20 years ago, a business could succeed without having a website, but it’s no longer an optional feature. If you want your business to be noticed, you have to invest in a website.

Before you just go throw cash at any web design company, you need to answer these 3  questions first.

What are the goals for your website?

If you have no idea how to answer, we’ll give you some suggestions.

Generally your goals as a business owner should be to generate leads, automate the sales process, increase sales, and ultimately make more money.

How your business accomplishes these goals will vary depending on your industry. Your business could use direct methods like lead generation and e-commerce , or indirect methods like branding to win your clients though generating content.

The best growth practices will involve both direct and indirect methods.

You should know this when searching for a website designer. They should be able to tell you how they will help achieve your goals. They should be giving you more then an awesome landing page, but tools to grow your business.

Knowing your goals will take some research and self-awareness before you even talk to a designer, but it’ll increase your chances of success for your website.

How are people going to find your website?

You could build a website that kills it, one that could move even the most indifferent viewer to awe. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to be seen by anyone.

The prettiest websites, are not always the ones to show up in Google. If your website isn’t user friendly, or optimized for SEO, you definitely will not appear high up on Google’s pages.

How will people find your website? Sure people can google your company name, but chances are, that will be customers who’ve already bought from you.

You want your website to help get you new leads, not be a brochure for existing customers.

The real point of your website is to give you a voice to reach customers you previously would not had access to. Steve, who you’ve never spoke to before, or Justine, who’s considering going with your competitor.

Making a site easy for search engines to read will make them rank you higher than other websites, because they’ll see you as an expert on your subject matter. Effectively ranking your site higher in search results.

What should you pay for a website?

There’s no flat line rate to give you for this category.

The reality is some website designs will do things for cheap, and give you no return, and some expensive designers will you also give you no return for your investment.

You could have a quote from two different companies, one for $5,000 and one for $10,000.

The $5,000 site may show you a return of $2,000 a month and the $10,000 site might not show any return on your investment but looks really pretty.

You could also have two designers, one that charges $20/hour and one that charges $200/hour. The designer who charges $200/hour may be able to complete a project faster and less expensively than the one that charges $20/hour, who could take ten times longer to complete the project.

What you need to look at is value, not the price tag! This is an investment and not an

expense. Whatever website design you pick should be giving you a return investment and not just a pretty landing page.

Pro tip; if a company you’re considering to build your website does not mention a return on investment for you, run away! Chances are they’re not going to treat your website as an investment.

Really the best way to get a return on investment for your site is to know what your goals are, and then ask a designer you trust for the price. Having a general idea of what your business could afford is key, but you don’t want to go with the lowest bidder and end up with nothing to show for it.

To sum everything up

If you want just a fancy website, you can go with anyone off of craigslist to build you a website.

But, if you want to treat your website as an investment tool rather than a cumbersome cost, answer the above questions, and find a web designer who will provide solutions for those questions.

Talk to Designers who know what they’re doing

Give us a call , we’ll show you what it’s like to work with experts, and we will not sell you on anything that we don’t believe will show you a return on investment.