Choosing the right website development consultant is just as important as having a website itself. As a business owner, you recognize that your website is the face of your company in this digital age. First impressions are everything, especially when it comes to attracting new customers. This is why having a well-designed website that is informing and easy to navigate is vital.
With this being said, you’re probably wondering how to choose the best consultant for your website development. After all, you are putting the responsibility of your online presence and fate of your business in the hands of others. Therefore, you want to find a digital agency or web designer that will yield favorable results such as an increase in website traffic and high conversion rates. In this article, we’re going to discuss what a website development consultant is, why it’s important to have one, and tips on choosing the best website development consultant.
What is a Website Development Consultant?
For starters, there are web development consultants and web developers. Is there a difference between the two? There definitely is! Each takes on separate responsibilities from each other. Web development consultants deal with big picture tasks such as developing content strategies, creating the website’s design, and creating the navigational path of a website. On the other hand, web developers are the programmers that write the actual code and make the website functional.
Why It’s Important to Hire a Website Development Consultant
Ever wonder why businesses seek outside providers for services such as accounting? Because savvy business owners recognize that hiring out-of-house is much more cost efficient. The same goes for digital marketing services like web development. Furthermore, web development is a very time-consuming task.
Think about it. Building a website includes numerous activities such as finding the right host, choosing a domain name, creating the layout, and much more. That’s why it’s better to hire an outside professional that can make the process a lot easier for you.
Digital marketing agencies such as SEO Design Chicago can help you identify your needs, build your website, and even track its progress. Ultimately, website development consultants know the necessary steps needed to create a custom website designed for your targeted audience.
Consultants and Web Designing
As mentioned before, web development consultants are responsible for creating the web design. A good digital marketing agency will provide a variety services of web designing such as the ones below:
Redesigning and updating your website is super important especially for your SEO. Archaic websites that look like they haven’t been updated in years become a turnoff for your current and potential customers. Keeping your site up-to-date with current information also maintains credibility in your industry. SEO Design Chicago makes sure to keep the following parts of your website updated:
- Statistics and research
- Contact information
- Blog posts
- External Links
- Plugins and security
The UI design, or user interface design, focuses on the aesthetic part of a website. A website with an aesthetically-pleasing and easy to navigate design is very important for your customers. According to Intechnic, a well-designed user interface can raise a website’s conversion rate up to 200%. Web development consultants anticipate what users might seek in a user interface and design it into a simple and efficient website.
UX research refers to the investigative techniques and methods that help web development consultants understand their users’ needs, requirements, and how they navigate through a website. Think of it as the background knowledge that will help consultants strategize a customized blueprint for the targeted audience.
Eventually, UX research turns into UI design which develops into a consumer journey process. The consumer journey process determines your target audiences shopping habits starting from how they find your website all the way to the payment process.
Shopify Website Design
Ecommerce has boomed in the past decade. Now that more businesses are starting to adopt the ecommerce route, competition for ecommerce sites are also rising. What’s great is that developing an ecommerce website isn’t difficult. However, it’s also easy to create an unprofessional and sloppy ecommerce site even when platforms like Shopify make the process more doable. Hiring a consultant that’s experienced in Shopify development will do wonders for your website design, but most importantly lead to generation in demand and sales.
Tips for Choosing the Best Website Developer Consulting Firm
Next, we’ll help you determine how to choose the best website developer consulting firm for you.
Identify Your Website Needs and Goals
Jumping into a website project with an agency before identifying your website needs and goals is a rookie mistake and can be costly. Before you commit to a web development consulting firm financially, you want to decide what it is your website needs.
Are you starting completely from scratch, redesigning, or updating? Whatever it is you’re doing, you need to build your website design around your goal. A consultant can give some advice on what your website can improve on, but here are some examples you might want your website to do:
Create demand for your products and services
Create brand awareness
Drive website traffic
Make it more user-friendly
Ultimately, your website should be an effective marketing tool for your business. Not only should your website meet your individual needs but your customers as well. After all, your real end goal here is to keep your current customers engaged while attracting new ones.
Research Both National and Local Agencies
If you’re deciding between a bigger, nationally recognized agency or a smaller local agency, refer back to your goals. Are you trying to attract a large audience and grow your business on a national level? Or are you simply trying to gain new customers around your area?
One thing to keep in mind is that whichever agency you choose to work with, they should be well-versed in your industry. An agency that has extensive knowledge on your products/services and can connect it to your target audiences’ needs will build your credibility as a business. The more authority you have in an industry, the more customers you can attract.
Review Website Development Consultant Portfolios and Case Studies
Transparency is key, which is why a credible digital consulting firm will provide portfolios for your review. Portfolios give good insight on a firm’s creative abilities and experience. Some things you should keep in mind when looking through a portfolio include:
- Are their websites up-to-date with the latest web design trends?
- Do they have consistency with each project? I.e. same structure, navigation, and graphics
- Do their websites look good on mobile?
Another great way to gain insight on a digital consulting firm’s abilities is to read their case studies. An example of this would be Dogstudio completely revamping the web design for the Museum of Science and Industry. Not only did they optimize their eye-catching content for mobile, but they made sure to keep the same interactive experience you would get on desktop. This resulted in 16% more visit intent and a 35% increase in online sales.
Make Sure You’re Compatible
Obviously you want to make sure that a digital consulting firm has your best interest at heart and good compatibility goes a long way. All firms come in different shapes and sizes. They all have different agency culture as well. You want to work with an agency whose culture makes you feel listened to and comfortable.
The best way to check out an agency’s culture include:
- Looking at their social media- Is it active? Is there employee recognition? Do they post uplifting content?
- Mission and values- Do their company mission and values resonate with yours on a personal and business level?
- Philanthropy- Is the company involved with its industry outside of profit-making reasons? If it’s a local firm, do they give back to back to their community?
Choosing an agency that works well with your personality is important because not only are you going to be working together a lot, but they are also managing your brand. You want the right firm to be representing your business.
Read Testimonials and Reviews
Besides portfolios and case studies, reading testimonials and reviews is another great way to choose an agency. This is even better because you gain insight from the client’s perspective rather than the company itself.
Customer reviews can provide details on how well customer service was, on certain staff members by name, and even specific web designing practices an agency took that immensely helped.
The best sites to search for reviews are Google, Facebook, and Yelp. Although, if an agency is stellar, happy customers can mention them in posts which is better PR for the agency.
Establish a Budget
Lastly, you want to establish a realistic budget and find an agency that matches it. Of course, each agency has their own way of billing. Some will either have service packages, an hourly rate, or a fixed rate. Therefore, you need to decide which company will give you a bang for your buck before you commit. Remember that choosing an agency for web development consulting is a long-term project.
Contact SEO Design Chicago’s Website Development Consultants
As a digital marketing agency, we recognize the importance of having a smooth sailing website that not only makes you, but your customers happy. We have a diverse selection of experts that can help you with your web development needs, whether it’s for a consult or working with our top notch programmers. If you’re ready to improve your web design, contact SEO Design Chicago today! Our website development consultants would love to help you.