What to Look For in a Web Design Company

Would you hire someone to refinish your basement without asking some questions about their experience, what factors affect their estimate, flooring options and if they offer warranties? Would you see a dentist without knowing if they were just out of school? Would you try to repair your own car after watching a few YouTube videos? What about pulling out your own tooth? 

We hope you won’t try these things on your own, especially the last one. 

There are simply times in life when you need to consult and rely on experts. For most businesses, one of these times is when it comes to establishing and updating your website design and usability. 

That’s when you need to hire a web design company, either for the initial design, a redesign, an update to a whole new look and brand, or for handling web development tasks for you for as long as you need. coworkers are working on design

And once you identify a few potential web design companies, based on word of mouth recommendations or their online reviews, you need to know what questions to ask them. 


Why should you hire professional web design company?

Too many web designers will overcharge you. They’ll say you’re getting a bargain for a few hundred dollars, when in reality, they’re not doing much. They’re just changing the words and images on a few pre-designed templates offered by WordPress, Shopify or Wix. You can do that yourself. A good web designer will really customize your site to make it stand out from others. This means changing colors, fonts, adding interactivity and even gamification.

A good web designer will make sure your site loads fast, is SEO friendly, and consistent from page to page.

A good web designer does user tests and gives you data to show why the final design is the best one. 

In this post, we explain the signs that tell you when you need web design experts to take you to the next level, as well as what questions to ask them when you’re reaching out to find out their services and fees. 


When It’s Time to Call Web Design Experts?

If you are starting a new business, one of the first items on your to do list should be starting a website. 

You need to get something indexed in Google, and join Google Search Console, before you even open your door for the first time. 

This is as true for brick and mortar stores as it is for a business that’s service based, like house cleaning.

Now if you already have a website, that doesn’t mean it couldn’t use a redesign. 

Here are some signs even an established business should call a web designer.

web design experts

1. People Aren’t Buying Stuff From You as Much

Have people suddenly stopped visiting your in person store so much? Are the phones not ringing as often? Do you have an e-commerce site that’s suddenly seen a dip in sales? If you have analytics, or another web traffic tool, do you notice that people are leaving right away? In other words, do you have a high bounce rate? 

That’s often a sign that your website is off in some way. It may have to do with the design – it’s outdated. Or it may be that it’s not usable. This means that the buttons are too small, or people can’t figure out how or what to press. Maybe your checkout process isn’t smooth. This is where an experienced web designer can help.

At SEO Design Chicago, we sometimes even watch people use your site. We pay attention to where they get stuck, and where they leave. Then we fix those problems. 


2. You Can’t Handle All the Business Generated Through Your Website

On the other side, you may be dealing with the problem of not being able to manage your business using your old techniques, some of which may have involved pen and paper, calculators or even Excel. 

For example, an air condition repair company with too much business may start to overbook appointments and end up missing chances to serve customers better during a brutal heat wave. This is where web designers can help by migrating you to a new platform, like Shopify or installing plugins for booking appointments. We can add tools to send addresses and times for appointments to your employees’ phones. We can even find ways to remind you, and potential clients, of the appointments. 

There are also tools we can add to manage inventory (and let you know when products are running low) and help you handle shipping. 

With the right web designer on your team, you’ll be able to take your business to new levels by freeing up your time. Let automated tools do the work you used to do. 


3. Your Website Looks Old School and Doesn’t Appear in SERP When You Think it Should

If you want people to visit your website, it has to look modern and be coded in such a way that it’s recognized by search engines.

For search engines to index your site and send people there, you must address a few tech items such as proper site mapping, using the right SEO keywords, and eliminating copied and pasted content.

Website trends also change with time. 

Also, there’s nothing quite like a design overhaul to give your business a new look and feel. If your site has grown stale and antiquated, a redesign could be the difference between people trusting your brand or dismissing it as outdated. 

Remember rotating slideshows on homepages? They’re out of style now.

Do you have a horizontal menu? Some younger generations prefer what’s called a hamburger menu.

Think about it this way. Remember Sears? They went out of business because younger people associated it with cheap products and a store for their parents’ generation. An updated look may have prevented them from going out of business. 

Even Walmart is giving their stores and site a makeover over the next year. Businesses have to redesign and update their looks if they want to stay relevant. 


4. Your Business Has Special Privacy Issues

Some health-related businesses need site redesigns to keep in line with new privacy laws and guidelines.  Mental health counselors, abuse help centers, certain nonprofits involving children and other protected groups need secure sites so that only their clients can access sessions and records. needs. A patient’s private data  is paramount, and often legally required. They have to make sure there’s high security – one login won’t do because a patient’s roommate, family member, spouse or partner may want to see what they’ve been talking about. 

Healthcare aside, even some websites are all about complex online systems, involving photo uploads, logins for multiple parties, ratings and booking. Think about Yelp and other review sites. At SEO Design Chicago, we know how to make sites look great, and make sure data is secure.  


What We Do at SEO Design Chicago ?

SEO Design Chicago is a Chicago-based web design and development company (although we work on websites worldwide). We provide hundreds of online and mobile services, including:

  • Web design and development
  • Website maintenance
  • Content creation
  • Search engine optimization
  • Web, mobile, and social analytics
  • Email marketing
  • Pay per click ad strategy and creation
  • Social media content creation and advertising
  • Consulting and training in case you want to handle these tasks on your own

Whether you hire us or someone else, here’s what you should ask any web design company.pictures of we designers


What Visual and Usability Problems Do You See With Our Current Website and Mobile Site?

This is among the most important questions to ask a web design company. If the answer is, “Everything about your site is great,” that should be a red flag. Every site could use a tweak here or there. And if it’s small tweaks, you may be able to live without them. 

It’s OK if they mention color schemes. But what they really should be mentioning is usability, or lack thereof. That means that there may not be enough “call to action” buttons or the navigation menu may be hard to understand. 


What Would You Do to Fix These Problems? 

At SEO Design Chicago, we tell you right off the bat how much we rely on pre-made templates, if at all. If a designer doesn’t mention pre-made templates, steer clear. They’re often a starting point for people. So definitely ask, “Do you use pre-made templates?” It’s OK if they say they start with them, but ask how much they customize those templates so they look unique and reflect your brand. Ask them what templates they started with for previous clients, then visit those clients websites. Do they look just like the original template? If yes, don’t go with that designer. 


How Long Does It Take You to Design or Redesign? 

The turnaround time depends on what work you want done. We also have other clients. We’re honest about expectations.  That’s one of the things we nail down with you during our initial meeting. 

We’re honest about how long it will take us to make web design changes, install tools or migrate to new systems, and enhance security. Just look at our testimonials from clients. Our honesty comes up time and time again.

Beware the designer who gives you a 2 day turnaround time. They’ll probably use a pre-designed template. 


What Do You Know About AI?

AI is evolving rapidly and will change everything about how people create websites.

Sometimes, AI can help in design. For example, live chat solutions are easily implemented and improve customer satisfaction. 

There are also generative AI text tools in some platforms. It’s OK if a designer starts with these, but they should never rely on AI generated text completely. AI text is too generic and inaccurate. 

Reach out to us for that free SEO Analysis or to talk about your web design needs.

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