Anyone can claim to be a web design agency these days, but that doesn’t mean each one will deliver the results you need. This blog discusses what to look for in a web design agency.
Your website is your presence online and if you choose the wrong web design agency, this presence can repel instead of attract clients. These days, however, almost anyone can claim to be a web design agency. To add to the confusion, you can hire an agency anywhere in the world. Thanks to email and PayPal, your search for the agency that best suits your needs extends to the four corners of the globe. With so many companies to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? There are some key things to look for.
Any creative person can make a website. Even those lacking in creative skills can simply use a template and fill in the blanks with your company information. The web design agency you want, however, is the agency that hires trained designers and marketers.
A trained designer will know how to incorporate the colors of your company’s logo into the design. They will work in key elements that represent you and your company. They will make sure everything is properly linked, placed and displayed. Someone with a degree in marketing knows how to reach your target demographic. They will take the time to understand your company and the services you offer. The marketer works closely with the designer to make sure your website appeals specifically to your target audience.
The web design agency you choose should be owned or managed by someone with a business degree. Of course there are those wonderful prodigies that created successful companies purely from their enthusiasm and good luck, but typically a business degrees translates into a well-run, organized, responsible company. Your website needs to be in the hands of people that can manage their time and your money. The company needs to have a firm grasp on liability issues (such as copyright infringements), and marketing law. Well-run companies produce great products on time and on budget.
Your website is an investment so choose the agency that invests educated staff. Failure to do so means failure to have a website that lives up to its potential.
A Strong Portfolio:
Steer clear of any web design agency that does not have a portfolio. If they are just starting out, they must at least have a portfolio of mock companies showcasing a range of design skills.
Would you apply for a job without having a resume? And if you have a resume, would it be outdated, printed on cheap paper and crumpled up? Of course not! The portfolio is the agency’s resume and you are the potential employer. Look for companies that show you a full portfolio of either completed projects, sample projects or a combination of the two. The websites in the portfolio should have high resolution photos; no blurry or obviously copied-off-Google images (who needs to worry about photo royalty issues? Not you!). The sites should be easy to navigate and links should be live. There should be a range of many different styles and options that show a wide range of creativity.
SEO and Social Media Marketing
These days a great website is simply not enough. Without search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing, you will not be found by those looking for your products and services. You will save time and money if you hire a web design agency that also provides SEO and social media marketing services as agencies typically offer package deals on these services.
With SEO and social media marketing, experience comes into play. Your web design agency should know how to carefully analyze which keywords are going to be the most effective for you. They must stay abreast of Google’s changing algorithms and have monitoring systems in place to ensure the keywords chosen remain effective.
Your web design agency should be well versed in which types of social media marketing will work for your company. Rather than simply setting you up with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, your agency will focus on the types of online media that are most compatible with your company. A company selling cameras, for example, should focus more on Instagram and Pinterest while a tech start up may benefit more from Facebook or daily tweets about their products’ development. The right agency will help you allocate your marketing dollars to where they will make the most impact.
Marketing your company online deserves the same care and attention you put into marketing through radio/TV ads, in newspapers or on flyers. To remain competitive, online marketing should be part of your overall marketing strategy. Do not spend your advertising dollars on the first company that promises you results. Work only with the web design agency that proves they can deliver.
This article was written by Marshall Micha, who has working for a web design agency right now and has been in the SEO and web design industry for quite some years.
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