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I receive calls from desperate business owners time and time that they don't have sales... their new website is now up and running but they aren't getting results.  Or worse, they actually are getting less business than when they had the original site.

When it comes down to it, there are so many "fly-by-night" web developers that's it's hard to know who to trust with your website.  

That's why it's important to take control of your website.  You need to understand the concepts that can make a website effective (vs a waste of your time and money).  

That's why to help you I've created these tips on how to choose the best website designer for your business.

1) They Listen To Your Ideas
You're an expert in your industry. Therefore you know what you're selling. You have an idea of how you need to present it to your potential customers. No one knows your business better than you do. Therefore if a marketing strategy consultant or web design company won't listen to your ideas, then you probably shouldn't want to work with them. Your designer needs to be able to put your ideas into action, not create their own pet project.

2) They Have Their Own Ideas
This may seem contradictory to the first point but while it's important for your web designer to listen to you, you don't want a "yes-man". You may know your business, but your website needs to be designed by someone who knows design... and really more than just designs: they have to understand marketing psychology. If a web design agency does nothing but go along and produce an exact replica of what you say, then you aren't getting your money's worth. Your marketing strategy consultant must be able to bring effective marketing ideas to the table.
3) Look At Their Portfolio of Live Websites
The best way to see if the marketing strategy consultant know their stuff is to look at the work they have done. Don't trust screenshots of home pages. You want to see the websites they've made in action. Take the time to look through their portfolio and actually visit the sites they've designed.
4) They Have Been Around And Have Experience
The web may change very fast these days. But that doesn't mean you should trust some fly-by-night web design company that probably won't be around in a few months or a year. Every year there are tons and tons of new design companies that pop up—and just as many as that close down. A true test of a web design agency's ability is their longevity. You want a company that's been around and plans to stick around. The more experience a internet marketing company or design company has, the more they've had to change and adapt with the many new trends of the internet. This means they will more than likely be around next year to help support your new website over the years.
5) They Know How To Convert
Website design is more than making something that looks nice. A good web design has a TEAM of people to can help you come up with your overall marketing strategy, and integrate your website into that plan. That means the website needs to be one that converts traffic into paying customers. They need to know how to create a proper layout, navigation, and calls to action. An "if-it-looks-good-they'll-convert" philosophy doesn't cut it these days. Your consulting team needs to use data and proven methods when creating your site.
6) They Understand Responsive Design
Responsive design is the best way to design a website these days. Even Google thinks so. If a web design agency isn't well-versed in responsive design... then they're probably not right for you. While there are some cases where a separate mobile site might have some advantages, a responsive design is often the better approach. As mobile and tablet usage continue to grow, you need to be sure your business is optimized for every device. The right designer will get you there without your prompting.
7) They Design The Site To Be Easily Managed
You need a content management system for your website. A content management system is something where it's relatively easy to change text or images. Without it, you'll be calling your developer every other day with another request to update your website. Your internet marketing consultant or web design agency should be familiar with the best content management systems (like WordPress). If your custom website design company recommends a static HTML website... well look around for that time machine so you can get back to this decade. (Note that many that use HTML claim that Wordpress is susceptible to hacking.. well that's partly true. But that can be overcome by doing things like turning off the Wordpress comment system and using something different, etc)
8) They Have Experience In More Than One Industry
You may think it would be great if your custom website design company only worked with one industry. After all, if they only do websites for dog dishes, then they must really know dog leashes, right? Perhaps... but that also means you're probably going to end up with a cookie-cutter website that's indistinguishable from the other five-five dog dish websites they did this year. A consultant group or web design company that works with a wide variety of industries is more likely to create a unique website that will reach a bigger audience. Your website MUST stand above the competition... not be identical.
9) They Are Both Local And Global
I doesn't matter if you are a local business or a national brand... you need a team that knows both. If your consultant and custom website design company has only worked with local businesses, then there's a good chance your new website won't be designed for big success. The greater the range of experience of your marketing strategy consultant, the better odds your website will be able to help you reach your business goals. You need a someone who can think both big and small.
10) They Keep Up With The Times...
The last thing you want from a new website is a design that looks it is two decades old. Your marketing strategy consultant needs to keep up with the latest trends and technology. Customers are much more likely to trust a business if their website looks modern and up to date. Good marketing strategy consultants incorporate what's hot in their websites. A web designer needs to be familiar with parallax scrolling, flat design, responsive, and dozens of other styles and elements. Of course, that doesn't mean they should just push all the newest fads. There needs to be a balance between what's modern and what's proven. A website has to do more than just look fresh.
11) They're Not Dirt Cheap
Your website is the hub of your marketing... and is one of the most vital pieces of your business. This is not an area where you can afford to cut corners. When a web design company tells you they'll build a custom website for under $1000, they really mean they'll drag and drop your text and logo into a $99 WordPress theme that 12,000 other websites use. If you want a website that's going to work for your business, you have to be willing to invest in it. A great website will yield a high return on investment. A bad website will result in a stagnant business.... or worse.
Final Thoughts About Your New Website
Finding the right custom website design company is not the easiest job you have as a business owner. But once you find the right designer, your job becomes a whole lot easier.

If you want my BEST tips on how you can have your own GREAT website, then scroll back to the top and enter your contact information. 
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