Ready to rise about your competition and take your business to new heights? Whether you’re a new entrepreneur or looking to give your brand a revitalizing makeover, one crucial item on your checklist is a captivating website. In today’s digital age, where artificial intelligence and user-friendly website builders are taking the world by storm, the allure of venturing into the realm of web design alone is undeniable. After all, who wouldn’t want to channel their inner DIY spirit and save thousands of dollars by going solo? You might be asking yourself, should I hire a web designer in 2023? Below are the four (4) pivotal factors that make hiring a skilled web designer an investment you should consider.
#1 – User Experience
The visual layout of the website is key to accomplish several things. First off, you want to appeal your audience with a design layout that is easy to use and keeps your audience interested. Great web designers spend time researching and learning to understand the latest in layout trends and what truly works. Visual appeal consists of your brand representation, typography, white space, imagery and visual hierarchy. Again, great web designers understand how to take your brand and align that with the ideal layout with just enough white space, compliment with images and graphics and adequate structure or hierarchy.
Most consumers will make a decision within seconds to say on your website, so the visual appeal is vital.
Website Call to Action
A website call to action is the action you want customers to take e.g “order now”, “shop now”, “schedule a call”, etc. A common flaw I see is that the call to action is not consistent, especially on the home page, causing potential confusion. Another common flaw is using colors that don’t stand out or compliment your base colors. Ideally, your call to action button is emphasized to entice customers to take that action.
A great web designer can consult you on the right color scheme to use here to turn prospective customers into buying customers.
One of the most controversial topics in web design these days is website accessibility – specifically ADA and WCAG compliance. Believe it or not, only 3% of websites are fully accessible and compliant to meet ADA and WCAG compliance. Outside of avoiding a potential lawsuit, catering to the 20% of the population that do have some type of a disability makes business sense and is the right thing to do. As of June 2023, I started offering an awesome web accessibility service that you can try out on my website. I am one of the few web designers around that offers this service.
It’s unrealistic to expect a business owner, who is already busy with their own business, to know the standards and best practices to meet the compliance standards. This is why it’s key to find a web designer that assist with this area.
To learn more about this service and other services I offer, check my services page out.
#2 – Search Engine Optimization
Let’s face it – the landscape of SEO is changing. Most business owners are extremely busy and make not be able to keep up with the latest trends. I can tell you that Google is going to have some stiff competition. Bottom line: what worked yesterday will not work tomorrow. What’s at risk? Your position on Google and likelihood that you will be found by a random, local customer looking for your service or product.
Keyword research is critical to understand how you are or will be found on Google and/or Bing. Believe it or not, there is a difference between “dumpster rental wilmington nc” and “dumpster rentals in wilmington nc”. The difference could be several hundreds of customers and the potential to gain more business with one of the keywords versus the other. Having a skilled web designer and SEO specialist can take this task off your plate and help you rank for the appropriate keyword.
I recently helped a client improve his Google ranking propelling him from the 4th page to the 1st page. Read more here.
I know, I know. This article is going off the rails and getting a little too technical! Think of structured data the way that your website communicates with Google – specifically how you appear on Google to potential customers. Anytime you see a product with star ratings or FAQs automatically appearing in a Google search, it’s because the SEO specialist knew what they were doing!
Bottom line: as a busy business owner, hire a web design and/or SEO specialist (like myself) who knows what they’re doing.
#3 – Ongoing Maintenance
Before I logged off this past Friday, I logged into a tool I use that allows me to use all the websites I manage for my clients. This is a convenient tool because I can quickly see which website platforms need upgraded, and within those websites which tools or plugins need updated. There were several updates I was able to initiate and complete within minutes ensuring the safety, security and technical well-being of my client’s websites. WordPress and the builders that integrate with WordPress are constantly being upgraded to improve functionality, performance and remove bugs. What would happen if you didn’t address flaws in your product or service offerings that aren’t working?
This is one of the reasons why it makes sense to have a web designer looking out for the technical well-being of your website.
Restaurant menus change, products evolve, testimonials are given and our service offerings may change over time. As a busy business owner, does it make sense to have to do this yourself? Do you even feel comfortable doing it yourself? Back to SEO, what happens if Google and Bing change the way we approach search rankings? What happens if you never update or refresh your content on your website and Google thinks your stale, then chooses to ignore you?
Every great web design agency or individual should offer a plan or an add-on to assist with this very need. I would rather support your platform updates and content refreshes for the long haul. The alternative is a much more difficult lift after all the hard work to get your website where it was performing optimally.
#4 – Customization
I recently built an e-commerce website that required an in-depth conversation with the client to understand their workflow. The client wanted a tax exemption feature along with a way to create custom orders and allow for local pickup/free shipping within a 50 mile radius. Perhaps AI could have generated a solution — but applying that solution and tailoring to the website and the business owner’s workflow is another thing. Generally the more complex, the more customization and the greater need for a web designer. A skilled web designer should sit down with you and have a genuine conversation about your current state and build towards an ideal future state.
Business owners: where do you want to spend your time? Leave it to the web designers to find a difficult solution to even the most challenging problems to better propel your online presence.
User experience, SEO, ongoing maintenance and ability to customize are vital to your website and your relevancy in the online world. Creating an awesome user experience attracts and keeps your audience interested while SEO helps them find you. Ongoing maintenance are the oil changes, tire rotations and “tune-ups” that you need to keep your website moving. Customization can set you apart and help you replicate your unique business workflow or solution.
All of this considered, back to the question – should I hire a web designer in 2023? My answer is obviously YES – now I would ask you the same!
If you’re interested in my service offerings and what I had to say here, reach out to me and let’s have a conversation!
(Fellow web designers): My good friend and web design coach, Josh Hall from JoshHall.co, released a podcast in June 2023 that touches on the rise in AI and impact on web design jobs. If you are curious, check that episode out here.