Posted by on Jan 29, 2014 in Websites

You walk in your office after a sleepless night after the realization that you need a new website.  You have decided to pull the trigger on a new site.  Your options are endless.  We do know that calling us will make you happy.  However, for whatever reason, not everyone does.  So, just to help out, we want to make sure you know the warning signs of immanent doom.

We figured it was about time to play another round of “Things That Should Sound the Alarm Bells That Your New Site Will Fail”.

 

1. The price is under $1,000 bucks

If your website is costs less than $1,000, chances are your web designer is terrible and your website will be terrible too. We all would love to spend $1,000 dollars and get brilliant results, but you need to be honest with yourself about what you need and that this is part of your business.

 

2. Your web designer is related to you

If you do decide to hire a family member to build your website, they will probably give you an “unbelievable” discount. If they’re a pro, that’s great news; however, the bad news is that the project eventually won’t be worth their time, and you will eventually end up on the back burner.  If it’s a simple site, you will win, but unless you cut them in on your business, you might be sorry.

 

3. Your web designer is YOU

It’s kind like they say about going to court. “The person who defends themselves has a fool for a client”. Anyone can learn how to use a template-based online web design tool in an hour or so but you can’t learn what a good web designer has learned with years of experience. Also, you and 50,000 other people will enjoy the exact same site.  In other words, learning how to use a website builder won’t teach you how to design a web site that will get targeted traffic, conversions, and sales.

 

4. They don’t ask “too many” questions

Your web designer should ask you lots of questions, especially before they start working on your project. They should ask everything about your Company, Competitors, and Prospects. Questions should begin during the initial sales meetings, and then continue throughout the strategy phase of your project. You might even think they ask “too many” questions, but then they will ask you something that likely makes even you think. No questions should be a RED FLAG and the sign of a terrible web designer.

 

5. They don’t care about a conversion strategy

Has your web designer helped you figure out what your primary and secondary goals are? A conversion can be a phone call, email sign up, contact form, e-commerce purchase or a button being clicked. Your web designer should help you define what your conversions are, and also what you do to each one of them after that initial action. Your web designer should ask how you want to be contacted and how clients typically prefer contacting you. After all, this is why you built your website.

 

6. No SEO strategy

You would never open a store in the first neighborhood you saw, open the doors, then wait for customers to wander in.  You would figure out who your best customers would be, find a neighborhood where there were a lot of them, and make sure they all knew you were opening.  In other words, if your web firm doesn’t do SEO in an organized fashion, they are terrible.

 

7. No copywriting options

Creating content for your new website is the biggest challenge most clients face. It’s also the #1 cause for delays (“hey, why is all the text in Latin?  I hired you guys to design a site, it should say amazing stuff about me”!)  A good web designer will be prepared with a solution and warn you about this at the kickoff meeting.

Possible copywriting solutions:

You create all content (be careful this takes time and dedication).

You use what your old site has (Not a bad base, but not really a great option).

Client has an internal resource (a copywriter on their staff – Win!)

Client hires a freelance copywriter (Pretty good option)

Web designer offers an internal solution (a copy writer on their staff – Win!)

 

8. They’re in a different country

We’ve been developing professional websites for over 10 years and we love companies that have worked with web designers and developers in other countries in the past, because the bar is set so low that our caliber of work and service seems like actual magic.

Yes, they may speak English and yes they are cheaper but if you don’t understand how to properly screen designers and developers in other countries you will most likely find the experience frustrating and potentially expensive to fix if problems arise.

 

Conclusion

If you a competitor and you vehemently disagree with anything I’ve said, there are exceptions to every rule. However, in my experience the above Red Flags are accurate a vast majority of the time. If you use the above set of rules I can safely say your website will be more successful and make you a lot more money.