Since the advent of the internet, small-scale businesses have reached nearly epic proportions in almost no time at all.  With such far-reaching communication lines, the world truly is your playing field.

As a small-scale online entrepreneur, you may be exploring the various ways to promote yourself online.  Perhaps you are considering do-it-yourself web design, or maybe you are overwhelmed by the number of web designers out there.  When choosing the right web designer for yourself, there are a number of things to consider.  Instead of choosing designers who follow cookie-cutter templates and fire out innumerable facts about your business, select a web designer who cares about connecting you with your customers.  There are a number of ways to help the customer understand how he can benefit from your products or services, instead of simply throwing information out into space and hoping someone catches hold.  A professional web designer is trained and experienced in the tools of the trade, which allows you to keep your attention on your business.

Here are ten helpful tips to consider when choosing a professional web designer.

Understand Your Clientele

The first step in any marketing plan is to know your customers.  You wouldn’t try to sell linens and wallpaper to a general contractor or promote a self-published romance novel to teenagers.  Not only do you need to know who your audience is, you must understand what they need.  People are often surprised to find that what they thought their customers wanted was not in fact a desired commodity at all.  Your professional web designer will use surveys and other tools to establish the exact buttons in your target customers.

Create Enticing Offers

Once you know what your target audience needs, you can offer discounts or freebies to invite even the most conservative customers.  Your web designer can suggest a variety of tools such as banners on your home page.

Strengthen Your Portfolio

Most consumers look for a strong portfolio when contemplating hiring a new company or purchasing products.  Pictures have more punch than a long discourse on past jobs, although those details can be important, too.  Your portfolio should include testimonials, referrals and pictures of past jobs or products to help customers make up their minds.  Regardless of how you present yourself, keep in mind that it is okay to boast about your achievements.  Potential clients want to know that they will be working with an experienced professional.

Make Your Website User-Friendly

One of the first things to turn a customer away is a website that is difficult to navigate.  With such an abundance of routes on the information highway, it is far easier to search for a less frustrating website than try to sort out a mess of confusing webpages and hard-to-find menus.

Only by hiring a professional web designer can you be certain that your website will be constructed properly, encouraging visitors to stay longer.  For example, providing separate pages for key points such as “About Us”, “Products/Services”, “Contact Us” and “Portfolio” can enable them to quickly find what they need.

Graphic Design is Key

Like an empty, white wall in your dream home, a web page with nothing but text is not very inviting.  How would you like to wade through endless paragraphs just to find the information you needed?

Your professional web designer will help you create just the right motif for your target clientele.  A web page complete with images, animation and colorful backgrounds will properly brand your product or service and will be much more enticing to potential customers.

Go For Unique Content to Flesh-Out Your Website

Content is the body of your website.  Disjointed ideas or uninteresting topics will not portray the right image of your company.  Not only is content essential for helping the customer understand what unique products or services you have to offer, it is the precise wording that helps search engines pick your web pages.   Your web designer knows the importance of selecting the right content, fact-checking, making sure it is properly proofread, and continually updating it to produce better business for you.

Minimize Load Time

Perhaps you are looking for flash animations or heavy scripts for your web pages.  However, this has its drawbacks.  These features add load time and can be frustrating to potential clients, sending them to search for a different website.  To ensure a steady flow of interest to your site, try to avoid overloading it with complicated animations and heavy script.

Avoid Flash Animation

Not only does flash animation slow down load time, some browsers can’t play them at all.  This ends up being more of a hindrance than a help.  Additionally, flash landing pages are a big no-no.  They are cumbersome to customers when they return to your website, which is the last thing you want to overload them with.  It also adversely affects search engine results.

SEO is Worth the Investment

While it’s true that Search Engine Optimization costs more money initially, this is one area where DIY (“do-it-yourself”) will cost you more in the long run.  If you truly want to reach out to your target clientele on a broad scale, it is worth it to invest in a properly-trained SEO specialist.

Keep in mind that SEO does take time, so be patient.  You will soon hear most of your new clients say they found you on Google.

Keep Things Simple

Don’t overwhelm your customers with technical details and complicated descriptions of your products or services.  Try to convey the originality of your business in a few simple words, and don’t be afraid to pull from other professionals in your trade for ideas.

While some small-scale entrepreneurs may try to create their own websites, it is such a vast area that it is best to leave it to a professional.  By allowing your professional web designer to focus on selling your product or service online, you can concentrate on expanding your business and dealing with the flood of clientele that will inevitably reach you.