In 2021, there were almost 4.6 billion web users across the world, and the number continues to grow! While the world is leveraging the power of the internet, how can businesses not shift from the brick-and-mortar model to a digital one?
And the first step to do so is with the help of a Web Design Agency!
A website visitor can draw a conclusion about your business in less than a few seconds. A web design agency can help you create the first impression for your prospects that can persuade them to book a call with you.
However, the internet is flooded with hundreds of options to choose from. So how to choose a web design agency that can not only understand your vision but can translate it into reality too?
Whether it’s about designing a new website or repurposing an existing one, a web design agency can be a ‘make or break’ step in building your online presence.
How do you find the right fit?
First, let’s check out the basics of it!
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What Does a Web Design Agency Do?
A Web Design Agency helps its customers to conceptualize, design, and develop websites. Apart from offering these services, web design agencies may also do much more than simply design.
How to Choose a Web Design Company?
Being overwhelmed with the plethora of results the search engine creates for you is obvious. Check out how you can choose a Web Design Agency with a more structured approach:
Step #1: Check if They Work in Your Industry
Taking a look at your competitors' websites, both international and local, can help you give an idea about what is the norm in your industry. This can also help you to zoom into the current trends, standards, and elements that your prospects wish to see on your website.
There could be multiple things that your prospects would want to see the first time they land on your website. This could include -
- An easy way to book appointments
- Easy and intuitive navigation
- Skimmable chunks of text
- Live chat support
- Legible typography
- Store locators to check out the store nearest to them
- Sharing options
- Social Media buttons
This can also help you implement a gap analysis to see if there are elements that your competitors are missing out on that you can provide.
Another vital thing is that the web design agencies you are considering as your parter actually have experience with brands in your industry. The familiarity with the industry’s trends, audience’s habits and changes in environment will help them do the right job for your business.
Step #2: Finalize Your Requirements
The primary factor for any website is its design, although other factors such as SEO, loading speed and usability are also vital.
Zero down on your design requirements which can help you figure out which Web Design Agency can help you with those tasks best.
These factors can be -
- The number of pages and how they will be organized
- On-brand use of colors, logos, images and other branding elements
- The number of features you want on your site
- Whether your website will have an eStore or not
- Will it include functionality aspects such as online bookings, etc.?
Look for firms that add more value by giving expert advice and not just merely agreeing to anything you say, as that will add no value to your website. An ideal Web Design Agency can help with placing these pieces of puzzles together in a way that puts you ahead of the competition.
Finalizing an outline first can also help to lay down the premise for the budget. More on that in the next point.
Step #3: Establish Your Budget
Designing a website can be an expensive investment for your business. Shelling out a massive chunk of your annual budget makes it all the more important to check if the money is well spent.
Deciding upon the scope of work can also help in finalizing the budget and also keep you informed if any other additional services are also included in the project.
This can help to ensure that you don’t end up working on the other aspects of the website all by yourself.
Some of the basic questions while discussing the budget include:
- Will the agency allow for any revisions. If yes, how many?
- Will the payment be in installments or one go?
- Are there any additional costs for the services that are out of scope?
Step #4: Check Out the Agency's Website and Portfolio
With the internet opening up floodgates of results when you type out the words – ‘Web Design Agency’, it is important to know which is the right fit for your business.
Yet another way to check the agency’s work is by checking their website. Their website can paint a picture of their business. The way that the agency has optimized its website can help you understand how proficient they are with the ins and outs of their expertise.
Another source of knowledge about the prospective web design agency are third-party review websites, such as DesignRush, where past clients leave their ratings and impressions of their experience with the agency.
Step #5: See Their Prior Work
The proof of web design agency’s previous experience speaks louder than words or claims.
A web design experience can reveal the agency’s expertise and in-depth knowledge about what works in the industry and the current trends. Their experience may also prove that they have kept up with the changes in the industry.
Checking the agencies’ previous work, such as their clients’ websites, can help you gauge factors such as reduced bounce rates, better load times, increase in conversions, and ROI.
