Checklist For Small Business Web Design

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Here are some secrets, tips and tricks that some web designers may not tell you. Knowing them could save you a bundle of both time and money.

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Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington Web Design

We get all kinds of design and marketing requests that cover just about every topic you can think of. At some point, it almost always leads back to some question or concenrn about their website.

VTG deals with many small business owners that need a new website built from scratch. Others have websites that aren’t as effective at generating web traffic to their store and they need a solution. In either case, We can help. If you have spoken to more than 3 Web designers, then you are probably more confused than you were when you started. I know the frustration; Let me see if I can help. Here are some tips & tricks that not all local Web Design agencies will tell you, but it might make your decision a little easier. Have you ever encountered a web designer that assured you a great site, but what you got was a hot mess..? You may not be a web expert, but you have an idea of what your local consumers in Arlington, Dallas and Fort Worth are looking for in a website. And you also know what will help your business and what won’t. You may feel like you’re being taken advantage of. What you needed was a website that would support your business and help you succeed online, and what you got instead was a “grand design” that wasn’t very functional. Now, to add insult to injury, you may even have to start over. Time and money are down the drain and you have to do it all again. Facing the prospect of doing this again can be daunting… What if Take Two is just as much of a nightmare? Thankfully, we will help you avoid that happening again. Here are some secrets, tips and tricks that some web designers may not tell you. Knowing them could save you a bundle of both time and money.

More Than A Pretty Face

A pretty website should not be your only design goal. Yes, you need for your website to look appealing. But it also has to be functional and support your business goals. Competition around Dallas, Fort Worth is tough and your website needs to create visual impact with your local market customers. But, a “pretty” appearance won’t generate sales, and may even hurt your business. Think of your website as a porch light for local consumers looking for your business. It should clearly welcome in customers and guide them through your domain seamlessly. In short, your website should provide an excellent user experience first & foremost. The main job of your web site is to provide visitors with the right direction to guide them to the information or products they want. So is it better to be “ugly”..? Nope, I wouldn’t go that far. You should strive for a functional site first; then add the design elements that will enhance the appearance AFTER you have nailed functionality. If you find yourself having to choose between one or the other though, stick with function over form. Your Web Designer may be interested in winning design awards. You are interested in adding customers, generating sales and paying the bills.

Use A CMS Like WordPress

You probably don’t need a complete custom website package. Web Designers “design” and many of them are outstanding at it. But most of them have never operated a real bricks and mortar store in a real business environment. So even though they may have pure intentions and they have your best interest at heart, they may cause you to invest your time and money in the wrong direction. Sometimes, what seems like a good idea on paper may not be the best result in the real world. Remember, your web design is just one part of the picture. What if your image or message is wrong, what if you are missing the biggest target market? What if you just need an overhaul of your content? What if your brand image isn’t where you need it to be? What if your marketing strategy has holes in it? What if there’s an issue with your Reputation Management? You really can’t afford to bring in a specialist from every segment of your business to get their opinions. You would run out of time and money. This is where we shine. We have decades of real business experience running real brick and mortar companies right here in Dallas Fort Worth. We have the expertise to analyze your business situation from several perspectives and help you pinpoint the problem areas and correct them. You might be relieved to discover that there’s nothing wrong with your basic web design. You may just need some adjustment to your content or a new local marketing strategy to do the trick. Outstanding..! You saved yourself thousands of dollars!

Don’t Spend An Arm & A Leg

A New Web Site Should Not Cost A Fortune. Yes, it is generally true that you get what you pay for. But in the case of websites, you do not have to spend your life savings for an exceptional site. There are many good content management systems out there with already built basic themes that will handle most local business’s needs. There are some Web designers that are happy to let you pay them to reinvent the wheel, but it’s just not necessary. A quote for a web site should be simple and easy to understand. Don’t let anyone take advantage of you by throwing around technobabble and puffery. At the heart of it, you are really paying for someone’s time to take a basic framework and customize it to fit your particular needs. They should be able to easily explain how long that will take and how much it will cost. You can then decide what makes sense for you. If you have a budget in mind, tell them.

What Are The Maintenance Costs?

Maintaining A Website Should Not Be Expensive. Some local business operators get taken here. Because graphic design and web development is a fixed, one-time cost, some unethical operators try to finagle you in as a customer they can bill every month for expensive recurring charges. And frankly, for most local companies, your monthly maintenance shouldn’t be that expensive. Reliable, fast web hosting is available now for as little as $10 or $12 a month. Why pay $50? Maintenance? What maintenance should you pay for and how much should it cost? OK, you have occasional upgrades that will need to be handled if you don’t want to do them yourself. You may also need to update your content. The big take-away is to know you can do this yourself… A good web designer will set you up on a platform that makes this easy. And if you choose to pay someone else to it, you will have enough knowledge to determine a fair price and clear expectations.

Don’t Set Any New Web Trends

Your Web Site should not be totally unique. You absolutely need your web site to stand apart from your competitors. But your local business probably should not be setting web trends… Unless you’re in the trend-setting business. What I mean is that if you are a plumber in Dallas, your web site visitors will come to your web page with some expectations about the type of information they may find and some preconceived ideas about how it will be laid out. So this means that a Plumber’s website should look like it belongs to a plumber. A Baker’s website should look like it belongs to a baker, etc. It can still be fresh and vibrant. But at the end of the day it needs to look like it belongs. You should insist on a web design that follows basic website conventions and usability standards.

Drive Consumer Behavior

Web Design is more than Photoshop and Sliders. It’s Psychology. Your local web site should excel in driving local consumer behavior. A Web designer needs to know how color psychology may affect your particular business niche. They must always be mindful of the associations people make with specific shades and tones. He or she needs to know what imagery will appeal to people most likely to visit your site. He should strive to imagine what’s going on in people’s minds when they land on your site and what may have driven them there in the first place. Good designers are always aware of this and more. They know that their objective is to help shape a visitor’s experience with your website. The more comfortable a web designer is with how people behave, the better they can incorporate persuasive strategies into your web site design.

Bringing It All Together For Your Business

As experts in Local Web Design And Local Marketing Strategies, we know that the real value of a website is in its ability to draw more traffic and customers to your site and to your storefront. VTG Business Group goes well beyond just “pretty sites” and focuses on effective, results driven designs that will enable you dominate your local market search. We know that the first part of any local SEO campaign is to have a solid, SEO-friendly website that was built using best practices for local search marketing. We will discuss your goals and objectives, analyze your business and competition and then design with you a quality web site that will generate an excellent return on your investment. So call us today for an in depth, full spectrum marketing proposal.

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