Insight on what to look for

Separate the high-quality designers from those who are doing your branding for the sole purpose of money (quality is usually very low with these companies):

The Approach

Look for what questions the representative will ask you.
If they ask internal questions such as, “if money was no object, what would be your ideal branding and web design?”
This means they want to get you what you want in your budget and they want to see your business grow.
If they ask nothing to provoke your imagination, chances are, you are just another job for them and they are not invested in you.

How is my website going to be designed and developed?

The Design and Development

The most common….. If they give you one design that is responsive to mobile, tablet and desktop. This is very easy to do and would probably take you 1 – 3 weeks to learn. You will not have an original design and chances are low you will bring clients in through this method.
If each device is a different project and design for mobile, tablet and desktop, then you are on the right track. This is a longer process, but any device your clients view your website on will be flawless and unique. You will have a high chance of getting more clients to work with you this way.
*One way to tell a high-quality web design from a low quality one, is to look at the menu on a mobile device. If it’s a menu that is graphically designed and looks different. This is a high-end design.
If the menu looks like something you have seen before, you are working with a low-end design company.

Do they have any software that takes a video or tracks how a prospect views your site?

How your prospects navigate your site is very important.

A good design company will be consistently improving your website to give you the greatest return on your investment. No design company really knows how your ideal client will navigate your site, until tested.
They should have some resource to figure out the most intuitive way a client should navigate your website to get started with you.

Ask about their SEO process (Process to get you found online)

If they say they give you a certain number of keywords and they will get you on the first page for those words without a monthly plan; they are probably going to do work the first month, let it sit and pray for results.
Look for a monthly plan, where they lay out what they will do each month to improve your ranking. Ask for companies they previously got on the first page of Google.

Ask for examples of their marketing collateral (business cards, direct mail, letterheads):

Look at the material they use for their business card, not just the design. A high-end design company knows the material is just as important as the design. How does it feel? Is it different? Does it have the “Wow” factor?

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