When we first started in web design years ago, we thought it was just going to be a matter of creating a website and then moving on to the next project. As the internet and social media have evolved and we have built deeper relationships with our clients, it’s evident that we are going to be wearing many more hats than just that of the designer
Clients are reaching out and asking for help with content creation, SEO, and social media. They seem to prefer a one-stop shop. They want a company that will help them with all of their online marketing.
The biggest obstacle when helping a company with website development is content. Most people don’t realize how much work it is to gather the information for their website. It requires considerable input and/or writing on the client’s part during the development process. In the past, our role was often to use customer developed information and make sure it looked nice. These days, we are taking on a deeper understanding of our clients and their businesses, so that we can provide guidance on what information will make the most sense online. We even assist with writing!
It is becoming easier for a business owner to create a generic website for their company. As much as it pains us to admit this, you can create a decent (not great) looking website on a do-it-yourself platform like Weebly. However, after years of building websites, we have the knowledge and experience to know how people navigate sites. Part of our job is organizing the website so that it makes the most sense for the user’s experience. We can also help ensure your information comes up in a search. Which brings us to another part of our job, Search Engine Optimization.
In every conversation we have when creating a website for a company, we hear the same question: “We will be on the first page or #1 in a Google search, right?” As much as we wish we could just say yes, the answer is, it will take a lot of time and a lot of work. Many company owners or managers don’t realize how much work goes into that first-page ranking. You have to regularly add new content, research keywords, check that local listings are accurate, build backlinks and on and on. Having a website rank well is a consistent, ongoing process. However, if a website is not seen, it doesn’t matter how great it looks. Our job as SEO experts is just as important as our job as web designers.
Social Media is one of the hardest parts of our job, and one of the most interesting. It’s all about learning what people want to see and respond to for each target audience. As companies realize that social media should play a huge part in their marketing, they are asking for help. People respond to authenticity on social media so we have to make sure that we are representing our client’s business in the most authentic way possible. You need a solid understanding of a company to be able to effectively represent them on social media. A deep level of understanding of a company’s culture is just as important as the technical aspects of knowing how to post or run a Facebook ad.
In our business, communication can’t be a lost art! In social media management, website design and all marketing efforts, you need to possess excellent communication skills. It is essential so that you are able to listen to your client, truly understand them, and then apply your technical skills to create their vision. Bringing our communication skills together with our technical skills is the way we truly help our clients with everything they need to make their vision a reality.
Fifteen years ago, we never imagined that we would be doing so much more than designing websites. We could not have predicted that writing, analyzing, consulting, and interacting on social platforms would also be a part of our daily life. The good thing is, we love it! We feel blessed that we get to play this role in helping other businesses. We can’t wait to see what the next 15 years will bring!
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