How to find the best web designer for your small business In California?
Small business owners face multiple challenges.
You start out as being passionate about a product or service, and then find that you need to don several other hats as well: Marketing, recruitment, financial planning, visionary, road mapper, entrepreneur, change and incident manager, business grower and more.
You also have to ensure compliance with various local, national and international regulations, taxes and labor laws.
Apart from all this, it’s crucial that you stay in sync with technology so that you remain visible, relevant and competitive.
Today, a website plays an important role in your marketing strategy. It is comparable to a visiting card, brochure and salesperson all rolled into one. Small business website design is no longer a gimmick or a fad. It drives your business’s survival, health and growth.
Does My Small Business Really Need A Website?
Statistics show that more than 80% of customers who search for a business online tend to visit the physical location or its website within 24 hours.
That is one of the reasons why your website has to be up and functioning 24x7x365. Studies show that 81% of customers look for what they want online before they make a purchase in a brick-n-mortar store.
If you feel that your business is doing fine without a website, or you feel that you’ve invested some time, money and effort on creating one a few years ago and that should suffice, you couldn’t be more wrong.
Websites are important for small businesses because:
- Professional and Credible: Today, if a business owner, whether big or small, doesn’t have a website, they’re looked upon as not being very professional or credible. It is a necessary adjunct that gives and gathers information, serves to display your professional qualifications, awards, etc. It also enables the creation of a professional email id instead of using a personal one for business.
- Showcase: Websites are the place where you can showcase awards and achievements, new product or services launches. Keeping your website updated with the latest mergers and acquisitions, growth plans, new locations and branches, fresh talent acquisition, etc. helps your customers to know more about your story as it unfolds.
- Feedback and Reviews: Genuine feedback, reviews and testimonials from clients helps to bring in new ones. They also help existing clients to feel more reassured and connected with your brand. Feedback/reviews also give opportunities for course correction and responding to the customer in a timely way.
- Easy to Locate: You can integrate your website with Google Maps to make it easier for customers/visitors to find you easily. Your Contact Us page gives clear postal address, landline and mobile telephone numbers, where people can get in touch with you. An online contact form is also available so that they can connect with you quickly.
- Customer Data: Websites provide accurate and usable analytics in real time. These give you information about customer demographics, purchasing behavior, how they react to your website etc. You can use these to tailor your marketing messages, personalize them and give customers relevant and useful information that they will value and remember.
- Social Media Presence: Today, being visible and available on social media platforms is a crucial aspect of business. Your website is your route to being noticed, commented on, liked and acted upon without much effort or expense. Loyal and satisfied customers tend to recommend your website/products/services to their social media circles.
How To Find The Best Web Designer?
If you’re a small business owner in California (or elsewhere) finding the best web designer can be both challenging and exciting.
This lovely state has a population of more than 39 million people (according to 2018 figures) and its major cities such as Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, etc have large populations.
California’s economy is ranked the 8th largest in the world, and is characterized by innovation, high use of tech and huge diversity of tech and IT related products and services.
This makes competition very tough across the board for businesses who seek to stand out from the crowd.
While looking for a website designer, ensure that they tick the right boxes:
- Referrals: While it’s a great idea to experiment with a newly-hatched designer brimming with creative juices, ensure that you get references and recommendations from trustworthy sources. This allows you to filter out designers who don’t stick with deadlines, or don’t deliver on what’s promised.
- Portfolios: Checking portfolios doesn’t mean a quick skim through of websites they’ve worked on or looking at screenshots. Take the time and effort to go through their work in detail. Ensure that they’ve worked in your sector of industry and have experience in creating the type of website you want. If you’re looking for a design refresh/refurbish, ensure that they can protect what’s valuable about your existing website while updating/upgrading/innovating. Optimizing existing websites can result in 113% boost in visits and 117% more clicks.
- Pricing: While it’s great to have a firm budget, don’t let price rule your decision. Cheap isn’t always best and you could end up with more trouble down the line with a cheaply-put-together site. On the other hand, an over-priced website design could also be a rip-off. Business owners who haven’t had the time to stay in sync with website development/design could get overwhelmed by “webspeak” jargon dished out by clever designers. Get clarity and don’t be afraid to ask questions before you sign the check.
- Design Elements: As you browse the portfolio, look for key elements that you want in your website. It should reflect the nature and personality of your business. The website is also meant for the customer, so it must have simple navigation, clear calls to action, interesting and memorable features, important/credible/useful content and sturdy connects with social media. It takes just 0.05 seconds to form an impression about a site, and if it’s negative, visitors move on. Slow-loading speeds, annoying animation/pop-ups, video/audio auto-playing, 404 errors, obsolete plug-ins etc are absolute no-no’s.
- Responsive Tech: Today, website designing is not just for your brand/goods/services. It’s for the visitor/customer who will interact with your brand. The modern customer uses multiple devices in the course of a single search. 83% of customers across the world use multi-screens and an average of 2.23 devices simultaneously and a majority of them abandon engagement if the site fails to display on their device. Nearly 50% of customers report feeling that if a website is not mobile-friendly, it means that the company simply doesn’t care about them. Ensure that your website designer understands the importance of responsive, mobile-friendly website design.