Should I go for the red Ferrari? Or the black?
Now these are choices that are worth breaking your head over, don’t you think?
It is criminal wastage of time if you are contemplating the right agency for taking your business online. But, it is also important that you follow a small protocol before you end up hiring any website development agency.
What is this protocol, you ask?
Well, it’s nothing but a list of 8 easy steps that you must follow before settling for an agency.
Step 1- Know your requirements
It is always good to know your primary objective of developing a website before you approach an agency or vice versa.
To have a better idea of this objective, develop a list of things you would want from your website. The agency will bombard you with questions for which you should prepare yourself with answers for. For example, do you plan to sell individual products or services in an e-commerce format? Would you want a payment gateway integrated to your website? Do you want a dynamic or a static website? Are you interested in ROI, conversion sales or building and maintaining a customer base? Or do you want just to launch and create awareness about your business?
Answers to these questions are also answers to integral questions related to your business. Like, how will your business progress as a website? When do you think, you will have logistics to support an online ordering system? Hence, it is important that you do your homework before the agency puts you in a situation.
Step 2- Know your cost vs. your product or service value
Costs for building a website may differ from one agency to the other. Hence, it is best to know that it could be the deciding factor for you as well as for the agency.
Ensure you get what you pay for. If you start cutting costs solely to save a grand or two you may not be able to reap as much value in the long-term. Especially, when it comes to delivering results or planning as per your requirements.
By this, we don’t mean you should give in to every demand made by the agency, but be wise and take into consideration the efforts put in by both sides.
The best way to make this decision is to analyse the previous investments made in marketing and development, add that investment made in five years and compare it to the cost you will incur with this agency. Simple math, isn’t it?
Step 3- Identify a solid track record
In this step, you conduct research on the agency you are hoping to work with. It is not always true that it’s only the large agencies that are the best, smaller and newer agencies also have some path-breaking ideas that could prove to be beneficial for your business.
Ask the agency to provide you with performance data, client testimonials and case study or demonstrate their approach to problems and measuring tools. Trust us, the agency will be obliged if they want to work with you.
Step 4- Exchange communication knowledge and learn
Currently, it is difficult to keep up with the changing technologies and technical formats. It is the agency’s job to update you with the newest technologies and use them in the development of your website. But, it is also important that you read up about them in brief if not in detail.
Ask the agency about their process, their methodologies, the technology they use and why they are making certain recommendations or decisions. It is their responsibility to ensure you know exactly what you are getting into. It is true that you should do your research, but you should also have knowledge about your investment.
Step 5- Pay attention to content
If your agency is only beautifying your website, then you are probably in the wrong place working with the wrong team. Content is key to ensure your website creates the results you want. The agency that you choose must ask the right questions about your audience, your business process, and your industry.
The agency that you choose must understand the importance of content. They should realize that they are creating a framework for your business content. They need to know how the visitors to your website absorb and respond to your content. Content is everything that a business needs to build a foundation online. Copy for images, videos and everything else is equally important as the main content explaining your business. They should speak to your marketing team and client managers to know the wavelength that they share with their customers.
Step 6 – Know what you want to achieve and be realistic
In this step, you need to invest some time into knowing your objective and expectation from your website. Create timelines for your growth.
Think of ways that will help your business grow other than being first on Google and generating traffic.
Some goals that you can set for the first half-yearly plan.
• Generate more leads
• Increase online sales
• Create product or service awareness
• Be in touch with your customer requirements
Ask your agency about the tools and services they provide to gauge the traffic they generate for your website. Ensure that the agency understands your sales process so that they can help you devise efficient plans to improve sales from your website.
Step 7 – Know your strategy
An agency will provide you with a clear and concise web strategy. But, is that enough? It is important that the strategy they provide gives your business a strong sense of authority, relevance and trust. You will know that you have a solid strategy when you can measure its success. When you can measure your success, you can make the right business decisions based on real data.
Ask your agency about their approach in detail. The approach should outline the expected results and the deadline in which they will achieve it.
Step 8- Maintain quality of your investment
After launching your website, a good website development agency will maintain a good relationship to ensure you are comfortable using and maximizing your website. Depending on your website the agency will help you upload, maintain and publish content and images. A good agency will provide you assistance with analytical data to ensure that profits from your website are always maximized.
Ask your agency about how are their relationships with other companies. How are they assisting other clients? Are there any maintenance or service plans that you can sign up for your website?
In most cases, you will get what you pay for. But, it is also important that you be well-prepared, so you make the right choice. With these eight easy steps, we assure you will never be in a situation where you will regret your decision. Some homework, clarity in thoughts, and collaboration is all it takes to get a value-based, customised website for your business, up and running. Design and development together create the backbone of your brand’s digital presence, and content just makes it all come together. All 3 are equally important to your brand’s success.
by Antarip Saikia