Marketing a website development company

A copywriter offers some advice for website development companies to stand out from the competition.

What are the four most powerful words any service provider can say to a prospective customer? “We’ve done that before.”

Think about it. Whether we are shopping for a new dentist, a plumber, an auto mechanic, or a website development company; we usually want someone who actually knows what they are doing.

Take a look at your own marketing materials. Do they simply contain a laundry list of technical skills? Is your list truly all that different from your competitors’? How many of your prospective clients know, or care, what all of those technical terms mean? 

Website development company

The same old portfolio page 

When is a picture not always worth a thousand words? When that picture is a teeny screenshot of a website. Do you actually expect prospective clients to click through all of those links? Do you think they will understand that behind that teeny screenshot is some truly sophisticated programming that you believe led to a 150% increase in sales for your client? Not if you don’t say so.

Turning past projects into sales machines

Dump that silly gallery of screenshots and start building a portfolio that truly showcases your work. 

Instead of just saying that you know how to build eCommerce sites – prove it. 

Create case histories or project summaries about a few of your past development projects. Explain what the client asked for. If the conversation began with “We need a website and we would like to sell stuff on it”; then start there. Tell us what you did, how you did it and why it was the best solution for your client. And, don’t forget to mention how well the site performs and how happy the client is with your work.

Who do you think a business owner is more likely to hire as their website development company? The company with a laundry list full of incomprehensible terms that kinda looks like English? Or, might they hire you after reading how you turned the website for a similar business into a profit center? 

About us vs. services

So many website development companies get this one wrong too. Service pages should be about the services you offer. About Us pages should share your company history, any industry specializations and introduce the members of your team.

Even if you are a sole proprietorship, you have a company history. Use your About page to tell prospective customers who you are. Convince them why they should hire you instead of a larger firm. Share the same sorts of information you would share with someone interviewing you for a job in a larger firm.

Not too long ago, I visited the website of a large web development company. They only work within a particular industry. Of the 20 or so bios on their About Us page, none mentioned having experience working in the industry they served. Only one employee appeared to have a technology-related degree. I learned far more about their non-work activities than their professional activities and skills. Their bios read more like dating profiles than professional resumes. 

The worst of the worst? 

When John (name changed to protect the foolish) isn’t in the office, he is on the mountain either skiing or hiking the miles of forest trails in our region and around the world. He hopes one day to tackle Everest. It was on a skiing trip to our area that led John to make (our town) his permanent base camp. John and his wife have four fur-kids – Rufus, Charlie, Princess and Goldie.

I guess I’m supposed to think John is an energetic go-getter. Not me. I wonder if John will be available when I need him or if he will cut corners on my project so he can escape to his favorite mountain.

Consider this totally made-up alternative bio for John. It turns his personal activities into a marketable asset for his web development company. 

John is one of our web designers. He is an expert mountaineer and has traveled extensively. John started his career as a graphic designer for a marketing and advertising firm in New York City. With a degree in web technology and the eye of a talented artist, John creates truly unique designs that match our clients and the personality of their businesses. He has created unique brands for a number of travel-related companies and helped a few of our clients with international expansions. Our clients love his use of color and the custom graphics he adds to each of his designs.

Website development company marketing strategies

Want to stand out from the hordes of other folks offering website development services? Give prospective clients a reason to hire you. Website development company marketing strategies should begin by convincing prospective clients that you can handle their project and offer what they need; even when they don’t know what exactly that is.

Project summaries will reassure clients that you truly have “been there, done that.” Use your About Us page as it was intended – to tell your potential customers about you, your company and any employees or contractors you regularly use.

Show prospective clients how you utilize your technical skills to create solutions with measurable results. Show them that you’re not just another programmer. Convince them why they would be foolish to hire anyone else as their website development company.

It’s fairly simple once you think about it. Now, go sharpen your pencils and get to work.

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