Picture this: You’re talking to a colleague who wants to refer someone to you and they say, “I just sent them to your website!” What’s your response? “Yay!” or “Ohhh nooo….”
If you’re embarrassed by your website, you’re not alone – I hear so many dietitian business owners complain that their website is not that “professional business card” they want to be putting out there into the world. If you’re wanting to do something about it, you’re probably researching web designers. But you’re hit with another jolt – how do I pick the right designer? What questions should I be asking web designers to make sure they’re a good fit?
Your website can grow your business or keep it stagnant… so invest wisely
You know your website needs an upgrade and you’re ready to spend the money – but how can you be evaluating the various designers out there, to make sure you actually get a return on your investment (ROI)? Sure, there are many web designers out there who can make pretty websites.
But here’s the truth: Pretty websites cost you money, strategic websites make you money.
That’s why it’s really important to make sure you hire the right designer for your goals, needs, and one who’s focused on helping your business make more money.
How do you get an ROI on your website?
When choosing a web designer to work with, you want to partner with someone who’s really committed to helping you achieve the goals you’ve set for your business, and who’s going to match your personality and your work style. Something our clients love about working with us is really feeling like we’re part of their team, working with them side by side every step of the way.
Your designer should be a master of the visuals and tech – but also business-minded (if you want to start getting more clients and sales from your shiny new website!). This ensures that they’re thinking not just about the user experience, but also about how your site is strategically laid out to generate more leads and sales. Every business is different – so that’s why you need someone figuring this out with you and customizing a plan for your specific offerings and sales process.
What questions can you ask to pick the right web designer?
It can be hard to know what to be looking for when it comes to a web designer, so we came up with 4 questions to make sure you find the person or agency that’s going to deliver the business results you need, and be invested in your long-term success.
Question #1: What strategy or approach are you going to use to help me achieve the goals that I’ve laid out?
This is the quintessential first question you need to have an answer to in that call or conversation with a potential web designer, because it will show you a few important things.
First of all, you’ll be able to see if they’ve done their research. You’ll see if they’ve looked at your website, looked into your competitors, come up with potential opportunities for you. Basically you’ll be able to see if they’ve invested some time to research, which will, in turn, tell you they are invested into your project and care about forming a partnership. Secondly, this question will help you understand what their vision is and if it aligns with what you envision for your business.
Question #2: How do you approach copywriting?
This is a very important question to be asking you potential web designer because as you may have heard before, design is what catches someone’s attention but copy is what makes them stay. It takes about 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) for users to form an opinion about your website (that determines whether they’ll stay or leave), so design and copy are key elements to a successful website.
In a discovery call with a web designer, you need to understand what kind of copy they include in their design. Do they have an in-house copy editor? A copywriter who can help you with the copy?
When a web designer is great at visual design but doesn’t offer copy, you will probably end up with a website that looks amazing but the copy won’t connect with your ideal customer so it will not help you achieve your business goals.
A solution many designers offer when they don’t have an in-house copywriter is for the client to hire one themselves, and let me tell you, this is usually a recipe for disaster, you’ll end up spending a ton of time frustrated acting as a project manager. That’s why working with a designer that has the right people on hand makes for an easier, more seamless project with one less thing you need to worry about.
Question #3: What kind of support and focus do you have on SEO speed and mobile optimization?
These are all critical parts of a good user experience, whether they come from a desktop or a mobile, your website needs to be designed to look great on both.
Your site also needs to be quick on loading, think about it for a second, don’t you, as a user, get frustrated when a website takes a long time to load? This small issue could cost you clients. And that’s something we want to avoid!
Another key part of a good website strategy is SEO. This needs to be part of the conversation from the very beginning so that once your website is launched, you’ll start to get that traffic in right away.
Prioritizing all of these things will also make sure your site is able to rank in search engines, making it easy for your target market to find you.
Question #4: What kind of ongoing support, in terms of maintenance and future additions to the site, are they able to provide?
We are with our clients for the long haul, and that’s something you really need to look for when choosing a web designer. You don’t want a company that will leave you high and dry as soon as the website launches, I really can’t stress this enough.
Having a maintenance plan set up will make sure that your site is being updated, secure, and backed up, plus you’ll have a developer on call in case you run into any issues. Can you imagine your website going down and having your web designer ghost you? So you end up having to figure out how to get out of the mess… A nightmare, right? We would NEVER do that, and you need to find a web designer like that, by your side for the long haul.
Finally, make sure they’re also the right fit for your work style
I know for me, work and communication style are really important, so make sure you choose someone that seems organized. You don’t want to get the sense that you’re going to have to be chasing them a lot. Your web designer should be making your life easier – not harder!
Download a free interview template to get you started
During your calls with prospective web designers, make sure you take notes with their answers, and write down your overall feel after the call so you can compare amongst all your prospects. A great idea is to have some sort of chart where all the information is organized and easy to visualize.
We’ve created a free template that you’ll be able to customize with any other questions that you may have, and it’s great for note-taking during your interviews.
And of course, if you’re ready to start this interview process right now, I’d love to be one of the web designers you chat with! You can schedule a call with me where we can talk through your project in detail, and go over our process and how we work.
No matter what – good luck in your search!