Building a website is a team effort! It requires expertise from several different disciplines. In today’s episode, Liz covers the five people you need to build a great website.
The Five Specialists You Need to Build a Website
Sandro Welcome back to Liz and Sandro’s Marketing Podcast. We are the podcast that helps companies and marketing departments control their business, their brand and get the word out. Today, Liz is going to talk about the five people you need to hire to build your website.
Liz This episode came about from several conversations in a recent episode when I pointed out that you need the right people doing the right things for your website and that not everyone can do them all. It really is a team effort to build a website. And so I thought it would be helpful to do this episode if you are a business owner thinking you’re ready to outsource your Website. So not for the person who’s gonna do the Wix, Weebly or Squarespace. The business owner that’s really ready to build a good, solidly functioning professional Website.
Liz Also, a good reminder, if you are an in-house marketing person and you’re looking at your company’s Website thinking, wow, it’s been five years and we need to redo this. And who are we going to go to and what expertise do they need to have in order to do a good job?
Sandro What kind of team do I need to make this happen?
Liz So I’ve identified five roles, the five roles that I think are absolutely necessary. And this is certainly the minimum. I think within these five categories, you could slice and dice them even further. If you are a very large company, I would actually argue that, yeah, you are probably going to need maybe several people working on some of this. But if it’s a basic, say, 50 pages and under, having these five people will put you in a good place. If you are a very large brand or e-commerce website, you’re probably going to need even further specialized expertise.
Liz But let’s just start with these five, because I think this is going to cover a lot for most people. So the first one is the marketing strategist. This is the individual driving the big-picture vision for the site and how it’s going to function within the business, within the sales cycle. How is it going to actually drive sales for the company? This could be, again, someone in-house, depending on how large your marketing department is. If you’re a smaller company and you’ve outsourced a lot of your marketing, you’re probably going to hire an agency or a consultant to be this person.
Liz I also might argue that this person could serve as a project manager. Again, if you are a large brand, if this is a very large project, you’re probably going to have someone dedicated specifically to managing this project. But I think if you’re a smaller company, a smaller brand, the marketing strategist might be the person to do that. They will be able to speak to a lot of the ways that a Web site can function. If it’s WordPress, maybe some plugins that can be used. But they may not be the actual individual installing it, testing it, troubleshooting it for the client.
Liz The next person I have on my list is the designer, and I think this is what most people think of when they think of a new Web site. They think of the design, the graphics, the visuals, how it’s going to look on the page. This is definitely one of the most important parts of all of this. And I again, I can slice these categories even further. And I can say you’ve got graphic designers, I actually know some graphic designers who still only do print. I have graphic designers who only touch Web graphics. So you’ve got to be very mindful of, again, who is working on the graphics for your project?
Liz Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a web designer is a web developer. A true designer is again going to bring that graphics and visual expertise to the table. They’re not going to be able to speak to SEO or how a plugin’s going to function per se. So just keep that in mind.
Liz The third person is the developer. This is the behind the scenes technical person who is probably working very closely with the designer but in a much different capacity. Again, behind the scenes, more technical. They’re making sure that the graphics look good from desktop to mobile. So when a designer designs something, it might look great.
Liz But then how does that actually condense into the mobile version? And you might need the developer to write some code to make that look good. You might go to a developer to get their insight on which plugins for your WooCommerce store are going to function best. Which, you know, they probably have some insight on which ones have worked really well. Which ones are total crap. You know, they’re gonna have some insight again on some more technical things that a designer probably can’t speak to.
Sandro Yeah. They know HTML and CSS, CSS will change the color of something. If you can’t get the exact color right, then they could, they could tweak the code to make the exact color right or the exact size of a button correct. Or make it look different on mobile versus desktop, the button bigger and certain things. So yeah, they know the coding to go in there and actually fix it, tweak it to your specifications, to the designer’s specification. Yeah.
Liz To the designer’s specifications. Yes. Yeah. We’ve had some designs where we didn’t just want kind of that standard nav bar at the top. We wanted to jazz it up a little bit and the developer, you know, we had to provide a mock-up and say this is what we want, this how we want it to function. And then the developer wrote some custom CSS for that. Sometimes designers and developers don’t always speak the same language. So just be mindful of that. That would be an argument for having a really good marketing strategist or good project manager who can kind of ensure that everyone is on the same page. And again, speaking the same language and ultimately helping deliver what the client needs in a Web site.
Sandro They’re almost like the general contractor.
Liz Kinda, yeah.
Sandro They pull in the plumber, they pull in the electrician, they pull in the…
Liz Definitely. My fourth person is a content writer. This is the person who is really helping to tell your story in a way that’s engaging and appealing to the Web site visitor. I think this is an area where most people struggle. And maybe that’s because I find myself at a lot of Wordcamps with a lot of developers who are very upfront. They’re like, we’re not going to write the content for you. So what often happens in their cases, they’re relying on the client or the business owner. And we all know that that relying on the client for content is…
Sandro I built a realtor website six months ago, see her three times a week, and she still hasn’t gotten me the content.
