Avoid the nightmare of starting work on a web design project with the wrong partner. The stress and financial implications of abandoning a web design project are enormous, so look out for these five red flags to ensure you have a successful partnership.
Web Design Agency Red flag 1: A lack of transparency
As a potential buyer, you have every right to browse their website and see some information on how much your website will likely cost. Now, it is true that websites vary in price enormously, but you should be able to get a sense of whether you will spend £5k or £500k.
A good web design agency will generally have an informative blog on websites and digital marketing, which will help you understand their approach. You want to look for a blog that openly shares information and is written in an honest, unbiased way that is not at all salesy.
Web Design Agency Red Flag 2: The portfolio of work is missing or looks generic
One of the biggest web design agency red flags is the lack of a portfolio or case studies. A web design agency proud of its work will have a collection of successful projects they can showcase to potential clients. A lack of a portfolio could mean that the agency is inexperienced or does not have a proven track record.
A more typical web design agency red flag is when all of their portfolio of websites look the same, meaning they use a template they are comfortable with but lack fundamental design skills. Your business and your brand are unique and need to be seen as such by the visiting public to your site.
Remember that people will give a website less than half a second’s chance to impress them when they land on it. At this time, only the design can work, so be sure to see a substantial variety of work within their website portfolio and well-designed work.
Web Design Agency Red Flag 3: No written process for a web build
A professional web design agency should have a written process in place for creating a website, and this should be in the form of a document that they can share with you as a potential buyer of their services.
[To request our version of this document, simply send us a message via the contact page here]
Creating a website is a partnership between companies that may not know each other well. Without it being highly organised, the process will likely be incredibly stressful and unlikely to lead to a great website.
A written web design process indicates an organised and thoughtful business, and for this reason alone, it should always be requested.
Once you have seen their website process document, you should look out for all the areas of work which fall to you and the areas in which you can collaborate with the website builder.
It may be tempting to think of a website build as something that the agency does, but your authentic voice must be drawn out at the start of the process so the words on the website accurately reflect your brand.
You should originate the content for your website. Still, there should be coaching on how to write from them, and you should also have access to a professional writer to add the finishing touches to ensure that your web content resonates with your site visitors and draws them through the site.
Web Design Agency Red Flag 4: The agency builds websites that fail Google’s tests
Many agencies will build an attractive website using a good process, but they need to gain the in-house digital skills to make it appealing to Google.
Warning: this is an extremely serious problem and will result in a website that will never rank properly on Google and severely hamper your business until you build a completely new one.
These days, great websites are built for Google from the ground up. The work to make them successful on Google begins even before the new site is built because a good Agency will ask to map your old website in order to understand the keywords, backlinks and structure of the site.
Simply building a new website which replaces an old one will result in the loss of all your years of hard work building up the profile of your business online.
To avoid this scenario, you should always choose an agency with some level of Google-certified expertise in the business.
Web Design Agency Red Flag 5: The agency cannot explain how ongoing support works.
You will want to constantly update and evolve your website throughout its five to ten-year life cycle and need experts’ support. The ideal partner for this work is the website design agency that built the website, so it is vital that they can explain how that process works to give you an idea of the costs and for that cost to be reasonable.
Poorly organised agencies find it hard to deliver this support. A mature, experienced agency should be able to give you a handful of hours each month to give you complete peace of mind that everything is covered. You will also want a technical expert to review the site’s security and integrity every quarter.
A great website design agency brings joy to the web build process.
I have shared the most familiar stories of pain and suffering from clients I have met. There are other areas of concern: poor communication during the process and unrealistic promises made by the agency at the start. The old phrase of something being too good to be true is never more relevant than when it comes to picking your website design agency!
Make a great start to your web design agency search by requesting our process document today.
We will be delighted to share it, and you may also wish to get a precise cost for your website project from us. This will involve you engaging in a short Discovery process that will result in you getting an accurate cost from us and a specification you can share with other agencies to get matching quotes.
Don’t forget to measure your success on social media it’s an exciting metric
With all major social media platforms offering some form of analytics, you get to see how your platforms grow, what demographic of people they are growing by. Allowing you to tailor your social media marketing strategy for your real audience.
You get to target your advertising in an inexpensive way to promote your business and distribute your content. With social media integrating into other platforms allowing purchasing online to be seamless and allowing for growth and improving on your ROI.
Social Media planning and execution is something we love to do
We would never recommend handing your entire social media over to an external resource but it can be very useful to have strategy and some of the implementation done by experts such as our team here at The Ambitions Agency lead by Liyana. We would always aim to amplify the authentic voice of the brand – your voice – rather than water it down. We’re experienced in doing this and to find out how this could work for you get in touch today.