Home matters. And when it comes to your landscaping business, your website serves as its digital home. So if it’s time to hire for landscape web design, you want the right team to build a site that looks appealing, functions seamlessly, and meets your goals.
Do you need a web designer to create your new site?
Not always. From WordPress templates to platforms like Wix, there are lots of resources for building your own website. Sometimes that can be the most effective, most affordable option, especially if you’re already familiar with digital best practices.
However, hiring an outside company can sometimes be a better value, especially if...
You’re short on time.
Do you already struggle to start or finish other marketing tasks? Does the idea of adding another item to your to-do list make you want to curl into the fetal position?
Your time is valuable. By investing in an outside firm to build the site, you free up time to focus on your most important tasks, whether that’s planning company growth or designing for a client.
You’re short on skills.
Hey, it’s okay...we can’t be awesome at everything! [We’re not good at…] Building--and maintaining--a website requires skills you may not have. Sure, you could watch online tutorials and scour help boards, but is your time worth the effort?
A quality web design team will be up-to-date on the latest skill trends and current best practices--so you don’t have to be.
How to Hire a Web Design Company for your Landscape Site
Define what you want the site to do.
Websites need to be more than attractive--they should drive actions you define, whether it’s generating leads or establishing your brand as the premier landscaper in the area. When you identify what you want the site to do, your web designer can better build an online home to meet those goals--and deliver marketing ROI.
Ask who will work on your site: in-house staff or freelancers?
Not every web designer uses an in-house team; some outsource. For instance, agencies might tap freelancers to work on smaller-budget projects because it costs them less to hire a freelancer than pay a salaried employee to do the work. Others use freelancers to handle overload.
Outsourcing isn’t necessarily a bad thing--there are plenty of quality contract workers. But an agency should be transparent about the team working on your new site, and, if they outsource, they should use a trusted, well-vetted roster of freelance pros.
Find out if they will provide the site’s content.
Some people are surprised to discover that not all web design companies provide written content for the pages. If you’re talking with an agency that doesn’t offer writing, you’ll need to allocate time and budget toward providing it, whether you write it yourself or outsource to a freelancer.
Video is increasingly important for engagement, so ask who will create those elements if you’re planning to include them. For example, you might want video of crews using the RB3000 self-propelled dump trailer to keep jobsites cleaner and finish projects faster.
Don’t hide your budget.
It’s tempting to keep the budget under wraps to avoid being “oversold” by the web design company. The snag with this tactic is that it doesn’t help their team come up with a realistic proposal for success. When they understand your budget from the get-go, they can present a doable strategy--one that delivers an effective website.
Get 2-3 proposals.
Your website is your company’s digital home--don’t make a mistake by falling in love with the first design company that quotes you. Multiple proposals will give you more ideas regarding site design, plus it might offer more room to negotiate.
Ask about changes.
During the build process, you might change your mind about things or simply not like something the designer has done. Find out how they handle change orders and whether they charge a fee for them.
Make sure the new site will be search-engine friendly.
Dozens of factors contribute to search engine rankings, and website SEO is a big part of that. A site that incorporates best practices makes it more likely you’ll rise to the top of local search.
Ask what SEO tactics the agency will include in the build. If SEO isn’t included, the company may offer these services as a separate package.
Hiring for landscape web design can feel intimidating--but these strategies will help you feel more confident about the decision making process!
This post updated for clarification August 29, 2018.