Liz Yeah, not everyone has a way with words. It is a very unique skill, in my opinion. Don’t underestimate the power of a good content writer. Find someone who can speak in your brand’s tone and in the right voice and stick with them. Have them create some really good page content. Work with them to craft blogs in the future. Maybe some email messages that will coordinate with ongoing marketing. I think the content writer can often be a blind spot for a lot of people.
Liz My fifth person is an SEO expert. Now, I will actually say that a lot of the content writers that we work with at Hersh PR, I actually prefer that they have some SEO experience. I think that as the storytelling is unfolding, it’s really helpful for that individual to have an understanding of keywords and how to work them in and what is a title tag and a meta description and an H1 tag. So, I’m pretty particular about, again, the content writers that I bring on staff. But I will say that they’re rare and hard to find.
Liz So what happens a lot of time is you’ve got someone who’s really great at content, who’s really good at crafting words, and then you’ve got the SEO expert who comes in and can do some of the keyword research. And that’s really why you need the SEO expert, someone who understands how search engines think, understands how to do keywords and can advise the content specialists on how to weave those words into the content. Because this is where you’ve got someone who’s thinking, your SEO expert is thinking strictly about how search engines work.
Sandro Metrics. Yeah.
Liz Yep. Yeah. You’ve got, you know, a designer who is all about visuals and they might take it to a place where it’s too much. And then you’ve got the story and the content and hopefully, you’ve got a good marketing strategist who can see the bigger picture and say, all right, great. I love what you, SEO expert is saying. Let’s take this piece of design. Let’s match it with this content. And now we’ve got a product that the clients can again, really use as an important component of the business in the sales cycle.
Liz One of the other reasons why I was excited to do this episode is because I’ve been approached in the past by clients who, we’re talking about doing a website project for them and they say, hey, you know what, I’ve got someone who can do the design or I’ve got someone who can do the content, you know, can you, can you work with them? And I mean, I truthfully always politely decline because I’ve built a specific flow and process for building Web sites.
Liz Yes. So I’ve got the team. If you are a business owner or an internal marketing department and you want to be that quarterback and you want to bring in some solo consultants to do all of these pieces, have at it. Like, go for it. You just gotta be prepared to manage that project and keep everybody on the same page.
Liz So that was one of the other reasons why I wanted to do this episode is to verbalize that again, it really is a team effort. And most of the time, the client is actually only interacting with me or my project coordinator. But there are people behind the scenes doing a lot of heavy lifting. So my advice to business owners or to in-house marketing departments would be just that whoever you’re gonna work with very carefully. Don’t rush it, have several conversations. You know, really think through and chat through the skill sets that every agency is bringing to the table and make the right decision from there.
Sandro Thanks so much for this Liz, I think we needed this episode. I love that you laid it all out for small business owners and a reminder for marketing directors to realize what it takes to build a great solid Web site. It’s a team of people with unique specialties, unique talents that makes a great Web site and you pull it all together really well in this episode. Thanks.
Liz Of course. Yeah. I mean, I’ve spent years thinking through this process, putting it into action. Unfortunately, making bad hires and hiring people that weren’t truly experts in one of these given areas and mistakes were made. It happens. But we learn and we move on. And I’m happy to say that now I have a really good team in place and I think we’re doing a fantastic job. But it was not easy. And yeah, finding the right people to do the right tasks is, its a challenge.
Sandro Trial and error. For sure.
Liz For sure. Yeah.
Sandro Thanks again, Liz. And speaking of WordCamp. You and I have already bought our tickets.
Liz We are going. Although I still need my ticket for WordCamp, for the actual event. But I’ve got my plane ticket. I’ve got a hotel.
Sandro We both do.
Liz Yes. Coming up in two weeks.
Sandro St. Louis, November 1st through 3rd.
Sandro St. Louis. And I’ve never been. So I’m excited. This is your second one?
Liz This is my second WordCamp US. Yes. I went last year in Nashville & thought it was great. I just, I love the WordPress community is so diverse. And you get to talk to so many different types of people and learn different things. And it’s all skill ranges. I mean, it’s people who are just dipping their toes in the WordPress waters, it’s people who are, you know, like true developers who speak a totally different language from me. So it’s fun. It’s a lot of fun.
Sandro I’m really excited. I can’t wait. And I’ve never been to St. Louis so it’s a lot of fun. And we’re staying right by the arch. I heard there’s an elevator in there.
Liz The Gateway or whatever it’s called.
Sandro I thought it went over the Mississippi because it was like the gateway to the west past the Mississippi. But it does not go over the Mississippi. That would have been cool. Thanks again to all of you for listening. You will find us where you find your favorite podcast. If you like what you hear, we’d love a review on iTunes. You can also reach us via Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. We have those links in our show notes and our email address. If you have a question, we’d love to hear it, we’ll give you a shout out and a link. Thanks again for joining us. We’ll see you next time.