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What Working With A Web Design Agency Entails



t’s something which most small business owners will be familiar with: having to get your very own website set up and running on the internet. For many of us, we choose to work with a web design agency because we don’t have the technical capabilities or expertise to do it ourselves, so we choose to employ a company with the specialist techniques to produce a website for us. This in itself can throw up a number of new problems, not least the worries of having to understand all of the technical terms that a web design agency might use when talking to you. How should you know what to expect? What sort of timeframe do you usually have to work to? What does it cost? What will the web design agency need from you? These are all frequently asked questions and are completely valid concerns to have. However, you need not worry any more as we have put together the answers to these questions and more, enabling you to complete your new website hand in hand with your web design agency.

So What Happens From Here?

A web design agency will take care of the whole process of designing and developing your new website, but they will need your help. You will need to provide them with your branding and company colours as well as any text and images you want included on the website. This sort of content is always best when it comes from the customer, and that’s you, so get thinking! Your web design agency won’t know all of the information about your company and industry – certainly not as much as you do – so this is information which you will need to provide to them.

Your web design agency will usually then put together some concept designs which they will send over to you for your perusal. Once you have settled on a design and layout you are happy with, the web design agency will embark on developing the design and coding it into a fully-working website. If you have any concerns about the design and layout or want to make any aesthetic changes, this is the time to do it! If you leave it beyond the design stage, your web design agency will most likely charge you for the changes made to an already-signed-off design.

During the development process, the web design agency will code your new website using a base of HTML/CSS and any other server-side technologies which may be required (for example, if you have any advanced requirements which require additional coding). It is at this stage that they will require the text content for your website so this can be coded in as well. You should ensure that the text is clear and concise as writing for the web is very different to writing for print. Your web design agency will be able to advise you on this, but the basics are to keep it simple and engaging. Get to the point and don’t waffle: people simply won’t hang around to read it if you do.

Once this has been completed, your website is ready for final testing. You should ensure that everything works exactly how you want it to. Check every word, every full-stop and every image. Do all the links work? Does the website display correctly in every browser? Once you have signed off the website it may be too late to make any changes (and your web design agency will almost certainly charge you for them) so it is imperative that you ensure you are completely happy with it.

The Site is Built Now…What’s Next?

When the site’s live, you may want to talk to your web design agency about which internet marketing services they offer. Many web design agencies offer ongoing search engine optimisation or pay-per-click marketing packages which will help to bring additional traffic and visitors to your site. After all, what’s the point of having a brand new website if no-one is able to find it? After the time and money you have invested in having your web design agency put a new website together for you, you will want to make sure you are making the most of it and getting as many potential customers to your website as possible. You can also help by advertising your new website address and trying to work your way into the new online market. This is especially important if you are selling products through an eCommerce website as the outlays to your web design company are likely to have been high and you will need to see a return on investment.

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Why A Professional Website Design Is Always Preferable To Other Options

The Options…

When you choose to have a new website designed, you may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available to you. The cheapest option may seem to be designing the website yourself. There are a number of different software options available which will allow you to make a website with ease, but the quality will often be much lower than what could be achieved using other methods. In addition, if search engine optimisation is a concern of yours you may find that these kinds of software packages do not handle the process correctly.

Going with a Web Design Firm…

A professional website design firm specialises purely in designing websites for its clients, rather than any other activities. This means you will have a professional website design and a site which could potentially perform very well in internet search engines. The costs may well be higher than some of the other options outlined above (although you might be surprised) but the end product will be vastly superior. If you are serious about your business and you want to put across the best possible impression to your potential customers and the rest of the world, why would you want to compromise on the quality of your website? At the end of the day, your website is your company’s shopfront on the web and this is the first (and sometimes only) impression many people will get of your business. It is vital that you give your new site the best possible opportunity by embracing a professional website design. Using a professional website design company will leave you free to do what you do best – running your business.

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7 SEO Tips For Small Businesses

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a pretty confusing yet essential topic for most small businesses, so I’ve compiled some easy to follow tips to give you an insight into what you should consider when creating a website.

1) Create easy to understand navigation links.

Think about making your customer’s journey within your website as easy as possible. The shorter the steps they need to make to find your contact details, to register their interest, or to complete a sale, the higher the success rate. Search engines like Google crawl your website through your navigation links, so if your customers are happily browsing your website, there’s a good chance search engine crawlers are too.

2) Make your website content relevant and descriptive.

When you type in a search term in Google for example, you will see results with a heading and a snippet of the description below the title, which serves as your first layer of marketing. You should include a homepage title and your description should briefly describe the type of service you offer.

3) Get listed on local search engines and directories.

Start with the main search engine players like Google, Yahoo and Bing, then down to the business and local government listings in your area. You increase the likelihood of your potential customers finding you when you make more listings.

4) Have a presence in social media sites.

They add to the number of places your customers can leave reviews on, comment on or interact with, and in turn, their interaction will be exposed to their friends. It’s a great place to gain business via referrals.

5) Create a mobile friendly website

Mobile usage is growing exponentially so now is the time to get ahead in the game. Always keep in mind that SEO is not just a process to make sure search engines can understand what you’re offering, it is a process to make sure you are delivering the best user experience to your customers.

6) Set up Google Analytics

This is an excellent and free service offered by Google that allows you to gain insight on the types of people that are visiting your site. Where are they located? What device are they using when they visit your site? How long do they stay on there for? All this information can help you paint a picture of the users and market accordingly. Use this to your advantage!

7) Choose an appropriate domain name

Small businesses can be notorious for choosing bizarre and wacky names, be smart about your domain name choice. For example, if you’re a local shoe shop called Fantastic Giraffe (that’s a freebie if anyone wants it!), fantastic-giraffe-shoes.com.au might benefit you more than fantasticgiraffe.com.au not only for brand searches but for keyword searches as well, due to the inclusion of “shoes”. Of course, SEO isn’t the be-all-and-end-all of online marketing channels, but its definitely something to consider!

So there you have it, my SEO tips to help your small business become easier to find on the web!