Your website is your business shop window – and this is even more important when you’re a freelancer. You probably won’t have a budget for much in the way of advertising. If you’re relying on social media to advertise your services, it’s always good to have a professional website to link back to in posts.
As well as looking more professional, a website provides a proper platform to show off your previous work or portfolio, and of course, if you sell directly to the public, it’s necessary to be able to trade. The majority of potential customers will judge you on your website, so it needs to reflect your brand values. After all, just because you’re a one-person band doesn’t mean you don’t have high standards. People will want your site’s look to match their expectations, so good design is essential, even if you’re not in the creative industries. Speed, ease of use, and security are required, too, critically if you’re planning to sell or collect any personal information from customers.
Pro Tips for Web Design Freelancers
With a bit of planning, it’s easy to make sure you get the basics right. Here are some tips to help you create a new website that works as hard as you do.
Get Found and Stay that Way
The shiniest, most beautifully designed website in the world won’t help your business if no one ever sees it. Take some time to read up on SEO and how search engines like Google will find your site. Or better still, take some advice from a reputable web development company or SEO consultant. A freelance startup site is never going to be able to compete with a global brand in a popular search space, especially if they have hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend on online advertising. But a smart startup can carve out space in their niche with the support of social media and a targeted content strategy. And once you’ve started to make inroads, keep your foot on the gas here – the search space and trends change constantly. Schedule a regular time to make sure that your customers can always find you.
Your Customers are Mobile, Make Sure that You are
It seems so obvious, but it’s so easily forgotten. Looking at your fabulous designs and wireframes on a large screen can be delightfully distracting. But stop. Think about where your customers are and what they’re doing. It’s incredibly likely that they’re going to be browsing on mobile, if not shopping or closing deals there as well. Ensure that your site looks great on all screen sizes, loads fast and isn’t too complicated to navigate through on the move. Phone browsers can quickly become frustrated when things don’t work as they should, and they will go elsewhere.
Don’t be Hard to Reach
We see many website designs that neglect to put necessary contact details like a telephone number in a prominent place. Put yourself in the customers’ shoes and think about all the different types of people who may be browsing your site. One wants to call for the answers, one isn’t so worried about an immediate response, and prefers to email. One wants to buy it. Now.
Think about your product or service and how people want to access it. Do they need to talk it through with you (in which case consider making it super easy for them to tap your number and call with Click to Call), set up a face-to-face appointment, explore a price list and some case studies, or chuck something into a basket and go. Whatever it is, make sure that they can easily do it.
Top tip, unless you’re selling something incredibly complex or of very high value, most of your potential customers will not fill in a contact form and wait a few days for the reply. Be available.