11 Essential Things You Must Know Before
Selecting a Website Designer

1. It Must Provide Quality Content

Your website is your sales person that never sleeps – but for it do its job – it needs to contain the right information presented the right way. Does your web company have copy writers to ensure the right content is in the right part of your website? Will you pay more for this?

Quality content is an essential part of your marketing effort. This content tells the reader you understand what their problems are and how you can fix them. Not only should you have this content on your website, but you should also be able to email newsletters to your database with this useful and engaging information. Quality information that is updated on a regular basis also helps with your Google ranking.

2. The Home Page

The home page needs to show what you do for your clients, who you are and why they should buy from you. It is about much more than just “this is what we do and who we are”. Think from the reader’s point of view “What’s in it for me?” Above the fold on the home page there needs to be a clear call to action. (“Above the fold” means the screen you see without having to scroll down). This can either be call now, enquire now, etc.

The client should know exactly what to do next to continue the relationship without there being an information overload on the home page.

Is It Mobile Friendly?

Your website needs to be responsive for tablets and smart phones, as more than 25% of all searches are now done this way. This means your website uses responsive web design techniques so it recognises the device being used and sizes itself accordingly for optimal viewing.

Content on a mobile should be readable without the need to zoom. All photos and images, and even forms, need to resize to fit the screen.

And because so many searches are now performed on mobile devices, Google are changing their algorithms and if your website isn’t optimised for mobile devices, it will no longer appear in Google search results when using a mobile device.

Adding a mobile friendly site results in an overall traffic increase of 18%!

34% of consumers have made a purchase using their mobile phone.

Ask yourself - is there a mobile version available, and does your business need a dedicated mobile version if the site is responsive?

4. How It Looks

Your website needs to reflect your company’s identity in terms of fonts, images and layout. Studies show that website visitors spend on average 7 seconds, or less, on 90% of the sites they visit. So your site needs to look the part.

One size does not fit all, as an accountant’s website is going to be entirely different to a wedding planner’s website. Your website needs to be visually appealing and aligned with who you are and what you do.

The pace of online change means websites need to be updated as often as every 3 years to remain current. This might sound like a costly exercise however, if you’re getting good traffic to your site you will see an instant increase in calls or sales. And once again, think of it as your hardest working sales person that doesn’t take a holiday.

5. The Reason Why

Understand why the reader came to your website, and try and answer those issues/problems on the home page. This should be the primary focus. If you have many reasons why they might come to your site, it might a good idea to have separate landing pages. They can be one of the most effective online marketing strategies. Your web company should be able to tell you if you should test these.

6. How Are You Going To Get Traffic

Once you have a good looking and functioning website, you still need traffic. And even once you get the traffic, you need to know exactly what you want done with it.

For some businesses it might mean you want them to call you immediately, for others they may want an opt in form, so you can email them later.

There are many ways to get traffic. There’s the off line methods, radio, print, TV etc. And then there’s Facebook advertising, Google adwords, Cost per Click, Search Engine Optimisation SEO, etc. Every business’ needs will be different. Often it’s a matter of experimenting with various methods until you find the right mix. However this is an ongoing process.

7. Once You Get The Traffic

The only way you manage something is if you measure it. Google Analytics will measure your web stats. Your web company should set this up for you and explain how it works.

8. The Platform

Ask if the website has its own CMS or if it’s an open source platform. There are pros and cons to each and your web company should be able to advise you on which suits your purposes best.

9. Your Domain

Do you actually have your own domain or is it just a webpage within a large website, like that on Yellow pages or Gofor? If you are just part of a large website like these, you are probably sitting right next to your competition - which is fine if that’s what you’re aware of from the outset. However many people don’t like this – so make sure you ask your web company if you have your own domain and remember, it is possible to have several domains.

10. The Contract

Get someone to explain the fine print in plain language. If they can’t, how are you meant to understand the legal jargon?

Some companies will lock you in for a year’s contract for hosting. Some even have a rollover clause whereby if you don’t cancel during a certain month, you are locked in for another year. This happens a lot and is one of the most important questions to ask.

11. The Web Company

You need to have trust in your website company. How long have they been running? Do they offer ongoing advice and support? Things do break, that’s a fact of technology - so the question is how fast do things get rectified. Make sure they operate at least during business hours. Ask them how many sites they’ve made in the past, do they have testimonials that you can call if necessary.

Look at some the sites they’ve made. Are they in a similar industry to yours? Do they offer any sort of guarantee?

If you choose the right website company the process will be pain free and an enjoyable and exciting experience.

christchurch office & design

Sales & Design
Level 1,112 Buchan Street, Sydenham
Christchurch 8023, New Zealand
Phone: 0800 FATWEB | 0800 328 932
Office Hours 9am - 5pm

christchurch office

Admin & Accounts
2 Ivan Jamieson Place, Christchurch Airport
Christchurch 8053
Phone: 0800 FATWEB | 0800 328 932
Office Hours 9am - 5pm

auckland office

Level-12, 23 Customs Street East
Auckland 1010
Phone: 0800 FATWEB | 0800 328 932
Office Hours 8:30am - 5pm

wellington office

Maungaraki, Lower Hutt
Phone: 0800 FATWEB | 0800 328 932
Office Hours 8:30am - 5pm

northland office

4, Anchorage Road
Mangawhai Heads, Northland
Phone: 0800 FATWEB | 0800 328 932
Office Hours 8:30am - 5pm