As a local business in need of a new website, you likely have a lot of questions about Kalamazoo web design. Working with a team in Kalamazoo means that you have a reliable point of contact, someone you can go to when you need updates, changes, and additions to your site. Additionally, a local agency is certain to understand the local market. But, with so many agencies and individuals to choose from, how do you know which option best meets your needs?
Before choosing your web designer, you’ll want to ask a lot of questions. You’ll want to be certain that the designer you choose has experience navigating the Kalamazoo market and helping businesses put their best foot forward. Your company is your livelihood and your website is an investment in its future. You need a site that clearly communicates your company’s selling points and, more importantly, one that appeals to your customers. So, what should you look for in a web design agency? Let’s talk about that!
1. A full team of experienced professionals
If you’re designing a new website, you want to work with a highly trained, highly experienced team. When building a house, you need a whole toolbox at your disposal, not just a hammer and nails. Similarly, when building your website, you want to ensure that you’ve got the right tools: designers, developers, copywriters, and project managers.
Sure, you can save money by hiring a one-man shop. For startups and home-based businesses, it may even be a good option. But, if you’re looking to grow your company and project a professional image, there’s no substitute for a web agency with a full team. With the ability to craft professional-level content, images, and custom designs, an agency ensures that your new site truly captures the essence of your company and conveys its value to customers, prospects, and partners.
How each team member helps
- Project manager: A good project manager acts as an intermediary between all of your team’s other members. Keeping your project on track, on schedule, and within budget, their primary job is to ensure that the web design team is delivering on your expectations.
- Designer: A designer handles all of your website’s graphics. Creating the structural layout of the site, sourcing stock imagery, and creating logos, they are responsible for communicating your brand’s visual elements. A good designer is crucial to creating a polished look that doesn’t come off as amateurish or disjointed.
- Developer: A developer creates the functionality of your website. They build the menu structure, theme the graphical elements, customize and configure plugins, and connect your site with your existing sales systems via software integration. Without a skilled developer, even the most basic website couldn’t exist.
- Copywriter: A copywriter creates, edits, and refines the text that appears on your website. One of the most challenging tasks business owners face is describing their company. An experienced copywriter will work to understand your business and identify how your customers perceive – and want to perceive – your company.
2. A stunning website design of their own
If you’re considering a designer, there’s a pretty good chance that they have an attractive website. After all, why else would they be in the running? An agency’s website can tell you a lot about their philosophy. And, by taking a close look at how their website is built, you can get a pretty good idea of how they’ll build your site. Do they focus on conversions? Are they pushing traffic to action items, such as buttons that urge visitors to schedule meetings, fill out forms, or call?
Scouring the sites of all the major names in Kalamazoo web design, you’re unlikely to find an ugly one. But, it’s important to look beyond the punchy graphics and flashy designs. Your website is, after all, a sales tool. It should work to convert its visitors into valuable, qualified leads. When examining an agency’s website, make sure you’re really analyzing how it works. Does the site compel you to take action? Does it establish itself as an authority? Does the site seem to have been built by a team that truly understands how Internet business works?
Signs of an effective, sales-focused web design
- Action items: A website that focuses on sales will have forms or other action items embedded on every page. A big part of doing business on the Internet is shortening the sales process. You want a clear, simple path to contact your company in front of potential customers at all times.
- Internal links: While we want to shorten the sales process, we also want to extend the amount of time that customers can spend on your site. By creating a logical chain of internal links, you position your website as a resource. More importantly, you give visitors a helpful, informative way to explore your products and services.
- Focused pages: A good website will focus on what’s important, with every page helping visitors overcome some potential objection. Whether they’re describing products in detail, discussing the experience of your staff, showcasing your prior work, or anything else, every page should contribute to building trust and closing sales.
3. A portfolio of Kalamazoo web designs
When it comes to Kalamazoo web design, you have a lot of options. One of the best ways to gain an understanding of an agency’s capabilities is to look at the work they’ve done. As you scroll through each agency’s portfolio, take a close look at how they present themselves. Are they aesthetically pleasing? Does the written content encourage visitors to take action? Does it properly position the company it represents as an expert?
Going through these portfolios, pay particularly close attention to any websites that are similar to yours. If you’re considering an agency that has handled website design for companies in Kalamazoo that are similar to yours, it may be beneficial to discuss those projects with them. How did they help those companies position themselves online? How did they approach the projects? Now that they’re completed, are the clients satisfied with their designs?
What to look for in a web design portfolio
- Are the agency’s websites mobile responsive?
- Do their web designs look modern, clean, and well organized?
- Does the site effectively encourage visitors to call, email, or fill out contact forms?
- Is the website being maintained to ensure its functionality works?
- Are the pages interesting, with an easy-to-follow layout?
- Is the site free of any spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors?
4. The ability to conceive (and deliver on) ideas
As with any creative endeavor, there’s a shade of science beneath the artistic veneer of website design. And, while you may have a clear concept of how your website should look, your designer should have ideas on how it should work. When you hire a web design agency, you’re paying for expert guidance. If you’re not getting advice, suggestions, and ideas, you’re throwing money away.
