Are you at a stage in your business where you're looking for how to choose a web design company for your business? Then this post will help you immensely. I take it that you already know the vital role that a well-designed website plays in the marketing strategy of all modern businesses, and I commend you for that.
Yes, there are many pseudo-designers out there mainly because of the apparent lack of entry barrier in the web design field, and it can easily be a daunting task to be able to tell out the professionals from the time and money wasters.
The web design ‘scam'
It is sad, but the lack of results that many half-baked web designers are offering their unsuspecting clients also qualifies to be called a ‘scam'
So, we put together this to help you to identify a web design company that knows what they're doing and can truly help your business to flourish online.
How to choose a web design company
The following tips can help you to differentiate the professional web designers. You can use these are a guide when interviewing your new designer.
So let's dive right in;
1. They pay attention to customer requirements
Customer requirement is simply the attributes, specifications or features of a product or service that the customers deem necessary. To relate this to web design, the customer may have specific features that they want to have on their website, and it is the duty of the web designer to carefully review these requirements and ensure that they are implemented on the website.
Failure to meet these client requirements is always a result of not paying attention to the customer at the early stages of the project.
As a web design agency, we made many mistakes in our early days because we did not pay the needed attention to our client's requirements. Today, we keep a log of every single feature requested by our clients.
It's true, we understand digital marketing more than the client, but the client understands their business operations better than anyone else, and that is why we have learned to listen.
As a businesses owner, how well does your web designer pay attention to the features you're requesting to be implemented on your websites? This can be the true sign that this designer has what it takes to help your business or not.
2. They offer helpful marketing consultancy
A company's website plays the role of a business development officer; it communicates and presents the company's strategic goals and helps to influence and win clients and customers.
A good web designer knows these things and would offer you helpful and efficient ways of accomplishing these goals with their web design.
A good example of this is when we counsel our web design client not to be overly smitten with flashy designs and animations but to focus on content creation as a more cardinal strategy to gaining online authority in their industry which then leads to increased organic traffic, and conversion.
A good web designer would give you free marketing consultancy.
3. They understand how modern business and marketing works
You most likely do not have extensive training in digital marketing, and that's the reason you are looking to hire someone who does to help you to market your business online. Now, it is pertinent that this person understands how modern businesses work and what makes an effective marketing strategy.
Yes, he will be building a web design, but a web designer who understands customer journey, and customer service, would probably help you better than one who only knows how to write endless lines of HTML code.
4. They use the best CMS for your project
There are various approaches to building websites, and one that does not leave you totally clueless as to how to manage your website would probably benefit you more. Content Management Systems (CMS) help you to run your website like a web application.
CMS make it easy to easily update your site with new content and to add additional functionality to the site without necessarily needing a web developer. This makes the site easy and less costly to maintain.
Then also you might want to change your web designer for whatever reason; you don't want someone to have sole and undue control of some things this vital to your business.
5. They do not use sensational promises to acquire clients
Social media is never short of ads promising full web designs at mouthwatering prices. I conducted a little background check on one of these web designers and requested a design proposal for a business website.
This guy was offering a free domain for a year, and a full website for GH₵1000 (that is about $160). And as expected, this mouthwatering price was for just 2 months of hosting, 2 months of websites maintenance, up to 5 pages, 10 products, and an SSL Certificate.
You see, the sad part of this is that he will get many unsuspecting clients with this kind of bait who have no idea how woefully inadequate such a design package is.
In the end, they would have to pay him an additional GH₵3000 ($480) if they want to renew the subscriptions to cover a year of hosting, making a total of GH₵4500 ($640). So if that's what the project will cost then why the deceptive advertising.
We believe the best web designers have clear and transparent pricing modules which are realistic enough. Note that a common practice of new designers is to lure clients with very cheap prices, Please beware. Digital marketing is very expensive, that is the reason even large companies sometimes don't have such a strong online presence.
That said, you can get a free proposal and design quote from us here
6. Their designs are responsive
Research has it that close to over 68% of all website traffic come from mobile devices. You should expect as high as 2 in 3 visitors to your website to be using a mobile device, this means your website should display beautifully on desktops, tablets, and mobile phones.
It goes without saying that any designer who wants to build some kind of non-responsive website for you is using obsolete technology, and there are surprisingly many such designers.
7. Their company website appeals to modern design trends
A brilliant way to assess the performance of a web design company is to find out the performance of their own website. Does their website appeal to you visually? How does their website rank in search engines? What customer relations management system do they use on their website? These are a few questions to guide your research.
You can type in keywords like “Best web designers in your city” or web design companies in your country. Do a similar search on Google Maps, and patiently take a look at the companies that keep showing up, there is a high chance that these are about the real industry leaders in your city or country.
That said, note that the real value of such research is in finding out which company can give you the needed online visibility and not just who can design the best website for you.
