Launching a new website can be stressful for a business owner. A lot goes into a website design that will fully reflect your business and brand. You need the best website design company in Alpharetta to design your new site to ensure you stand out as the clear choice in your industry. Below are some tips to help you find the best designer for your site.
Make a list of your needs and goals for your website
When looking for a website design company near you, the first thing you need to do is write down the goals for your site. If you are an existing business making a new website, why do you need a new one? What is working for your current website? What isn’t working?
Think about what purpose your website will serve. Some of the most common functions of a website are to:
- Present a professional first impression.
- Generate leads.
- Provide a place to sell your products and services.
- Allow visitors to schedule or complete needed forms.
- Share knowledge with your audience to build trust and authority.
- Sync with your customer relationship management (CRM) tools, marketing automation tools, and email marketing platform.
Your website is one of the most important digital marketing tools you have, and it needs to be designed to help achieve the goals you have set for your business. Oftentimes, before you can make a list of goals for your site, you first need to make a list of goals for your business. By sorting this out at the onset, you can get a better idea of which website design company is the right one for you.
Set a realistic budget for your website design
Before you start looking for your website designer, you need to determine a realistic budget. The industry does not have standard pricing for web design, so you need to have a clear idea of what you can afford and what your maximum limit is. Once the budget is established, you will have a better idea of which Alpharetta web designers to consider.
Keep in mind when establishing your budget that a cheap website will get you cheap results. Do not pick someone just because they are the cheapest designer you find near you. This is an instance where you will truly get what you paid for.
Think about the ongoing revenue that your website will provide for your business and how many customers you will need to get a good return on the investment of your website. Finding a web design company that offers affordable website design packages provides a doable entry point in getting a professionally designed website without the large upfront costs.
Choose the kind of designer you want to hire
The website design industry is huge, which means you will have a lot of options open to you when looking for a website designer. Let’s look at the most common type of website designers and some of their pros and cons.
The website design industry is full of freelancers. They are often one of the lower-priced options for website design, and the relationship is often a little more informal than working with other types of designers. You can often find great freelancer web designers with references and a portfolio who are professional, accommodating, communicative, and will give you a good turnaround on the site. However, there are also a lot of freelancers out there who are unprofessional and take a long time to do anything without communicating or giving you progress reports.
Boutique Design Agency
Boutique design agencies are smaller companies that focus solely on website design projects with a more intimate agency feel. They are typically more expensive than freelancers because they are small teams of experts. They usually offer good communication, quick turnaround times, and a lot of customization. Aside from the higher price, one of the major cons of using a design agency is that they only do the web design; once the site is designed, they are usually done, leaving you to take care of the maintenance and edits. If that is all you want from your website designer, this or a freelancer might be a good choice for you.
A full-service digital marketing agency will do much more than just website design. They will also offer things like search engine optimization (SEO), advertising, social media, content production, and more. They are more expensive than freelancers, and they might be more expensive than a specialized web design agency, but you get a lot more for your money.
With a full-service agency, you will get strategy for your site, content guidance, layout, design, development, hosting, and ongoing support for your website, as well as marketing and SEO. Getting this ongoing support is important to a small business, as the agency can help you manage your site as you continue to grow your business. Overall, a full-service agency is usually the best choice for a business of any size to choose, because of the ongoing support and the fact that they offer much more than a web design agency or a freelancer.
What kind of relationship do you want to have?
If you only want to have a short relationship with the website designer near you, it might make more sense for you to work with a freelancer or boutique website design agency. If you want to have an ongoing relationship with a website designer, then work with a full-service agency that can give you support and help with later development and changes to the site.
Look at their portfolios
A web design company should have a great web design portfolio of their past work with clients. Take a look at their portfolio and their past work. Do they have experience in your industry? What industries have they worked in besides yours? Evaluate how they balance design, functionality, and messaging. Do they follow the latest design trends?
If you like their past work, but they do not have your industry in your portfolio, this may mean that they have either not updated their portfolio or they haven’t worked in your exact niche. Might still be worth a call to see how you can work together.
Read reviews and testimonials
After you look at the portfolio of a web agency you are considering hiring, read their online testimonials and reviews. Their reviews are a good way to see how their past clients feel about their work and the level of service they received. Make sure you check third-party review sites, too, like Google, Yelp, and Facebook.
You can also ask an agency for references from previous clients. While they will give your clients who they know were happy with their work, this will give you a good opportunity to ask them pointed questions and learn a little more about them.
Check their pricing against your budget
Your website is one of the most important marketing tools you have, and you need it done right. However, it can also be a large investment to get your site developed. You may need to adjust your budget and expectations to the industry norm. You want to make sure that the website development company you select aligns with your expectations, and determine if they are “cheap” or “affordable”. If they are cheap, you may end up with a poorly designed website, whereas an affordable company near you can make sure your site is what your business needs while staying within your budget.
See if they offer additional services
What other services does the website design company you are looking at offer? Choosing a website design company that offers more than basic design can be highly beneficial to a small business. They can optimize your new website for search engines, make sure your site is ADA accessible, and even handle the copywriting for your site. These are important elements that make your website into the perfect marketing tool you need it to be. These are not aspects that can really be DIYed and require expertise to be done right, especially accessibility and SEO.
A company that offers digital marketing can be a big help, too, since they are experts in positioning your website to be front and center for your prospective customers to find. They will be able to come up with a great advertising strategy for you and help with your social media too. Digital marketing is not easy, so finding a web designer who can also do that will allow you to have a lasting relationship with someone who really knows your business.
Ask questions about their design process
Sit down with the website design companies you are thinking about hiring and talk with them about their design process. You want to find someone who really understands the big picture needs of your company. While it can be fun to jump straight into the design of the site, time needs to be spent strategizing your website. Understanding ahead of time your business goals and how your website should function is very important in planning for the design.
Inquire about their methodology, tools, and timelines. Then, work together to establish goals, benchmarks, and how you will measure the progress of the website design project over time.
Designing a website is no easy task, but when you find the right website design company in Alpharetta to work with, you can end up with the site of your dreams that will enhance your business and give you something to be proud of. If you are ready to design your new website, contact Simplified Website Design today to get started!