Keeping Out the Customers

Daz over at On SEO Pond writes a great post How many enquiries are you missing out on?

Sadly this happens far too often online too. How many times do you email a company and get no response? Or a response that takes 5 days. I can’t see the point of having a website if you don’t reply to enquiries or take your time in doing so?

Online your website and fast communication is how you are judged. What sort of impression are you making?

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Do You Google Yourself?

I had the pleasure of meeting a new client today. He told me a little about his history (he’s been on TV) and I mentioned I had read some of it after Googling him. He hadn’t heard of being Googled before. Which I also hear from many clients, friends and family.

So question: do you Google yourself?

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Are You Hiring a Professional Web Designer?

I came across a person this week who was offering web design services whilst asking how to build a website. Yup, seriously. While most cases aren’t that blatant it does happen far more often than it should.

A professional web designer is your partner in online success. They can help make or break your online venture. So with that in mind it’s vital you hire a professional that, as well as understanding web design, has knowledge about selling online, internet marketing and building brand and business credibility.

One of the hardest parts of selecting a professional web designer is knowing what to look for. So whilst this list is not exhaustive it should help arm you with the knowledge you need to make a wise choice.

As a starting point you want to make sure your potential website designer:

  • Provides examples of previous sites they’ve designed.
  • Offers testimonials from real people.
  • Has an understanding not only of web design but usability, search engine optimisation, search friendly design, marketing, blogs etc, etc. They don’t have to be experts in each of these fields but some knowledge and the ability to partner with people who can offer these services is vital.
  • Understands that a website not only has to look good but achieve your goals – such as lead generation, subscriptions, sign ups or sales.

The internet is a fast paced medium and keeping up to date with technology and trends is also important. You’re web designer should also:

  • Keep up to date with design trends – as long as they fit a site’s goals.
  • Move with technology – are they still designing using tables or CSS/XHTML?
  • Follow online marketing trends.

Taking into account the tips above, spend some time researching potential web designers and either talk to them on the phone or in person. This will help you get a feel for them, their knowledge and how it would be to work with them. It should also help you determine whether you’re dealing with a professional or not.

Good luck!

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3 of My Favourite Web Design Books

I’m a book lover. Everything about books, from their smell and design to the content inside appeals to me. So you can imagine my pleasure when discovering great books about my other great passion – web design. So without further ado here’s 3 of my current favourite web design books:

  1. Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug As much about usability as web design, this book is one of the best resources on building effective websites. As Steve says:

It’s a fact: People won’t use your website if they can’t find their way around it.

  1. The Big Red Fez by Seth Godin A simple, straight forward book focusing on how to make any website better. Again focused on usability as much as web design The Big Red Fez provides real world examples of what it takes to create a website that satisfies your visitors and ensures they keep coming back.

  2. The CSS Anthology by Rachel Andrew As a relative newcomer to CSS this book provides practical solutions to building a CSS, standards compliant website.

This list is by no means exhaustive but it’s a great start. I’ll keep adding to it as I discover new books I love. It’s also an excuse to keep buying them. ;)

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It’s Called Karma Baby

Customers Are Always blog has a great post Enthusiasm, Spirituality, and Karma in Business. I particularly like this quote:

Yes, I truly believe that there is such a thing as karma in business. What you give comes back to you tenfold.

I couldn’t agree more. A number of years ago I did a blog design for a friend, free of charge. Another acquaintance noticed me for that design and recently I have started doing some web design and blog designs for them. Without doing that first site I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been recognised by my new client.

I never did the original blog design expecting anything but sometimes what goes around comes around.

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