Before starting a Kalamazoo website design, you’ll need to hire a team. And, with so many agencies in the area, you’ll want to do some homework. A little bit of research now can save you a ton of heartache – and money – in the future. You see, your website design is the most important digital marketing tool available to your company.
Acting as a central hub that links all of your online efforts, your site is a gateway. And, if you’re doing things right, all roads lead to it. All of the physical mailers you send out have your web address on them. Any print advertising you do directs to your site. Your pay-per-click advertising, your business cards, and the search engine strategies you’re using to get your company found online, all of these things drive traffic to your website.
Because of this, your website needs to be built to convert. If you have physical locations, you probably have salespeople there who pitch your offerings. But, on the Internet, there’s no staff in place to answer customers’ questions in real time. So, your website needs to be thorough. It needs to be a resource. It needs to be a salesperson, a customer service agent, a CRM, and a point-of-sale system. It needs to be everything. But, most importantly, it needs to be built by a team of professionals capable of harnessing the Internet’s power and bending it to the needs of your company.
1. More than anything, you want a design team that is responsive
During your website’s design, you’re going to have a lot of questions, concerns, and feedback. Because of this, you need a team that responds to your communications in a timely manner. If it takes weeks for your designer to respond to you, your website may never go live. You’re paying for – and deserve – your team’s availability.
You’ve hired professionals and you’re paying for professional services. You shouldn’t struggle to be involved in the process. Your design team should make an effort to include you. You should be invited to meetings, consulted on major changes, and sought out for ideas. When milestones are met, you should be the first to know. And, when your site progresses to new, exciting stages, you should be asked to share your opinion.
Your web design team should be there when you need them
- Working with a single point of contact helps to avoid confusion and ensures that you know who to contact when you have questions. In the end, you get the answers you need faster, more reliably, and with far less hassle.
- A good web development team takes a proactive approach by scheduling regular meetings throughout the design process. These meetings are designed to give periodic updates on your site’s build and, more importantly, to solicit your feedback.
- People go on vacation, offices close, and availability shifts. Because of this, you’ll want to choose a team that provides several contact methods. You should always be able to email, call, or schedule a meeting with your designers to discuss your project.
- When choosing an agency, consider one with a local presence so that you can visit, meet, and catch up. A local team is easier to hold accountable and, even better, you can form a relationship with them for assistance with future digital marketing needs.
- Try to avoid one-man shops and agencies with erratic hours. By choosing a Kalamazoo website design team that keeps normal business hours, you can be certain that you’re able to connect with your developers when you need to speak to them.
2. The best web design teams have solid communication skills
Building a website is a dialogue. As your site is being built, you should be in regular contact with your team’s project manager. And, while a good project manager will keep you updated on the process, it pays to ask questions. If they aren’t open to questions – or they’re not able to provide straightforward answers – you may need to ask for a different point of contact.
At heart, your web design team should be easy to talk to. You should be able to form a good rapport with your project manager. More importantly, they should be able to explain the process in simple, easy-to-understand terms. In fact, what project managers do a majority of the time is communicate to coordinate efforts, so if they’re failing at that task, it’s a worrying sign that your project may not be in the best hands.
Questions to ask during your web design project
- Is the project currently on schedule? If you’re on a tight deadline or you just want to know when you should plan on your site going live, you should always ask if things are on track. This allows you to plan your other marketing efforts around the release of your new website.
- Can I see the progress you’ve made? As they say, words are cheap. You shouldn’t have to settle for vague assurances that progress is being made. Ask your team if they can set up a development site that you can access to see and interact with the changes that they’re making.
- Do you need anything from me? Throughout your project, your web designer will likely need things from you, including access to your domain, product photos, and written content. By asking what they need from you, you can ensure that your team is in possession of the tools they need.
- What should I be working on? If you’ve already provided everything your team needs now, you should find out what they’ll need next. Writing content and snapping new pictures can take time, so producing these things ahead of your designers can help to shorten the development cycle.
- When should we plan on talking again? You should always find out the next time you’ll be meeting, talking, or emailing with your team. Good communication hinges on regular contact, so if your designers aren’t sure when you’ll be talking, take initiative and plan the next meeting yourself.
3. A good Kalamazoo website design team is invested in your success
When you work with a marketing agency, your success is their success. This is especially true of digital marketing and web design agencies. As your company grows and becomes more profitable, you’ll have a larger marketing budget. And, as you spend more on marketing, you’ll continue to grow. In this way, the relationship between a client and their marketing agency is cyclical. It’s symbiotic.
In the end, your web design agency is your partner. They are – or should be – invested in your success. They should be steadfastly committed to meeting your needs and growing your business. A truly professional team won’t balk at your requests. Whether your company needs a custom ecommerce solution or your sales software requires a tricky website integration, they’ll work with you to make it happen.
