Your website needs an update. It might be a few years old or isn’t performing as well as it should. Maybe your business changed or your brand has evolved. Whatever the reason, websites need to be updated or they become irrelevant and ineffective. Even worse, an outdated website could impede your company’s growth.
For most businesses, working with an agency to design or redesign your website is the best approach. Many businesses don’t have the luxury of an in-house team with the right skill sets. Even for those that do, working with a collaborative agency can bring valuable insight, skills and experience to create much greater value to your investment.
When looking for a web design agency, make sure you find one that will do more than take orders and deliver templated “solutions”. Choose an agency that understands your business goals and will be able to achieve them with a web strategy, not just a website.
1. Look for Expertise in Branding, Marketing, and Design
Websites are often the first touchpoint for your business. The design, messaging, and performance of your website will all influence how your brand is perceived. If it’s off-brand or off-message, they’re gone. You lose.
Your website needs to look great, be easy to navigate, and quickly, clearly communicate what differentiates you from your competitors. It needs to help visitors achieve their goals, whether that means conducting research or performing a transaction. Your website also needs to communicate your brand accurately and promote positive impressions of your brand.
Just as importantly, your website needs to help visitors engage with your business. The process to contact you, subscribe to your email list, make a purchase, or download an ebook, should be as simple as possible.
Web design agencies need to be experts in branding, marketing and design. They should provide marketing insights for search engine optimization (SEO), have a complete knowledge of web technology, and be able to integrate with other systems like your CRM.
The right web design agency will provide well-rounded vision and the specialty services required for the highest ROI.
2. Listen to Their Questions
When you’re working to get a new website, you’ll probably have conversations with several agencies. During these conversations, you will ask about things like timelines, cost, experience, and references. The agency will also have questions. Pay attention to these. Are they stuck on questions about budget and colors or are they trying to uncover more details about your business, your customers, and your goals?
Try this the next time you talk to a prospective agency. Ask them a simple question: “How are you going to deliver measurable results and improve my business?”
A design agency that is only asking about aesthetics and technology is skipping over the fundamental element of an effective strategy, and that’s how your website can serve your business and produce growth. Here are some questions you should expect to hear when vetting a design partner:
- What are your short term and long term goals?
- Who is your target audience and what motivates them?
- Who is your competition and how are you different?
- How will you measure success?
3. Prioritize Your Business Goals
Of course a web design agency needs to know how to design a website — but that’s the bare minimum. For the highest return on your marketing investment, you want something more than nice graphics: you want a website that produces measurable results.
That’s why it’s critical that you choose to work with a web design agency who builds websites that are informed by branding, marketing, sales, and digital strategy. It’s all of these elements working together that result in a website that grows your business, generating leads and new business non-stop, 24/7.
There are many agencies to choose from and many factors to consider. But how do you get more out of your investment? How do you get a website that performs as a tool to grow your business? If you want a website that does more, you need an agency that can do more. Why would you settle for less? Keep this in mind when you’re working on your next website update. It really is possible to work with a great agency that has your business in mind.