In this blog, I want to highlight a few areas I feel are essential for an agency if they are going to be able to deliver a website that is good value for money that converts customers.
It may sound obvious but look for past examples of your agencies work. Do their websites look beautiful, are they easy to navigate. Do they have a professional graphic designer who will be looking after the visual components of the website?
Studies have shown that when it comes to browsing online, you only get 2.6 seconds to make an impact so first impressions count.
This is another area which should come as standard but unfortunately doesn't. Make sure your web agency has a good understanding of the latest web standards. Being responsive is a minimum! Understanding page speed, mobile-first indexing and website security are essential to ensuring your site works perfectly as well as looking great.
Top Notch SEO
So, if you are lucky, you have found someone who will build you a brilliant new website. They have a track record of delivering beautiful websites and know about the latest technical standards. But can these websites be found? Some agencies just build websites without thinking about the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) which is often an issue later down the line.
Do you want a website which isn't found by anyone? Ensure SEO is included in your website and that continued SEO work can be provided.
CMS (Content Management System)
Once your website has been built, it will be published online. Once it's live, do you want to pay someone for every little change, or would you like the option to be able to update parts of the website yourself? A content management system allows you to easily update a website.
One word of warning though is to be cautious of the CMS the agency are using. You don't want this to go out of date or not be heavily supported. Our two favourite content management systems are Wordpress and Craft CMS depending on your needs, budget & specifications.
If you have a problem with your website, can you get support? What if the designer is on holiday for 2 weeks? Is there still someone available to make changes to your website?
It is also worth knowing there are any charges for ongoing support or changes. We charge for future changes and we are happy to be upfront about this. Be wary if someone offers to do everything for free!
These are the top 5 items that we feel you should be clear about before engaging a web design company to build you a new website. There is one final point though and it relates to the bigger marketing picture
A website is just a marketing tool. I am guessing the reason you want a new website is to gain more business? If so, do the agency have a full understanding of marketing and will they ensure the website supplements and compliments your other marketing efforts? Can landing pages be easily built for marketing campaigns? Does the agency offer to write copy to encourage potential customers to get in touch?
If you are considering using tools such as Google Ads to drive traffic to your new website then the website itself needs to be great. A badly built website won't convert customers and even if your ad's are successful you may be pouring money down the drain.
If you are not sure if your current website is bringing in the right amount of business, ask us for a free website review and we can advise you on how to get more business.