4. But don’t hire yes-men, hire professionals willing to reject bad ideas
Listen, not every idea is a good idea. You’re paying your design team to build a compelling, memorable online presence. If they’re giving all of your ideas the thumbs up, something might be wrong. Ultimately, a good website evolves from your knowledge of your company and your team’s knowledge of website design.
As countless development agencies have noted, saying yes to every client request only serves to limit options and reduce the value that can be delivered. If your designer pitches an idea that is at odds with your business, you should object. But, at the same time, if you present an idea that doesn’t translate onto the Internet, your designer should feel comfortable objecting, as well.
When to listen to yourself
- Trust your instincts when it comes to presenting your business. If you know that prospects respond to specific value propositions, make sure that you include those on pertinent pages.
- Insist on being involved when you’re working out how to display products. More than anyone else, you know what questions your customers ask. Be sure that you chime in to ensure that those questions are answered.
- Be firm about the specifics when you’re integrating your company’s branding. You have the final say on how your brand is presented. Your new website’s colors, imagery, and design elements should reflect your vision of your brand.
When to listen to your website designer
- Your designer likely knows how to move website visitors into your sales funnel. While you have a deep understanding of how you sell, trust your designer to drive traffic to various contact methods that feed prospects into your sales funnel.
- Let your designer implement search engine optimization methods to get your website found. If you provide your design team with content, allow them to make small edits to it to better appeal to Google’s search algorithms.
5. You’ll get the best results from a development team that loves their work
When you hire a creative team of Kalamazoo website design experts, you want to be absolutely certain that they love their work. It’s been shown that people who love their work are more productive. They trust their gut. They play to their strengths. And, best of all, they produce better results.
If you’re aiming to build a memorable, engaging website, you’re going to want to work with a team that loves what they do. Whether they’re studying the best ways to organize online stores, researching changes to Google’s search algorithm, or anything in between, you’ll know you’re in good hands if your team is enthusiastic about their work.
Five ways to know that your team loves their work
- They’ve been building sites for a long time. If your agency has been building websites for years, chances are they like doing it. Look for an agency that boasts team members with five, ten, or twenty years of experience in the industry.
- They prominently feature their portfolio. A good agency will be eager to show off their work. When browsing it, look for signs of experimentation and growth. A top-notch design team is always evolving their skills.
- They’re proud to talk about past projects. If your team can’t shut up about their past projects, you’re probably in good hands. Whether they’re applying past experience to your project or just excited to boast, being proud of their work is a positive sign.
- They love learning new things. It may sound strange but working with a team that doesn’t have all the answers can be great! If they’re eager to learn, grow, and develop their skills, you know that they love what they’re doing.
- Their website is continually updated. When a team loves what they do, there’s no stopping them. If their website is regularly updated with new features, functionality, and pages, you know that they enjoy experimenting and trying new things.
6. A skilled Kalamazoo web design team can get creative with your brand
It can be hard to trust someone else with your brand. Over the years, you’ve grown, nurtured, and developed it. It’s how you communicate your company’s values and, more importantly, it’s how you interact with your customers. So, it can be a real challenge to hand it over to someone else.
When you work with a skilled Kalamazoo website design agency, though, you’re working with individuals who have experience piecing together different web-based strategies and knitting them into existing brand identities. A professional team will be able to integrate your company’s communication style into SEO-focused writing. They’ll be able to distill your brand down into ten-, five-, and three-word phrases. Above all else, they’ll find novel ways to connect with your customers by seamlessly integrating your brand’s values into hero banners, action items, social media posts, and search advertisements.
7. If they can’t meet deadlines, don’t trust them with your website
A good Kalamazoo website design team craves deadlines. As a way to define expectations and keep complex projects on track, milestones and deadlines are essential. Paired with regular check-ins, they ensure that your design runs smoothly, stays within your budget, and meets your criteria. Even better, deadlines have been shown to boost confidence and increase creativity.
If you’re considering an agency and they can’t provide you with an estimated completion date, you should be concerned. Deadlines ensure that your project is a priority. Additionally, they allow you to manage your expectations and hold your team accountable if they fail to deliver.
Need a team to bring your Kalamazoo website design to life?
At Creative Marketing Group, we know what it takes to create websites that perform in the Kalamazoo market. Presenting a unique set of challenges, this region is home to companies of all sizes. Because of that, no two websites – or web solutions – will ever be the same.
Our team has over twenty years of experience helping local businesses attract more prospects, generate more leads, and make more sales with the help of high-quality websites. We’ve worked with airports, retailers, manufacturers, municipalities, tradesmen, and more. Our experience covers both B2B and B2C businesses.
If you’ve been considering a new Kalamazoo website design, we encourage you to reach out to us today. We offer free, no-obligation consultations and will never pressure you into purchasing services that you don’t need. So, if you’re interested in launching a new website, contact us today to get started!