How To Choose A Web Design Agency (and how to make sure it's the right one for you!)
More than 80% of Australians search online for products and services, and many purchase online.
Making sure the Web Design Agency you choose knows how to turn those visitors into sales is the difference between business success & failure in the digital world we live in.
So how do you find a web expert to help you build a website that does that?
AND... isn't just a geek, but understands marketing so they can help you build your business by increasing traffic and converting that traffic into leads & sales?
This guide will show you all of this and more.
- what services a web design agency should offer
- if you even need a web design agency 🤷♂️
- 5 factors to consider when choosing your web design agency.
- and 7 MUST ASK questions (plus answers to expect, so you choose the right agency)
What is a Web Design Agency?
Aesthetics are important when it comes to web design. The right picture, the best colour, a sleek logo. But there's more to web design than how things look.
The difference between a web design agency and a web development company is their services. A web design partner will help with branding and design. A web developer supports how your business functions online, focusing on the technical or functional aspects of your site, such as searches or e-commerce.
A great web design agency will take care of both web design and web development services. It might be one person to handle both services, it could be two specialists or a whole team. A great web design agency will help guide your customers through the process, from seeing you on social media or finding you via a search engine to visiting your site and taking the next step.
Common services offered by web design agencies
Web design agencies normally offer a wide range of services, including complimentary services that go above and beyond just building your site. Depending on your needs, you might seek out a web design agency that offers the following:
- Web designers for website design
- Web developers for ongoing website support (such as security updates and maintenance). They should be able to optimise your site for mobile and help you improve your ranking on search engines. Ideally, they will use a content management system that allows you to make changes to your site.
- Marketing services (such as search engine optimisation, content marketing, social media, help with visuals such as videos for YouTube or images for social media, link building etc)
So... Do I really need a web design agency?
Yes, you can easily build a website yourself using a platform such as Wordpress or Squarespace.
However, if your business starts to grow, as you probably hope it will, you may soon run into trouble.
If you need to switch platforms to accommodate your business growth, you might find you have to start from scratch.
A web design agency will use a team of specialists to provide you with high-quality service that goes beyond simply building your site.
5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Web Design Company
When it comes to finding a web design team, your first stop should always be Google. Just as your potential clients use search engines to find you, looking at the website of a potential designer should be your first step, along with what others have to say about them.
Here are some other important steps to follow when narrowing down which web design company fits your business best.
Your expectations and requirements
When you've found a web design agency, your first question should be 'Are they the right fit for my business needs?'
To determine this you need to know what your business or start-up requires.
Do you need an e-commerce site to help you make sales directly to consumers?
How many pages does your website need?
Do you need somewhere for your portfolios to sit so professionals from other industries can find you?
Do your customers need to be able to make online bookings?
Or do you want someone to help you increase the functionality of your website?
And... do you want someone local that you can sit down with or are you happy to work with someone remote. We have worked with clients all around Australia with offices on the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane & The Gold Coast. However, reality is... in today's day in a age Zoom is a virtual office space that allows for one-on-one interaction no matter where your company is located. So the one-on-one interaction should be lower on your list.
Knowing what it is that you need and communicating this effectively will help ensure the designer can give you an accurate idea of the amount of money you'll need to spend to achieve your goal and result in a better outcome for your brand. Of course, if you need tips on what it is that you need to get your site working better for your business, a good design agency should be able to give you advice and support on this, too.
The agency's experience
When it comes to an agency's skills, it all comes down to experience and professionalism.
Web design companies should be able to clearly explain their process to clients. Whether you need a designer for one small project or you're looking to build a lasting relationship, finding an agency that listens is key. After all, you're handing over control to them to help you convey what your business is all about.
They shouldn't just be great listeners. Your agency should be able to offer you a solution that challenges your ideas using their technical expertise. They should have ideas on how to increase the usability of your site and give you recommendations based on their extensive knowledge. They are the experts, that's why you've come to them.
Also consider what kind of websites they've built in the past. Have they won awards for their work? Do they only work with specific industries or do they have the capabilities to build sites that attract all sorts of people? Do they work just with local businesses or do their websites get attention from people worldwide?
Investigate the design agency's portfolio and results
A web designer's biggest asset in their portfolio is their own website.
Consider the load speed, the quality of graphics, the general look and feel of the website and its structure. Is it easy to navigate or are you having trouble finding information quickly?
The next step is to examine some case studies.
Check out Websites That Sell's portfolio here.
A great website design agency shouldn't just have 20 examples that all look the same because all businesses are different. Having a variety of website designs and styles shows they are open to listening to clients when it comes to strategy and appeal.
Next, visit the websites of their clients to test the user experience. Also, investigate how they've helped their clients increase traffic and turn that into sales.
If they fit enough of your criteria and you've gathered enough information to make a decision on a designer, get in touch. Organise a meeting, send an email or give them a good old-fashioned phone call. How they respond will likely help you make up your mind.
Check client testimonials and reviews
Use review sites to help you make your choice. If their clients are happy, it's a sign they will probably meet your standards, too. And don't forget to talk with friends and family for insight into their experiences. You might be surprised how many people have used a web design company to help them with their websites.
Does the cost of their services fit your budget?
The first thing you might think of when it comes to updating your website or building a new one is, how much money is this going to cost? Once you have an idea of the amount of work involved in your project, your design agency will be able to give you an idea of the price. But you should not base your decision on the cost alone.
If you want a conversion-focused website design, the cheapest web design agency may not be the best. Employing a web designer is an investment in your business. It's one of the most important. Your website is the cornerstone of your marketing strategy. Weigh up the ways in which they can help your brand and let this be the basis for your decision.
7 Questions to Ask a Potential Web Design Agency
Asking these questions of a web design agency will let you know where you stand when it comes to the services they can provide.
How do you measure progress?
Your agency shouldn't just launch your website and leave you to it. A professional web design company will set goals, measure success and continuously work on strategies.
Who will own my business website?
It makes sense to ask before you sign on with an agency - will you actually own the website and its content or are you renting it?
Do you use content management systems (CMS)?
You will need to know if you must rely on your web developer to make small changes to your website or if you can do this yourself. If technology is not your thing, a CMS makes it easy for you to update your website on your own, without having to know HTML or CSS to upload a picture, fix a link or update small details.
Will you train me on how to use my website?
Knowing how to log-in and add elements such as a new page, blog post or picture will be essential to keeping your website looking fresh, so it's important to get your web designer to show you how to do this. You will also need to know what to do if you require something more complex and you need the assistance of your web developer, and how you will be charged for this.
Who will maintain my website?
Technology is constantly changing and the security of your website will always be an issue. So make sure you have a plan of where you'll turn to for help if your agency doesn't look after the management of your website on an ongoing basis.
What sort of SEO services do you offer?
There's no point having a great new website if no one ever looks at it. A professional web design agency shouldn't just design your website and help you launch it. They should also help your customers find it. Your web design company needs to offer search engine optimisation (SEO) services, not only to help your business rank well on search engines but to convert those hits into sales. They should offer you a variety of ways to do this, from link building to content creation services.
Take an innovative approach to online marketing
When people need a plumber, they turn to Google. When they need new socks, they search on Google. When they're looking for your business, they will turn to Google. Therefore, choosing the right web design agency is crucial to your success.
Having a company on your side that goes beyond just website design will help turn hits on your website into sales. A great web design partner will be flexible. They will set goals and provide feedback and become a partner to your business success.
If you'd like to know more about how our digital marketing agency, Websites That Sell, can help you get meaningful results, request a quote and one of our team members will give you a call. Otherwise, give us a call on 1300 188 662.