Just about every business in the Bay Area has been inundated with companies offering SEO Services or Website Design, but how on earth do you know which company you should choose?
You probably already know that your business should be represented 24/7 on the Internet. These days it’s a clear necessity and not an option to have an attractive, functional website that is easy to navigate and suited to your particular business customers. Since every business is different, this is of crucial importance. If you do not have a website, or yours is old with broken links, outdated information, or is not mobile friendly (over half of all website visits are done using mobile devices) you almost certainly need to consider a new website. But which company?
How to Choose a Good Web Design Company for your Bay Area Business?
When looking for a good web design company, first be sure you find out how long they have been in business. A couple of years or less (if they will even tell you) should be a red flag. Anything less and lack of experience will likely result if poor results. Unfortunately we fairly often hear the common complaint that a customer has paid a “web developer” who takes the money, may do some work, but then disappears, doesn’t return phone calls or emails, and sometimes can’t be found at all. These “fake” or “wannabe” website developers can set up shop quickly and disappear just as quickly, leaving you with an unfinished site or no site at all. Businesses that have been burned by this type of web developer have a right to be leery.
If a company has been around for a decade or longer, you can feel confident they will be around long enough to finish your site and support it for years to come. Look at some of the websites they have finished – do you like the look and feel of the site, the features and navigation? Keep in mind, however, that websites should be designed to appeal to both your target audience and the business owner’s preferences. If you see a reasonably wide variety of different designs, that’s a sign of a good web design company that can design differently for each customer or type of business.
Major Components for a Successful Web Site
It’s also important to consider the basic components for a good website – good design, a good platform (such as WordPress), good technical experience and skills, good writing, and strong SEO capabilities. Some Web Design Services offering websites in the Oakland area may be good at design or programming or writing or SEO, but it’s rare to find all in one company, and virtually impossible in a single individual. That’s why we have experts in all major areas who work on their part of each of the websites we build. By using a team approach to web design (and marketing), we can build high quality websites in every respect without sacrificing one part of the development process or another.
A website should reflect the character, values, products, and/or services of your company. It should also emphasize the reasons why a customer should choose your company rather than one of your competitors. As a result, it’s important that your web design company understands business and can help you analyze your business marketing needs. Don’t forget to ask questions about these things when talking with different web design companies you’re considering. Their understanding of business in general can play an important role in their ability to understand your particular business challenges and allow them to offer suggestions for your website that can make a big difference.
Finally, don’t focus on elaborate bells and whistles if you really don’t need them, if they will not be cost effective, or if they only end up annoying your customers (which happens more often than most people realize). Any features you choose should appeal to your potential customers and contribute to the site’s purpose. Always try to consider your target audience (potential new customers) and their point of view, as well as the primary purpose of your website. And for most businesses, that’s usually to convince potential new customers to contact you.
Combining GOOD SEO Services with Web Design
Similar considerations hold true if you’re looking for Internet Marketing and specifically SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Services. Look for a company that has offered SEO Services for at least several years and has a strong track record with a variety of different clients. The best companies will explain what their services include, how it all works (in understandable terms), what your options are, offer you a variety of choices specifically to fit your needs, and provide a written monthly progress report as well. They should also be able to explain their services in plain, understandable language rather than esoteric terms that only an SEO expert would understand.
It is also especially important to realize that effective websites usually work better when the site is built with SEO in mind. That usually means that the site should include pages written for the most important keywords (think “search phrases”) for your business. It’s often more difficult to add such pages to the site later without completely re-organizing your site, so if you can start off with a website that was developed with SEO in mind, you’ll be well on your way toward getting lots of new customers from your website on a regular basis.