#1 How much does it cost?
Yes, you guessed it. The first question web designers usually get asked is “What does it cost?”
No surprises there. Everyone wants to spend as little as possible so their first concern is how much cash they will have to fork over.
How much you charge as a web designer is important to figure out and I cover that in another post, but how you present the price is a critical part of your marketing.
Most web designers don’t list prices on their website. They prefer to instead get the details of a project through a web form submission or phone call and then give a formal quote. There’s nothing wrong with that in theory, but there is a practical problem.
The problem with that approach is – you’re asking the prospect to take the FIRST step and reach out to you before they even know if you’re in their price range.
I prefer to differentiate myself from the many web designers out there by listing a flat price right on my website. It filters out the people that can’t afford my service and also offers a level of transparency that prospects appreciate.
How will you present your price? Make sure to think through this as a critical part of your marketing process because you WILL be asked, and it will often be your FIRST impression.
#2 How long will it take to complete a website?
If you make it past the all-important cost question, it’s up for debate what question most often comes next. It usually depends on the prospect you’re speaking to, but one question that usually gets asked pretty early in the process is “How long will it take to complete?”
Even though a prospect may not have had a website for 10 years, they often want it up and running in a matter of days. Most people understand that it takes time to get a website online, so “days” may be an exaggeration if you’re not using a website builder.
But make sure you have an answer to this question. And more importantly, make sure you can deliver on your promise of lead times. If you say 1 month, deliver the website in 1 month or sooner. This will lead to happy clients and more referrals.
Here’s how one website designer answers this question on their blog.
#3 Do you include SEO?
This is probably the most dangerous question you’ll get asked because it can easily lead you to make promises you can’t keep. Some web designers will simply say “Yes, we include SEO” and leave it at that with the client now looking forward to #1 rankings for every keyword they can imagine.
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. SEO is a complex beast and can best be understood if you split it into On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO.
On page SEO is the optimization done on the page and is what most web designers SHOULD DO and often include.
What many website clients don’t realize is that 80% of SEO is Off-Page SEO and it’s usually totally separate from what a web designer includes.
If you’re a web designer and don’t understand the difference, read the post I wrote on the difference between On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO. I wrote this post because I am so often asked this question and I want my clients to clearly understand what I offer and how to evaluate other web designers.
I strongly recommend reading that post because your prospects may use this info to evaluate YOU!
#4 Will I own the website?
I struggled with this question when I heard it the first few times. It’s a deep question – almost philosophical because the content of the website is really in the brain of the client or the person who generated the website content.
But to appease my clients, I usually assure them that “YES! you do own the website” and the most important asset of any website is the domain name and the website files. As long as they have control of the domain name, they own the website. (This brings to mind some other domain ownership questions.)
Besides the domain name, the other major asset of the site are the website files themselves that are stored on a host somewhere. Most website clients don’t have these in their possession but can get a copy of them by requesting or downloading them from the host.
#5 How do I make changes?
Often times, website clients don’t think to ask this question until after 12 months go by and they are in a bind to get changes made on their site. Upon some investigation, they usually find they don’t know how to login to their website and make changes. And the person that built their website moved to Bermuda!
I’ve noticed in my business that many prospects are becoming more forward-thinking and asking this question up front. Sometimes it’s because they’ve already been burned in the past that they ask this question:
“How will I make changes to the site after it is complete?”
As a web designer, you’ll want to have a solid answer to this question. If you’re using a professional website platform like WordPress or Joomla or have developed your own CMS, you may need to provide some basic training so your clients can make changes confidently.
One way to reduce the phone calls is to build a site on a website builder platform like IM Creator and take advantage of their white label Pro account. This will allow you to build sites on a website builder platform, and be confident that your clients can easily maintain their site with a simple and intuitive drag-and-drop interface.
It may be scary to talk to prospects in the beginning of your web design business, but if you can nail down the answers to these commonly asked questions, you’ll find that very little surprises you in your interactions with prospects.
What other questions do you get asked as a web designer?