If you have a business, your website functions as your home base. Customers can find all the necessary information about the products and services offered, location, contact info, etc. Many businesses also run an informational blog or are active on social media. These days, you need an online presence even if your business isn’t conducted online.
This is where the web design agency you choose plays a crucial role. Not only should your website be fast and functional, but it should be aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate. You want customers to find what they’re looking for while making a good first impression.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about finding the right web design partner for your business.
Know Your Needs
Before you set out to find the perfect web design agency, you must understand your own needs. Knowing exactly what you want will help you not only find a great agency but one that’s perfect for you specifically.
Discuss the following with your team before considering any agencies:
- Your budget.
- How many pages do you need?
- Do you need a storefront?
- Are you selling physical and/or digital products?
- Will you need a booking or contact form included on the site?
Once you outline the specifics of your project, you’ll be better able to narrow down who can help you and who isn’t a good fit.
What to Look for in a Web Design Agency
Once you have a list of your needs, wants, budget, etc, you can begin the search. This can start with a simple look on Google or some recommendations from your network. Once you have a short list, there are a few things you should consider as you make a decision:
Ideally, you want a web design agency with lots of experience. When they’ve done their job multiple times before, it bodes well for the work they’ll do for you. Ask how long they’ve been in business and what kind of experience they have.
The best web design agencies can work for a variety of clients and should be successful across multiple industries.
In addition to experience, you want to examine the success of their portfolio:
- Are the websites ranking in search engines?
- Do the websites look good?
- Are the websites easy to understand and navigate?
- Do they load quickly?
- Have they done multiple websites in the same industry as you?
These are some of the most important elements to consider.
Next, you want to find as many reviews for the company and its services as you can. Most companies will publish some reviews, testimonies, and possibly even case studies on their own website. These are useful, but keep in mind that they won’t publish anything negative themselves.
Scour the web for people who have used their services before. You can often find reviews on Google, social media, and discussion boards related to the topic. Consider the ratio of good reviews to bad, and read through any negative reviews.
A couple of negative reviews don’t immediately mean a company is bad news, but you should consider what they say and the context.
Their Usual Customers
You should also take a look at their typical customers. Do they specialize in a certain type of website, or a certain industry? If so, is it similar to your industry and what you’re looking for?
Some web agencies can do amazing work in one area, or on one style of website, but not understand a different type. You want to ensure that their work is not only up to par but that they’re equipped to handle your needs specifically.
In addition to designing and creating your website, it’s worth looking at what other services web design agencies do and don’t offer. Some common additional services include:
- SEO. Search engine optimization is crucial for any website that hopes to be successful on the internet. Beyond simply creating and publishing the website, there’s a lot that goes on to ensure proper SEO. this includes things like alt text and meta descriptions. You also want to consider on-page SEO strategies like content structure, images, video, headings, etc.
- Marketing. Does the web design agency have an in-house marketing team? Even if you don’t plan on utilizing a paid marketing strategy, a marketing background and perspective can help the team create a more successful website.
- Ongoing management. Does the agency have an IT department that can help you if the website goes down or experiences other technical difficulties? This is important, especially if you don’t understand how to fix certain things yourself.
- Training. Once the website is finished, will they spend time showing you what they’ve done and training you on the website? You must know how things work and how to navigate the back end, especially if you plan to publish blog posts or update landing pages periodically.
We live in a fast-paced, mobile world where people spend as much time browsing the web on their computers as they do on their cell phones. People are just as likely to look up answers, solutions, and services while standing in line for coffee as they are sitting at their desks.
This means your website must be as fast and functional on a small mobile screen as it is on a desktop. This is why you must choose a web design agency that understands responsive design. If they’re not well-versed in this, or they suggest creating a separate website for mobile, they may not be a great choice.
This is another thing to consider when looking through their portfolio of websites. Look at the same website on desktop and on mobile, and see how it works on both.
A Good Website is Crucial
Don’t underestimate the power of a well-designed, functional website with strong SEO. Regardless of what your business has to offer, your website is your home base. The web design agency you partner with can make or break the success of your business in the online world, so you must choose wisely.
The above list covers the most crucial elements to consider before picking an agency. Be thorough in your research and don’t be afraid to ask all the questions you need to be comfortable and confident.