Choosing the right web design agency for your business can be a difficult task. There are numerous agencies, of all shapes, sizes and specialisms, who want your business. They will all say that they’re the right agency for you and give you plenty of reasons why you should choose them. And to make your job even harder, there is a huge range in price from a couple of hundred pounds up to several thousand… So how do you decide?
Web Design Agencies are not all the same
It can appear that web design agencies are all ‘much of a muchness’. In reality this couldn’t be further from the truth. Web design companies all have particular strengths, weaknesses and specialisms. This may not be immediately clear, but once you research an agency in detail, look at their client list, service offerings and case studies, a picture will start to emerge.
Freelance, Sole Trader, or Offshore Agency
If an agency is offering a website design for a low fixed cost, then there is a good chance they are a sole trader or an offshore agency with a virtual UK office. There are plenty of situations where this type of agency could be the perfect fit for your business. If you run a small business with limited turnover, or are a sole trader yourself, then it may be the best option for you. But you should bear in mind that with low cost comes certain dangers, including a lack of decent support and difficulty getting hold of your designer when you need them.
Conventional Web Design Agency
This type of traditional web design agency tends to focus purely on website design as a service, and will mainly work with small businesses. 90% of web design agencies fit into this bracket and are the standard agency template that most businesses have come to expect from a web design outfit. They will tend to price their work higher than a freelancer or sole trader, but lower than a specialist agency, and will mostly have a ‘build it and leave it’ mentality. Once your site is live, they will tend to forget about it and move onto the next client. This type of approach generally leads to a negative experience, as the client is left to deal with the marketing and growth of their website. This can add additional unexpected stress, time and cost to the project.
Specialist Web Design Agency
Some web design agencies specialise in a particular area of website design, or a specific website framework. For example, there are agencies who only design and develop eCommerce websites, WordPress-only website agencies, and agencies who only service Magento website systems. This type of agency could be a great choice for businesses who know exactly what they’re looking for. For example, a business looking to redevelop their existing Magento website would be a great fit for an agency who specialises in Magento website development. But if you’re looking for a WordPress eCommerce website, then approaching the Magento specialist would be the wrong move, and the difference in costs may shock you. If your website project has very specific requirements, then a specialist web design agency could be the right fit for your business.
The term marketing agency is rather generic and covers all sorts of marketing, ranging from inbound, SEO and Pay Per Click, to PR, branding and promotional printing. If you’re looking to run a marketing campaign alongside your web design project, then be sure to ask your agency the right questions. Traditional marketing agencies tend to specialise in offline marketing – Adverts, Flyers, Event Promotion – probably not the right fit if you’re looking for online marketing expertise.
Many of these traditional agencies have moved into the digital marketing sphere and now offer web design, SEO and PPC. You should be wary of any agency who offers web design as a bolt-on service. If it’s not their primary area of expertise, then they are unlikely to have the knowledge or experience to deliver a top-notch website. The same applies to agencies who specialize in SEO or Pay Per Click. If they are promoting themselves as primarily an SEO or PPC agency, you will need to do some digging to find out how effective their web design services are. Ask the right questions, look at their case studies and if possible speak to their clients to get an unbiased opinion.
Inbound Marketing and Growth Agency
If you want a website that will help your business grow, improve lead acquisition and increase sales, then an inbound marketing or growth agency could be the best fit for you. Inbound and growth agencies differ from conventional web design agencies, by focusing on the client’s long-term results. The creation of your website is the initial stage, but once it goes live the real work begins. This is where an inbound or growth agency really differs from a conventional agency.
To ensure your website delivers results for your business it needs to be measured, improved and enhanced. This is done by analysing your user data, seeing what’s working and what isn’t and making changes accordingly. The key is to get a deep understanding of your website users, their motives and their challenges. You can then tailor the perfect online solution for their needs.
This type of agency is most suited to medium to large organisations, who are looking to invest in reliable and scalable business growth.
We strongly believe that Growth-Driven Design is the future of web design. By combining web design, data analytics, and marketing goals, your website will help deliver repeatable and scalable growth for your business. To find out how Growth-Driven Design can help your business, speak to our team for a friendly chat.