Choosing the right agency to represent your company online is crucial to your digital marketing strategy. This process can often be drawn out and take months to find the perfect fit, with the changes in technology it’s more important now than ever to have a strong online presence. We want to help make that process easier, so here we’ve listed some of the most common mistakes small businesses make when searching for their dream web agency and what to do to prevent them.
The possibilities for building your online presence are endless, it is important to have a clear idea of how to want to represent yourself online before dedicating to a web agency. While it is true that a good web agency will be able to help guide you through the process, there are a few common mistakes business owners make when searching:
Going in Blind:
What areas of online marketing do you need help with? SEO? PPC?
Landing Pages? Do some research into each of these aspects of your current online presence and get comfortable with where you stand. Understanding your current rankings will help you find an agency whose skills are perfectly in line with your needs.
Web agencies all have different areas of expertise, the last thing you want to do is commit to a web agency and then find out later down the road that they don’t offer the service that would best benefit your business.
What design aspects do you like? Gather examples of sites you like and don’t like; this will help you better explain your tastes and directions you want to follow. Design terms can be confusing and it’s often hard to convey your thoughts exactly, by providing examples you will be able to give a more clear goal of what you need and see if they are the right people to create it.
Skipping the Research:
You wouldn’t hire an interior designer whose own home looked like a rundown shack, the same goes for a web agency, check out their website before ever picking up the phone or sending an email.
Look at their portfolio, do you like the work they’ve done in the past? Do they have a diverse portfolio that reflects many industries and styles? See if their portfolio includes any companies in your industry because it’s important to choose a company that you are confident can complete the work you want and need. Make sure that you like their past work if you look through a portfolio and only like 1 or 2 designs they’ve done, they probably aren’t the best fit.
Now that you’re familiar with their past work, take some time to read their testimonials. Many companies will include them right on the website but some other great places to check are Google, Yelp, and Facebook. Make sure their past clients are happy with not only the end product but the whole process of getting there, sure they may have created a beautiful end product but if their past client said it took months longer than it was supposed to and that the team was unresponsive, you can save yourself a lot of hassle by finding someone else.
Another tip is to look at each page of the company’s site. A web agency’s website is their opportunity to show off their skills. If their website is sloppy, disorganized, or uninspired, chances are you will feel the same about any site they build for you.
Hiring the 1st agency you speak to:
Now that you’ve done your research and found your top picks, (we’d recommend having around 5 picks), it’s time to get them on the phone.
Set up meetings with all the companies and talk to them about your goals and ideas. Layout a few questions that you want to ask each of the agencies you’re considering and take note of their responses.
Don’t make any decisions until after speaking to ALL of the agencies you’re considering; you don’t want to commit to a company to then realize later down the road that your decision was too hasty.
Skipping post-call reviews:
After you’ve spoken with a few agencies it’s important to take some time to fully digest what they’ve told you, after all, you’re not just looking for a company who can through some stuff up online for you but rather a company who can work as an extension of your team and is fully invested in your businesses future.
A good digital marketing team will show interest in your product and brand, they should seem excited to get to know you and be asking questions, not just the other way around.
You’re hiring this company to be your online strategist, make sure they are up for that task, many companies will outsource to offshore resources to letting them skip steps and save money. Hiring a web agency who is invested in your growth will ensure they are always looking out for what is best for you, not just their pockets.
Going for the lowest offer:
It may be tempting to judge solely off-price, especially when running a small business, but they’re usually is a reason their prices are the lowest. Companies with experience and high success rates are going to charge more because they know the value of their services. When you’re hiring a web agency you aren’t just paying for the product, you’re paying for their knowledge and expertise.
Going with the cheapest option without doing the proper research can end up costing you more later down the road when you have to fix the work that was not done correctly the first time.
There are so many amazing web agencies to choose from, just make sure before you make any choices that you’ve done everything you can on your end to ensure you succeed. If you’ve done that, you will be able to find a team perfect for your project who are excited to help you succeed.