The web has undeniably leveled the ground among many small businesses in numerous ways as it becomes an increasingly essential way for them to reach their prospects. Every business that has established their online presence is competing to show up on the coveted first page of Google or any search engine and stand out from others. And that is the very reason why they are seeking for a reliable company capable of designing an optimized and persuasive online presence.

Unfortunately, that is also the time they become vulnerable – as might be expected for something so high-demand, there is a whole army of so-called specialists in SEO and web designers willing to get their site to the highest spot for the low price of most of their company’s profits. In other words, they are easily taken advantage of – considering that they are small businesses with strained budgets or startup ventures.

Employing an SEO and web design company’s help can make or break your company. A good company will get you on the path to making tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars per month, but a bad one could definitely cripple any existing search traffic and prospects you get.

Unprincipled fraudsters are becoming a big problem within this industry, but that doesn’t mean you can’t protect yourself.  It’s important to choose carefully and wisely. So before making a decision, take a look at these six most common mistakes to avoid when looking for the best design and SEO services so that you won’t be taken just for a ride.

Overpaying your designer

Some web designers try to blind their prospects using a lot of flowery tech speak or a long list of things they claim they could do to make your website pop. And they usually mark up prices of works by an obscene amount. So if you are a website owner and you don’t know how to evaluate SEO and web design works, these companies can get away with a lot from you.

How to avoid

Your website is a part of your business – don’t invest all of your assets overpaying a designer. Don’t be blinded with “sounds-good” jargons they commonly use. Don’t pay for anything that you could not fully understand. Also, remember that a high price doesn’t always guarantee quality work. To make sure you’re getting a good deal, you might want to check the company’s rates against those companies offering comparable services. And pick someone who charges somewhere closer to the middle of the price bell curve. You can gauge the market value of the work you are asking precisely by looking at the most common price range you are quoted.

Paying too little charges

Keep in mind that SEO requires a great deal of time, as most of its practices require manual work. If they are requiring an amount a lot less than other companies, there’s a good chance they do not know what they are doing or they will just be automating some, if not all, of the work. And search engine bots will be able to pick up on this automation that will result to your site being penalized.

How to avoid

Simple. You get what you pay for. While you don’t want to go broke, it is expected to pay a reasonable price and receive high-quality service. You need to be realistic. If your budget is tight, prioritize your goals and start with the most important ones. Flat prices and SEO just don’t blend. This website design company suggest that you look for the best web design services that would give more value for your money. Make sure that the company you’re working with is a team of people that you can see yourself building a long-term relationship with. Also, make sure that the team that you choose offers services that you might be needing in the future so that you can manage your budget over a period of time. Think long-term since online success is indeed a journey.

Being unprepared

Think before you act. It is normally very easy to act before you think so it pays to take a step back and do some preliminary work. Before approaching a web design company, make sure you already have an idea of what you want your website to be. Always remember that being unprepared could cost you more delays and more money.

How to avoid

Draft a plan and make a checklist. Have a list of things that you want or a website that your designer can use as his reference. Or if you really want to guarantee a return on your investment to your site, you can get an SEO and internet marketing company to do the planning and web designs for you.

No content management and maintenance

No content management and maintenance

Building a website is NOT a one-time boom event but definitely a long-term one. It typically requires maintenance and consistent relevant updates. Without these, your website will be technically left behind as it will reduce your online search ranking results, make your site musty, boring and unreservedly futile.

How to avoid

Significantly, a consistent stream of updates and new content would generate more traffic to your website. Get an ongoing maintenance service for your website. Commonly, a maintenance plan is already included in the web design project you would like to avail from a credible company. As mentioned, building a website is a long-term aspect of your business. That means, you will always need someone to consistently update the website, and availing web design services with some sort of maintenance plan package will save you money in the long run.

Not paying attention to portfolio

One easy way to understand more information about a company is to look at their client portfolio. But do you know what to look for? It would be a big problem if you just scan a company’s portfolio then hire them afterward. There’s a lot more complicated things in web design.

How to avoid

Looking at a company’s portfolio is indeed a good way to find out their credibility and abilities. These portfolios will provide you a list of websites which the company has taken over. You can find out how well those websites are designed and rank for keywords in the search engines on your own. Check their clients’ testimonials. How well past clients comments will give you a good idea of what can you get for your website. And lastly, ask for measurable outcomes they could deliver.

Assigning the job to strangers

The company that will choose to build your website automatically becomes your marketing partner. Thus, it is always important to know who are you working with and establish a professional relationship first before taking any actions. If you do not know your designer and can never talk to them, it is difficult to monitor the quality and sooner or later, you will be surprised and find yourself helpless because you did hire someone who lacks the skills you needed the most.

How to avoid

Go beyond the superficial profile descriptions and dig deeper for other relevant information. You may also hire a web developer who has the in-house skill set to do designs and developments for your websites as these two are completely different aspects. You specifically have to know them in order for you to know what they can do and what they can’t do.

The bottom-line? You watch out for these red flags, take heed, don’t get burned and you will reap a successful website.

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