These days, there are few things more important for your business than a high-quality website. After all, your website will affect everything from your SEO ranking to your ability to convert site visitors into sales and leads. But how do you go about choosing the right web design company? Here are five steps to put you on the right track.
Step One: Know What You Want to Achieve, But Be Realistic
Before anything else, you need to determine what you want your website and internet marketing to achieve. What are your goals? How will you measure success? And how will your website help you accomplish those goals? Whether your goals are focused on converting sales or simply building awareness for your brand, determining the purpose of your website is essential to help everything else fall into place.
Remember to set goals that are time-based and realistic. A year from now, how will you know your money was well spent? Think beyond “first on Google” or “getting more traffic.” Set specific goals for increased sales, leads, or awareness levels. Ask your web agency what tools and services they provide to drive (and measure) traffic to your site. Your agency should understand your sales process so they can improve your site’s efficiency and deliver real value.
Step Two: Cost vs. Value
Cost is always the big elephant in the room, and it’s often a deal breaker when it comes to hiring an agency. That being said, the phrase “you get what you pay for” is just as true for web development as it is with other products. If you cut costs on web development to save a dollar now, you may not reap as much long-term value as you would like.
So how do you justify these costs? As a business owner, you need to do your research. Ask the agency if they can provide clear evidence of the value their website development can deliver, and compare it with the ROI you’ve achieved with other marketing campaigns. Remember, your focus should be on long-term value here—cost shouldn’t be a deal breaker if it will get you a website that brings greater ROI than your other marketing efforts.
Step Three: Communicate and Learn
The ever-changing world of the internet makes it technically challenging to master, even for those of us who live and breath it every day. But the better you understand what a web agency is talking about and doing, the better your experience will be. Ask the agency about their process, methodologies, and the whys behind their recommendations. You should never feel lost or confused by what’s going on with your website. If the agency can’t effectively communicate this information to you, they’re probably not a good fit.
Step Four: Recognize Content is Your Problem
You no doubt have many good reasons to be looking for a makeover or relaunch of your website. In our experience, most businesses want to improve the look and function of their site. But in reality, the most important factor (and one that is frequently overlooked) is your site’s content.
Even though this is step four, it is honestly the most important aspect to consider when choosing an agency. The agency needs to dig deep, asking the right questions about your customers, business, and industry to craft compelling content that perfectly fits your target niche. This ensures that they will build the right framework to house and create content that successfully delivers your messages and maintains its quality. If an agency isn’t doing these things, red flags should be going up and you should be headed for the door.
Step Five: Maintain the Quality of Your Investment
Even after your site has been launched, a good agency will continue to maintain a strong relationship with you. Depending on how involved you are in maintaining your site and publishing content, a good agency will also assist you with analytics reporting and other tools to help you continually reach your goals.
Don’t be afraid to ask a potential web agency about their ongoing client relationships. What do they do to assist other clients? Do they have ongoing maintenance, content, or service plans that you can sign up for? These additional services can ensure that your site continues to deliver great value for years to come.
At Birdeye, we understand just how important the above factors are in creating a successful website that helps your company achieve its goals. If you’re ready to start a new web project, contact us today, and we’ll help you turn your internet marketing dreams into a reality.