Website Design FAQs
Some commonly asked questions (and answers) about having a website built:
+ Can't I just go on to Wix or Squarespace and build it myself?
While it's true that most people can go online and build a 'pretty website' it's a huge mistake to think it will perform well just because it looks nice. It would be like building your dream home from a kit you ordered online. Eventually (and often immediately), you'll end up paying for the 'unseen' mistakes.
Can you customize a site using CSS? Are you familiar with SEO best practices for the current year (they change constantly)? Do you know how to maximize your metadata? Are you ranking well in Google? Is your site traffic increasing? Are you using your analytics to set goals and make money for your business? If yes, then awesome! You can probably build a kick ass website. If no, don't worry. You're in the right place. Let's talk about how I can help.
+ How much should a website designer or marketing consultant cost?
I set my rates based on three factors; industry rates, years of experience, and demand. There are some great independent resources online to help you research reasonable rates for web design and marketing consulting. Start with this cost guide.
It's important to note that freelancers (like myself), are more cost effective in the long run because we don't require company benefits such as health insurance, office supplies, training, and other overhead items typically covered for full time employees of your business. Freelancers are not ideal for all business types though. In general, the cost benefits are maximized for small to medium sized businesses who like to remain agile and flexible with their online marketing.
+ How long does it take to build a website?
In general, an average website with very little complex, customized coding will take anywhere from 1-5 months. I have a 4-step design process so there is full transparency in how I build a site. More often than not, any delays encountered have to do with providing your web designer with copy and photography so make sure you consider those things before getting started on your new site!
+ Why should I hire a freelance Marketing Consultant vs. hiring in-house?
In addition to not having to pay for things like healthcare, office space, materials and training, there are many benefits of hiring a Freelance Marketing Consultant. It's not the right fit for every company but I find that many medium sized businesses (50+ employees) benefit most from the flexibility of hiring an expert for specific projects on an 'as needed' basis to minimize long term costs.
- only paying for the projects you need, when you need them
- having the guidance of an expert without the cost of employing an expert full time
- reduced costs in the long term
+ Why are websites so expensive?!
As with most purchases, a website should be considered an investment. It's often hard for people to understand the value of something that is intangible and lives in the inter webs! But it's 2017 my friend. Almost everything is virtual. Your website is one of the single most valuable assets your company has when it comes to generating new business.
Your site is not only the first impression of your brand for most people, it's also the window to your business's soul. How your site looks and functions says volumes about your brand. How many times have you Googled or cyber-stalked a business you were considering buying a product or service from?
Cost is relative but believe me when I say, a lot of hard work and passion goes into every site designed and it's an investment that should pay dividends in the months and years to come.
+ Can you get me on Page 1 of Google?
Ah the elusive 'Page 1 Ranking'. While I have achieved page 1 and 2 results for past clients the short answer is 'maybe' followed by an honest 'there's never a guarantee'.
Every site I build is done with SEO best practices in mind. I'll work with you to understand the key phrases and your target audience and do my level best to pull you up in the rankings organically (read: no shady stuff!). Anyone who promises you more than that is, well...shady.
+ What platform do you use?
I'm a huge advocate of Squarespace and design exclusively on their platform. Why? Several reasons...
The CMS (content management system aka the back end) is super intuitive which means when I hand over your beautiful new website, I'll be able to show you how to update it yourself easily. That means you will be less reliant on hiring someone to help you with every little thing you want to update unless you want to.
The customer support is second to none. Chat. Email. Phone.
I've worked hard to become an Expert Member of their invitation-only Developer program which means I'm an active member of a community of developers who beta test new features and help shape the future of their capabilities.
They are, and continue to be, cutting edge. Innovation is crucial when choosing a website host. Squarespace is the best of the best and they host websites around the world. They're not going to up and disappear on us.
+ Can you help me get a domain?
Yes of course! Many domains are relatively inexpensive ($10-30 per year) and can be billed annually with your hosting fees.
Want to find out how much your domain will cost? You can go to sites like GoDaddy for prices and availability or you can email me and I'll let you know if it's available and how much it is listed for.
Some commonly asked questions (and answers) about search engine optimization:
+ How do I find out if my site has Google Analytics?
If you do not have a Gmail Account for your business (or personal) you likely do not have Analytics. A few ways to find out for sure:
- Ask your web designer if they installed it.
- Load a web page in the Chrome browser.
- From the browser menu, select View.
- Select Developer, then View Source.
- Still stuck? Drop me a line and I'll help you.
+ Why do I need Google Analytics for my website?
Four words. It's free. It's valuable.
Even if you don't look at it for months or years after installing, please do yourself and favor and make sure you install Google Analytics on your website. Like, now. Because here's the thing; it's collecting data in the background without you having to do a thing. The more data you collect the more helpful it will be to your business. How? With Google Analytics you can:
Get to know your website audience (age, gender, hobbies, geographic location, and much more).
Understand what's working, and what's not, on your website.
Set goals for your website and actively grow your audience.
Collect more (and better) leads and email addresses.
Essentially providing you with the data you need to make smart choices about how to spend your time and marketing money to effectively grow your business.
+ If Google Analytics is free, why do I need your help?
Many businesses find Google Analytics to be overwhelming. There is an absolute TON of data to look at. Not to mention Google has it's own language within Analytics. The terminology can be difficult to decipher for newbies and understanding which pieces of data are useful to your business can be mind boggling.
Time is precious, you want to use your time wisely. That's where I come in.
I'll sift through all the data and pull out the most relevant information to your business, or as I like to call it, the 'gold nuggets'. Then I'll take it one step further and present this information to you in a way that makes sense and provide you with a roadmap for how to USE that data to grow your business. Sound good? Great, drop me a line!