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Congratulations! You want a website.

A solid online presence is hands down the best way to take your business global. Now the challenge is finding an honest, trustworthy web development and web design company that can get the job done on time and within budget.

Hopefully, you’re reading this blog before you have committed to a web company in Savannah GA or Bluffton SC. If you haven’t signed anything yet, ask the potential web designer these questions:

1. How long will it take before my website generates leads?

Did you notice the use of “leads” and not “traffic”? The common search engine optimization (SEO) myth is that being on page 1 of Google is all that matters. What really matters is how many people are filling out forms on the website, how often they’re filling out forms and how many times people have clicked on the phone number. When it comes to web traffic, the industry standard can take 6 months to a year to generate decent traffic, if you don’t have digital marketing built in.

2. Do you have a portfolio and references?

A reputable web designer in Savannah GA should be able to show you examples of their work and walk you through the problems, solutions and results for each project. Examine these websites carefully and determine whether or not the web designer is capable of creating the look and feel you have in mind. Call past clients and ask them what the web design process was such as how long it took before web launch and what’s going on with their website now.

3. What is your content strategy for attracting and engaging leads?

There is more to website content than a keyword rich “Services” page. Quality content is the life blood of a website because it attracts organic traffic from search engines. If you’re contracting a web design company in Bluffton SC or Savannah GA to create content as well as website, ensure that they can offer quality content and they know how to implement best SEO practices.

4. How is the website built? Will I be able to make small changes to copy instead of bothering you?

Content management systems such as WordPress are ubiquitous because they are designed with search engines in mind from the get go. They are automatically formatted for optimal digestibility by Google. Even the technologically challenged can make small changes to a web page or post a blog with a quick training session by the Savannah GA web designer.

5. Do you know how to promote my website with Google AdWords or Facebook ads?

New websites often need an extra boost to get their website noticed. Inbound marketing methods including content generation, social media marketing and email marketing should be the foundation for your digital marketing. However, targeted pay per click advertising is a great way to bring keyword specific searches to your new website. A good web designer and web developer in Savannah GA will already be Google certified or in the process of being Google certified to set-up and manage a successful campaign that draws attention to your site.

6. Do I own my website?

Your web designer in Bluffton SC or Savannah GA should make it easy for you to gain access to your website after development is complete. Reputable web development firms will provide you with login and password information to the domain registrar and hosting. Some web development companies in Savannah GA and Bluffton SC might hold your website hostage even after you’ve paid for the website in full by not relinquishing control of the backend even to make small edits or by charging exorbitant monthly fees every time you contact them. This can cost you in the long run.

7. Do you work well with others?

Many business owners in search of a web designer and web developer in Savannah GA already have key people in place for other aspects of their digital marketing such as social media, email and blogging. Ask the potential web designer if they would be willing to train some of these digital marketing professionals on how to use the website. If the web designer hesitates or talks begrudgingly (or maliciously) about your team, that speaks more about their insecurity and lack of confidence in their own work. So, why should you have confidence they will get your work done well and on time?

8. When will the website launch?

This is always a difficult question for web developers to answer, because every website is different! A typical timeframe for a basic website without the frills of high-end functionality is between 4 to 6 weeks. A web developer that promises completion in less time could be using readymade templates that might not be what you’re looking for.

9. What is included in the contract?

If you’re web developer in Savannah GA or Bluffton SC does not have a contract that clearly lays out deliverables, expectations, timeframes and prices, tha’s a deal breaker. Websites are one of the largest marketing investments you’ll make. A contract will help you protect that investment

Make sure the web contract includes:

  • a timeframe for the expected launch of the website
  • the costs for development, as well as monthly hosting and maintenance
  • hidden costs for making small and significant changes
  • what maintenance entails
  • if training on the back end is included
  • security and data protection regulations compliance
  • detailed list of functionality expected

A contract is a way for both parties to know exactly what expectations are required and aims to eliminate troublesome gray areas.

10. Am I guaranteed results?

This is a trick question. If the web designer in Bluffton SC tells you anything but “no,” move on to a different company. In fact, the web developer who tells you “no” is probably going to be the company to get you the coveted return on investment and more.

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