Freelancers, web design specialists, full-service marketing agencies… how do you even begin to choose the right web designer for your business? There are a lot of factors you’ll need to consider based on your goals and the scope of your web design project, but we recommend starting by looking for a web designer who demonstrates these eight important qualities.
A Diverse Portfolio
Checking out several agencies’ portfolios will probably be one of your first steps when choosing a web design company. Pay close attention to the different brands and industries represented in each agency’s portfolio: has the agency worked with a diverse group of clients, or are they creating similar-looking sites for businesses in the same industry? You’ll want to work with an agency that can adapt their design aesthetic to match your brand and make your site stand out, rather than just coasting on a similar style across sites.
Quick Tip: Visit some of the sites the agency has designed rather than just looking at screenshots in the portfolio. Pull up the sites on your phone as well as your desktop to make sure they look great across all screen sizes.
An Understanding of Your Goals and Audience
A web design agency might not be an expert on your business or industry from the get-go, but they should do their research so that they understand your goals and the audience you’re trying to reach with your site. When you first meet with them, they should give you the opportunity to talk about your business model, sales cycle, customers, and pain points. A good agency will recognize that they need to combine your industry knowledge with their design expertise to succeed.
The Ability to Design a Site That Scales with Your Business
It’s probably not much of a wild guess to say that you want to grow your business—that’s why you’re redesigning your website (or creating a new one), right? To that end, you should look for a web designer who can help you set up a site that can scale with your business. A top web design agency should recommend a web host that has enough bandwidth as your site begins to get more traffic and a CMS platform that allows for add-ons as your website evolves.
A Big Picture Marketing Approach
You’ve probably heard the expression “can’t see the forest for the trees.” Keep that in mind when choosing a web design company. You don’t want to work with a designer who is so caught up in the initial site design that they don’t consider your long-term marketing goals. Ideally, you should look for an agency that does more than just design. By partnering with an agency that offers branding, SEO, and content marketing services, you’ll have a new website created with an integrative marketing approach.
It’s especially important to work with an agency that can build a search engine optimized site. After all, your site needs to rank for relevant search results to drive organic traffic.
A Focus on User Experience
Your agency shouldn’t just rely on the latest design trends. They should focus on design strategies that improve the user experience and lead to more conversions. To get a sense of their UX design skills, go back to the websites of several of their past clients. Are the sites easy to navigate? Are the calls-to-action clear and easy to find? If you’re looking at an ecommerce site, is the checkout process straightforward and painless?
A Willingness to Stick with You Post-Launch
Before hiring a web designer, ask them about the services they can offer you after your new or redesigned site launches. One of our top tips for hiring a web designer is to choose someone who can provide troubleshooting and maintenance assistance after your site launch. That will save you from having to find a new vendor and bring them up to speed.
Awesome Communication Skills
It’s probably too much to expect your web designer to pick up the phone at 11 pm on a Saturday, but they should provide reasonably prompt responses to your questions and feedback (at least during business hours). When interviewing web design agencies, ask if there will be a designated point person you can reach out to for help. Also, find out how the agency plans to keep you updated on project developments—can they set up recurring meetings and walk you through exactly what they’re doing.
Contact several of the agency’s past clients to find out what their experience has been. Be sure to ask how well the agency communicated with them.
When investing in a website redesign, you don’t want to go with an agency that makes all their decisions based on gut instinct. The best web design agencies will be able to show the results of past projects by looking at KPIs like bounce rate, site traffic, goal completion, and conversion rate. Your web design agency should perform an audit of your current site, make recommendations based on your site’s performance, and provide transparent reports once your new site goes live.
We can’t tell you which web design agency to choose, but we CAN recommend checking out Leverage’s web design services! Give us a call to learn more about what we can do for your site.