However, it’s also critical that your designer listen to you. As you’re the premier expert on your company, you know your customers better than anyone. The team that you choose to work with should listen to your ideas, filter them through the lens of their professional experience, and – working together with you – deliver a website that leverages the knowledge and experience of everyone involved.
5. An agency that doesn’t just focus on web design
Successful web design incorporates a lot of disciplines. Because of this, it’s important that you work with a company that doesn’t just focus on creating websites. If you want to better position your company online, you need a company with marketing experience. Without integrating proven marketing tactics, a beautiful website is like a painting in a museum: nice to look at but utterly impractical.
When you work with a team of marketing experts, you can be confident that your site’s being built with time-tested strategies in place. Whether they’re refining your site’s language to better move customers along the sales track, retooling images to draw attention to key design elements, or any number of other easily overlooked items, a team with marketing experience will know the best ways to attract, entice, and convert customers.
How marketing experience can elevate your site
- A marketing professional can help you attract more customers with well-crafted meta descriptions that appeal to prospective visitors on search engine results pages. And, if you want an immediate boost to traffic, they can help create compelling pay-per-click ads that put you at the top of Google’s search results.
- Marketing experience can better entice visitors to browse your website. Engaging copy paired with attractive imagery is a proven way to get your site’s visitors to stick around. By providing visitors with interesting, informative content, marketing experts can encourage longer visits by helping you position yourself as an expert.
- You can convert more customers with the help of a marketing team. With a wide range of experience, marketing professionals know how to sell. Whether it’s a store shelf or an online shop, the principles are the same: garner interest, build trust, establish authority, and ask for the sale.
6. A deep understanding of Kalamazoo’s market
As with anything local, effective Kalamazoo web design requires a deep knowledge of the local market. If you’re working with a company thousands of miles away, how can you be sure that they understand what your customers want? You’ve undoubtedly worked extremely hard to train your staff. They’ve learned how to approach customers, how to speak to them, and – above all else – how to sell to them. It may have taken you years to hone your sales pitch. A good local developer, one who understands Kalamazoo and surrounding areas, will use their knowledge of the area and your knowledge of your customers to create an online pitch that works.
Other benefits of a Kalamazoo web designer
- A responsive, local contact that you can reach out to when you need changes, additions, or edits to your website.
- A portfolio of clients in your market who can offer testimonials and descriptions of their experiences.
- An office that you can visit, contacts that you can see, and people that you can trust to handle your online presence.
- A partner that is fully invested in your success, as their reputation depends on your satisfaction.
7. A Kalamazoo web agency with longevity
When searching for web design in Kalamazoo, you’re going to want to work with an agency that’s been around for years. While there are plenty of great companies out there without a long history, web design is an experience-based profession. A team with experience is a team that has already encountered the challenges that you’re facing. They’ve already developed the solutions that you require. They’re already equipped with the tools necessary to build the site that you need.
Beyond experience, longevity also ensures that the agency you choose will be around to service your site in the future. As your company grows, you’re likely to introduce new products, add new services, or expand your demographics. When you do that, you’re going to need to update your site to reflect these changes. By choosing a design team that’s been operating for years, you can be certain that when you’re ready to grow, they’re ready to help.
8. A commitment to ongoing engagement
When you launch a new website, it’s not a one-and-done thing. To be effective, your website requires attention, adjustments, and continual updates. Whether you’re implementing marketing automation software, improving your search engine optimization, or adding new functionality to your site, you need a trusted, reliable partner. A good web designer is invested in your success. In many ways, your success is their success.
A full-service web designer – one that provides a wide range of online services – doesn’t just build a website and then disappear. Instead, they work with you to create memorable online experiences that draw people to your website, convince them to engage with you, and convert them into loyal, long-term customers.
Ways to improve your customers’ online experiences
- Appeal to your existing clientele with hyper-personalized email marketing, including newsletters, email blasts, and promotional campaigns.
- Integrate your CRM and website with powerful marketing automation that allows you to better connect with – and convert – customers.
- Ensure that your website is totally ADA compliant so that every visitor, no matter their abilities, can enjoy it.
- Expand your site’s reach with search engine marketing strategies that aim to bring more customers to your doorstep.
Ready to take the next step in your Kalamazoo website design?
At Creative Marketing Group, we strive to provide our clients with the absolute best Kalamazoo web design services. Our team has a wealth of experience – over two decades – delivering high-quality sites for local businesses. Uniquely positioned in the area, we offer an exceptional combination of both website design and marketing skills. With the ability to handle every aspect of your site’s design, from concept to completion, we are the premier web agency in the Kalamazoo area. And, with graphic designers, programmers, copywriters, and marketers on staff, you can rest easy knowing that we have every element of your company’s online presence handled.
Whether you’re in need of a total site redesign, ongoing search engine optimization, online review generation, local listings management, or any number of other Internet services, we offer everything that you need to make a lasting, positive impression on your site’s visitors. So, if you’ve been considering a new website, we encourage you to take a closer look at what we have to offer, what makes us different, and how we can help. Then, when you’re ready to get your project started, contact us to discuss your needs.