No business can deny that consumers are looking for new simpler ways to buy their products and services. The internet has become a rival to the high street with growing sales figures reported across a diverse range of sectors. It has the capability to increase awareness of your brand or business within your local region and on an international scale, creating a much wider audience who might be receptive to the products or services that you offer. As such it is imperative for smaller businesses to have an online presence, and it all starts with a website.
Massive brands can afford not to do much in the way of online marketing, because the majority of their traffic comes from organic searches anyway, by which I mean that someone will type in the brand name into a search engine or will type the URL directly into the computer. For smaller businesses however, most of their traffic comes to their website by searching what is known as a ‘keyword’, for example, if I wanted to buy a new bathroom, I might type in ‘bathrooms in Leeds’ just like if I was looking for a web designer to develop a site for my business I would type in ‘website design Leeds’, changing location of course depending on where you are situated. You need a great website in order to show up in the search results, designed on basic search engine optimization principles, otherwise internet users will not be able to find your website let alone spend their time or money with you.
For companies with no prior experience on the internet, it can be difficult knowing who to trust when it comes to designing their website. There are agencies out there claiming to have your website number one in the search results within a week, but the truth is that building and launching a successful website can take weeks and months, results are not instant, but they are worth it in the end. Within two or three months the traffic to your site should see you making sound returns on your investment, and a well designed website should pay for itself within twelve months.
When you are looking for a website design company, do your research as there are certain things to look out for. How big is the company and how many clients does it claim to represent? Ten clients to one designer cannot be good as their time will be spread thinly over each one, probably costing you time and money during the development stage. Likewise, very large companies with more than thirty people can dilute the focus placed on your website, and it can be difficult to know who is accountable to you as their client. What you should be looking for is a company who can offer you a design team, development team and an online marketing team, who will support you once the website is up and running. Having an account manager who is dedicated to your website with only a handful of other clients is great because they can liaise with every member on your team and make sure the work is being done professionally and on time.
Look for a website design agency in your local area as this makes it easier for you to hold regular meetings with them either at your base or in their office premises. The only exception I would make to this is if you find a website designer who really stands out to you, based on awards, past clients, past projects and so on. Just make sure that you feel comfortable with your agency and that you trust them with your money to make sure they produce a website fitting for your business.