do it simply - Help and Advice

Is your website designer asking the right questions?

“No one has asked me these questions before.”

This is what a client said to me recently, and it got me thinking.  What sort of questions should your website design company ask? Or even, what shouldn’t they be asking?

I think the worst question most people hear from a designer is ‘what do you want?’.  This is so not helpful.  If you knew what you wanted you wouldn’t have looked for a web designer.

As a designer/developer my job isn’t to just create your website.  My job is also to be a business consultant, technical support, SEO advisor, and content writer.  I need all of these skills in some degree to be able to help my customers.  If I can’t do this, I am failing you.

Now, I’m not saying I should be an expert in all of these areas, but I should be knowledgable to the point of offering advice.  Whether that advice is what I can do for you, or whether it’s to recommend someone who can, I have to be able to talk about all of them knowledgeably.

Maybe we should take a step back and look at this website stuff.  Why the heck do you want/need a site anyway?  It really isn’t ‘just because everyone else does’, anymore.  Your website’s job is to support, help, and improve your business.  If the person you hire doesn’t understand this, or worse doesn’t understand how a site can do this, it’s time to look somewhere else.

As my previously mentioned client said to me.  “I have all of this info in my head, but I don’t know how to get it out, or what you need.  You have been asking the questions that no-one else has.”

And here I thought I was just annoying, digging into the why behind their business.  I can be tenacious getting to the root of something and I also have a tendancy to show people where their thinking is flawed.  Maybe if I’m trying to make new friends this would be a fault, but when I am trying to reassure and win clients, this has got to be the best way to go.

So what are some of these questions?

Here are a couple of broad ones that help give a designer a bigger picture

1.Why are you buliding a new website now? Has something happened in your business to initiate this?

2.Who is your perfect customer?  Why do they hire/buy from/visit you?

Having a simple discussion around these 2 things should give your designer or developer a chance to dig in and really understand your business and what you do.  These 2 questions can lead into many different directions and which ever one you go in, it should help create a better website.

From here your website design company should start digging in to how your site can do 1 of 2 things, or both.

  1. 1.Get you more customers

  2. 2.Save you time so you can get more customers

Ultimately, the number one goal of any money you spend on your business should be to get you more customers.  If not, then why are you spending it?

As a business owner you need to know that who you hire is going to help you and your business.  If they start the discussion with you confused about what you do and can’t seem to ask the right questions to find out, please look for help elsewhere.

If  you would like a more comprehensive list of questions I ask, just enter your email below.  Take it to the next meeting you have with a web design company and see what happens.

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