What you will learn: How to tell if a Web design company can build an effective lead generation website for your firm. Who should read this article: Anyone involved with selecting a Web design company.
Nothing Is Easier Than Selecting the Wrong Web Design CompanyFrom your own experiences, you’ve probably learned that most business websites are mediocre at best, and that when you are using Google to find a product or service, you’re lucky to find even a handful of credible, relevant company websites in the organic search results. Why is that? Well, in our experience as a builder of websites, we’ve learned that when Web design companies are being vetted, many, many selection teams focus almost exclusively on design, and pay only scant attention -- or none at all -- to five other factors critical to building a highly effective lead generation website. The result of a poor selection process: A website that may (or may not!) look good, but fails at SEO and fails at converting visitors into sales leads.
5 Capabilities to Look for in a Web Design Company
1. SEOFirst and foremost, the company that builds your next website must be proficient in SEO – not familiar with SEO, but proficient in SEO. Unless your website’s sitemap and content reflect solid keyword research and a solid keyword strategy, your products and services will be virtually invisible on Google for organic search. Competitors, not you, will get the lion’s share of search engine leads, day after day and year after year.
2. Responsive DesignA second critical capability is expertise in responsive Web design. Once again, you’re looking for proficiency, not lip service. A responsive website adjusts automatically to display optimally on desktop monitors, tablets and smartphones. With so many users now accessing the Web via mobile handheld devices, responsive design is a must-have website feature. Without it, you will fail to generate leads from the rapidly growing number of mobile users; instead, those leads will go to your competitors.
3. User Experience (UX)A third critical capability is proficiency in user experience (UX). If SEO is what brings visitors to your website, UX is what converts them into sales leads. UX is essentially a set of Web design techniques. Problems occur because cool-looking, flashy designs are not necessarily user-friendly, and in fact can be extremely user-unfriendly. UX techniques apply to page layouts, navigation, content, imagery, webforms – virtually every aspect of a website. This means that not only designers, but every member of the Web design company’s team, must be adept at UX.
4. CopywritingFor a site to be effective in SEO, responsive design and UX, its content must be second to none. Few Web design companies write content; the few that do seldom understand SEO copywriting or have the skills to write content that is simultaneously authoritative, informative and engaging. The result: Google and human users are not impressed! Instead of generating leads, a website with poor content bores users and sends them into the waiting arms of the competition. In addition, content often becomes an enormous bottleneck in the website development process. When clients tackle the copywriting internally or via a patchwork of freelancers, they find it takes much longer than expected and is far more difficult than anticipated. The result: launch delays measured in weeks or months. Confirm that the companies you are vetting employ top-notch copywriters to develop your content.
5. A Proven, Detailed ProcessProject management expertise is an absolute must-have for any Web design company. Building a website is complex work. Tasks and communication must be precisely organized in order for the project to be completed on time and on budget. Best-of-class Web design companies offer you a skilled project manager responsible for overseeing all aspects of the website build. In addition, these companies have a documented process itemizing every task that goes into creating a website. Without management expertise and a solid process in place, your project will flounder and never deliver the value you thought you were buying. But with sound project management and all of the necessary creative skills, your Web design firm will deliver a website that gives you, not competitors, the lion’s share of leads.
Contact Straight North to discuss your new website project. Call us at 855-883-0011 or request a quote online.