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Checklist Before Hiring A Web Designer

Today, we will talk about 10 things you need to know before hiring a web designer.

You wouldn’t hire a new team member before knowing and detailing exactly what they need to do for your company, so why would you build a website without the same attention and established goals in mind?

And like your company, your website will take more than just one person to create it and make it work 24/7 to increase your business.

So, let’s take a look at our 10-point website development preparation plan, which you should complete before even considering hiring a web designer.

This will help you outline exactly what your website needs to do, so you can then hire the proper professionals to make it happen.

What are the top functions you want and need your website to do?

Function #1) You want it to generate leads, of course, but what kind of leads?

What services do you want to specialize in and promote the most?

Which ones have the best margins, which ones can lead to bigger jobs?

We’ll talk more about HOW your website will generate leads in a little bit.

Function #2) You want your website to educate people about your services, company, and team.

So you’ll need great detailed information about each one of the services you want to promote.

You’ll need job photos of these services and your team in action fixing them.

You’ll need photos of your team, trucks, office, and a bio on the owners and key personnel.

Prospects and customers want to see the people behind the logo and business.

You’ll need a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) that tells your ideal prospects WHY your the best solution for them.

You’ll need to show people where your service area is so they know if you can serve their needs.

We’ll also talk more about attracting and educating visitors in a little bit.

Function #3) You want your website to display, enhance, and grow your company’s reputation.

You’ll need to show social proof that previous customers have said you do great work.

You need to grow customer reviews and show them on your website.

You may need video testimonials from customers and case studies to show prospects the results you’ve achieved for others with the same problems.

Trust badges from BBB, Yelp, Angi, Home Advisor, Porch, and other well-known third-party platforms should be prominently displayed.

The design of your website should look professional, match your company colors, and be easy to navigate, all of which your brand will be judged by.

Function #4) It would be great if your website integrated with your CRM, sales pipeline software, email marketing, and reputation management systems for increased efficiencies and speed to lead.

Speed to lead is hugely important and if you integrate the lead forms on your site with your CRM or sales software, you’re ready to reach every lead instantly, which greatly increases your chances of closing more sales.

Integrating your reputation management systems helps you grow reviews and embed review schema markup on your site, which can help your rankings and click-thru rates from searches.

Function #5) Your website should be helping you grow your email list. Integrating lead magnets and newsletter opt-ins on your site can help grow your email list, which can become one of the most valuable assets your company has.

Function #6) You may want your website to be a source for frequently asked questions.

FAQs can help prospects find those last bits of additional info they’re seeking before they decide to do business with you.

A good FAQ section can help convert visitors into leads and help save customer service time that may have been spent on the phone or through email answering those same questions.

Function #7) Your website should provide quick and easy contact options for the company and key personnel.

It should provide quick and easy call and form contact options. Texting and live chat options can be available if you have the tools and personnel to service them.

Your site can also provide contact options for the key players on your team by putting the direct phone and email contacts on the about us page for each team member listed.

Make it easy for people to contact you and key personnel on your team. Put your phone in the top header of your site, above or in line with your menu.

Place a contact form just under the Hero section of each service page.

Let the visitor choose and call or fill out a form to request contact and make both easy to find on every page.

Function #8) Your website needs to be the hub of all your advertising efforts.

Paid online ads, direct mail, radio, and other forms of advertising should all link to landing pages on your website that specifically designed for each ad campaign.

It’s called wheel and hub marketing, where your website is the hub to which all of the spokes lead back.

This is another part of the lead generation qualities your site needs to have.

Function #9) Your website needs to track the call and form conversions from all pages, where your traffic is coming from, what keywords they’re using to find you, how long they stay on your site, how many pages they’re going to, what pages are keeping people’s interest and which ones aren’t and so much more.

Those details are gathered using call tracking phone numbers from a system like Call Rail and then identified using Google Search Console and Analytics.

Function #10) Your website can house the sales presentations that your sales team uses in the field.

You can have a private section on your site that provides slideshow or video presentations that your sales team uses in the field to help them stay on message.

As a bonus, you can also create a private training section on your website for new hires and provide them with training videos, job descriptions and functions, and more.

Before we get into HOW your website will generate traffic and leads, let’s look at three legal requirements your website must meet.

1) You must have a Privacy Policy page that addresses the requirements in your state.

2) You need a Terms of Use policy page on your website.

We use a website plugin called WP auto terms to create these two pages on our sites.

3) You need to make your website accessible to those with impairments in hearing, seeing, and mobility. I would argue that you need to reach more prospects and customers and make the web open to all people. We use a software system called accessiBe to do that.

Web designers

Okay, now let’s take a quick look at HOW your website is going to generate traffic and leads to fulfilling two of its core functions:

Your website should be working 24/7 to bring prospects to your business.

