Ways to Identify Good Web Design
Alpharetta Web Design on what to look for the next time you’re hiring for web design
When shopping for a local company focused on web design in Alpharetta, you may begin to feel overwhelmed. If you’ve never hired professional web services before, you likely can’t articulate specifically what constitutes “good web design”. So when you begin to search for a company to provide exactly that, how will you know what to look for?
Fear not! We are here to educate and empower you on your search. Keep reading for an in-depth breakdown of why good web design is important, how you can identify the hallmarks of good design, how it can take your business to the next level, and what to expect throughout the entire process.
In the Beginning, There Was Chaos…then Along Came Websites
At some point, someone probably told you your business needed a website. At this point, one of three things happened.
- You ignored them. What do they know?
- You poured yourself a cocktail, searched the web for “do-it-yourself web design”, and proceeded to craft a page.
- You hired someone to craft a page for you.
If you chose option one, you have been doing yourself (and your business) a huge disservice. Over 80% of customers visit a company’s website before making a purchase decision. No website? Chances are good they took their business to a competitor. If you don’t have a web presence, your business appears to lack legitimacy. It also cripples your referrals from aggregator sites like Yelp and Angie’s list. What good is a five-star reputation if none of your customers can actually find you?
Now, if you chose number two, we applaud your efforts. You recognized the need for a website, and took action! However, things probably did not go according to plan. Unless you have a background in English, journalism, or content writing, your pages may not be as effective as they could be. Professional writers paint a picture with their words. They are clear, concise, and always, always, ALWAYS grammatically correct. Nothing shouts unprofessional more than a typo.
Perhaps you chose number three. Congratulations! You were on the right track. However, if your business was just starting out, you may have been more sensitive to the price than the actual quality of the site itself. When looking for effective web design, you didn’t prioritize it; unsurprising considering a majority of small businesses fall into this trap. Just 11% of their total annual revenue is attributed to their website.
Given 80% of your customers first check you out online, this poses a HUGE opportunity for small businesses. It’s time to take your design game to the next level, and make your website really work for you.
How to Recognize a Well-Designed Web Page
While imagery preference can be subjective, most people instinctively decide to like a website… or not. While different people have varying tastes, there are at least few things you can begin looking for on the pages you like best. We’ve listed them below, but we recommend re-visiting some favorite sites after reading this list. Guaranteed, you’ll see most (if not all) of these techniques at play there.
- The designer took the business industry into account. This is the biggest downfall of DIY web building. There is no one universal site design perfect for every single industry. By limiting yourself to a very few layout options, you curtail your opportunity. Would a custom graphic designer want the same web layout as an online soap company? Absolutely not. Form should most definitely follow function.
- Your eye moves across the page in a logical fashion. Controlling eye movement is a key part of good design. It ensures your customer feels like your company’s narrative makes sense, and allows them to absorb information in an almost effortless fashion.
- They built the site with clear intent. Would an architect ever try to build a house without blueprints? Of course not. Attempting to create pages without understanding where they will live or how they will be used is completely pointless.
- It’s mobile-friendly. Your website absolutely needs to be dynamic and responsive. What does this mean? Well, primarily it means when a customer views your website from a tablet or smartphone, it doesn’t turn into the web version of a Picasso. It must have the ability to re-size itself correctly, delivering a perfect display across device and platform. Why? People spend more time consuming information and media on their phones than they do working or sleeping. Almost everyone has at least one smart device, and cellular data plans are delivering more data at cheaper rates. Plus, almost 20% of U.S. consumers access the internet exclusively from their phone.
- You can get where you need to go, easily. Have you ever landed on a page, then clicked around all over while trying to find a menu, contact information, or a list of services? If so, you were the victim of poor site navigation. It no doubt left you feeling frustrated, and unwilling to support a business who made it so hard for you to spend your money there.
- It targets the “right” customer. This one is actually combination of tactics, including a site’s search engine optimization strategy. If you didn’t land on a page directly, you likely arrived through either a web search, or a banner ad and landing page. Good web designers are up to speed on what search engine algorithms are looking for. Your site’s keywords, external informational links, and overall content, will all shape how your customer “discovers” your page. Most traffic comes from site like Google or Bing. However, aggregator directories like Yelp and Angie’s List are also incredible sources for web traffic. The best pages are optimized for both, making it super easy for your future customers to find you.
