When it comes to appointing a website design company in the Scottish Borders you need to ensure you have a few things on your to-do list. These are my top seven must have items:
- A responsive website - for most companies that build websites this is a given, but some more dated freelancers might try to sell you a website that is not fit for some tablets or mobiles. Check this out before you get into detailed conversations. People use so many different devices you need to ensure your website responds based on the size of the screen it is loaded on.
- Brand focus - a technical web developer does not necessarily understand brand, just like a brand consultant may not fully appreciate the limitations of web development. But the key difference is that your brand is seen by the customer and drives your business forward. This has to be key and it has to be right for your business. So getting this applied correctly so it conveys the correct image, message and feel is vital.
- Plan what the website will do over the next 3 years and ensure you have a plan for it. If you are not going to use a blog then do not get one built, if you have this in your marketing plan then get it built or have a plan for it to be added to your website when you need it. Likewise ecommerce functionality, forms or anything else you might need has to be planned first if you are going to make things smooth and effective over the next 3 years. Plan it in and it will not slow you down, if you decide you need it you may then have to wait for it to be designed and built and it might not be ready when you want it.
- Customisation - your business is different to every other and this should show in your website. Do not accept a template website with your logo stuck in the corner and put it down to cost. Companies like ours can achieve what you need within affordable budgets so cost is not an excuse. Make your website represent your business.
- Data capture - ensure you understand what your users are doing. Use things like Google Analytics, Google Webmasters Tools, Hubspot and other tools like heatmaps to track what's going on with your website. Your users are the ones that drive sales so make sure the website is doing what they want, not what you or your designer think they want.
- 3rd party reviews - have something in your plan to get something like Feefo running and get it onto your website. Product/service reviews really help drive conversion so make sure you have this ready to go.
- SEO, search engine optimisation - make sure your website is ready for Google so you achieve what you want. If you need to compete with competitive keywords then ensure you have a platform to deploys lots of content in different formats but with a plan and strategy. The key is to ensure your new website fits in with your plan.
There are lots of other things your website needs to do and that your web design company need to deliver but these are my top 7 considerations before handing over a project to a company.