As HubSpot’s Jami Oetting points out, there are a lot more questions companies need to ask web design agencies besides the usual ones about turnaround times and cost. In fact, it pays to inform yourself before you meet with website development and design agencies so you can better assess the quality of their work.
Before you begin, define what goals you want your website to accomplish. Certainly, a quality web design agency will have the technical know-how to accomplish your goals. However, they cannot do so without knowing what you need to accomplish with your site.
"A quality web design agency will have the technical know-how to accomplish your goals. "
First, Gather Information about Your Own Organization
You’ll also want to have some other information about your organization, such as its:
Once you have these key pieces of information in hand, you can come up with a list of questions to ask prospective web design agencies. These questions should include the following:
How Mobile-Responsive Can You Make My Website?
With well over 50% of all website traffic coming from mobile devices, mobile capabilities are a must. Mobile loading speed, an attractive appearance on mobile devices, and easy, intuitive navigation while mobile is more important today than ever.
If you have a brick-and-mortar location, mobile performance is even more important. Just think about your own habits. When you’re out and about and want something to eat, where’s the first place you look? Your phone, of course. Similarly, if you’re looking to buy groceries or anything else, for that matter, you'll check your phone to figure out where to buy.
Not only must your site be mobile-responsive, but if you do business locally, you must optimize it for local searches as well. Google statistics show that 71% of customers who do online research on brick-and-mortar stores believe that their mobile experience outweighs their in-store experience. The same research shows that 75% of people who find information about local businesses online are likely to visit those businesses.
That’s why asking a prospective agency about their experience in optimizing sites for mobile and local search is one of the most crucial questions you can ask during the selection process.
Are You More Focused on the Technical or the Branding Side of Web Design?
Truthfully, unless you have specific needs, an ideal web design agency should have a wealth of experience on both sides of website design. Indeed, some agencies, as Forbes Dave McIndoe points out, specialize in one aspect or another of web design.
However, if you’re going for a complete rebuild or a brand-new website, you need an agency that has expertise in security, navigation, usability, and SEO as well as the aesthetic aspects, such as the color, imagery, copy, media, and overall messaging.
Will You Take the Time to Personalize Your Approach?
No one wants a cookie-cutter website. Look for an agency that will customize your website to your exact needs and provide wise guidance, no matter how disappointed you might be by the news.
For example, if your website is outdated or difficult to navigate, will the agency sit down and advise you to completely revamp your site, or will they just take your money and give you what you want without a word to the wise? If you have your own graphic design or copy staff, will they insist on doing the website themselves, or will they collaborate with your internal staff to deliver a website that works for you?
Can You Integrate All the Software We Need to Operate?
Tracking and analyzing data to track your website’s performance and visitor behavior, having a seamless way to connect with customers right from your website, and being able to connect your website with your sales and marketing software solutions, as well as your social media analytics, are essential to running a modern business.
Your website agency should be able to deliver a custom website that integrates your sales and marketing software, as well as other programs that help you keep track of your business’s progress. Not only will integration help the C-suite keep track of all the numbers, but it can also help to encourage collaboration between teams.
For example, when your marketing team can see the objections the sales team hears from potential customers, they can tweak their messaging to answer those questions. Conversely, when the sales team has a heads-up about the latest marketing campaign for a new product, they’ll be on track to answer questions from customers who are excited about the ads’ claims.
If you do e-commerce sales, you’ll want an agency who can integrate whatever software you need within your website for a seamless customer experience.
How Easily Can My Teams and I Publish Content to My Blog?
Today’s customers want to know that the businesses they deal with know their field—and know it well. Not only that, but they want a business focused on their customers’ needs, one who will take the time to answer all their questions.
Content marketing does just that. Through a company blog, you and your team can answer your customers’ questions, provide information that will help them solve challenging problems, and demonstrate your mastery of your field. Having an agency that will deliver an easy, user-friendly way for you to publish that content is necessary for marketing success.
What Kind of User Experience Can Our Website Deliver?
With the rise of slick platforms like Netflix and Amazon, customers expect the same from your company’s website. User experience (UX) is a huge component of website success in today’s competitive environment.
Dazzling sensory experiences are the hallmark of a great website—and great marketing, for that matter. From media displays to interactive components, you need to create the kind of attention-grabbing experience that keeps them on the page, each second sending them deeper into the sales funnel.
Having an agency with access to the kinds of technology that will provide that kind of experience is essential if you want your website to compete with all the others out there. Here at EMKTG, we’re all about dazzling experiences. If you have questions, we’ll be happy to supply answers. Get in touch with our team today.