How Improving Your Website Can Kick Your Business into the Next Gear
So, remember those 8 out of 10 customers doing their online research about your company? Well, your website (or lack thereof) was the very first impression your business made on them. Remember the old adage, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”? Well, your shoddy website might just be blowing it for you.
Still unsure about the merits of getting an optimized web design in Alpharetta? Think about it like a business card. Everyone has one. It illustrates a lot about your company in a very concise and compact manner. And people can reference it 24/7. Would you give out business cards hand drawn by a three-year old? Of course not. It would seem unprofessional, right? A bad website is the same thing. If it looks clumsy and inept, that is the impression your customers will take away. And no matter how much traffic you drive to your site from referrals, SEO, or customer recommendations, a website that doesn’t convert is a giant failure for your business.
You may be thinking, “Well, what will a good website do?” We’re so glad you asked! The best websites deliver all of the following:
Your website is a direct reflection of your business, so determine what kind of impression you want to make, then get the help you need to make it happen.
How to Select the Right Firm for Web Design in Alpharetta
You’ve come to your senses, and recognized your business is in need of professional web help. Great…now what?
Here is a list of things to consider when hiring your web design firm:
- How do they price their services? You want to know how much you’ll be paying, and what you’re going to get for the money. You should also ask how any project overruns, or scope increases, will be handled.
- What’s their track record? Be sure to ask for references. You want to know who they have worked with in the past, and the results they’ve delivered for those businesses. Do they have ongoing relationships? Other indicators of satisfied customers? These are all hallmarks of how reliable a company is, and whether they can deliver what you need, by the time you need it.
- How do they define success? This is especially important if any performance clauses are in your contract, or if you come across a company who only seems to know how to drive traffic. Yes, improving site traffic is good. But it must also boost your customer conversion and purchase rates. You’re not running a charity here, so make sure you know how you will be able to accurately measure the return on your investment.
- What are the company’s core services? You want someone who specializes in customer websites capable of driving traffic and conversion. They should also be able to deliver a custom solution every time. The best way to figure this out is to ask for a list of five to ten sites they’ve recently completed. You’ll quickly be able to tell if the outfit is custom, or if they are simply regurgitating the same tired design.
The Website Design Process: From Beginning to End
The hard part is over; you have a company and you’re ready to get started. Unfortunately, you have no idea what the process involves, or what “getting started” even means.
Stage 1: Information Gathering. You’ll likely start out with a few in-depth interviews, and/or a client questionnaire. You’ll provide information about your company, which will fuel site design, content, and tone. You’ll also align on your overarching goals and definition of success.
Step 2: The Project Plan. Here is where you get into discussions around preliminary scope. This should also include cost estimates, and a schedule for delivery timing of various project pieces.
Step 3: The Blueprints. These are outlines of the overall site structure, page navigation, and rough layouts.
Step 4: Building the Content. At this point, they’ve had their copywriters take a stab at initial copy. You’ll review the content for each page, and approve or adjust as necessary.
Step 5: Production Review. It will finally start to look like a website at this point. You can comment on imagery, layout, navigation and so on.
Step 6: Final Approval. We’re betting you can figure this one out.
Step 7: Your Site is Live! Cue the increase in calls, and boost in sales!
Hunting for Good Web Design in Alpharetta? Call MarketBlazer.
If you’ve read all the way to the bottom of this page, you know by now we’re experts in what we do. Not only do we have years of experience, we keep abreast of everything going on in the internet market today. Change in search algorithm? We’re on it. Shift in display capability for mobile devices? Already ahead of the curve. You’ll enjoy working with our fantastic team of design professionals. They won’t rest until they’ve blown your expectations up with awesomeness. Bottom line? We deliver the websites that deliver amazing business results.
Ready to step up your web game? Click or call 770-893-2443 to find the most amazing web design in Alpharetta.