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Skills to look for when choosing a website development firm

Year-end reviews are looming over the next couple of months and many companies start thinking about planning their marketing strategies for the coming year. Most have already some sort of presence on the internet and regardless of that presence; it is worth looking into improving it.

Just as the internet evolves quickly, website development firms need to evolve as well.

If you are the owner of a company or anyone who has a stake in creating or maintaining a website, you should ask the question “What type of website development companies should I work with?”

Depending on the type of website you need or the objectives you have to reach, finding a firm that can deliver results can be complicated.

Here are 8 skills that a website development firm should have for your website to be successful in tomorrow’s online world.

1) Marketing

To understand marketing, a firm requires a deeper knowledge of the psychology of what motivates people to take action. Marketing gets to that very point to help tell a story in such a way that the reader would want to take action.

2) Public Relations

PR. The Art of the Spin. This discipline generally sees everything going on in a company well before it becomes public. It is extremely important discipline, as it almost focuses solely on your brand, positioning the brand, protecting the brand, and seeking out opportunities to support brand awareness.

3) Social

There is a new generation of firms who understand the data that social is capable of capturing and they know how to interpret that data to influence results. Social helps businesses understand what is important to their clients such as engagement, trends etc.

4) Search Engine Marketing

SEM activities know intimately what converts and that data is critical in helping the company focus on areas of value. Setting such systems is a skill by itself that require hands on experience running SEM campaigns. The insights found in data form will open eyes of most business owners.

5) Usability

Usability testing can uncover small changes that when implemented lead to big returns in major metrics conversion, pageviews, time on site, etc. The same tests may also require much bigger changes that a business owner might want, but even if not implemented in the short term it is something to consider on a longer term.

6) Conversion Optimization

This discipline focuses essentially on optimizing the sales funnel. For some it is all about the shopping cart and others it applies to email newsletter signups. In any case, this discipline is all about securing better results with the traffic you have now versus the alternative trying to get more traffic.

7) Software development

There exists many different choices for companies when it comes to software development; developed in-house, open source, or out of the box. There also exists many different and popular software that make it easy to start; Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, Umbraco for CMS and nopCommerce, Magento, osCommerce for ecommerce sites. The skill to understand the underlying software when it comes to choosing the right approach is a skill that development firms must have for the benefit of your company.

8) Technology

The need to be able to adopt new technologies and predict their impact on your company’s online efforts is a skill that development firms should have. Mobile, visual search, reviews, crowd sourced, cloud computing, apps and a lot more designed for the PC, the laptop, the netbook, tablets, smart phone and whatever is next. Your development firm should be able to look across these devices and services, understand who is using them and for what and help formulate your companies technology plan.

The website development firm of yesterday is not the firm of tomorrow as your business today will not be the same as tomorrow.

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