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    Selecting an e-commerce web design firm that gets straight to the point: your Q & A’s

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    Does your website deserve an update or a better e-commerce solution? Are you taking the first steps in creating a new website for your company, but are not sure where to start? Either way, there’s no doubt that selecting the best e-commerce web design company will be a pivotal decision to navigate the whole process. Selecting the right web design agency could be the difference between a website that goes up smoothly in a short amount of time, and a website disaster from beginning to end, with lots of hang-ups in between.

    Marketing strategy

    A successful web marketing strategy starts with clear project goals and strategies. Focus your initial strategy on the following questions, and your project will get off the right foot.

    • Does the immediate work plan fit seamlessly into your long-term vision and objectives for your company’s website?
    • Are the sales, marketing and business objectives aligned with the services or products that the company offer?

    Most web design companies can throw together a website in a relatively short period of time; however, it’s important that your long-term goals are acknowledged. If you plan on offering more products or changing products, make sure that it can easily be integrated into the solution that you’re provided.

    • Does the company provide samples or a portfolio of their work, that you find visually appealing and representative of high quality work?
    • Can the company provide case studies that connect website design to the client’s branding?
    • Are you able to clearly identify the marketing objectives of each client in the samples provided by the company?

    This might be the single most important factor in designing your e-commerce website. You want to work with a company that understands what you are selling and how to translate that into a virtual storefront that will sell. If you don’t like the samples, chances are that you won’t like their work. And if the case studies they display don’t apply to your market, you may want to look for other possibilities.

    • Does your web design company understand your niche market?
    • Are they able to connect your offline marketing with online sales?
    • Do the materials that you provided for your offline marketing integrate into the online e-commerce design?

    Is the company able to provide specific details about the development of the website?

    Once you’ve found a web marketing strategy that works with your company’s goals and objectives, you will need to find out more specific details about their experience in website development. Knowing the following details will help you select a web design company that you can work with:

    • What types of technologies are they able to use, such as PHP, ColdFusion, .NET, and what benefits do they provide the client and end users?
    • Do they hold certification in these technologies?
    • Does their web platform indicate that it will still be a viable technology in the future?

    Are the costs clearly defined upfront?

    Nothing is more frustrating than to hammer out the details of your website design, and not be able to get a clearly quoted proposal to finish the work. Make sure that all of the figures quoted include hosting, domain purchase, CMS, training,  support and maintenance of the website. Find out how long the quote is good for and make sure that there are no hidden fees.

    Is search engine optimization part of the e-commerce website design?

    • Does the company clearly explain their SEO objectives or are they mostly concerned with back-end code and web design?
    • Has the company worked with you on researching a keyword list to use in meta data?
    • Can the company explain the various objectives associated with SEO, such as page titles, descriptions, tags, internal and external linking?

    The fact of the matter is that a good website is much more than the final appearance of the website. There are lots of moving parts involved in e-commerce website design. If your website design doesn’t integrate optimization, even the most effective and well-designed websites will be overlooked by search engines. It is imperative that your website design company understands that SEO and design are equally important.

    Ben’J Thibeault

    About Ben’J Thibeault

    Armed with a strategic mind and an eye for great creative, Ben’J Thibeault leads the web development team. In addition to his experience in digital marketing, Ben’J suceed a BAA in Marketing and a MBA in Marketing. He helped launch in the growth of many websites and selling his own e-commerce business..

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