5 Questions to Ask Your Web Design Company

Hiring a web design company is a smart move for many small businesses. Getting help with your web design and digital marketing can actually save you money, and it lets you focus on running the amazing business that you are featuring on your website.

When it comes time to hire that web design company, they are probably going to ask you lots of questions about your business, your target audience, your goals, and more. Before you dive into the project, though, make sure to ask a few questions of your own. The answers to the following questions will help ensure you are hiring the right web design partner for your project.

What similar projects have you done in my industry?

Experience is great, and your web design company should have plenty of it. However, before you hire a web design company, you want to make sure their experience is relevant to your industry. A company with 10 years of experience in designing websites in the legal field probably can’t offer you much assistance in the arts field, for example.

Look instead for a web design company that has completed similar projects to yours in your field. Need a complete website redesign for your floral business? Want a custom website for your insurance company? Need some landing pages for your clothing store? Make sure your web design company has dealt with it all before. By doing so, you ensure that your web design partner understands your needs and how to meet them.

What services do you offer?

While the creation of a website is a good first step, chances are that you will need more than that in the long run. A digital marketing campaign can help you boost your online presence and drive traffic to your website. A search engine optimization campaign can improve your visibility in the search results. Regular maintenance can keep your website running smoothly.

When you hire a web design company, you have the opportunity to find one that offers you all of those services. Finding a company that can offer you a wide range of services allows you to build a rich marketing campaign that drives traffic and conversions on your website. Plus, you can get all the help you need in one location, which is really convenient and potentially less expensive than hiring multiple companies to meet your online needs.

What does the web design process look like?

Before you hire a web design company, you also need to know what the web design process will look like. What you want to see is a process that (1 Is focused on understanding and meeting your specific needs and (2 is streamlined and clear.

For example, a web design company that cannot outline the process they will follow to complete your project is one you want to avoid. Similarly, a web design company that details your project without asking you about your brand or vision should also drop off your list of candidates.

Instead, the right web design company will spend time getting to know your company and your project needs. In addition, they will be able to outline a process that is clear, easy to understand, and focused on your needs.

What happens after the project is completed?

Once your web design project is completed, you will probably need ongoing maintenance and support to keep your site running smoothly. As a result, you need to make sure that the web design company you hire will be able to offer that support.

In particular, look for a web design company that offers maintenance packages so you do not have to stay on top of routine tasks, like checking for broken links, yourself. In addition, look for a web design company that allows you to track your website performance through analytics and explains those analytics clearly to you

What will the timeline and the budget of the project be?

Finally, make sure to check that you understand the timeline and the budget of the project. You may have a deadline or budget in mind but find that the web design company you are considering cannot accommodate those needs. Or, you may find that the web design company does not want to commit to a particular timeline or budget. In these instances, you may want to keep looking for a company that can meet your deadline and budget.

Web design projects allow you to create a compelling and unforgettable online presence. To that end, look for a web design company that can meet your needs and create the look you need to stand out.

Here at Distinct Web Design, we are happy to answer any questions you have about your web design project. With experience in everything from web design to digital marketing, a variety of support packages from which you can choose, and a commitment to meeting our customers’ needs, we can take on your web design project. Don’t hesitate to reach out today.

Why Small Business Marketing Should Go Beyond Word of Mouth

Word of mouth is the marketing strategy of choice for many small businesses. It’s cheap; it’s easy, and it gets the word out about your business to your community. And, any small business marketing campaign based solely on word of mouth probably isn’t going to succeed.

Before you argue that word of mouth has worked just fine for growing your small business, consider how much better you could be doing if you went beyond this strategy in your small business marketing. Here are a few good reasons to go beyond word of mouth to create a truly effective small business marketing campaign.

Word of mouth has limited reach.

While the goal of word of mouth advertising is to get people talking to their friends and family about your business, chances are your reach will always be limited with this approach to small business marketing.

Even if all of your customers told everyone they know about your business, your reach would only extend through their networks. And, many of the people in those networks wouldn’t be interested in your products and services.

If you want to reach a wide audience, and make sure your message reaches the people who are actually interested in what you have to offer, you have to do more with your small business marketing. Word of mouth will limit your influence and spread your message to the wrong people. You need strategies that are specifically intended to tell the right people what you have to offer.

Word of mouth can be negative.

You know how amazing it feels when a happy customer sends their good friend over to you? That feeling makes word of mouth marketing seem like a great idea. And it is true that word of mouth can earn you customers.

But what about that time a disgruntled customer told all their friends to avoid your business? Word of mouth cost you business in that case. If ¬†you don’t have a marketing strategy in place to counteract those bad reviews, you’re likely to keep losing business, especially if the unhappy customer takes their negative review online.

If you want to counteract negative word of mouth reviews, and promote your business in a way that is always positive, you need another approach to small business marketing.

Word of mouth messaging is hard to control.

