A web designer and web marketer are two different jobs.
One job involves creating a unique branded experience that makes the client look great online. While the other is responsible for taking that wonderful looking site and making it work as a marketing tool.
I’ve seen some amazing looking sites that do absolutely nothing for the client.
That’s because the sizzle of a sexy site has an instant appeal to folks who don’t know any better.
An analogy I often make is that if you put a lawnmower engine in a Ferarri, it may look good, but it just won’t cut it – literally and metaphorically.
Let me be clear – a great web designer is an amazing resource, and everyone should be lucky enough to have access to at least one.
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But problems arise when a business, assumes that a web designer is also a great marketing resource.
If you are looking to save money on your site by hiring a designer – without a marketing person to assist with the functionality – find out:
- What they know about search engine optimization
- Will they do keyword research to help you create quality content Google will love?
- Do they take care of proper page title tags and descriptions?
- Will they set up your Google Analytics?
- Will they create a proper site map and make sure you have an webmasters account with Google and Bing?
- Are they including privacy statements and copyrights?
- Are they blocking your content with a flash/splash pages?
- Will they create a mobile version that works with iOS, Blackberry and Android devices?
- Will they help you connect your RSS feeds to automatically update your various social media accounts?
All of these are important factors in building a successful online brand. Don’t get suckered into fancy, when functional is what you really need to market yourself more effectively and drive sales.