If you're interested in digital marketing services, take a look that the company social media pages as well. You can learn more about their graphic and brand design prowess from social media pages.
8. They have a detailed design portfolio
There must be some evidence of their past works, and this should be available on their website. Making their portfolio public offers some measure of its truthfulness in that who publishes on their website that they undertook a project when in fact they didn't at all, or they were only contracted to implement some minor task.
There should be links to the live sites they claim to have built and a description of what exactly they did on the site. Our own portfolio states the objective of the project and the client requirements, and how we accomplished it.
Remember to check the footer credits on the client's sites, the web designer is often credited in the sections of most websites.
9. Their company website ranks well on organic search
Where would be the first testing ground for any new skills? your own site of course! Take a look at what shows up when you search for their own brand name or primary keyword.
It is surprising how many websites of web designers don't even rank for their own brand name. Besides the terrible search engine optimization implemented on their sites, many of these companies are named after generic keywords like Web Design Ghana, and Ghana Web Designs.
Such keywords are impossible to rank for since all well-designed and optimized sites in that industry could naturally rank for these keywords. If this is the case, you can assess the SEO capabilities of the company by typing in the brand name of one of their clients to see how well their client's site ranks and this could tell you the quality of their works.
A site with proper SEO implementation will not just show up on Google, but it will have relevant SiteLinks and other rich results as well.
10. They offer content marketing services
You might have heard of the saying ‘Content is king”. Well, it is to say, the real way to sustainably dominate a niche online is by your content. A certain amain of traffic will elude your website until you create enough quality content.
Why Content Marketing
Think of Google and other search engines as offering the service of showing people where to find what they're looking for. The search engine's goal is to take users to the site that has the best possible answers to the content they want. And to accomplish this goal efficiently, they tend to take more users to the most trusted and proven websites.
You add your own website to these authority sites primarily by your quality content, and I'm not just talking about your business pages and products, but the information pages they simply “give' to the community.
For instance, this very post you're reading is on a website wish has a goal of getting more web design clients, but to do this, we need to increase how many people come to our website who need our services. These p[oeple naturally search for quarries like “Best Web Design Company in Ghana”. But Google will not bring us these searchers because we may not be trusted as a brand and as a web design service provider within the Ghana region.
We can run search ads, which we do, but how long can we pay to get web traffic? Don't get us wrong, search ads have their place, but we want a more sustainable solution to this. And the way we address this is by writing quality and helpful articles just to “give” to the community.
Now, as Google sends more and more people to our site to read our informative articles, we gain more trust and authority in the web design niche, our site keeps ranking higher and higher for more and more search quarries. This is what we call an authority site.
And pretty soon, we start receiving thousands of visitors who are actually in need of our services.
Blog Content Writing Service for Your Website
Content marketing experts advise that you have a minimum of 60 articles on your website before you start complaining about low traffic in 3 to 6 months.
We offer one of the best blog content writing services you can find all over the world. We intentionally set up the YellGh blog just to showcase our content writing skills to potential clients, it is now a powerful authority site for information about businesses in Ghana.
Let us increase your website's traffic with well-researched and well-written articles that help you to increase your website's traffic and dominate your niche.
11. They design websites with conversion in mind
The animations are great, the sliders are great, the videos and motion effects are all great, but a web design that does not have conversion as its goal is a waste of time and clients' resources.
This means every single element on your website should contribute in some way to more conversions and sales. Ask your web designer how he or she intends to accomplish this.
12. They have experience in designing websites for your industry
You know you have the perfect web designers for your project is they are experienced in designing sites for companies in your industry.
E-commerce is particularly slippery ground for many designers. You could end up with a site that gets next to no traffic, not to talk to sales.
Be sure to find out how versed your designer is in building sites similar to yours, and if they have, take a look at those projects, because chances are, you won't get anything different or better than these.
13. They are experienced with local and international projects
Working with international clients have thought us that there is a vast difference between local projects and international ones.
A certain high standard is required to be able to excel with an international project. Whiles local sites would easily be alright for most site visitors, international users and rather sophisticated and your must meet your requirement.
An example is when we had to purchase several images and hire a copywriter to assist our content creations team when we were working on a US-based eCommerce site.
Find out whether your company has designed sites for any international clients. This is crucial because now that you're going online, you'll soon be serving international clients if you haven't already. Your website must meet international standards and be able to compete internationally.
14. They use modern design trends
Browse through a few established websites, and you'll notice that they all have some similarities. You'll notice that they generally have a header section that has their main navigation links, then there would be the main hero section that has a prominent call to action, then there would likely be a section that showcases their services in content boxes. The footer sections also have the same kind of format across most sites.
