Holly Cordner of SEO.com offers some ideas on how to find an agency that works for you. In this 8-part series, Cordner discusses budgeting, scheduling, usability, and much more.

 

Building a website is a lot like buying a car—it involves research, communication, and negotiation. Get it right, and you’ll likely be happy with your investment for the next few years. Get it wrong, and you could end up sinking a lot of money into a project that keeps breaking down.

That being said, there are some things that you, as a business owner, can do to ensure the success of your web design project. What are the right questions to ask? What information do you need to provide? Here are a few ideas that can keep both you and your development team on track.

 

Identify What You’re Looking For

Lest you are tempted to skip this step, one word of advice for you: don’t. Setting goals at the beginning of the project before any designs are drawn up or other work is completed can help you and your agency communicate expectations for the project and can help you gauge success at the end. Use this time to get the kinks worked out—explain what you want and let them show you what they have in mind. Come to a consensus on anything you don’t agree on before moving forward.

Here are a few things to keep in mind during this step.

 

What do you want to achieve? Think specific and measurable:

  • Increased traffic
  • Decreased bounce rate
  • Increased time on site
  • Improved search engine rankings
  • More visitors to social channels
  • More leads and conversions
  • Who’s your audience? Are they primarily mobile or desktop users?

 

What do you want them to accomplish with your site?

  • Make a purchase
  • Get more information about your business
  • Connect with your brand (via social, etc.)
  • Leave a review
  • Call your store or agency

 

Is this a site redesign or a completely new site?

  • What do you like about your current site?
  • What’s not working so well?
  • Why do you feel a change is necessary?
  • What are your expectations in terms of aesthetics?
  • Do you have any specific brand guidelines that you’d like your agency to follow?

 

What word or phrase best describes how you’d like your customers to see your business?

  • Friendly
  • Professional
  • Local
  • Trustworthy
  • Boutique
  • Speedy

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