By: Nicole Serrano & Henry Ng|
26 Jun 2018
If you’ve stumbled into this article while searching for keywords like “how to choose a web design agency” or “how to choose the best web agency,” then chances are, you might have been confused with all the claims made by various web agencies. You see, this is what the internet is all about. We call this the cowboy’s battlefield, where everyone is armed (with claims) with not enough proof or the law to check on them.
Throughout these years, we have come across a fair share of clients who, before engaging us, have signed up with other agencies but have had to abort their project with them due to quality falling short of what was promised. Having just celebrated our Company’s 9th anniversary, we thought it’s a good time for us to share candidly our thoughts on this popular topic.
10 Factors to Consider in Choosing a Web Design Agency
The internet is a competitive market, so you need to partner with an agency that understands your business goals and target audience, has the necessary resources and knows how to deliver.
As your website will be the online face of your company, you need to ensure that visitors and potential customers get the best brand experience possible to succeed and convert. This article is meant to give business owners a quick overview of the factors they need to consider when in search of a web design agency to engage.
1. Check their office size and location
In determining their credibility and legitimacy, the office location reveals a lot about the web design agency itself. Serviced office addresses may sound impressive, but this might be a sign that they are only using a “virtual office” which means that they’re a startup who may not be that experienced yet in the industry.
When in doubt, you may arrange with the agency to pay a visit at their office or you may Google their office address and see if they post photos on their Google Page.
It’s important to know that the agency of your choice will not present any risks of fraud and at the same time, provides a decent working environment for their staff. Efforts like these showcase their drive to attract and retain talents that are valuable to the company.
2. What do they specialise in?
It’s impossible for a web design agency to specialise in so many “OS” platforms and programming languages for this can only mean that they have not mastered the important tricks in each. As they’ve always said, “jack of all trades, master of none” so unless they do outsourcing, look for agencies that specify what kind of programs are their specialisation. This is how you’ll determine their expertise and knowledge in providing the said services.
Choose the company that has the skillset in the kind of service that you’ll be needing for your business and one that offers web design package that meets your industry’s requirements as much as possible. Knowing exactly what your business requires in a website is essential in determining the right agency for you.
In line with this, check out our Technology & Expertise page to see if our expertise matches your requirements.
3. Determine their credibility
Along with checking out their office location, another way to determine the agency’s credibility is to check the certifications, awards, and recognition on their website. See if they have enough experience in this field before tapping them for their services.
What about their milestones? Do they have team buildings or retreats to help motivate their staff’s career growth? Do they have a Corporate Social Responsibility? Make sure that the company you’ll be engaging is not a yes-man who simply agrees to all demands, but a company that has ideas of their own. Since they are supposed to be the experts in this field, they should know best what to bring to the table that will be most effective for your business online.
With this in mind, feel free to consult our experienced website builders in Singapore for their expert advice.
4. What about the quality of their designs?
In this point, there are three aspects you need to watch out for, to ensure quality designs that will drive visitors to your website: User-Centered Design, Aligned with Design Trends and an Impressive Portfolio.
Stunning designs are important, but a good web agency knows that it should be about establishing a user-centred design. It’s also essential for a web agency to be in the loop with the constantly evolving design trends to know which ones to implement in their projects.
In concluding this, it should come without saying to check their portfolio of previous works to have an idea on their design approach and development process. If they have a solid portfolio of renowned clients, then this is a good sign. However, don’t be overly impressed as some agencies only use dummy/template designs in their portfolio. Check and see if the web agency is showcasing recent designs by them and are proudly sharing them on social media. If these are truly done by them, then they should be out there for potential clients to see.
You can also check if they have case studies that explain how and what they did for their previous clients.
5. Do they have an in-house copywriter?
Not only should a web agency invest in designers, but also in good copywriters, as this is equally important in the web design industry. As we always say, “Design attracts, copy sells,” and so with this practice, copywriting is seen as the foundation of content. This is the substance needed to engage your visitors to stay and make a conversion.
In tapping an agency for their in-house copywriting services, you are assured of original and quality contents fit for your brand. If you already have your own content, the said copywriter may copyedit these to fine tune them, proofread to ensure professionalism and quality, and suggest taglines/headers for your banners. These things are quality services you can only get in a professional web agency that hires in-house copywriters.
45royale explains the importance of copywriting in web design in this article.
6. Do they know about SEO/SEM?
Look for a web design agency that knows the importance of SEO and SEM and aren’t just simply preaching but also applying these strategies for themselves. Whether they choose to grow the visibility of their website using organic or paid results, it’s essential for an agency to be experts in these two for them to know what tactics to use for their client’s website.
For them to be well-versed in these areas, they must have the first-hand experience as both methods are important in driving qualified traffic to a website.
Know whether to focus your efforts on SEO or SEM with this article.
7. Are they on social media?
Social Media Marketing is highly relevant now that people are always on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the like. If the web agency cannot be found on social media or aren’t active, how much experience do they really have in internet marketing?
This is the perfect leverage to interact with your customers and can even garner qualified traffic that supports your SEO efforts. Since most people are now using the social media platform to perform searches, it’s a must to choose a web agency that provides these kinds of services. However, if they say they provide these but doesn’t practise the same for themselves, how can you be assured that they know what they’re talking about?
If they have social media presence, you can also get an idea of what kind of a team they have or what events they hold by checking the photos and videos they post.
8. Do they have a Thank You page on their website?
A Thank You page is where a visitor lands into when they send an enquiry or submit an order, acknowledging the action they made.
Having one helps create a good lasting impression on your customer since this is the last thing they see before leaving your site. It is also an opportunity to direct them to the other parts of your website. If the web agency does not bother to have a Thank You page on their own website, how can you be so sure that they can do this for their clients?
Aside from checking their website, check their portfolio and see if their previous projects are using a Thank You page with an auto-reply. Basic inclusions such as this showcase their value-added initiative for their client’s website to become effective.
9. Do they have their own newsletter or blog?
Often overlooked by clients looking for a web design agency, a company who has their own newsletter or blog proves that they’re good at what they do. They’ve allocated time and resources for this, as they share with clients their knowledge in this industry. Since they are invested in their company, you are assured that they can do the same for you.
Some companies don’t have the time nor enough experience to do this, either because they’re new in the industry or just wouldn’t bother exerting an effort. Always remember that it’s quality over quantity. Look for agencies that give the extra time and value-added service to their very own site, and you’ll know that they’ll do the same for you.
10. Check for online reviews
Online reviews give you an insight into how the web agency works – behavior, technics, value-added service, professionalism and more. It gives you an in-depth understanding of the agency, as you are seeing personal reviews from previous clients who have had first-hand experience with them. You may check for reviews about them on Google, Glassdoor, and even Facebook.
However, be wary because some of these could be fake, whether positive or negative. Overly-eager and positive reviews can be from fake accounts and bad ones can be from vengeful clients and ex-staff with hateful and biased comments. See which ones are real and has an objective view of their experience with the company. These reviews can help you assess which web agency to engage for your website.
Getting a website should be considered as an investment, as this opens your brand to a whole new gate of opportunities in the online platform. The internet is a highly competitive market, so you should arm your company with the best techniques and technology you can get, as you choose which web design agency to engage.
Know what to look out for and don’t forget to come prepared as well, to make sure all areas of your requirements will be covered.
If you’re looking for a reputable web design agency to engage, look no further! Verz Design has been crafting excellence with over 2000 accomplished websites since 2009.
Call us at 6841 1680 or send us an email at [email protected] for a free consultation!