The reason for this is simple; years of designing websites and research has taught us what works and what doesn't. Stuff like flamboyant sliders doesn't work anymore, and modern designs hardly use them, except if it's for content that doesn't really matter which one the user sees, like how we have used it on our home page.
The format used by most sites, often carefully reflect the customer journey… from the landing seeking to lead them to the call to action.
Is your web designer still hung up on obsolete design tactics?
15. They are a legally established business
It's alright to work with freelancers, but wouldn't you rather be comfortable working with someone who offers you some level of security and assurance? Find out what kind of legal documents your designer has, and what kind of terms and conditions govern his or her operations.
You might want to verify their physical location as well. While it may be cheap to work with someone who has no office, a design studio offers your business the needed security and assurance that they won't just quit and disappear, leaving you stranded with an uncompleted project, or without access to critical site credentials.
16. They have a deep understanding of digital technology
Technology has advanced so quickly that any programming language which doesn't evolve and improve is quickly rendered obsolete. What web design technology is your designer going to use, and is this the most appropriate technology for your project?
A good web designer must be well versed in terms like Website Traffic, latent semantic indexing (LSI), click-through rate (CTR), core web vitals (CWV), and other such SEO terms which affect the website ranking and performance. He must understand how dynamic caching works and how issues like cumulative layout shift (CLS) impacts the performance of the website.
Of course, you can care less about this jargon, but any true professional designer should have a firm grasp on these terms because they concern the performance of the sites he or she will be building for you.
Recently, when our Webhosting partner SiteGround had a DNS issue with some of their sites, we were in constant contact with them to be updated on the progress of the situation because we knew how much the DNS issue affect the indexability of our pages.
Your designer must have a deep understanding of digital technology because th3y will be serving you with the knowledge and understanding
17. They have a documented workflow and process for customer success
Professional web design has some defined stages or milestones. For instance, at EnspireFX, we use a 5-stage design process consisting of;
- Web design brief
- Project scope
- Site design and customization
- Testing and site launch
- Site Maintenance and Ranking
The best web design companies always have a clear discovery process that helps them achieve design success. The design process may evolve as the industry evolves, and it may get tweaked slightly for a specific project or unique circumstances, but they always have a systematic plan for success.
This is often one clear proof that a web design company has the experience needed to bring similar success to your business
18. They measure design progress, and are always improving
Truly professional web designers can tell you exactly how much of what is left to be done on your project and how much time is left. They always document their entire process.
They do not stop once the website is built and launched, because this is where things really take off. If your web design company quits after the site launches, it will be a clear sign that they aren't the right fit for you, and have probably done you a disservice.
Great web designers and marketing agencies establish goals, measure their progress, and continuously improve upon their work.
In today's world, the moment your website sites are static you start to leave a lot of business on the table and your competitors start to outrank you by leaps and bounds.
19. They have a system of reporting on clients' websites' success
A good web design company will keep you updated on the performance of your site periodically. They use data from Google Analytics and Google Search Console to tell you exactly how many visitors your site gets and what they accomplish on your site.
20. They offer value for money
Your website is one of the most vital pieces of your business and when done right, it will make you money. Even with a great return on investment, your website may be one of the most expensive parts of your business.
When built and managed correctly, many businesses view their website as their best employee who never gets sick or takes a day off. Since this is such a vital part of your business, a good web design company will discuss the following 3 things with you before establishing a proper project quote;
- Marketing budget
- Business goals
- Time lines
You know you're dealing with an amateur web designer if they give you a price without knowing these three things. It should be a clear sign that they are not the right fit for you. If you want a website that's going to effectively grow your business, you have to be willing to have an open dialogue about it and invest in it.
A great website will yield a high return on investment for a well-run business. Even with the best-run business, a bad website will result in hindered business, slow growth, wasted marketing budget, and buyers remorse.
This is not an area where you can afford to cut corners.
How to find a good Web Designer
Finding the right web design agency isn't the easiest job you have as a business owner. If you're starting the process, our best advice is to start asking around. Other business owners have been down this road, ask them about their web design experiences and the companies they have used.
You can find a local web design company by searching. Just type “Web Design …… ” (fill in the name of your city or country) and take a look at the top companies and names and that keep showing up.
Pay close attention to reviews and watch out for fake, spammy ones. If you see someone you know that has left a review for the company, reach out to them and find out first hand about their experiences.
If you decide you like what you see and hear, schedule a meeting to speak with someone at the company about your growing business. A good web design company doesn't fear or bad mouth competition.
In fact, the best web designers are confident in their abilities and know the good companies from the bad. They will be honest with you and admit if they are not a good fit for your business and may be able to recommend a company that is a better fit.
This article on the best web designers in Ghana can help you to choose if your a Ghanaian company, or would want to work with one.
Once you find the right web design company that you can trust to achieve your goals, your job becomes much easier and you can not focus on what you do best as a business.