Outsource your web design or DIY?
Your website is the first impression people gain about your business. Effective web design is not just about the pretty face you present to the world, but whether your website can attract visitors, encourage them to stay, and convince them to engage in a relationship with your company rather than your competitors.
Whether you already have a website, or want to build a new website it is important that your website has a purpose, complements your offline marketing strategies, and adds value to client interaction, else why would you have it?
Research undertaken by Forrester Research shows 71% of B2B marketers view their site as one of their most important marketing tools, yet only 31% said their site is effective at generating leads.
What key factors make your website effective?
1. Design, aesthetic appeal & first impressions . . . when visitors get to your site do they want to stay?
2. Layout and navigation . . . once on your site is it easy to find critical information and move around?
3. Marketing & information relevance . . . how well do you communicate your key messages, present content, make use of graphics, reinforce your brand, encourage 2-way interaction and acquire marketing intelligence?
4. Sales persuasion & conversion . . . how effective is your site at converting visitors to prospects and prospects to customers through an understanding of purchase behaviour, use of hooks, calls to action and a clear pathway to purchase?
5. SEO & site performance . . . how effective is the site technical performance, search engine indexing, visitor popularity and marketplace relevance?
Outsource your web design or do it yourself?
It’s often difficult to decide whether to outsource your web design and development or do it yourself. Most SME businesses need to keep their costs down and may think that going the DIY route will be more cost effective. This may be true in that the actual web template is cheaper, but the cost in time, effort and “lack of knowledge” could end up costing you far more than the ACTUAL price of the website. So think very carefully and do your homework first.
If outsourcing your web design choose a company that . . .
- understands where your website fits in your overall marketing mix
- has marketing knowledge or will take marketing direction in developing the site structure and aesthetics
- understands that website design must reflect your brand identity and differentiate you from your competitors
- develops the website with a sales conversion pathway in mind
- can achieve balance between technical performance and marketing and sales conversion performance
- offers you the choice of managing and updating site content yourself through a CMS (content management system)
- can help you understand whether to choose a customised website or a template based website for your business
- is pro-active in asking questions and taking a brief . . . doesn’t ask “so what do YOU want? and just follows instructions
- can help you “phase build” your website should you have budget restraints
- quotes accurately and makes you aware of hidden costs and “scope creep” risks
- has terms and conditions that protect both the client and the web developer
- can show you referenced sites they have built from the ground up
DON’T choose a company that . . .
- only focuses on technical performance and back end technology
- is creative for the sake of being creative . . . instead of relevance
- has creative ability but lacks marketing knowledge or the technology knowledge to apply it
- tries to convince you that ONLY a customised website is your best option
- doesn’t care about attention to detail and client engagement performance
- doesn’t have transparent terms and conditions
marketSMARTS partners with web designers to suit your situation
To provide you with the very best choices for your website development marketSMARTS has formed alliances with website companies that can offer a selection of choices from low end DIY websites to fully customised E-commerce and search engine optimised websites.
We take into consideration your current marketing and sales activities, budget restraints and knowledge capability within your team, but at all times ensure that your website meets sales and marketing integrity and criteria to remain effective.
STEP 1 – Contact us for an initial FREE 1 hour chat and web checklist
STEP 2 – We’ll quote you on options best suited to your situation, highlight issues and recommend a developer – or utilise your own developer if you already have a relationship with someone
STEP 3 – On acceptance of the quote marketSMARTS will prepare a website brief for the web developer
STEP 4 – marketSMARTS will oversee the website development, test phase and “go live” stage
STEP 5 – marketSMARTS can provide 3 monthly reports on key performance aspects of your website – or teach you how to do this and we’ll interpret the results and summarise key “need to know” points for you to use as input into adjusting your marketing strategy.