Sure, you want people talking about your business. However, the tricky part is that you don’t know what they are going to say.

For example, say you sell clothing with a focus on affordable but stylish pieces. You don’t want customers telling their networks that your prices are high.

Unfortunately, if you rely on word of mouth for your small business marketing, you don’t control the message people get about your business. The only message people hear about your business is what your customers tell them. If you want to be sure your audiences are getting the message you want them to hear, you need to go beyond word of mouth in your small business marketing.

Word of mouth spreads slowly.

It will naturally take time to see the results of any of your small business marketing endeavors. However, word of mouth tends to work more slowly than do other forms of small business marketing.

The slowness with which word of mouth works is due primarily to the fact that it takes time for people to talk to their networks, for those individuals to choose to try your business, for them to further spread the word about your business, and so forth.

In the meantime, you need a way to reach your target audience quickly. You need additional strategies in your small business marketing arsenal.

If you are ready to move beyond word of mouth, reach out to Distinct Web Design. We offer digital marketing strategies that will allow your small business to shine.

 

Benefits of Hiring a WordPress Developer

WordPress is, hands down, the most popular content management system (CMS) for building websites. Versatile, customizable, easy to use, and inexpensive, it is ideal for many businesses. One of its most appealing features is the fact that non-technical individuals can use WordPress to set up a basic website.

With the DIY version of WordPress available, why would businesses choose to hire a WordPress developer? The simple answer is that a WordPress developer delivers more options and support. Here is a little bit of a closer look at the advantages of hiring a WordPress developer.

A WordPress developer can customize your site.

DIY WordPress may be easy and inexpensive, but it has its limitations. The biggest one? The inability to customize your site. You have many themes and plugins from which to choose, but you can’t build new ones, or tweak the existing ones, without some technical expertise.

A WordPress developer possesses the expertise you need to build a site that is fully tailored to your business. This professional can actually build new themes and plugins for you to use on your WordPress site. That means no cookie cutter appearance for you, and exactly the functionality your site needs to thrive.

A WordPress developer can deliver this level of customization because they are deeply familiar with WordPress and with the coding languages necessary to work within the CMS. They aren’t limited to what already exists, so they can add, tweak, and rework whatever they need to get you the perfect site for your business.

A WordPress developer can keep your site secure.

Handling a WordPress site on your own might be possible from a design standpoint. You can definitely plug your site into the theme you want or add some of your favorite plugins. When it comes to preventing hacking and keeping your clients’ data safe, though, DIY might not cut it.

Creating a secure website requires expertise, ongoing attentiveness, and up to date knowledge. Since even big-name websites have fallen prey to hacking, you’re going to want a WordPress developer to help protect your site.

A WordPress developer possesses both the knowledge and the expertise necessary to build in the security you need. For example, they can create secure plugins ad well as maintain the security of plugins and other features that need to be updated regularly. If you need other security features, like secure payment gateways or SSL certificates, a WordPress developer can help you with those, too.

A WordPress developer provides technical support.

It isn’t a matter of if but a matter of when. At some point, you will encounter problems with your website. There are many potential issues that could pop up. You might, for instance, find that a page is returning an error message instead of loading properly. A link may be broken. A plugin might break. You may discover that your site has been hacked.

Regardless of the specific issue, website problems can lead to fewer visitors and conversions. The longer the problem persists, the more customers and money you lose.

It can be difficult to solve these problems if you lack technical or coding expertise. Resolving the issues, therefore, can take significant time and cost you a surprising amount of money.

A WordPress developer can offer you the technical support you need to handle problems with your website. This professional, for example, can conduct regular maintenance on your site to prevent problems like broken links. In addition, when problems do occur, the WordPress developer can resolve the issue for you efficiently.

A WordPress developer is a strong ally to have in the fight to create and maintain an effective website. Their expertise allows them to customize your site. It allows them to create a secure site and to offer the technical support that you need.

If you want the support of an experienced WordPress developer, reach out to Distinct Web Design. We will do more than create a WordPress site using standard plugins and themes. Instead, we will customize your site to create exactly the look and functionality you need.

Up for a Challenge? Small Business Marketing Challenges that Your Digital Marketing Strategy Can Overcome

Running a small business comes with lots of challenges, are we right? While embracing challenges is probably part of the reason you became an entrepreneur in the first place, you also want solutions to the problems you face as a small business owner.

 

When it comes to small business marketing, there are certain issues that may arise. Unfortunately, these issues often discourage small businesses from putting their best foot forward. However, you are an entrepreneur. Challenges are nothing to be scared of, especially with the right support. Here are the biggest small business marketing challenges, and how to overcome them.

Small Business Marketing Challenge 1: No Time

When you are a small business owner, time is usually in short supply. When you have to act as HR, accounting, purchasing, marketer, and more, you can guess how much attention the marketing receives.

