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How to choose an experimented web agency?


What is a web agency?


A digital agency is a company you can outsource your digital marketing efforts to instead of managing your digital marketing efforts in-house. This agency can provide a range of digital options to help market your goods or services online and assist you in drafting and achieving your marketing objectives, ultimately expanding your company. It can be a really valuable partner because it will allow you to keep focusing on something you master: taking care of your current customers.


A web agency, on the other hand is a specialized company that offers digital solutions specifically designed for the internet. When creating a website, mobile app, or other digital solutions, they may participate in some or all phases of the design process. A web agency's specialized expertise stems from their accumulated experience and knowledge from previous projects.




But with so many agencies in existence today, how do you make the right choice? The answer below.



How to choose an experimented web agency?


Choosing the right web agency for your business can be tricky. The internet is bursting with web designers from all over the world that range from startup one-man-bands to established award-winning agencies. In Belgium, typing: “agence web” in French in Google search throws up a whopping 470 million results alone! How do you know which partner will get the results you’re looking for?


TIPS FOR CHOOSING THE RIGHT WEB AGENCY:



1. STEP BACK FROM YOUR BUSINESS AND THINK!




The first thing you need to think about is what in your already established business might need to improve. You think about an ecommerce site? Do you want to allow online bookings? How many pages do you need? If you have lots of products, how would you like to organize them? etc. etc. You know your competitors. Have you benchmarked them for inspiration? A good web design agency will help you go through this preliminary process. This is part of establishing a digital marketing strategy and depends a lot from a company to another.


Forging a good brief from the start will lower the amount of back and forth getting ultimately to save money and get you better results.


Here is a list of examples you might your website to do next to having a nice design:


  • Generate leads for your business;

  • Sync with your CRM so that you recuperate directly forms that were submit online

  • Integrate with your marketing automation tool

  • Link with your email marketing automation software like MailChimp

  • Collect payments including subscription-based payments/donations;

  • Sync with your ERP if you have a platform to which customer can connect


2. DECIDE ON YOUR BUDGET


Establishing a rough budget will help you know what you can afford before you contact web designers. The choice is enormous and pricing can vary significantly. You will have to approach web agencies with an outline of your initial requirements to get a cost indication. If you receive a quote that is too high, you can always talk about how to scale back your job to obtain a more reasonable price. It’s important to manage your expectations though and bear in mind the Cheap Good Fast principle. It is usually only possible to deliver on 2 of these aspects in one project, so decide on your priorities.


It is basically possible to work in two different ways:


- Either you receive a well-defined offer for a specific job

- Either you start per hour but be careful because this approach might quickly get costly



3. LOOK AT THEIR PORTFOLIO AND RESULTS


Usually you’ll find a portfolio of previous work on their websites where you make your own opinion. It will allow you to see if the approach they took with other customer might be a good fit for your business. How does it feel as a user to browse those websites? Is it mobile-responsive?


If you pay a professional, I guess you expect a tailored made solution to your brand requirements. Look for variety in their designs. If everything looks same-same, the chances are high there is an established pattern in their design. You’ll most likely end up with a similar patent.


Be vigilant for tangible outcome: web design agencies with a proven track record may publish facts and figures to show how their designs have boosted previous clients. Improvement of performances of the website, visitor numbers, reduced bounce rates, ROI on investment are some metrics you might want to have a look at.



4. READ REVIEWS AND TESTIMONIALS


Look for independent reviews and testimonials from previous clients on Google My Business or Facebook. However, if the only place you see reviews is on their website, do a little more digging before requesting a meeting with them. Quotations on a web page can easily be faked. If the ones on social media are the same as the ones on the website it should be more legit.



5. GET ADVICE FROM OTHER BUSINESSES AND FRIENDS




Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals, just mind the experience bias! If your friend is a dentist; his web agency might not be the best choice for your 30 employees SMB which requires an ERP connected website. Try to be selective and look for similar compagnies as yours. Then try to see if some of your relatives might know the Marketing Manager or the web agency they worked with. Linked-in is a great tool to perform this kind of analysis.


Most designers are listed in the footer of their website, making it quick and easy to find their details.



6. CREATIVITY – PERSONALITY OF THE TEAM


The diversity of the cases the portfolio gathers might be a good indicator for you to understand how broad the creativity of the agency is. Indeed, a specific problematic will require a specific solutions that fewer technologies will tackle. How diverse the approaches the agency used are? Does it seem that latest tech has been used?


If you meet the team to expose your problems, you have certainly already though about a solution. How does the agency challenge you with your preconceived solutions? How constructive is the first meeting?


The personality of the team is crucial for your selection. Coordination must be smooth from the beginning with a team you trust. What flexibility does your company require? Do you need a pretty agile team for quick development or a heavy more structured team for huge projects? The latter will also require a well-established process between your company and the agency.



6. GIVE THEM A CALL OR EMAIL




I personally prefer to give a quick discovery call. What vibe does it get? It can sometimes give you quickly a sense on the efficiency of the aftersales service. Do you feel the person on the phone is someone you would like to work with in the future?


If you are more analytical type; establishing a simple list of questions might save you some time to evaluate if an agency is a good fit. Ask them if they can answer this list by mail in order to frame: scope, budget and timing.


What will often occur though is that the agency will require a meeting with you. Thanks to Covid pandemic, the use of video conferencing has been greatly facilitated! Take advantage of it and quickly get a sense off what it would be like to work with them.

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