Most businesses recognise the importance of having an online presence these days; but not all businesses know how or where to start. These problems are made worse, for some, by the facts that only a couple of years ago “online presence” meant simply having a nice, quiet little website. Now it means all kinds of scary stuff like SEO, social media strategies, mobile solutions and goodness knows what. It can seem like a minefield and for small businesses, whose expertise may not be in any of the above, and having a web page can mean more trouble than it’s worth. So, where do you start, what should you focus on and who, out there in that big bad worldwide web, do you trust?
Spoilt for Choice?
If you’ve finally come to the conclusion that you just have to have a website, you may well need a web designer. There are a lot of them about these days and some are better than others. Running an online business can be relatively easy, if daunting. As in any other aspect of business life, the art of delegation is crucial; if you don’t have the skills you need to design and build it, then get a man (or woman) who can. With the dark art of web design, and the alchemists who practice it, there is also another simple rule; you get what you pay for. Designers, be they the on or offline variety, usually have a high level of professional training. Many of those working online will have bought some design software and think that’s a bit like years of training, experience and professional practice. Put simply it’s not! Before picking your designer you should view their portfolio; if they’ve not gone one some alarm bells should start ringing at the very least.
Word, Pictures and Rankings
Web site design is not just about the ‘look’ of the site, it’s also about the functionality on several different levels. A designer with experience and ability will be able to offer a range of services that fulfil these different requirements. Consider the following issues when you are choosing a designer:
- When it comes to managing your website you shouldn’t need to manually write HTML code, even if you know what that is. A web designer should be able to offer this service; an indication as to their abilities in this area will simply be their skill at explaining HTML to you to the point where you understand!
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Result Page (SERP) ranking are essential for your long term success. Your web designer/agency should understand these and offer a full service that incorporates a whole set of strategies to make your site Google’s number one.
- Web copy (or content) is crucial to the success of your site; poor copy should not only ring alarm bells, but call the emergency services and then the undertaker. A web design firm worth its salt will understand the importance of content and will be able to provide the professional variety.
- Web users like to be able to interact with a website and your designer should be able create content that allows this, including simple things like forms! Shopping cart functionalities are a great way for your audience to interact with you and they’re one that you’ll enjoy too (especially the full ones).
Whether it’s web design Leicester, or marketing in Harborough finding the right designer can be a tricky challenge. Some straightforward tips can make choosing from the many services on offer simpler than you might think.