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Small and medium size business owners know they need an Internet presence. Customers are increasingly demanding it. With 1000’s of Freelance Website Developer’s out there – how can you choose the right one for your business? Here is a list of questions business owners should ask before investing in a Freelance Website Developer.
You need a website, but how can you tell the professional business web site developers from the college kid in his basement? The answer is fairly simple if you know what kinds of questions to ask. Professional web site developers are just that – professionals. They have business knowledge and experience related to web site development. They understand small and medium size businesses for it is likely they are one too. Most importantly, they speak to you in your language, not theirs.
Purchasing a website is a form of advertisement for your business. Would you pay for the development of a radio or television commercial if you were not sure you would get a return on your investment? Why risk your professional reputation by trying to get the cheapest site possible just so you can put the www.yourbusinessname.com on your business card? If you have seen the work of a web site developer and the pages look great, do they contain keywords, titles, and descriptions to help search engines like Google find them?
These are some of the basic questions a professional business website developer should be able to answer:
1. What services do you offer? Such as:
- eCommerce Integration
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- PPC (Pay Per Click) Strategy
- Ongoing Maintenance
- Video Production
- Keyword Identification & Research
2. What information will be included in my monthly web site analytical reports? The reports should answer these questions at a minimum:
- What time of the day do most people visit?
- What search engines are they using to go to my site?
- How long does someone stay on my site?
- Which pages do they visit?
- Where do they go when they leave?
- What are the demographics of my typical online customer?
- Has my search engine ranking changed?
3. Do you provide custom designs or templates?
- Do you build websites using WordPress
- Will my site be responsive for mobile devices
- Do you design based on SEO best practices
- Will I own the website and graphics
4. Will there be a project plan with timelines for my project?
5. Will you outsource any of the work?
6. Will my site be monitored 24/7 with guaranteed 99.9% reliability?
- Are all links checked every day?
- Are broken links corrected?
- What is my conversion rate (how many potential online customers have turned into actual customers)? Also,
- Why did they visit my business online?
7. How will you help me increase my business over time?
If you are having trouble finding a website designer, visit the sites of your competitors or other local businesses. Most reputable web site developers list themselves and include a link in the small print at the bottom of the sites they have created. Call the businesses whose sites you like and ask the owners if they are satisfied with their Internet presence. Finally, ask for proposals with price quotes from more than one website developer. The quality of the proposal will be a good indicator of the professionalism of the business.
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