Yes, you should hire a web designer for your business – here’s why…
It can be very easy to set up an online business. Anyone can launch a website and start trading but attracting visitors who will actually give you their money is much harder. You can have a brilliant idea, fantastic products and services, but if your online branding and visibility aren’t up to scratch, no one will even know you exist. So how do you develop a successful web-based business? Should you do it yourself, or get an expert in? Aren’t some things just too important to muddle through? Well we think it’s obvious: YES, you should hire a web designer for your business and here’s why…
You may think that getting a website up and running is the first step in launching an online business, but it isn’t. Thorough research and planning is vital before you do anything. This will help you to decide what sort of website you want, determine who your key competitors are and identify your ideal customers. When you have that information, you’ll get on with the website, right? Well, no.
You need to evaluate exactly what sort of online presence you want. There are many website building platforms out there and yes, you can build a decent, basic website using one of their free templates. It’s a quick, usually cheap, fix. The question is, does the quick, cheap fix do your business justice?
There are also limitations with what the standard self-build platforms can do. Unless you only want the basics, you may end up having to compromise on functionality, in favour of cost. You end up with an off-the-shelf solution to something that actually deserves much more thought and consideration. The issue of transferring your website to another platform is also worth thinking about. Yes, it may be early days, but eventually as your business develops, you’ll undoubtedly outgrow the constraints of the site-builder you started out with. Unfortunately, it’s very unlikely that you’d be able to transfer your website elsewhere, so you’d be starting from scratch again.
You worked hard to create the right business identity. You did this to properly reflect your personality, convey a message about how you operate and to give people an idea of what to expect when they do business with you. You go to great lengths to be professional and your online identity needs to reflect this.
The thing is, site-builders incorporate free templates that are used so frequently, that they’re pretty easy to spot. If your website looks the same, or very similar, to hundreds of others, how will you stand out? High quality, custom design can be the difference between a bargain basement image and a polished appearance. It can increase trust and credibility. Obviously, anything that gives you the edge over your competitors is a good thing.
Even if you do make your site as glossy and professional as a high-end fashion magazine, you need to ensure that visitors can browse comfortably and easily. You need to make their experience as enjoyable as possible.
This point is actually a key reason for why hiring a web designer is a good investment to make. A high-quality site will make your customer journey much easier and the user-experience more satisfying. Having a site that’s easy to navigate is essential. Seamlessly leading your visitors from landing page to the checkout or contact function is the difference between an effective website and a newspaper ad.
Making sure your site has the plugins and widgets that make doing business with you as easy as possible, will ultimately improve your business outcomes. If you choose a quick and easy option, your expenses may look better in the short term, but hiring a web designer is a long-term investment that your bottom line will appreciate much more.
SEO – yes, I know everyone goes on about it, including us – requires more than just lip-service… It’s a critical element of your online footprint and must be done properly. It all boils down to the fundamental issue for any business online: How will you attract website visitors and convert them into customers, if they can’t find you? Muddle through at your peril.
Search Engine Optimisation is a key tool for web designers in making your site achieve good rankings from Google and other search engines. It’s more than just adding keywords, there’s , tags and alt text to include. You could spend the time to learn about it and then have a go at doing it yourself, but when you calculate the cost of your time, it’s probably going to be more cost-effective to leave it to a designer.
SEO and your wider online strategy is something that a good web designer will discuss with you at the planning stage. He or she will help you to get the right tools in place to meet your strategic business goals.
As technology develops and as the ways in which people access online content changes, you’ll need a website that’s built with this in mind. Getting this right first time also means lower maintenance time and costs. Dynamic design that adapts to the screen it is being viewed on is vital. If your text overlaps, your images aren’t clear, or your buttons don’t respond, your visitors will leave your site pretty quickly.
Another very common reason for visitors leaving your site – sometimes even before they’ve seen your landing page – is a slow load time. People generally have very short attention spans and are quite impatient when it comes to webpages loading on their screens. This can mean that for some people, waiting more than three seconds for a page to appear is too long. A web designer knows this and will make sure that the plugins, widgets and code are fit for purpose and won’t slow anything down.
Perhaps the most compelling reason for a business owner or entrepreneur to hire a web designer, is to save time. Starting and running a business is very time-consuming. This is especially true in the early days, when you are building the business to make it sustainable and successful. In the early days, you’re less likely to have staff to help out and end up being chief, cook and bottlewasher, all in one day. Work/life balance is difficult to manage, while you are chasing orders and ensuring your new customers are receiving the best possible service.
There’s a huge amount of effort involved in building a successful online business or crafting an online presence for an offline enterprise. It’s important to remember that YOU are your businesses greatest resource. You’re an expert in that thing you do – that’s why you do it. Hiring a web designer means you can take the pressure off and concentrate on what you do best.