Starting a business in today’s technology-led world is easier than ever before. With more tools and guidance at our disposal, it is relatively easy to become your own boss. Whether you are doing web design in New York, fashion in London or dog walking in Paris, an idea and a laptop is all many people need to begin their journey. However, the online marketplace is also teeming with competition, so it is important that your website stands out for the right reasons. It all begins with hiring the right people for the job.
There are many ‘pre-packaged’ website templates out there, but they are noticeable from a mile away and can immediately put potential customers off. Your website must work for your business – not anyone else’s. It should be optimized for mobile and tablet users, and flow in a way that your customers will enjoy and understand. A good quality website can be the difference between a small business’ success or failure. It is, therefore, vital to select your web development company wisely. So what exactly should you look for in a web developer?
Know your bottom line
What do you want your website to do? It sounds obvious, but many clients can be unsure of their website’s purpose and simply want one because they think they should have one. Is your company an e-commerce business? If so, you might want to invest in shopping functionality. If it is a consultancy firm, investment in interactive literature could pay dividends. Know what you want to focus on, and what your desired ‘call to action’ is for visitors. Also, know what is possible with your budget. Work with your designers and be transparent. Ensure you both have a clear idea of what is to be delivered and when, and for how much.
Ask to view their portfolio
Does your potential web development company’s portfolio resonate with how you want your website to look, feel and function? With so many developers out there, your perfect match is waiting. Everyone has their specialties: do not settle for a mismatch if something simply doesn’t fit.
Know your strategy
How will your website work towards building your brand’s authority – both in terms of search engine results pages and in the wider world? A good web development company knows that a business is more than a website, and will want to make your website work in sync with your brand strategy for maximum impact.
It’s not all about design…
A website is only as powerful as the content that it possesses. Many web design companies offer content writing services. They are not mere ‘add-ons’ – they are imperative if you do not possess a capable writing function within your company. Strong content can engage visitors, which will, in turn, invest them into your brand with long-term loyalty. Poor content will drive them away, likely never to return. Search engine optimized (SEO) content can see your website rank at the top of search engine result pages which will give your company lots of exposure.
Make sure your web development agency turns to your content before design. More often than not, the reason a company wants to refresh or rebuild a website is because its content is lacking. If your web development company is showing you color palettes before a content management plan, red flags should be popping up. Be sure to know how you want your content to perform, and enlist the help of a specialist by investing in content writing services.
Video content and strong imagery also add further layers to your overall content, promoting new levels of engagement and social ‘shareability’.
Ultimately, choosing the right web development company could well make or break a small business. Invest wisely, ask questions, feel confident in the partnership, and know that your website is much more than a place to display your wares.
So whether you are a doing web design in New York, fashion in London or dog walking in Paris, make sure that your chosen company has a proven track record of deep-rooted, strategically sound website development projects that have played a part in their client’s success. That way, you can be confident that your website will have similar success.