Checklist: 8 things to keep in mind to choose the right web agency

To succeed in an increasingly competitive market, it is necessary that your company gives your visitors the absolute best experience of your brand - regardless of channel. A web agency can help your business develop your digital presence, and in many ways become the hub for your digital growth.

But which web agency and provider should you choose? Who can match your needs?

To help you in this jungle, we have compiled a checklist of 8 things to keep in mind to choose the right web agency.

. What do you want to achieve with your website?

The first step is to understand what the goal is with your website and digital marketing. You need to carefully identify what the company's goals are and how those goals should be measured and achieved to achieve success. The risk is otherwise that the work will be unclearly distributed, communication scattered, and that different people work internally towards different goals.

If you are, for example, a company engaged in e-commerce, your focus should be on measuring return-on-investment (ROI), sales conversion and continuing to build and process your customer base.

Another example is if your company is a service company. Since your purpose is to build trust in your expertise and your services, it is required that you educate your customers, market your experiences and insights, and show statistics about what you do for your customers. In this way, you can create awareness about your brand and offer information that can help your target group provide them with answers to their problems and needs.

Once you have determined the goals of the website, you can go ahead and investigate which web agency is best suited for your business. 

 

Ask the web agency to explain their qualifications

Let them show you one or more customer cases and examples of how they have solved a problem and what solution they used for a previous customer. It may not always be applicable to your company and industry, but it creates a good picture of their work process. 

2. Understand the difference between cost and value

This is usually the so-called elephant in the room. Cost is often, and should of course be, a crucial issue when it comes to choosing a web agency.

As with everything in purchasing decisions, the phrase "You get what you pay for" is very common in terms of web design and web development. If you start by trying to bargain a cost just to save a penny or two, you will probably not get as much value in the long run when it comes to creating results, which was originally your plan. It is about understanding the value over time as the result of what you pay for today.

So how can you justify the cost of a project? Actually, the math is pretty simple. This is where the company's CEO or owner must pull the handbrake and do his homework. What have you spent on digital marketing and advertising in the last year? The last five years? What have these activities and efforts given you for ROI? How many new customers have you actually gained through your website?
Look at these past expenses to see how the cost of the new website, continued development and improvement over time, as well as forecasted ROI will affect the choice of investment.

Ask a web agency ...

... if they can present clear evidence and measurable statistics on concrete results. Remember that it is value you are asking for, not cost. If the web agency can create a website or a service that creates a high ROI, then the cost is not a deal breaker - because then you create growth!

3. Identify a solid track record

This is not necessarily based on how old a web agency is or how long it has been around. In fact, many new web agencies have really crisp ideas and innovative methods for creating really good digital solutions. The point here is to review if the web agency understands your industry and how they can effectively deliver a similar solution to their other customers.


Ask a web agency ...

... what they can show for data on performance, customer references and customer case to demonstrate their mindset and ability to solve their customers' various problems based on industry and industry.

4. Communicate and learn from each other

Perhaps the most important insight about a website is that it is a constant living object. Your website is a complex and technical challenge, even for those of us who struggle with these digital creatures on a daily basis. Therefore, it is important that you and your web agency speak the same language and understand each other.

When you start a dialogue with a web agency or discuss something, they should work with you to explain, simplify and make you understand why they do what they do. If you are ever confused or feel that you do not understand something in a discussion with a web agency, then it is not your fault - it is not your job to know. It's the web agency.

Ask a web agency ...

... what their process is and what their methods look like and how they motivate the choices they make. If you do not understand a component or part of a web project, ask! Sure, it's true, you have to pull your straw and do your own research, but you should never feel that you are being led astray, especially when it's your money that is invested.

5. Prioritize the content of the website

What usually underlies the decision to make about your website is its appearance and function. These are of course important factors, but what is most often overlooked is the content of the website.

If your web agency tackles and prioritizes appearance over content, then unfortunately you are in the wrong place and working with the wrong people. All they do is smear lipstick on a pig.

Your web agency needs to dig deeper than that. They need to ask the right questions. Questions that you yourself did not know existed or needed to be asked. These include questions about your customers, your business and your industry. If they do not do this, the alarm bells should ring loudly in your head.

Even though we have gone down to step five, this is probably the most important step to consider when choosing a web agency to work with. The web agency must understand the importance of content always coming first. Whether they create content themselves or produce it with the help of a third party, they build the house, the roof and the framework where your content will live. They need to understand how visitors to your website will interact with your content and how your business will handle the content published on your website in the future. This ensures that your website delivers its message and maintains a high quality for several years to come.


Ask a web agency ...

... how they relate to content. Content includes everything from written blog posts, web-compatible images, movies, downloadable documents, etc., etc. If anything, the web agency should have a close communication with your company's marketing department or a copywriter if they do not create content themselves.

 

6. Understand what you want to achieve, but be realistic

Invest both time and care to review the goals of your website and the expectations of your web agency. Try to define what your website will look like in six months or a year from now, and then see how your money will be spent.

Think wider brushstrokes than "We should be first on Google" or "Drive more traffic"

Here are some examples of goals that are realistic to achieve:

Ask a web agency ...

... what tools and services they can present to drive measurable traffic to your website. Your web agency should understand your sales process in order to make the website as effective as possible and in the long run create the most possible value.

7. Understand your digital strategy

A good web agency should be able to provide you with a clear and concrete web strategy. This extends beyond your website. A good strategy will give your business a strong sense of weight, relevance and credibility. When you have a solid plan and when you have the right tools to measure data, you can use data to make good decisions - yes, that's when your visitors can convert to becoming paying customers on your website.

Ask a web agency ...

... if they can explain their approach in detail. Make sure that the strategy you come up with can also achieve your company's general goals. Their approach should be able to clearly answer how your company will be able to achieve its goal within the estimated budget.

8. Maintain the quality of your investment

After you have launched your new website, a good web agency will offer a healthy relationship with you. Depending on how involved your company is with the maintenance and publication of new content on your website, a good web agency will offer its assistance with analytical reporting and help you achieve your set goals.

Ask a web agency ...

... what their current customer relationships look like. What does the ongoing contact with their current customers look like? Does the web agency offer a continuous service plan on a monthly or quarterly basis that your company can sign?

 

I hope you understand that a web project is not an easy decision and that it is worth thinking about to find the perfect match (just like on Tinder). Now you hopefully know a little more about what questions you should ask in order to get relevant answers and in the end choose the right web agency for your particular company.