Web Design Consultation: Here is how you can help facilitate the process.
With over 22 years of experience in the web design and search marketing industry, I have developed the rather annoying habit of assuming that other people know what I know. This is wildly unfair to my customers, and to turn the tables I know next to nothing about engineering an undersea resort, managing a non profit organization or coding a cloud-based CRM platform. With experience, however, comes wisdom and I have learned to approach customers with certain expectations regarding their knowledge base in a way that is not insulting to their intelligence. This approach is is the foundation of our web design consultation.
When a business or non profit organization decides it’s time for a website redesign, they should go through an internal and external process in order to achieve their desired outcomes. A company should prepare itself for this process by pulling together internal resources to determine their needs and objectives prior to participating in a web design consultation with a professional web design agency.
Here are some preparation considerations that will help you prepare for your web design consultation:
How much of your personal or staff’s time are you willing to commit to the website development project? The greater the investment of human resources, the less cost associated with building the website. Bear in mind that in order to assume full website design and development responsibilities you or your staff will become the de facto designer, developer, marketer and IT department.
Before you begin your search for a web design agency, it is important that you take the time to establish some goals. Ask yourself these questions: Why are you choosing to build a new website at this time? What are you trying to accomplish? What does the website need to do to achieve your goals? What are the key metrics that will determine success?
Who is your target audience? What are their needs? What are their expectations for the website? How will your target audience be able to provide feedback on the new website?
During the initial conversation, your web design consultant will ask you several questions about your business or organization. Try as best you can to be prepared to answer questions, such as:
- What is the business, non profit organization or government agency structure?
- For a business, what are your annual revenues?
- For a non profit organization, what are your revenue channels?
- For a government agency, what is the source of your funding?
- Do you have an existing website?
- What are the website’s call to actions?
- Does the website use a content management system (CMS)?
- Does the website sell products or services online?
- Does the website have a client portal that allows them to access their account information?
- Is the website updated on a continuous basis, and how many content contributors work on the website?
- What is the level of technical expertise within the organization?
- Will the organization be able to support the new website after launch or will they require a maintenance plan?
Web Design Consultation. Let’s get started.
So, you’ve completed your internal evaluation of your needs and are ready to speak with a web design consultant. A good web design consultant will have already invested time into your business prior to the meeting. An initial needs-assessment by the consultant should include the following tasks:
- Existing website assessment
- Industry assessment
- Competitor assessment
- Website performance assessment
- SEO assessment
- ADA-compliance assessment
Once you start with the conversation, your web design consultant will try to get a feel of your business, understand your long-term financial goals and determine success metrics. The consultant will look for problems inherent with your website marketing strategy that can be remedied through the website redesign process.
When it comes to your new website, an experienced consultant will help to determine functional requirements, such as content management system (CMS) requirements, eCommerce requirements, 3rd party platform requirements and content requirements. Also, it is at this time that your web design consultant will broach the subject of cost and timeline, as these are obviously critical considerations. Ultimately, the consultant will collaborate with you to determine the overarching goals for the website redesign, including the needs for the business, the needs of your customers and define key success metrics that will allow you to quantitatively measure the website’s performance.
Website Design Consultation. Cost.
Now that you have discussed your business requirements and goals for the website redesign at your web design consultation, we can establish cost based upon your needs and budgetary realities. Here are ballpark estimates that can help you determine which type of website is right for you:
Free or very cheap, with possible hidden costs such as hosting mandates and technical support. If you still live in your parent’s basement and need a new website for your fledgling record label, save yourself the $100 bucks and do it yourself.
Cost: Ask your girlfriend if she can float you a $20.
WordPress Theme Design
This option tries to strike a balance between cost and quality. There are thousands of inexpensive and beautiful WordPress themes available, and the overall website development cost will be much lower as you will not have to pay for custom design services. This is a good option for someone working on a modest budget but wants a quality website and to work with a knowledgeable web designer for guidance. For these benefits, however, you will be losing out on a custom design, exclusivity, input and most likely customer service.
Cost: $5,000 – $10,000
Custom WordPress Design
A custom WordPress design is the best option for getting the maximum quality, customer service and technical support for your web presence. We call custom sites hand-crafted websites as they truly are built from the ground floor up to your exact specifications. The best web design agencies in the Bay Area will be custom website developers and they will have the portfolio and pedigree to show for it.
The cost of a fully custom-designed website will vary dramatically as you may require advanced features, such as eCommerce, security, membership portals, web services and custom back-end application development. These projects require dedicated project management working with a team of graphic designers, information architects, web designers, web developers, QA testers, copywriters and marketing experts and can take several months to complete, so you will need to factor in these additional costs. Here are just some of the benefits you will get to enjoy working with a professional, full-service web design agency in building a fully custom-designed and custom-built WordPress website:
- Expert design
- Experienced development
- Quality project management
- Dedicated customer service
- Advanced functionality
- Quality assurance
- Reliable technical support
Cost: $10,000 – $100K+, depending on functional requirements.
Website Design Consultation. Marketing.
A helpful web design consultation will also discuss marketing strategy as part of your website redesign. In addition to traditional print, POS, mail, radio and television advertising there are three primary digital marketing strategies you may wish to consider:
SEO is the most popular search marketing strategy. SEO requires patience and expertise to be successful and the marketplace is flooded with so called Black Hat charlatans that can actually do more harm than good.
For many business owners, SEO is one of those black boxes that contain mysterious and somewhat magical treasures. The primary intent for SEO is to improve your rankings, so your web design consultant will highlight the importance of good SEO as part of your website redesign. You may not really care how they do it as long as the results are delivered. But this can be unwise as unscrupulous SEO consultants can lead you down the road to disaster. Your web design consultant does not have to divulge trade secrets, but he should freely share his SEO philosophy, his SEO tools and tactics and provide realistic expectations for how much it will cost and how long it will take to achieve and maintain your SEO goals.
It’s important that the consultant outline his approach, which should include the following key tasks:
Remove search engine penalties
Remove plagiarism penalties
Duplicate content audit
Improve technical efficiencies
XML sitemap creation
Local SEO optimization
Google My Business management
Organic backlink building
Directory listings registration
Click Here for more information on these tasks from a previous blog.
Every successful SEO campaign begins with a technical review of your website to identify problems that will need to be corrected before your SEO campaign can truly begin. All the SEO strategies in existent will not be successful until you have a website that is properly search engine-friendly. In some cases, this may require a complete re-design and development of your website. Click Here to learn more about our web design & development services.
A web design consultation will help guide you towards a successful outcome with your website redesign. If you are interested in working with us regarding your website redesign, then connect with us today and get access to testimonials from our previous clients so that you can be assured of the quality of our work. When you get in touch, we will listen closely to help develop your goals into achievable results. Everyone on our team is looking forward to bringing your project to life, so get in touch today and organize an initial discussion.
To schedule your own complimentary web design consultation, call us at 888.938.8289 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
D E E P B L U E Knows the Market
When it comes to these hot new trends, the team here at D E E P B L U E is ready and willing to use them when designing your site. In fact, many of the new trends follow the work we have completed, making us proud web design trendsetters. If you want to get your hands on a site that is innovative and designed beautifully then give us a call, we’d love to work with you.