Faced with time crunches, many small business owners opt to ignore small business marketing. Word of mouth is probably enough, anyway, they think.

The problem is that word of mouth just isn’t enough. In an increasingly digital age, people want to connect with your business online. Digital marketing is a necessity.

Lucky for you, small business marketing is within your grasp. With a digital marketing company to help, you can create the time you need to promote your business.

Small Business Marketing Challenge 2: No Money

Small businesses usually mean small budgets. Those purse strings are tight, and making the most of every dollar is usually the difference between being in the black and being in the red for the month.

Tight budgets can mean, therefore, that small business marketing simply feels too expensive. How can you afford a digital marketing agency’s help? How do you build an effective Google AdWords campaign on the money available for marketing? How can you be sure that you are making every dollar count?

When a lack of funds feels insurmountable, take heart: The right digital marketing agency can actually help you save money. How? By helping you allocate your dollars for maximum ROI, and by introducing you to money-saving strategies. And, at least here at Distinct, we can do all that within your budget.

Small Business Marketing Challenge 3: No Visibility

Visibility is pretty important in marketing. How can people visit your store if they don’t know it exists? But in small business marketing, getting seen can be difficult.

Word of mouth might only reach a small segment of your target audience. Newspaper ads might only get the word out about your business to your local neighborhoods, and only to those few people left who actually read the paper.

The solution to this small business marketing challenge is to adopt strategies that have a wider reach. Namely, you need some digital strategies.

Plus, you need to use these digital strategies effectively. If your website only shows up on page 3 of the search results, for example, you might actually be better off with that newspaper ad.

However, once you get seen online, you are more likely to be seen by the people who will want to check out your store. Finding the right strategies, and using them well, is key.

Here at Distinct Web Design, we specialize in helping small businesses solve their small business marketing challenges. We offer customized digital marketing solutions, and we offer them within your budget. You might be surprised at how far a little bit of money can go when you use it strategically.

The next time you face a small business marketing challenge, let us know. We have the answer for you.

Target Your Digital Marketing Campaign With These Tips

Digital marketing campaigns are pretty important for small businesses. They allow you to promote yourself alongside the big guys without blowing your budget. But what happens if your digital marketing campaign doesn’t get seen by the people who would be interested in your goods or services. It wouldn’t be very effective, would it?

That is why, before you craft a digital marketing campaign, you need to figure out who you want to reach with your campaign. Called your target audience, these people are the ones who will be interested in your business. They are the ones you want to talk to. For example, they are the brides looking for custom bridal bouquets, the owners of used cars who need a reliable mechanic, or the home gardeners looking for mulch.

If you want to figure out who your target audience is, there are a few steps you can take. Here are the strategies you can use to identify your target audience with your digital marketing campaign.

Step 1: Check your current client base.

The first step in identifying the target audience for your digital marketing campaign is to look at who your current clients are. The people who already buy from you are clearly part if the group of people you want to reach with your digital marketing campaign.

As a result, spend some time talking to your current clients. Use surveys, emails, phone calls, and even discussions in your brick and mortar store to take the pulse of your current clients. Look for answers to the following questions:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Income Level
  • Education Level
  • Why do you shop here?
  • How did you hear about us?
  • What made you decide to check out our store to begin with?

Talking to your current customer base will give you insight into the people who already know about your brand. Your digital marketing campaign can then target these individuals by speaking to them in a way that they will find to be appealing and convincing.

Step 2: Check out the people your competition is targeting.

Of course, there might be people you are not yet attracting who would be very interested in the goods and services you offer. Identifying those groups means looking beyond the people you already attract. Instead, look at what your competition is doing.

Now, hopefully, you know that copying your competition is the best way to dilute your brand. Your digital marketing campaign will need to focus on what makes your brand unique if you want to succeed.

However, you can gain valuable insights by looking at your competition. Are they targeting a group you never considered, like wedding planners for your bridal bouquets? On the other hand, are they failing to target a group that you feel could benefit from your goods and services?

See what your competition is doing, and see if there are any target audiences you can adopt that would enrich your digital marketing campaign.

Step 3: Evaluate your business.

Once you evaluate your current customers and your competition, you will need to evaluate your own business. In particular, you need to identify the ways in which your business stands out and the benefits your business has to offer.

For example, you need to decide how your florist shop differs from the one down the street. What products and services do you offer that they do not? What benefits do you provide?

Once you determine what your business has to offer, you can evaluate how those things match up with certain groups’ pain points.

For example, do you offer custom bouquets? Maybe those bouquets appeal to young men between 25 and 40 who need a special gift for a special event. Or maybe you offer the lowest prices around. Use those distinguishing characteristics in your digital marketing campaign to reach the right audiences.

Finding the right target audience for your digital marketing campaign is important. Let us at Distinct help you do it. With experience and skills to help you identify your target audience, and then reach them with your digital marketing campaign, we can help you attract new customers and make your presence known online.