Okay, so you’ve got your domain name registered through a local website hosting server. Now you need to find a professional (and hopefully not to expensive) website designer. Who you hire depends on YOUR choice, and of course, your budget.
Personally, I tend to ask for recommendations from family and friends when I want to hire any service. That way, at least I will be more apt to avoid bad contractors.
For the sake of this article, let’s say you have a website designer in mind that you will be hiring. Before contacting them, can you answer the following 9 questions?
- Can you briefly describe your business?
This will help your website designer choose proper templates for you to select one from. Describing your business like this will also help supply text for your home page. Most website visitors seldom read much below the ““fold” (the portion of a web page that requires scrolling down in order to see more content) of any website, so being descriptive and brief can work wonders. Write to capture your website visitor’s attention within seconds of their arrival and KEEP their attention!
- Who do you feel are your main competitors?
Discovering your competition can be readily determined by your website designer if you don’t know who your competitors are. Finding what your competitors are not doing right and using that information correctly should make all the difference in where your website ranks in internet searches.
- What sets your business apart from your competition?
This can tough to determine. Once you DO figure out what makes your business stand out from the rest, your business can become the best! Standing out could be as simple as offering a free consultation to potential customers. However, you will need to be aware that some consultations may not gain you a customer, as some people will only seek freebies.
- Can you describe your target customer?
Knowing your audience will help you select your website design. If you’re target customer is a grandparent then your site won’t appeal to teenagers. Knowing the gender, age range, and in some cases, even annual income of your potential customers will help you especially when optimizing your website and creating social media accounts.
- Do you have websites that you like; what is it that you like about them?
You don’t want to copy your competitors … or anyone for that matter. Knowing what your preferences are will help your website designer select templates for you to choose a favourite from, more readily.
- Who will be responsible for your website’s content?
If your business is new to the web, you will need an experienced writer for the purpose of successful marketing. Copywriting is a skill that can make the difference to your website KEEPING your visitor’s attention. Besides, have you got time to leave your business while you learn to write great copy for your new website?
- What key search phrases would you like your business found for?
No website should ever be left without, at the very least, basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Your website designer may have suggestions for key phrases; however, if you want to be found online for particular phrases, be sure to state them.
- What pages would you like included on your website?
For a new website, I usually recommend the following five pages: Product/Service, About, Contact, Product/Services News (blog), and Home (landing) page. Though of course, you can have more if that is your preference. For a complete explanation, be sure to ask your website designer “what pages does my website need?“, and then you can decide from the answer.
- How quickly do you need your website ready?
If you have a deadline in mind, be sure to let your website designer know it. In this way, you will have a better chance that your project will stay on course and be completed within proper time. Being prepared with answers to these 9 questions will help both you and your website designer complete the job.
TIP: “Set it and forget it” does NOT work for websites. Be sure to update and add to your website on a regular basis. If once every two to three months is too difficult a pace for you to maintain then it’s time for you to hire a professional writer. In the end, it will pay off!