Know your bottom line
The first thing is to know what you want out of your website. Work out is what you want your branding and internet marketing to achieve best results. You need to consider carefully your aim, your goals and how you are going to measure success
Many examples of this are:
When launching an e-commerce website, your focus is going to be on return-on-investment (ROI), conversion of sales, and building and maintaining your customer base.
If you are launching a new company and you need brand awareness, you will simply be providing information and education about your services or products. So in this case, good visibility and a clear focus is needed. SEO Long Island based, such as Mimvi drastically help improve you online presence and the face of your business.
When you know what you need to accomplish your goals, you will be able to see if an agency fits the bill.
What to do? Ask the agency you’re interested in to provide solid proof of their capabilities. They should be showing you case studies or examples of how they have approached a problem and how they have provided a solution.
Step 2 – Know your cost vs. value
It’s usually the elephant in the room. Cost is definitely a deal maker or deal breaker when it comes to hiring an agency.
As with everything else you purchase, the phrase “you get what you pay for” rings true in the world of web design and development. If you begin to cut costs solely for saving a dollar now, you may not reap as much value in the long-term when it comes to delivering the results you planned for in step one.
So how can you justify the costs of your project? It’s simple math really. This is where you as a business owner stops to do some research. What have you spent in the last year on your marketing and advertising? The past five years? How have those efforts brought a return on your investment?
What to do? Ask your agency if they can provide clear evidence of the value delivered through tangible results. Remember it’s about value, not cost. If the agency can provide a website or service that brings ROI, then cost isn’t a deal breaker. Don’t let sticker shock blind you from your goals in step one, if you do your research you may find that you’ve been spending money elsewhere without results for quite some time.
Step 3 – Identify a solid track record
This is not necessarily how long an agency has been in business. In fact, a lot of new agencies have some stellar ideas and new methodologies to consider. The point here is how much the agency understands your industry and have they effectively delivered a similar solution to their other clients?
What to do? Ask the agency for some performance data, client testimonials and a case study or two demonstrating their approach and how they measure results.
Step 4 – Communicate and learn
The ever-changing web makes it a highly complex and technically challenging monster even for us who are living and breathing it every day. So it is highly important that you understand what your web agency is talking about and doing.
When you enter into a discussion with them, they should be on your side, working hard to explain what they do, how they do it and most importantly why they are doing it. If you are ever confused or lost by any part of the discussion, it’s not your fault… it’s theirs.
What to do? Ask the agency questions about their process, their methodologies and why they are making certain recommendations or decisions. If you don’t understand a component of the web project, ask. True, it is up to you do your own research, but you should never feel like you’re in the dark about your investment.
Step 5 – Recognize content is your problem
You no doubt have come up with your own reasons for either a makeover or a re-launch of a new site. Most often, the first thing that comes to mind is how your website looks and functions. These are of course important factors, but the most important factor that is most likely overlooked is your content.
If your agency tackles art before content, you’re in the wrong place working with the wrong folks. They are simply putting lipstick on a pig.
Your agency needs to dig deep, they need to be asking the right questions about your customers, your business and your industry. If they are not, red flags should be going up and you should be headed for the door.
Even though this is step five, it is honestly the most important aspect to consider when choosing an agency. The agency needs to know the importance of content first. Whether they create the content or receive from a copywriter, they are building the framework that is housing your content. They need to understand how your users will interact with the content and how you specifically will manage the content in the future. This ensures that your website is delivering your message and maintains its quality for years to come.