But to generate leads, your website needs first to generate traffic.

How does it do that?

It generates traffic by ranking well in Google and other search engines when people search for your local services and topics related to them.

How does it do that, you ask?

Website rank well when they are optimized for search engines and humans.

What does that mean, you ask?

A common phrase used is search engine optimization or SEO.

SEO means that everything on your website is structured and created in a friendly way for search engines to read and understand.

It means that Google and others see that the content on your site is worthy of providing the solutions people are searching for.

Structurally it means the URL setup is sound.

There’s a home page, about us page, contact page, and one page for each service you offer, and they’re all under your services URL.

It means there’s one page for each city in your service area that speaks to the services you offer in that one city.

It means you have your contact info in the footer.

It means you have your Google My Business map listing embedded in your footer or contact us page.

It means every one of your pages must have search-optimized titles and meta descriptions. We use the free Yoast SEO plugin to help with that.

It means you have laid out each page with good titles, headings, subheadings, and content that focuses on one topic.

It means that you’ve done keyword and topical research and have created multiple blog posts related to each service you offer and linked them all together in a topical grouping.

It means that you continue to add blog post content to the site that has been keyword and topically researched and provides solutions and answers to the most popular problems and questions about that topic.

This means you need SEO design with good topical research done by a qualified SEO professional.

This means you need good writers and editors to follow the lead of the SEO outline for the content they will write.

This means graphic art designers create photos, custom graphics and icons, infographics, and more for the site.

This may mean audio and video editors to help you create multimedia content.

Of course, growing website traffic is not enough. The site then needs to convert that traffic into leads of people who want your services or learn more.

Let’s take a look at some conversion optimization features your site will need.

Why your company?

What’s your USP?

Make it clear that you’re different and the best possible option for their need or desire.

Include clear calls to action at the top, middle, and bottom of every page.

Use CTA phrases like “request a quote,” “free estimates,” “call now,” and other similar phrases.

Use lead magnets – free consumer guides, checklists, email education series, email newsletters, coupons, special offers, and more.

Use a toll-free 800#

Provide a live chat option

Provide a text option to contact your office.

Click-to-call phone numbers on mobile and for your desktop version, let them see your phone number at the top of every page.

Make it easy to contact you – phone in the top header – have a contact us page in the menu – provide contact options in the footer – add a lead form just under the hero section of all service pages.

Converting visitors into leads is job#1 for your website so let’s keep going.

Make sure customer reviews are near the top of your home page and all service pages.

Make sure you have plenty of reviews and a solid plan to get more every week. Reviews are a top-ranking signal in Google, so they help with conversions and help you rank to get traffic to convert in the first place.

Create a great description of who your company is with images and profiles of the people who make up the company

Make it easy to navigate with your menu.

Provide fresh quality content consistently added to your blog. Keep people coming back and keep attracting a wider audience with each post.

Add multimedia – people like to read, listen, and watch, so give them options – meet them where they are with the type of content they want to consume.

Provide fast page loading times when they click to go to your site or move around within it. Nobody wants to wait for more than a couple of seconds for a page to load.

Google’s new Core Web Vitals update is using them as a ranking signal now too.

And, of course, your site needs to look and work great on mobile because half or more of your traffic will come from people on smartphones.

As you can see, there’s a ton that goes into a great-performing website, and you’re going to need more than just a web designer or developer.

First, you’ll need to define your goals – what is the website to do and who is it to attract?

Then you’ll need an SEO professional to help you do topical and keyword research to layout every page on your site and the topical groups of pages necessary to rank well for each service you offer.

Next, you’ll need writers and editors to create the content per the SEO layout provided for each page.

Then you’ll need graphic artists and a professional photographer to create the images and icons required for each page.

Next up might be your web developer or software systems consultants to prepare the software integrations with your CRM, sales, email, and review software platforms.

And then finally, it’s time for your web design team to work with your SEO to put it together and get it connected to your call and form tracking software and Google Search Console and Analytics.

The days of your website being a fancy online static brochure are long since gone. Today everyone searches online for everything and your website is the lead dog on your sled.

Make sure it’s prepared for the job at hand, or you’ll be losing out on traffic and lead generation and all of the other functions your site could be doing for your company.

Alright, I hope that helped some of you. Thanks for sharing your time and attention with us today.

Good luck out there and create a great day!

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Founder & CEO of Battle Plan Marketing, LLC. We customize marketing strategies and solutions for home service companies. Mark has over 30 years experience in sales and marketing, 20 years as a business owner or partner, and over a decade in digital marketing and website design. We offer analysis, strategy, project implementation and management, and marketing coaching. Mark is also host of the new Battle Plan Marketing® Podcast.
Mark Ambrose
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