If you are brand new to the world of web design, digital marketing, e-commerce, and the rest, all of the things you have to know and understand can become daunting quickly. Michigan designers will toss around terms like "responsive web design" and "SEO" and "bounce rates." You may not understand what all of that means just yet. Relax! You will soon enough. It isn't even necessary to know all of the jargon and buzzwords to make a sensible decision about which Michigan web design company can get a fantastic website up and running. Here are the questions every newbie should get the answers to before signing on the dotted line.
1. What Services Does the Website Developer Offer & Include?
Do they design only, or does the developer's services include copy writing? Remember: Just because they offer a specific service doesn't make them a pro. Be sure they can give you top-tier quality for any service you contract for.
A website isn't just a pretty webpage design. It also includes at least some basic functionality (such as navigation, signing up for a newsletter, etc.), and content, that is, the written words and images that populate your page(s). Before hiring a website design company in Michigan, find out what your site design includes. Don't be tempted to hire the one who does the most services for the cheapest price. You may come out far better hiring a website designer and copywriter separately, because you'll have a professional working on both.
2. What Pages Are Included in the Website Design?
Even the most bare-skeleton websites include:
- About page
- FAQ page
- Contact page
- Privacy & Terms of Conditions page(s)
... or some variation of these. E-commerce sites might also include an abundance of product pages. Be sure you understand what is included in your web development project. Also, make sure that you will be able to expand on it later. If you decided to hire a different developer in the future, could they add on to your site, or will you be locked into using only their services?
3. Does the Developer Offer Custom Design, Templates, or Both?
There's nothing wrong with a template, it just limits you in terms of uniqueness and functionality. If you need a look that's radically different from competitors or need a higher level of functionality, you'll want to go with a developer that can offer custom web design.
When you hire a web design company in Michigan, or anywhere else, you need to understand whether they will be developing your site based on a template or if they offer custom, ground-up design. There is nothing wrong with a template so long as your business doesn't require unique branding for some reason (aka, it can't look like umpteen other competitors). Templates are usually less expensive than a custom build. Many developers offer both, depending on the client's needs. Just be sure you understand which you're getting, and make sure that option works for your needs and your budget.
At Commercial Progression, we offer a data driven website design approach that is built off of your business goals and metrics. Knowing what the performance goals are for your business and incorporating these into the design process can be the difference between ending up with mere esthetics or true business results.
4. What Metrics Will You Be Able to Collect on the Site's Performance?
Though you're just learning the ropes now, before you can blink, you'll be a seasoned pro at digital and online marketing, and you'll want to be able to collect and track all sorts of metrics on your website. You'll need to be able to view things like bounce rates, new visitors, return visitors, page reads, the typical customer journey (how customers tend to navigate through your website), and others. Ask your web design company what metrics you will be able to collect and how and where the data will stream (in other words, can you integrate that data with other back-end systems like your CRM or marketing automation tool).
When it comes time to populate your website with text and images, you will also need to know about the concept of SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. That's how websites are ranked by Google, Yahoo!, Bing, and other search engines. You can familiarize yourself with those principles now when you download our 10 Step SEO & Digital Marketing Guide.