You can judge their work based on multiple factors such as -
- Website responsiveness and mobile usability
- The results the site was able to derive, such as unique traffic, ROI, conversion rates etc.
- Whether it is easy to read and navigate
- If the elements fit together for better brand cohesion and consistency
How can you do this?
Check out reviews and testimonials that can help you to know about the experience of their previous clients. Make sure to keep an eye on the fake ones!
Check their social media pages. - A fully customized page paints a picture of a very professional brand and shows that the agency is well versed with the current practices.
Consider the case studies that the agencies have published on their website.
Check out portals such as Google My Business, Google Reviews, Facebook, and other authentic websites for more details on their previous works. You can start by searching for a web design agency on sites like Yelp too.
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Step #6: Get in Touch with the Agency Directly
Getting in touch with the agency can help you to understand how they communicate with their clients. Communicating with your prospective agency can also allow you to know how prompt and responsive they are to inquiries.
Getting in touch can include a detailed Q&A session that can define your expectations and if the agency is capable of delivering them. This detailed discussion can help you figure out how to choose a web designer.
Further, this can help you iron out the details of branding and design needs. Clearing up things in the first discussions will help you save time in further iterations.
It is important to communicate a vision to the agency because the agency is an expert at their job, it is you who knows what and to whom you are selling.
Step #7: Demand a Great User Experience
It takes a lot to create a web and app design that converts: easy navigation, user-friendly elements, mobile responsiveness, and optimized search engines are just the tip of the iceberg.
Offering an excellent custom website’s user experience requires the agency to showcase its prowess in multiple aspects of creating a website. The process should be a mix of every component which includes content, design, SEO, and web development. These further dives deep into the possibilities of whether the content fits well into the design.
This paves the way for yet another sub-factor - whether the website is responsive to the design a visitor uses to access it A lack of responsiveness on the website can be a factor that diverts your traffic to your competitor's website.
Step #8: Determine Which Tools They Use
With the changing digital landscapes, a web design agency should stay on top of the tools and software required to deliver adequate web design results.
In order to look like your website offers up-to-date solutions, your website shouldn't end up looking like it was created ages back.
The tools that the agency uses such as the CRM tools can speak volumes about the Web Design Agency. Check out how well equipped they are with knowledge of the current digital trends. This shows how well they can tweak your website according to your requirements.
Knowing whether advanced technology is used or not will help you keep a finger on if the agency is cutting corners on something else too!
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Step #9: Get to Know Their Team
Since it’s not just going to be an agency, it’s going to be a team of people with whom you will be communicating your views, feedback, and briefs.
As opposed to a popular belief, a bigger team may not always mean a better one. Smaller teams too might have experts and can provide you with quality services. A smaller team can also make communications easy for you.
Ensure that your team is more focused and is not overburdened with multiple projects at hand at a time. This can give the team enough time to be wholeheartedly dedicated to your project.
Further understanding of the Web Design Agency’s process can also help. This can also entail drawing a boundary on how long it will take to create the website.
Your team should also be experts in multiple industries which can help them with a broad knowledge of multiple niches.
Getting in touch with the team can help you figure out what to look for in a Web Designer as well as the team holistically.
Step #10: Make Sure They Offer Optimizing and Maintenance Services
Just as much as it is difficult to build a website, it is equally difficult to keep up with the ongoing changes the changing trends.
They need to be proficient with the current nuances such as off-site and on-site SEO, rankings, traffic, citations, link-building, and much more.
Keeping up with all these web designing lessons is all the more important for the website to be designed by professionals who are proficient with the conversion-driven aspects of the website too. Not only one that is aesthetic rather performs its overall functions conversions.
How to Choose a Web Design Agency Takeaways
Designing a website revolves around specific audience demands, demographics, an industry that you cater to, and other aspects that need to be addressed when building a stellar website that converts.
While your website should be informative and compelling, it should also be responsive, fast-loading and on-brand. When faced with hundreds of options from the search engine or a website design agency directory, rushing is simply not an option. A strategic and thoughtful approach can make all the difference when choosing the right web design agency.
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