A good web designer is your professional resource to guide and implement the whole raft of online marketing resources available to you. Platforms such as WIX allow you to create a themed website which makes up only a part of that professional web design service.
What should I be getting from a good web designer that I can’t get from those platforms?
The key to a good website is understanding why you are creating it in the first place. It doesn’t actually matter too much what the font size, colours, visual effects or headings are doing if the fundamental role of the website is missing.
Put another way, you can make a chair look as pretty as you want but you still have to sit on it.
Here are a few processes and services having a good relationship with your web designer or agency will bring.
A good web designer will always start with a roadmap based on your business needs, your customers and a host of other areas. Sometimes the questions can be challenging but working through them is rewarding. We have had clients re-evaluating their whole relationship with their marketing and messaging as a result and we have to say it is a really positive thing for your business to do.
So before you do anything else, do this first.
Designing the Website
Clearly there is no longer a one-size-fits-all website. A high graphic, multi-media explosion on a desktop device won’t work on a mobile using 4G just yet. But what about those users? The majority of us still use different devices in different ways for different things. And yet we are serving the same page to everyone. A good web designer, based on your roadmap will implement different things for different devices. A good web designer will give you this based on experience with other clients.
Journey and Expectation
The goal is to engage your visitor for as long as need be in order for them to get a positive experience. This means that you need to plan an optimal journey rather than have them select random pages if you want to create a positive experience. A good web designer will give you this as it is based on that initial roadmap.
Visitors can start from any page. Let them hop on a journey that guides them through your website so they have a good understanding of your business
..and Bing et al. but Google holds 91.98% of all searches
All web designers need to use your roadmap to make sure your pages are saying the right things to the right people in a well-structured manner. That’s what Google wants.
This is a major difference from the more do-it-yourself approach with platforms like WIX’s in that even the same content will be treated differently by Google if you are not structuring it in a user-focussed way.
If your roadmap requires you to be found online rather than by an offline marketing strategy or direct referral, you need to have a strategy underpinned by experience and knowledge of what’s involved to achieve this.
All web designers should be there to make sure you get your sitemap, your Google Search and Analytics all set up correctly and integrated so you can give yourself maximum chances with search and in measuring your hard work.
Google Services +
All web designers should be on hand to guide you through Google for Business (set up, reviews and maps) and if your roadmap advises, Google Ads. Even if you get third-party to do your Ads separately, there is a strong relationship between the messages on an Ad and the landing page once clicked where Quality Score comes into play.
There is a plethora of social platforms and depending on your business, some will be appropriate and some won’t. The roadmap gives advice on what platforms would be appropriate even if at that stage it doesn’t detail any long-term strategy. Therefore the initial input of the Web Designer will be to simply connect the necessary platforms via share buttons or integrate a feed into the website.
Platforms like WIX do this in a straightforward and easy to use manner as well.
At some point you will want to join everything up and working with your Web Designer and Social Media and Marketing person/team as we do, they will maximise the potential that this interaction can give you. It stops becoming about setting it up correctly and becomes more about a measured, integrated marketing strategy where social platforms and websites working together genuinely have a positive effect on your business.
A website shouldn’t be your business silo
It is no secret that we get a lot of clients who have a self-published website and now want our help. Often they become busy or can’t update it or need extra functionality they can’t do or simply just can’t be found. I think therefore that these platforms are a good starting point for a new business who need a solution quickly and with minimal outlay when the issues just described aren’t presenting themselves at their early stage.
But having said that, the online and offline marketing in all its forms is a necessary and crucial part of most businesses and I think it would be much more beneficial in the long term if the business had established a good relationship with a professional marketeer from the outset.
I am of course biased towards a web designer approach but I think rightly so. It is so much more than comparing the look and feel of one cheaper website against another more expensive one; the online marketing world is getting more sophisticated and nuanced and having a good web designer onboard who appreciates this fast-moving online playing field will definitely help your business.