1. How can you help me accomplish my revenue goals?
Be clear about your business’ goals, make sure the web development company is capable of helping you accomplish them. After your initial contact, do you feel they have a clear understanding of your goals and can help you accomplish them?
Your website plan should:
• Create compelling content and drive traffic through a blog and social media channels
• Contain landing pages that focus on lead generation and lead nurturing
• Help you convert leads to customers
• Target an increase in revenue
Ranking high on search engines is critical. A gorgeous website will not be found on Google if it doesn’t incorporate search engine optimization principles.
Did you know that 70% of the links search users click on are organic (not paid). And a whopping 60% of all organic clicks go to the top three organic search results.1 Is the web development company proficient in this area? What is the SEO strategy? What keywords will your landing pages focus on? Ask lots of questions and get involved in this process – review and give feedback on your target keywords and landing pages. The development company will gain a greater understanding of your business and you’ll get a better result.
Businesses that blog more than 20 times per month get five times more traffic than those who blog less than 4 times per month.
3. Will I have full control of my website?
Will you (or your staff) have the ability to add and update promotions, landing pages, new products or services? Are links to social media channels available on the site? Does the site contain a blog?
Did you know that in March 2012, 57% of marketers say that they have acquired customers from blogging.2 And businesses that blog more than 20 times per month get five times more traffic than those who blog less than 4 times per month.3 Social media & blogs generate real customers.
4. Are references (current/past clients) available for me to contact?
How experienced is the web development company? Are testimonials and example sites available to review? Most successful agencies are happy to share their successes with you. Ask to contact their current clients and ask the tough questions: Did the company meet their goals? Did they deliver on time? What was the experience like?
5. How familiar are you with my industry?
This is not be a deal breaker, but may be a bonus. A web development company with a focus in your niche (doctor, dentist, chiropractor, etc.) is more likely to be familiar with your industry’s online challenges. They are more likely to know your competition and understand how competitive local SEO or PCC campaigns will be.
6. Ask Yourself if you connect with their work.
Review the web development company’s work to see if it really speaks to you. Is the design uncluttered and professional? Is messaging clear and compelling? Do you see examples in their work of effective internet marketing techniques and inbound marketing? Can they create great landing pages and content? If you have reservations, trust your gut – it may be time to look elsewhere.
7. Does your company offer a (6 or 12 month) retainer?
If your long-term business plan has specific online revenue goals creating a great website will get you part of the way there. Will the company teach you what you need to know to drive traffic to your site, generate and nurture leads and create new customers? Make sure the company has the web development and online marketing knowledge to meet your goals, and consider a longer relationship. Most new businesses do not have the knowledge (or time) to invest in focused inbound marketing plan. Put the experts to work so you can focus on the nuts and bolts of your business.
If you are considering a website redesign, check out our free Seven Tricks of the Trade for a Successful Website Redesign Ebook
1MarketingSherpa, Feb. 2007
2 State of Inbound Marketing, Hubspot, Mar. 2012
3Hubspot, Lead Generation Lessons from 4,000 Businesses, 2011