What is a Web Consultant?
A web consultant goes beyond coding and design of a website and discover’s the customer’s objectives for the new or updated website, makes recommendations to enable them to meet those objectives, handle web development and may contract out the new logo plan, copywriting, SEO research, social media and marketing, as well as PR. A Web Consultant handles the full scope of a website and goes beyond the piecework of just developing and coding a site. This can also be considered web development, wherein a plan is constructed for the website itself and all the associated parts of a business’s online presence.
Why is a web consultant a step above a developer or web designer? Several answers apply to this question. A website is not a stand alone entity. This means that, even if you build an excellent website, that is aesthetically pleasing and well-coded, it can not perform in a vacuum. You need a website that furthers the overall objectives of a business.
For example, if you contract a developer to build a website for your cleaning service, will the developer be well researched in local SEO practices? If the website ranks high in SERPS, but not locally – does that get you any service bookings? If the copy of your website doesn’t convey the right message, will it convert? What about branding, or social media or advertising that pushes clients to your website to book – do they take that into account as well?
The objective of gaining new local customers for this business couldn’t be met by a website alone. SEO, copywriting, and advertising play key roles in the comprehensive web presence that every business needs to be successful. In short, just having a “nice website” is not enough to reach business goals.
The process of building your online presence with a web consultant is comprehensive. The consultant will review your current digital assets and your goals. The web consultant then uncovers the gaps in your online presence or areas of weakness – all before changing one line of code on your site. They will develop the overall plan for your web presence insuring it is cohesive and will reach the right customer for you.
What does a Web Consultant do?
The web consultant gains a high view impression of your digital footprint to ensure that your final website iteration works with your other digital assets to drive the website to meet your business goals. The consultants process is usually as follows:
- First the web consultant learns about your business and your business goals as well as your budget.
- Next the web consultant develops a customer avatar for your business from which your branding and messaging is developed
- Web research is performed on the customer avatar, your market, and your competition.
- Following research, the aesthetics and functionality of your website are determined and communicated to the web developer and designer.
- The web consultant oversees subcontractors for logos, copywriting, photography or any aspect of the website development that goes into the completed site.
- The consultant then determines social media presence requirements, advertising planning, and marketing strategy.
- Lastly, when everything is ready to launch your site the web consultant will prepare PR surrounding your business and launch or relaunch of your website.
The web consultant acts in several capacities – from designer, to developer, to digital project manager – ensuing the end result works best for your entire business. Many people who contract for a new or updated website are disappointed when the site doesn’t immediately generate the results they had envisioned at the outset. This isn’t necessarily a failure of the web designer or developer but a failure in planning the complete picture of an online presence.
Websites can perform many functions and should be the focal point of your overall online presence. Neglecting the other aspects of a business online and focusing myopically on the website itself is a recipe for disaster – or at least missed business goals.
If your website is not currently meeting expectations a web consultant can also be contracted to fix what’s wrong with a current website. Redevelopment of an underperforming site is not usually necessary – unless it is poorly coded or aesthetically displeasing. The consultant can use the same purview in assessing and implementing good web consulting practice to “work out the kinks” in the underperforming site and, most likely, the entirety of the digital presence of the associated business.
When considering the build or rebuild of a site, remember that a website is not a stand-alone entity. You need to ensure it drives the objectives of your overall business plan and can meet the requirements of your business. A failing website can be fixed with a stronger, high level, inspection of your web presence and the implementation of a good web consultant’s pan to make your website work better for your business.