Choosing a web designer for your new website is a big decision. Your website must be attractive, simple to use, functional, and convert visitors into potential leads. To be successful, a web designer must be equal parts marketing and SEO consultant, user experience expert, coding nerd, and graphic artist.
Sound like a lot for one professional to handle? You’re right! Most web designers work with other people, including developers and copywriters, to bring your vision for your website into fruition. It’s a big job, so it’s important that you do your homework before signing a contract with a web designer.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing your next web designer.
Observe Who’s Doing the Most Talking
In your initial meeting with a potential designer, did they do most of the talking, or did you find yourself sharing about your goals, target market, and your business? A good designer knows they need to become very familiar with your business before they can create a site that reflects your brand, understands and speaks to your target market, and helps you meet your goals.
Some designers talk a good game and spend the bulk of your initial meeting sharing what they can do for you. The best designers use their ears and mouths proportionately. They take the time to learn all about you and your business so they can recommend designs and features that align with your goals.
Take a Look at Their Portfolio
Designers love to show off their work. Ask potential designers to share a few recent projects with you. You should see a healthy portfolio of sites for different types of companies, and each site should look distinct. This demonstrates that the designer has the design and programming chops to create a site that reflects your brand and engages your visitors.
Ask about SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is how Google and other search engines find your website. Designers optimize websites for search engines by incorporating keywords into the site’s copy, adding images and videos, and doing work on the back end of the site to ensure Google finds it. Some web designers are also SEO professionals (a career in its own right), and others are fluent in SEO concepts and best practices and incorporate this knowledge into their products. Confirming your potential designer has expertise in SEO will ensure your site is not just functional, but actually found.
Meet Their Team
Most designers work with other creatives on their website projects. Depending on their expertise and career experience, they may work with graphic designers, web developers, programmers, copywriters, and SEO experts. If your potential web designer works with other professionals, ask to meet them.
Inquire about Ongoing Maintenance
Some web designers create your website, hand you the proverbial keys, deposit your payment, and send you on your merry way. Others encourage you to enroll in a monthly maintenance plan that covers essential security and coding updates and content changes you may have through the life of your site. We highly recommend outsourcing your website’s maintenance to your web designer. Websites are complex, and trying to make essential updates on your own can break your site.
If you’re planning a website project in 2021, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us today to get started.