Hiring a web design professional to build (or rebuild/remake) your website is an important step for growing your business and engaging more effectively with your customers. As I always tell potential customers for our design or marketing services, people form an instant impression of your business based largely on how your website looks, establishing the right perception immediately is key. Hiring the right agency can make all the difference in the response you get. There is a myriad of options out there, you must choose carefully and with realistic expectations. If you’ve never worked with a web development agency, you may not understand some of the particulars. In some cases, you may unintentionally do things that are counterproductive or are based on subjective opinions. With this in mind, I thought it would be helpful to offer some tips on how to work with your web design agency.
“establishing the right perception immediately is key”
Make Sure It’s the Right Fit
Before working with any type of professional, whether a contractor, doctor or web designer, it’s a good idea to do some research and comparison shopping. You want to make sure the person or business you’re working with is qualified, experienced, and a good match for your needs and preferences. You might look over other projects the agency has done, and look for testimonials and reviews. You can also get a feel for the company by talking to people on the phone or via email. Make sure anyone you speak to is responsive to your questions and that you’re treated like an individual. You always want to work with an agency that gives its full attention to each project and creates a customized solution for each problem.
There isn’t a one size fits all solution in web.
Communicate Your Goals Clearly
Whether you’re having a website built from scratch, overhauling an existing website, or starting a marketing campaign, make sure you’ve communicated to the agency exactly what you’re trying to achieve. For example, do you want to get opt-ins for a mailing list, make your website easier to navigate, sell products directly from your e-commerce site, or build brand recognition? You may have one or more of these goals or different ones. If you’re not clear about what you want to achieve, it’s essential to clarify this before anyone starts working on your project.
Identify Your Target Audience
For any project, one of the first requirements is to target the right audience. Is your audience business professionals, college students, seniors, or some other demographic? You have to know details such as where they live, how old they are, their average income, and what their most pressing needs are. No matter what kind of project I’m working on for a client so much depends on the audience. If it’s a website, the design has to appeal to the visitors. Content such as text and images has to be created with the right people in mind. Marketing campaigns must appeal to the tastes and preferences of a certain audience. It’s essential to do plenty of market research before you hire any type of web professional.
Let the Professionals do Their Job
Don’t try to micromanage the project. Once you provide guidelines on what you want, let the agency do its job. Some clients constantly call or email with advice on design, UX, marketing or some other aspect of the project. Remember that you hired the company because of its expertise. You can’t become an expert overnight based on an article or news story you just read. Every project is different. You might come upon what seems like a brilliant idea (e.g. installing virtual reality features into your website) but it may not be workable based on the rest of the project or your budget.
Have a Realistic Timeline
When clients want a new or updated website or start an ambitious marketing campaign, they’re anxious to see the results. This is perfectly understandable and web professional share your enthusiasm to see the finished results. However, good work takes a certain amount of time. If you try to rush the process, you’re making it more difficult for the professionals to do their job. If the agency has given you an estimate of how long it will take, trust that this is the best timeline to achieve the best outcome. If the agency tells you a month and you ask if it can be completed in two weeks, you run the risk that something is going to be compromised.
Provide What’s Needed
Depending on the project, the agency may need certain content or guidelines from you. If you’re not prepared, this will cause delays and make it more difficult for the work to be completed on time. You might need to provide images, text content, information about your business, or certain links. If people on your team are assigned certain tasks and you’re hiring an agency to handle other matters, make sure that everyone is working on the same timeline. For example, if you want the agency to create a page to sell your products, make sure you send over the images and product descriptions. Creating web pages, ads, and other digital products involve many details. For everything to go smoothly, you have to get organized and make sure you’re prepared to provide everything the agency needs to do its job.
Understand That Design and Marketing are Ongoing Processes
In the digital age, technology, marketing, SEO, design, and other areas evolve quickly. There’s no such thing as a perfect website, landing page, or ad campaign. It’s almost a certainty that you’ll want to update your website in the not-too-distant future. You may want to add pages, make edits, experiment with new features, or try new types of content or advertising. It’s also a fact that until you test something with an actual audience, you never know for certain how effective it’s going to be.
…a fact that until you test something with an actual audience, you never know for certain how effective it’s going to be.
What all of this means is that you shouldn’t overthink everything. You definitely need to identify your overall preferences, objectives and target audience. Once you’ve done this, however, you also have to see how people actually interact with your website. Get feedback from visitors and customers and test metrics such as bounce rates and conversions. There’s no aspect of web design or digital marketing that’s a “set and forget it” process. Even if everything turns out exactly the way you want, there’s always room for improvement and you’ll have to respond to changes with Google, Facebook, the marketplace, and other factors.
Partner With a Digital Agency
With any web design or online marketing project where you work with an agency, it’s a partnership. For best results, be clear about what you need to do and what you’re leaving to the professionals. I’ve found that when clients blur these boundaries, it can cause confusion or delays. When you approach it the right way, a digital agency can help you accomplish your business goals quite a bit faster than you could on your own.
To find out how nvision can help you with all aspects of web design, development, and digital marketing, contact us. We even offer specialized services such as automotive web design, tailored to bring you the leads you need.