Choosing a Web design agency to work with can be harder than hiring a new employee. While hiring an agency is likely more cost effective, choosing someone (or better yet, trusting someone) to create a digital home for your brand can be an incredibly difficult thing to do for a business owner.
Here at Designzillas, we want to give you the tools you need to make an informed decision about a Web design agency. To start, you’ll want to ask yourself a couple of questions before you begin narrowing your list of agencies.
Ask Yourself These Questions
What are my goals?
You obviously have a reason for wanting to update your website. Is it to convert more leads? Increase your visitor count? Update the branding? While it’s easy to say that you want your website to look clean and modern, educate people about your business and have a good search engine ranking, be realistic and identify specific marketing goals that you want your website to help you attain.
To help you figure these out, take a look at where you’ve been spending marketing dollars in the past and calculate the ROI of those investments. Get to know what worked and what didn’t and choose metrics that you want to move from there.
What’s my budget?
Knowing what your budget is will help you decide what pages and features your website needs to have right away and what can wait until later. Ask your Web design agency to help you prioritize your marketing goals to ensure that you’ll see positive ROI from your redesign. They can help you choose elements that are necessary for reaching your goals and create a plan to add more content and features later after your website has launched.
What’s my strategy?
The only way you’re going to know if you’re reaching your marketing goals is by having a strategy in place for tracking your metrics and updating your marketing to ensure that it remains goal-oriented. For example, if one of your goals is to convert more visitors into leads, you’ll want to have an idea of what tools you’re going to use to track those numbers and who is going to make updates to your website if it’s not converting well.
This is one of many benefits you can take advantage of by working with an agency that works under the growth-driven Web design model. They can help you define what this strategy is and will work with you on a month-to-month basis to make changes and additions to your website that will ultimately enhance its performance.
Now that you have a better idea of what you want your website to do and how you’re going to maintain it, it’s time to move on to researching Web design agencies. Start by making a list of agencies you’re interested in and begin doing research, starting with the following:
Look for These Things on Their Website
Benefits, Not Fluff
Obviously you want a new, shiny website with “clean lines” and “modern features” that represents your business well. And obviously you want to work with a group of people that are “passionate about their work” and “love creating beautiful designs for their clients.”
I’m putting quotations around these phrases because they will likely be used on each and every Web design agency’s website. If overused, it’s likely that the agency isn’t knowledgeable about current marketing practices and is a design-focused group that doesn’t employ user-experience specialists, marketing strategists and other goal-oriented team members.
Look for case studies, data, terms like “lead generation” or “conversion rate,” an emphasis on getting to know your business and your goals, etc. If the Web design agency you’re vetting is focused on how their efforts will impact your business, they will likely be a good fit for your company.
Remember, your website—no matter how pretty it is—is a tool for people to use to learn more about your business. They’re not there just to look around and play with all the interactive features, admire your design and look at photos. While these things encourage users to interact with your brand and help leave a lasting impression, if the content is lousy and they can’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll move on to a competitor.
If you’re struggling to find the information you need on a particular Web design agency’s website, move on. If they don’t have good content on their site, it’s likely that they don’t understand digital marketing practices and the importance of quality content as a search engine ranking factor.
Think of it this way, if you went to a restaurant and couldn’t read the menu, you wouldn’t stay only to blindly order something you’re not sure you’d like, right? Why go to a website that doesn’t answer the questions you have?
If you’re just starting out in a particular industry or if you have quite a bit of brand recognition within it, it might be wise to work with a Web design agency that has experience in your particular vertical. Not only will they be knowledgeable about your competitive landscape, but they will have more experience in marketing your particular product or service as well.
However, there’s nothing wrong with working with an agency that has done work for a variety of different businesses across several industries. A fresh perspective might be exactly what you’re looking for, and if at the end of the day you feel good about moving forward with them, go for it.
Still not sure if a Web design agency is a good fit for your company? Watch our SlideShare today.
Hearing about growth-driven design for the first time? Learn more about the three pillars of GDD and how this methodology can help you solve your greatest marketing challenges.