell them, but we also don’t know what we don’t know, so make sure we are aware of what makes your company unique.

Can you describe your target customer?

Targeting CustomersRather obviously the web design team needs to target a specific type of client.  It will be beneficial to know which type of client is the most profitable to your business and which type of client is easiest to work with over the course of a contract.  Then we are able to target our message to this client.  Here is a little fact, I once had a client in Hawaii that owned a bed and breakfast who heard that I was able to target a specific market and client.  She paid me $1,000 to target this audience and three months later called to ask me to “turn it off” because she could not fill all the reservation request.  So please make sure the web design team knows who your best client is before they start work.

What is your deadline for completing the site?

Expectations can be unrealistic for many people.  It may take a week to complete some projects and a month for others, while others may never be completed because of a changing marketplace.  You need to set goals, whether they are weekly, monthly, biannually, etc.

What are some other sites on the Web that you like and why?

You should be able to identify some websites that you like and explain why you like them because there will be many people that like the same things you do and want to see certain aspects of web design in your website.  Make a list with as many sites as possible that you would like to emulate. 

What specific functionalities would you like included on your site?

Differing from above is the functions that will make up your sites characteristics to allow a user to experience it without being confused.  Will you want a contact form?  Many contact forms, menus, sidebars, templates, shopping pages, etc.

Who is going to be responsible for the website’s content?

Will there be a specific person in your company that needs to be trained to manage your web presence?  Will you expect the web designer to make all the changes to the content? 

What key search phrases would you like to be found for?

Everyone wants to come up on page one, first listing and be seen by everyone that is searching for the product you sell.  In order to control this as much as it is possible you need to identify key search phrases and keywords that are applicable to your business.

How much time do you want to put into new content creation per week?

The average web design company charges $60 to $120 per hour depending on the complexity of the work performed.  UX designers can charge thousands more, and brand management will have a cost associated with it too.  There are three phases to a success website, the site and content, the brand identity, and the user experience.  Each of these fields have specialist that know exactly what needs to be done in each area of design and phase of development. 

What is your annual budget for this project?

Your design team needs to keep your project in budget.  Your website can cost tens of thousands of dollars or less than $500.  You will get what you pay for but it is nice to keep things in line with what you can afford.  I have seen more than one small business go too cheap and end up with a website, but one that won’t produce much of a profit when it could have been much different.  Come up with a realistic budget and work with your team to come up with a plan that goes beyond web design.

This is a very brief description and the least you need to know.  Schedule an appointment with Havre de Grace Design and let us help you grow your business into the most profitable business it can be.  Call 443-252-6170 for more information.

Havre de Grace Design (HdGD) is a web design and marketing company located in Harford County, Maryland which serves all clients from the standpoint of “it is isn’t profitable to the client, it isn’t good for us!”

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