Your website is so important to your business. Not only is it your shop window to the world and the first port of call for many potential clients. It’s your brand positioning and sets your service delivery level. And in this fast-paced online world, if viewers don’t like what they see, they’ll go elsewhere in an instant – 50 milliseconds to be precise! So, you’ll need to find a website design company that can create something really special for you, work really well with you, and all importantly, work well with Google too!
How to Pick a Website Design Company
There’s more to designing a website than you might think. Not only should it look good, it needs to work well too. What is your objective? To gain sales? To drive enquiries? Or maybe to grow a powerful followship? You might be surprised to hear, but to achieve all of the above, more important than a beautifully designed website is the user journey. And your site’s connection with Google.
So, here are our tips for finding the best designer for your website.
A Strong Design
Looks aren’t everything, but they are very important when it comes to web design.
A website needs to have visual impact. It needs to reflect the look and feel of your brand. And it needs to make a great first impression for new clients. It should also be easy to navigate around it, with clear calls to action. If you don’t make it easy for customers to contact you or buy online, they simply won’t. What’s more, generally, unless you specifically ask them or tell them what to do… they won’t! So, be sure to add plenty of guidance and instruction to every section and piece of writing on your site.
Imagery is all important too. But that doesn’t mean just using your own images (unless they are out of this world: artistic, inspirational, different, engaging). Often, opening up with lifestyle stock imagery (with emotive straplines added) are the best way to get your customers to convert.
To begin with, find a few local web designers and have a look at past examples of their work. Make a note of which ones you like the look of, and which are easy to use. Ask them to share performance growth data or for references to speak with their clients. You need to ensure their beautiful work has the ability to deliver before you get into bed together. Ask your agency what user testing experience they have and just how they will make sure your website works for you. Remember, you can have the best chef in the world, but that doesn’t mean they can run a 5 star restaurant. Equally, the best website designer won’t necessarily be able to deliver your comercial needs.
Web Content and SEO Services
It’s no good having a beautiful, easy-to-use website, if nobody can find it. Some agencies will only design the site and will then expect you to populate it with your own content. Or they will take content from your previous website or written documents. But we would recommend finding a company that will either create the content for SEO for you from scratch. They should even optimise your provided content for SEO. They must be experts in making sure it’s easy for people to find your business in Google and on other search engines.
Make sure you ask your shortlisted agencies about their SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) techniques. What tools do they use? What SEO score will they expect to provide your site? And ask them how they plan to make your site visible online. Make sure they will deliver the following SEO checklist of basic website needs for your new site: Title Tags, bespoke Keyword strategy per page, H1 Tag per page, H2 tags per page, commercial meta descriptions, user-friendly URLs, focus keyword per page. Optimised copy with clear USPS, keywords, contextual links and calls to act. And remember, each page must have a minimum of 300 words and a maximum of 800 words per page for Google to love you.
Open-Source CMS vs Custom Built CMS
Agencies can either build you a website completely from scratch, or they can use today’s prefered method (it’s safer for you as a consumer and simpler for them as a developer), an open-source platform. Open-source CMS (Content Managment System) platforms include WordPress, Joomla, Magento or Drupal. WordPress and WooCommerce are the biggest open-source platforms on the market, and may be the best option for your business.
Custom built websites aren’t common today. Such systems are more likely to be used for large-scale bespoke systems, such as websites for the big banks or websites that have very specialised, high-cost needs. Beware of agencies offering bespoke websites on their own custom platforms. Once your site is built, not many other agencies or developers will be willing to take over their system should your relationship turn sour. This hold also often adds more cost to your ongoing payments, as you have little flexibility to move agency.
Ask your web design agencies what platforms they work with. In our longterm experience, open source websites such as WordPress offer the best platform. They are easier to use, cheaper to build and manage longterm. They are tried and tested – offering ratings for the safest and best solutions to add to your site. Plus they can grow easily with your business.
WordPress is completely customisable, user-friendly and SEO-friendly. And if you decide to have your site redesigned at any time, either by the same agency or a different one, you can just import all the content from one WordPress website to another. Making the job much easier, cheaper and with fewer mistakes!
Pick a Trustworthy Agency
Finally, choose an established website design company that has good reviews from previous clients. Ask around your contacts for their recommendations. And try and meet with your designer, so you can talk through your requirements in person. Be sure to get a few different quotes and ask for a breakdown of everything that is included in the price. Then, you can easily compare them and choose the right service for you. And don’t be afraid to ask to speak to their past and present customers for a reference.
Web Design Scotland
POSH Communication is a Scottish website design company offering impactful design solutions for businesses of all sizes. We are experts in SEO and content creation. And we can help with hosting and management of the site going forward too. If you’d like to speak to our web design team, please get in touch with us for an informal chat.