Strategic website design is the fusion of your organizational goals with every aspect of your online design and branding process. You are not simply designing your website, social media profiles and online content to look good; you want your content to become valuable and accessible to your target audiences. You’re designing an interface that will help you accomplish your brand’s sales objectives and overall mission statement.
There are many websites out there that appear pleasing to the eye and feature the latest strategic website design trends. But all to often these websites fail miserably in their intended purpose: To build one’s brand and to generate new customers. Design and architecture are, of course, important because they give your brand its unique feel. But one must keep in mind that the implementation of those techniques and styles needs to be intelligent and focused around your larger business goals and plans.
Every strategic website design should feature a blog as an important branding point. Your blog also represents an effective SEO strategy to take advantage of key words and phrases that are being searched for among your target audience. As key search terms can change from month to month, a company’s blog can be that tool to generate fresh, relative content that will continually drive people to your website. When it comes to your blog, styling is not your top concern. Generating valuable content that demands to be shared will help you to message and define your branding to your faithful online followers.
Strategic Website Design Will Generate More Customers
When a web designer implements a look that is fashionable at the moment, without any thought of how it function with the brand behind it, the end result is unlikely to be very effective. Coordinating many factors for a well-developed, strategic website design is crucial for long-term success.
Effective web design is all about developing an interface that communicates your branding clearly, possesses easy functionality for its intended users, allows a consistent outflow of new content, as well as exuding a strong emotional appeal. Effective Web design needs all of these elements to be in tune with the goals of your website and in sync with the organizational objectives behind the website. Strategic website design is all about identifying those goals and using them to guide your look and functionality.
10-Point Checklist for a Strategic Website Design Firm
1. Ask for referrals from trusted friends & business contacts – Nothing is more powerful than a satisfied, trusted source. Ask around in person, or even via your social media channels, for those who are truly satisfied with the prices, service and results obtained from their strategic website design firm.
2. Write down exactly what you need before you meet – You need to put in writing what you want – exactly – before you meet with any strategic website design firm. Too often, people go in with some misguided idea that web designers can read minds or just “know what to do” for every business. Well, I hate to break it to you, but web designers cannot read minds. So go to the meeting with an exact, written list of what you want.
3. Check Yelp and other directories for reviews – We live in an era of transparency. No reviews or bad reviews is a signal to turn away. Many good reviews, procured over several years, shows consistent good work. Search around as these reviews exist or they do not.
4. Establish a realistic budget – There is some truth in the old saying that you get what you pay for. But on the other hand, I know plenty of people that paid over ten-thousand dollars for a mediocre website. Good web designers who have satisfied clients will usually cost a bit more. But there are always those who do incredible work at a very reasonable price. I know a few great web designers myself, so I am always available for some guidance and direction on who to turn to for great, affordable work.
5. Look for websites you love – One way to find a great designer is by finding out who designed a website that you absolutely love.
6. Interview them and see how they handle your questions – How people communicate in business is crucial. How people answer questions is even more insightful. Answers are gold when it comes to business, and a bunch of double talk is not an answer. People who never quite answer your questions will be a nightmare to work with in the future.
7. Professionalism in appearance and in conduct – If the web designer is clean, organized and possesses good manners, more than likely this will translate into high-quality work. People signal their work ethos through their dress and conduct. A professional strategic design firm will insist that their staff look professional.
8. Asking you the right questions – While you may be asking great questions, does the person that you are looking to design your website reciprocate? Asking thoughtful and important questions is an indicator that they care and are meticulous in their work,
9. Making a connection – Just like in dating, their has to be be that right fit, that connection. If your gut is telling you that this is not the right person, then you are most likely correct. If you hit it off and can relate your ideas easily, feeling that you are being heard, understood and appreciated, then this is a great sign.
10. You learned something new and important – Professionals in any industry always make it a point to elevate you with knowledge and insight. Your potential web designer should leave you inspired and better educated about some aspect of the online marketing world.
One Last Important Note on Hiring a Strategic Website Design Firm
When choosing a strategic website design firm, you are hopefully adding a long-term partner to your marketing team. Take the time for due diligence in this important matter for your brand’s future.