SME Top Tips For Selecting A Web Design Company For Profit

June 05, 2011 — Selecting a web design company is like hiring a marketer and a salesman all in one. By understanding the basics of search engines, social media, web design and technology you will be armed with the knowledge to select the right web design company.

Don't let your outsourcing be outsourced

In-house web designers are convenient and responsive, but can lack real world experience. Out-sourcing lets you put your trust in experienced professionals. But what happens if that American you made a web design deal with after a conversation on Skype, turns the project over to a third-party Chinese web design company?

Beware of Third-Party Development

  • Communication delays and slow results
  • A hidden work process leaves you in the dark
  • Non-existant information trail risks your investment

Get to Know Your Web Designer

  • Learn as much as you can about your designer's workflow.
  • Have your own timeline in mind for deliverables and completion.
  • Arrange a face-to-face meeting if possible. Office visits are valuable insight.

search engine optimization and marketing, social media marketing

Your website, whether it is an online catalogue, an e-commerce shop, a blog, or a showcase of talent, is a marketing tool. Modern online marketing incldues improving your ranking on search engines, pay-per-click advertising, and social network participation.

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) is the management of website content so that search engines access it often, acurately, and consider it of interest. You may have heard of keywords and meta content (hidden data to describe your website to search engines), and perhaps even met those who would tout, "the more the merrier". SEO is not that simple, and neither should a website company's explanation of it to you.

Bad SEO Practices

  • keywords are repetitive and unrelated to page content
  • meta description used as a second keyword list
  • title tag does not describe page content

Good SEO Practices

  • keywords are found in the current page content
  • meta descriptions are appropriate length and accurately explain page
  • titles succintly describe each webpage

How to Know if a Web Design Company Practices SEO

  1. Request a client list.
  2. Search a client website's content in Google (use three words that define the website's content).
  3. The client website should display on pages 1, 2, or 3.

Try searching "citronella candles Shanghai" and look for http://shanghaidaisy.com/

Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is nearing the end of its brief history. At one time, banner ads and affiliate marketing was the one-stop solution to paying thousands in paper mailings. There are still a few niches however that will provide a positive ROI: primarily, google-targeted content. While the return will be less than that of Adwords, it will still be positive. But just as with Adwords, you must carefully target your advertisers.

Social Media Marketing

Welcome to the new world of online marketing, Social Media Marketing (SMM): Twitter, Facebook need I say more? Of course I need to say more; Twitter and Facebook are requirements, but there are hundreds of other social media networks that have thousands in their communities. You would be surprised how many niche communities exist.

experience in web design

An obvious necessity in choosing any potential service company, is to see their previous work. But beyond looking nice, how do you know if their previous web designs are quality? There are several aspects to consider when analyzing a web design, and none require technical knowledge.

What Makes a Good Web Design?

  • Can you tell immediately what the website offers?
  • Do you feel you can trust the content, service or product?
  • How quickly can you find what you want?

A web design's goal is both feeling and clarity. A user should feel your website is the right answer, and navigation should be clear enough for the user to easily learn more.

Hiring a Web Designer is like Hiring a Marketer

A web design company that can quickly understand your target audience, is most likely familiar with your business or familiar with business in general. The better a web designer understands the potential users of a website, the more succesful a design he/she can build. Share information about your vision or company and see how quickly the web designer catches on.

Reliability in web design services

Unfortunately, some web designers say all the right things, and have an impressive showcase, but lack follwup. There are a few questions you can ask to determine how trustworthy a web design company really is:

Efficiency, Technical Support, Customer Relations

  • How long does a web design take on average?
  • What technical support is offered after the website is completed?
  • What were their best and worst web design experiences?

Payment Method

Web Designers and companies each have their own payment system. Our payment system protects both parties, and depends on the size of the project: Small-scale websites are usually half up-front, and half on completion; our large-scale projects have a lower deposit, and lets the client withhold a certain percentage until three-months after completion, during which time we provide technical support.

cutting-edge web technology

The internet is online technology, and as with any technology, it evolves quickly. A website design from two years ago is already becoming obsolete. Your website needs to use the latest cutting-edge web technologies in order to stay afloat as long as possible in a market where websites are constantly learning new tricks and doing old tricks better. Here's a breif glossary of terms to your vocabulary up-to-date:

Basic Web Technology Vocabulary

Multiple Browser Support
A browser is a program used to view the internet, and each can show a website differently.
Make sure that your web designer can develop a website that works in all major browsers.
Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Opera are the most popular.
HTML5
Every website uses HTML. The latest version, HTML5, has features that rival Flash.
HTML5 is not widely supported yet. Flash is widely supported, but semi-proprietary.
Custom Fonts
Websites used to be limited to very few. Images were used for fancy text.
Now, web technology easily allows any free font to be used. No images to download.
Javascript
Javascript is the easiest way to make a website dynamic, exciting, and user-friendly.
All browsers support javascript by default, and it has a wide number of uses.

Consider Making a Scalable Website

The website you want now may not be the website you need later. A scalable website is built to easily accomodate the future addition of new features. In this way, as your company grows, so can your website.

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Comments

Posted Subject Comment
werewolf11
November 17, 2011
Web Design Astonishing article . Will definitely copy it to my blog.Thanks
barabaklas23
November 09, 2011
Thank You lengthy and in depth article but full of useful information
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October 20, 2011
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October 16, 2011
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Super Mario
October 10, 2011
Web Design Best article, lots of intersting things to digest. Very informative
Desert Sun M...
August 04, 2011
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acai berry
August 03, 2011
aca378iberrydi Really Good Work…. You Helping People A lot
kran mostovoy
July 30, 2011
y1k66randfer Great article . Will definitely apply it to my website