How to choose a quality website designer

Website Mistakes to avoidPart 1:  In the past few weeks we have been referred to quite a few potential customers via Facebook. The interesting part of this referral process is that we can see who else is being referred. Normally we do not really pay attention to who we compete against. We get so much Website Repair business from customers that used other web designer companies, that we are not obsessed with the others out there.  Considering that we get about 3 customers a week that got burned by their current web designer, I feel that it is time to write down some things to look for.

In Facebook Referrals, it was interesting to see how “normal” people view a good website.  So we went to all the other “web designers” that were referred and checked out their websites and, IF there was a portfolio,  several of the sites they did for their customers. To be frank – we were shocked. With thousands of websites that we have created, we have always paid attention to how people interact with the sites and what causes sites to be successful and generate money and business for our customers. Our knowledge has led us to create a detailed list of what ABSOLUTELY MUST be on ANY website we will build for a customer. To see all these sites being sold without the basic details was shocking.  Several of the web designers websites did not even work on a phone and that technology is a given for the past 5 years!

The first thing that caught us off guard was the blatant use of templates for what appears to be marketed as a custom website. For beginners, I can see the use of the templates, but not if you are selling a professional website.  I won’t beat that dead horse, but if your web designer is charging good money for a site they built with a $30 template, you might reconsider their skill set. I have talked before about the benefits of having a custom website instead of a template here.

The second thing we noticed was the lack of key features that we have determined are necessary for a website to succeed. Let me explain. We recently were asked for a review by a chiropractor who insisted he had a great website, but was unsure of what good it was doing for his business.  He paid a small fortune for it – about 3x what he would have invested in having us build his site.  He was getting good response from his social media posting but didn’t see the value in his website. We took a look and went through our checklist of things we knew it should have and decided to do a little test. Afterall, his site had been live for almost a year, what difference would a few weeks of “status quo” make?  The site was very attractive. It was built with a template, but was lacking many of the key features that we have learned are key for any business website. We put on several hot spots and tracked what people were doing and watched the analytics and tracked his appointments and inbound phone calls for 2 weeks.

We then changed just 3 little things on his website. Simple details that we include on EVERY site we build. The next 2 weeks the results were amazing. His website traffic was virtually the same. We did not touch any SEO on the site. But, he averaged 14 additional appointments a week and his inbound phone calls increased 18.5%.

What does this mean? You should call the other web guys and gals, and then call us. What does an additional 14 appointments mean to your bottom line? For this customer it was about $700 a week. The point is, you do not know what you are missing until you find out what experience can do for you. Sure, the others can build you an attractive site. But how much business are they costing you? Can you do me a favor? Just give us a call before you make a final decision on revamping or building a website. You never know what you are missing out on.

To be continued.

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