Don’t make any hiring decisions before you’ve been over these three questions to ask a web design company.
Hiring a website designer can be challenging, especially in niche industries like moving & storage. There are tons of companies out there, and on paper, they look legitimate and capable. But how can you know that you won’t waste your time and money working with a website design company? Not all web designers can build a successful site for any industry, and you don’t have the time or resources to spend teaching an agency how to make a moving company website!
So why do you need a moving company website designer to build your site? First, you need a business-first agency. Most website design firms are led by techies, and nothing is wrong with techies. We do need them, but technical people are not typically good business people. In fact, they can be just the opposite. They are tremendous coders, strategists and artists, but if they don’t understand the basics of sales funnels or what a call-to-action means, then your new website is doomed from the beginning.
So, how should you shop when hiring a website designer? Learn the right questions to ask a web design company. Ask about their portfolio. They need to be talented designers and developers, but they also need to be great business people. We know how to choose a web design agency (because we are one!). Read on to learn the three essential questions to ask a web design company before you hire them.
Hiring A Website Designer That Knows How to Drive Leads
See that image above? That’s the beautiful sight of an empty call center.
If you get your website design company can build the right website for you from the start, you’ll never have to chase cold leads again!
If you are new to the field of website design, then be warned! A “beautiful-looking” site does not mean that it will ever get you a single sales lead. In fact, it is just the opposite. It probably will not get you any. We KNOW this because we are asked by dozens upon dozens of companies to take over their beleaguered website or start over by building a new one. We have the research to demonstrate and prove it.
We are not assessing blame here. That is not fair. Because when a website designer doesn’t know what they don’t know, they can hardly be found at fault. They just don’t have the deep knowledge that is required.
Do They Know Moving & Storage Websites?
The fact of the matter is, however, that you don’t have the time to experiment with a website design company who doesn’t know what they need to know about building websites for moving & storage companies in the United States and Canada. Time is money. You don’t have time to experiment. You want leads now. Hiring a specialized moving company website designer will mean the difference between getting leads from your site and not.
A website design for a moving and storage company should be a ‘sales funnel’ to get the prospect to fill out a quote form on your website. Now, that is not to say that the site shouldn’t be informative and educational. Of course, that is important. But only to the extent that it iss a part of the sales funnel strategy leading to a form submission.
Content is King: Do They Offer SEO?
Content experience is also key when hiring a designer for a moving company website. The niche is very tight, and experience goes a long way toward becoming visible on searches. Page one is where the leads are. If you aren’t on page one, then you can expect that your website will be a profit drain and not a profit center. If the website design company you choose can produce good, entertaining and informative content, written from experience in the industry and with data gathered from over a decade in the industry, it means that you can expect to see results.
There are a few new companies soliciting website design business from moving companies. “Moving and Storage” is an $18 billion a year business in the United States, so this is only logical. But you must assess if they have the experience to really design a winning site.
The Warranty: Will They Be by Your Side When Things Go Wrong?
Websites break. This is a reality that professional website developers know intimately. Plug-ins update, employees accidentally change vital code, the list goes on and on. When you are hiring a website designer, make sure that they offer a warranty after launch, and make sure they will still be there when the site breaks after the warranty period.
When you have been working with major moving and storage companies since 2010 and have built dozens and dozens of moving and storage websites, you learn and grow, and pass that knowledge on to your clients. That is important when choosing a website design company: How long have they been in business? Are they a real company with real offices in the United States, or are a so-called virtual agency with no offices and based on a cell phone or someone’s apartment? Sure, they might do acceptable work, but will they be there for you if the site breaks or you need help?
Did They Answer “YES?”
So, if the answer to these three questions is “yes,” then you should move forward. It means the website design company has experience in your industry, they know how to make your site visible and they’ll be there when/if the site breaks. No questions asked.
Top designers and top coders are not cheap. Be wary of low-cost quotes. A reasonable price for a moving and storage company website with all of the pages optimized to world-class standards, and features that you will need to compete with other movers who are looking to steal your business is between $8,000-$15,000. If that sounds like a lot of money to you, you are not going to win the battle for page rank on Google, and that is all that matters in the battle for business in the moving and storage industry today.
We have given up on “sugar coating” what movers need to do to get sales leads to provide another channel of revenue for their salespeople. We talk to hundreds of moving and storage owners a year. We speak at AMSA. We know the business. We know its pluses. We know its minuses.
We know how to win.
And, it is also very important to note that a brand new, totally optimized website may never show anywhere near page one of Google. Why? It continually needs to be optimized. Why? Because the competition is constantly optimizing their websites to take your business. You must continually optimize to take their business.
So what do moving and storage company owners who are looking to build a new website need to know beyond the facts outlined above, and to recap;
- Techies are generally not great sales people…often hard to reach and hard to manage.
- “Beautiful websites” may not get you one sales lead.
- Moving & Storage website experience is a must. You don’t have time to experiment.
- Your new website must be a sales funnel to get sales leads.
- How long have they been in business? They need to be a resource for you.
- Does the website design firm run out of an office, or is it “virtual”? Very important when something goes wrong.
- What should a new website cost that is built to win, compete and get sales leads? Between $8,000-15,000 as a base. Many movers spend far more.
What You Need in A Website Designer
Lastly, I want to leave you with some industry research. These are the three criteria that our survey of over 500 businesses, compiled by Smart Advantage, Inc., said was most important to them as far as generalized factors go in selecting a website development company.
What to look for in a web designer:
- Ability to respond quickly (change requests, upgrades, bug fixes, etc.)
- Firm grants full ownership of final product and source code to client.
- Firm’s ability to assess client’s needs and incorporate them.
You must insist on the above when contracting with your website development company. Good luck!