Deciding who to trust with the development of your website is a big thing for any brand, let alone if your whole company is based online. There's more to it than just seeing who can come up with the best design unfortunately, but here are some tips to ensure that you place your trust in the right hands.
What are your goals?
The first thing you need to consider is what you hope to get out of your website, and also in the agency you choose to help you. Think about how you are going to manage success rates, will this be in conversion of sales or the amount of hits? Once you've established your goals, it will be easier to discover whether an agency can reach these. If you're unsure, don't be afraid to ask for evidence of work they've undertaken with previous clients.
How much do you want to spend?
As with any hired service, be-it a plumber or an electrician, you need to have a figure in mind when deciding to hire an agency. Think about how much you've spent on advertising and marketing in the past and what return you've gained on them. When asking for evidence, don't be shy talking figures too - any business worth its salt won't be embarrassed to disclose this kind of information.
Who are their client base?
Looking at the agencies' previous work can also help to learn how your business might fit in to their client base. Have they worked with any companies like yours before? Are their clients small, medium or large businesses? If they've worked with companies of a similar size and sector to yours it can help for you to feel confident in your choice.
What are their ideas?
Design is of course an important factor in any website, but there are more key issues that could be hindering your site. Think about how user-friendly and accessible it is, can anyone go on to your site and explore it with minimum effort? If this box is ticked, look at your content. Does the agency offer a copywriter service, or are they creating the content themselves? Content is king online, helping your SEO and visibility so make sure that you employee an agency who share this understanding.
What services and products are they offering?
They might offer to take the full development of the website off your hands, including writing product descriptions. If they are going to outsource some work - such as the content material - ask whether this company will be able to be contacted. Away from the content, you should discover how the company plan to make your site responsive in terms of design - it's more important now than ever to make sure your design is Google-friendly - but they should also be able to discuss how they expect to manage future trends. They could be using open or owned sourced coding too, and you should ask how whether you will be able to make an alteration to the code yourself (if you feel you could do this) or if not, what the process is if support is needed on the site.
How many staff do they have?
Discovering how many staff will be working on your site is an important factor, you want your site to be as important to the agency as it is to you. If they have few people managing multiple customers it could affect their overall ability to reach your targets. Also don’t forget to ask what the expected response time will be to a query or email so you are aware from the start.
Other points to consider
The other questions that could help to make your mind up could include - How long will it take for your site to go live? Will there be any additional costs associated with potential future updates? Who owns the site on completion? It’s key to iron out the details from the start so that both parties are aware of what is expected.
Submitted by Studioworx Social Media Team on 14/05/2015