Are Your Web People Asking You The Right Questions?
This is one of those friend of a friend stories.
A friend of a friend owns a successful small business in town. They’ve built their business on great customer service and positive word of mouth. However, now they are expanding, and taking their business in a new direction. Being present and effective online needs to be part of the marketing strategies when launching.
They’re excited. They’ve planned. They are hoping for a splashy launch, with a lot of “buzz” and customer interest. And they went out and hired who they think is the best web person in town.
But after asking only a couple questions, I think I may have unintentionally popped that bubble of new business joy.
Just Because It Looks Good, Doesn’t Mean It’ll Work
It turns out that the web/social media marketing consultant/company that they hired never had a conversation with them about some very important items. Items such as who their target market is, what keywords to optimize the new web site for, or what their Twitter or Facebook campaign strategies are going to be. Not even what are their quantifiable goals for web site traffic, click-throughs on digital ads and Social Media posts, followers, etc. etc. etc.
They talked about how great the new web site is going to be.
They discussed how awesome the new logo will be.
They talked about how great it was all going to look.
But the none of that will matter much if the new web site is not optimized for search engines such as Google and Bing!. Or if the Social Media campaigns have no direction, and there are no measurements of success put into place for the entire process.
3 Questions To Ask When Hiring A Web Design Company
1. Do you know how to search optimize a web site?
If they say yes, then the next thing you should be talking about is about keywords. If they don’t know how to do keyword research and discover the relevant keywords for your small business’s web site, then they don’t know SEO. And having at least a base level of SEO integrated into your new web site could be the difference between having your business found online with tons of sales, and having your web site be very well appreciated by your Mom.
2. Who provides the written content?
A lot of web designers and companies rely on their clients to write the content for their website. This can be a big job and can become a big stumbling block in getting a new web site launched. In my experience, this is often the area of a project that takes longer than any other. You may not be up to writing all of the copy while ensuring that the keywords are being used in the copy while making sure that it still reads well for your site user. If this sounds familiar, then you’ll need to hire a content writer, or have this service built into your agreement for your new web site.
3. How will we know if the site is working?
One of the beautiful things about Digital Marketing is that everything online can be measured. From the click-through rates of an online advertisement to the city that drives the most amount of web traffic to your new web site. So if you ask this question, your service provider should be answering with the term “Analytics”. There are many ways to measure web site traffic, and many tools you can use. The most popular is probably Google Analytics. It’s free and very effective. But no matter what you do, before you launch anything… that you have a way to measure the results.
A final thought on choosing a “Social Media Consultant”…
You don’t have to go very far to find someone who is a self-proclaimed Social Media Expert. Twitter Ninjas and Facebook Gurus are seemingly a dime-a-dozen these days. But having a Facebook account and a Twitter profile does not make you an expert. Social Media takes time, energy, strategy, and consistency. Make sure if you are looking to hire a Social Media Consultant for your business, that you go into that discussion with your “BS” meter on. And please do your research… even a little bit. Check their personal and business profiles, and at the end of the day, choose someone who you feel understands you and your business.
While the ROI (return on investment) is harder to measure when it comes to Social Media because followers and friends don’t always translate directly to sales, you can be sure that the importance of the relationships built is extremely valuable.
You may have heard the term “Social Media is like word-of-mouth on steroids”, and while we at Crema don’t condone the use of any illegal substances, we do get pumped up when we can help a business reach their online marketing goals.