How to choose the best web designer for your business

web design agency

Everyone Thinks They Are a Professional

Today with the exponential change and use of technology, everyone thinks they are are a web designer, video producer, custom programmer or digital marketing expert. Thanks to all the half-baked “There Is An App For That” culture that is so clear. What upsets me is small and large businesses almost never can succeed on their own. These quick and dirty tools don’t do the trick unless you spend all your time mastering the craft. If you spend that kind of time, your neglecting your business in the process. The issue lies between the cracks. I know this, because I tried very hard to create an Atlanta web design agency that makes their clients a priority!

Experienced Web Design

Website Professionals VS Scammers

With the speed at which things are changing at Blue Light Labs, we spend hours every week trying to stay on the cutting edge of this profession. Amateurs that think they are professionals now have made it difficult for businesses. It has become a bit of a challenge for business owners to find legitimate experts they need to get their website built rightSome businesses will run 5 or even 10 years before realizing that they have the wrong agency working with them. I know this is true and I will tell you why.
More than I would like to admit quite a few of our competitors services are designed to pull in as much of the low hanging fruit as they can get. Knowing full well that they will loose quite a few clients over time due to almost zero ROI and spotty service. This can be the case with many business types as some of you might already know. It is a continuous struggle for agencies dedicated to their craft that believe in quality their  work and website services. In order for them to stay competitive these agencies have to come down with their prices, in turn causing some burn out. Many small agencies will take on more work than they can realistically handle just to keep the lights on. This has been become a huge problem for small agencies and their clients alike. 
Almost half of the prospects we get every month are calling in with horror stories about their last web designer. It’s unbelievable in some cases how many business owners in Atlanta no longer think the internet can bear fruit for their business. There are three major issues here that are saturating this market with agencies that just do the minimum for their clients

1. Everyone Wants to Save Money or Get the Best Deal

This has been confusing since the dawn of services between humans in general. Common questions are typically, “How do I know that the web service provider I hire is going to do a professional job?”, “What can I do to make sure I am making the right decision?”, “Why is there such a huge difference between web design agencies?”. I can imagine that this can be overwhelming and there is no perfect answer to these questions. If you know some of the important things to ask and look for this article should help you make a more educated decision.

Experience – How long has the company been doing business and what are their strengths and weaknesses? Project management, marketing and problem solving are the most important qualities an agency can only get from experience. Ask them how long they have been designing websites and what is their process in creating a strategy can open up the right avenues. 
Communication Quality – Get an idea on how well they communicate with you. You will hopefully be working closely with them though out the project so make sure you connect in a positive way. When you have your first consultation on location or over the phone it’s important to ask yourself questions like “Did they listen to me and reflect well based on my objectives and concerns?”, ” Did this agency put forth a strong and understandable solution and strategy?”, and lastly “Was there good synergy between us during the consultation?”. 
Portfolio – Most agencies should have a link to their most current website design and development work. Their portfolio showcases other clients and their websites/ projects. Some website marketing agencies focus on a specific niche of clients for example law firms, churches or educational institutions. I have gotten mixed feedback about these because some of the time they try to put together a one size fits all solution. Then attempt to crank them out fast rather than focusing on each company individually. In some cases this could be a good thing when relating to how well they understand your market. It could backfire however, because in the end they will end up marketing a bunch of your competitors along side you. 
Testimonials – I believe that hearing it straight from the horses mouth is a good signal. Search the web for reviews and testimonials from qualified accounts. Ask the company you are interviewing to provide direct contact info for at least 4 of their clients for a referral. 

2. Businesses are not being educated enough.
On what they really need to be successful on the internet

A major reason why you hire a web design agency should be for advice. Of course you know more about your company and  it’s market and direction in most respects. When it comes to bringing your business to the internet, the agency you choose should be able to guide you. Agencies should offer valuable consulting and advice on how to get the most out of your website. 
Advice and direction like, “What might be the best marketing avenues to think about?”, PPC, social, email or marketing automation. A good web designer knows what works best for conversion and visitor retention. When it boils down to design, layout and user experience their skills need to be on point. The latest tools, trends and opportunities should get presented for exploration as well.  

3. Turn Key - "Do it yourself" cheap website software. Designed to make money in bulk and have you wondering what happened later.

If you are serious about putting your business on the web. I would stay clear of subscription-based website builders and so called AI setups. Give me an example of a successful one and I will eat my words. At first you might think they are great. I think you will soon realize they are built heavy on a platform designed to keep you from doing what you really need to do. The “Wall Marts” of web software stick out like a sour thumbs and are designed to please the masses. Your website should be your companies best public foot forward. While conveying your message and offerings in a trusted and professional way. 
Most clients that hire web designers don’t know what is under the hood of their website. Not having these things implemented can cost you prospects even if you are not paying a agency for optimization and SEO. The way your site constructed will drastically change the way it performs over time. 
When you break it all down there is allot of work to be done. Even when the website is visually complete and functioning as required. To be a true professional in the web design industry, one must devote time and real dedication to the quality, changing trends and specific details of the practice.
Here is a short list of things that are important to a new website design or website-redesign project. I can guarantee that 70% of these important tasks are rarely executed by most agencies after completing projects. In most cases web developers will charge you extra get these issues fixed later if and when they come up.
  • Implement search safe URL structure and standards 
  • 301 Redirects / Old Content to New Content 
  • Configure robots.txt 
  • Install SSL Certificate 
  • Check Duplicate Content 
  • Make sure site meets W3C Standards
  • Site Speed testing and optimization 
  • Sitemap Setup and Submission 
  • Use of proper tags, markup and titles 
  • Removal of unnecessarily plugins and components 
  • Security and backup Setup 
  • Setup reminders for  maintenance and software updates 
  • Optimize administration and site organisation 
If  you are looking for a free, honest no-bull quote on a professionally built website, please schedule a strategy session with us or call 770 309 6480 to speak with one of our designers directly. 
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