When I bought my favorite Lee® jeans years ago, they fit like a glove. Just what I needed. As I put on weight, they generously stretched with me. When I lost weight, though, they stayed stretched in the knees and the butt. Not flattering. Holes developed around the seams. The cuffs became tattered. They turned into my “indoor” jeans—I was too embarrassed to be seen on the streets of NYC wearing them. (Although in my town, who would notice?). I loved them, but there came a time when I needed to stop patching and get a new pair.
Our websites are like that, too.
As our businesses grow and change, our websites need to change with them. An effective website can mean success or failure for many companies. Can your web designer keep up?
Here are a few tips to guide your thinking:
- What’s your business? The designer needs to understand your business. The site’s design has to reflect your business model, enhance your sales and marketing strategy, and appeal to your target prospects. Looking good is not enough.
- What’s your sales funnel? If you expect the site to drive sales (rather than simply provide information about your company), the design shop must also have marketing and SEO expertise. A great site does you no good if no one sees it.
- What are the psychographics of your target market? The “look and feel” needs to resonate with them. Review the designer’s portfolio of past projects to confirm their style works for you. Many designers simply use off-the-shelf templates rather than creating a custom design.
- How will you keep it fresh? Your designer should be able to strategize with you about ways to attract customers, including ways to introduce new content on an ongoing basis. Does the designer have this capability, or is it on your shoulders? And do you have the bandwidth to do it?
Finally, put it in writing. (Really? You need me to tell you this? J). Address who owns the site content and domain name … as well as the portability of your site should you wish to change vendors.
Tip: Purpose—not prettiness—should drive your website design. Otherwise, it will be as ineffective as an old pair of tatty jeans.