How To Choose A Web Design Agency
The growth of e-commerce has given rise to countless web design agencies all looking to help businesses stand out from the crowd. But with so much choice available, how do you go about picking the right agency for your business?
If you’re wondering how to choose a web design agency, then read on to find out which questions you should ask yourself to make sure you find a great agency to partner with.
What does a web design agency do?
Before going any further, it’s important to understand exactly what web designers can do for your business. That way, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect and how to choose a web design agency that’s right for you.
When we think of design, we usually think about making things look pretty. While it’s true that it can take as little as 17 ms for a visitor to form an aesthetic opinion of your website, it’s also important that all the elements of your website work together to create an amazing user experience.
This means that as well as visuals, web design should also include navigation, layout and mobile responsiveness. When designed right, the result should be a beautiful website that’s engaging, easy to use and takes your visitors exactly where they want to go.
How to choose a web design agency
Now you know what web designers do, let’s take a look at 7 questions you should ask yourself when deciding if an agency is the right fit for your business.
- Do they have specialist web and UX designers?
Web designers are essentially the architects of your online home, designing a great website that your visitors will love to explore. User experience (UX) designers are specialist web designers who focus on conversion rate optimisation (CRO). By understanding how people naturally use websites, they make them easy to navigate while strategically positioning calls to action that guide visitors towards your goals.
Meanwhile, web developers are the builders who bring your website to life. They are the ones with the technical knowledge needed to actually build your website and make sure everything works correctly. Once built, they will also be the ones who deal with all your website hosting and maintenance to keep your online home running smoothly.
Since these two services are so closely related, it’s only natural that some web designers will have knowledge of building websites and vice versa for web developers and UX. As a result, many web design agencies will have just one person handling all three roles. However, each of these services is a unique specialism requiring specialist skills and insights to get the best results.
This means that when choosing your web design agency, you should look for a team made of specialists dedicated to each of these areas. This will ensure you get user-friendly designs paired with excellent coding for a powerful website built to convert.
2. Can they demonstrate their expertise?
Another way of checking that a web design agency knows their stuff is to look out for a blog. This is an essential in today’s world of eCommerce and should be included in every web design.
Why is a blog so important? From tips on improving your website’s bounce rate to why emails and landing pages make a great team, this is where your web design agency will share expert insights into all the latest trends. This shows thought leadership and up-to-date knowledge of the online world, as well as a willingness to share information that will help businesses grow.
By looking out for a blog that’s regularly updated and offers helpful insights relevant to the services you need, you can choose a web design agency that knows what the people of today want from a website. This will give you a modern website with powerful features that will deliver a great experience for your audience.
3. Do they understand the importance of branding?
Your website is at the very heart of all your marketing efforts. It’s an online home for your brand and it’s where every PPC campaign, email and social media post will lead your potential customers. Once they arrive at your site, you’ll want to make sure they continue to have a great on-brand experience that guides them further down the marketing funnel.
But how does that actually work? Well, having a branded website lets you deliver a consistent brand experience across every touchpoint. This creates a sense of familiarity by reinforcing your brand identity, helping you build brand recognition and awareness.
Awareness is what every brand should aim for, as this is what keeps you in your customers’ minds to make sure they turn to you in their hour of need. This familiarity also builds trust, which in turn drives sales along with a whole host of other benefits. If you want to find out more about these benefits, head over to our article on the importance of brand awareness.
One way to create a branded website that will support your brand growth and goals is by choosing an agency that understands just how powerful a brand can be. They should take their time getting to know your business and what you’re all about, so they can create a website that accurately reflects your values and identity.
4. Will they plan ahead for your digital marketing strategies?
Since your website lies at the very heart of your digital marketing strategy, it’s just as important that your chosen agency understands how your website and marketing will work together. As well as driving paid traffic through PPC campaigns and social ads, you can boost your organic traffic through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and content creation.
SEO is all about making your website visible for the most relevant search engine results. The closer you can get to page one, the more likely you are to drive quality leads directly to your website. A large part of SEO involves the very structure of your website, and by working with SEO specialists to create the right design from the start, you can build a strong foundation for your future SEO efforts.
Then there’s social media marketing, with 53.2% of users aged 16–24 preferring to research brands via social media rather than search engines. Plus with 33.1% of all digital marketing ad spends in 2021 going on social media, you’ll want to make sure your website is making the most of any traffic your ads deliver for maximum ROI.
While these statistics show the importance of social media marketing, they also show that mobile responsiveness is an absolute must when it comes to the design of your website. In fact, 67% of users are more likely to buy from a mobile-friendly website, so it’s essential that your web design agency plans ahead for your digital marketing strategies. That way, you can deliver a great experience across all devices regardless of how your visitors arrived.
5. Do they have a portfolio of web designs?
Including a portfolio of work offers great insights into whether or not a web design agency would make a good partner for your business. Look out for recent projects to get an idea of the work they produce, and if services like CRO and SEO were involved, these should also include some statistics and results.
This lets you see what sort of projects they’ve worked on in the past so you can decide if you like what you see. As you explore any websites they’ve designed, think about brand consistency and the overall feel of the website. Is it natural to use? Can you find your way around easily? Are you having a great experience?
Examples from the same sector are great as this shows tailored insights into what your specific audience would expect from your website. However, even if the examples are from sectors and brands entirely different to your own, looking at these examples will give you a clear idea of what the agency can do. If they have a broad selection from a variety of businesses, then you can be confident in their ability to adapt to individual brands and growth goals.
6. Do they display reviews and testimonies?
While a portfolio will show you the end results, it’s just as important to know what the journey will be like getting there. In 2022, distrust is society’s default emotion and so it’s more important than ever that businesses provide evidence you can rely on them. This is as true for your own website as it is for the web design agency you choose, so look out for testimonials and client success stories.
Including a review section will show that they know what visitors want and are keeping up with the latest eCommerce trends, as well as revealing what they’re like to actually work with. As you read their reviews, keep an eye out for any indication of their professionalism, quality and responsiveness.
7. Do they take a bespoke approach to each project?
Finally, it’s important that your chosen agency approaches each project individually. Everything from your brand, goals and values to marketing strategies and what you can offer are all unique to your business. That means your website design needs to be bespoke.
By creating a bespoke website design, you can make sure your business has a powerful online home that cuts through the noise and stands you ahead of the competition. This also means they can adapt your services to suit your budget while incorporating SEO and other growth strategies into your design.
Consider a full-service agency
Still wondering how to choose a web design agency? If you’re looking for an agency to design and build a branded website that supports your digital marketing strategies, consider partnering with a full-service agency.
From website development, CRO and hosting to SEO, social media and email marketing, we offer all the services you need to grow your business under one roof. Want to refine or revamp your branding? We can also help build a brand your customers will love for a powerful identity that’s impossible to ignore and consistent across every touchpoint.
If you’re ready to grow your online home into your most valuable marketing asset, reach out to our team and let’s get the conversation started.