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Hiring the Best Web Design Agency: 9 Questions You Need to Ask

Amy Westebbe

Amy Westebbe

Amy guides our client's content strategies when it comes to website design, growth-driven design, SEO, and brand development. She helps our B2B brands, improves their value propositions and ROI.
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You’re not happy with your website. It has a clunky user interface, doesn’t get enough traffic, or looks outdated. How do you hire the best website design agency to make your site shine?

 A simple Google search doesn’t help very much. Here’s what I found:

When I entered “Web Design Agencies,” Google returned about 371,000,000 results.

I narrowed it down to “Award-Winning Web Design Agencies,” giving me only 201,000,000 results.

I tried narrowing it further, searching “Best Web Design Agencies Near Me” but that made things even worse, with about 2,440,000,000 results.

With these overwhelming results, how do you know where to start finding the best web design agency for your business??

How small marketing agencies can benefit your business

Here are the 9 questions to ask for hiring the best web design agency:

1. What type of skills do I need for website design and development?

Designing a website takes two major skill sets. The first is web design, which is focused primarily on the front end, or what the user sees. The second category, web development, handles the back end functionality. The designer and developer must collaborate closely to deliver the best possible user experience. SEO may be managed by the designer, developer, SEO specialist, or a combination of people.

TIP: When interviewing web agencies, ask how they integrate design and development functions.

2. What are your primary Digital Marketing objectives?

Your website is more than just a pretty picture. It’s a marketing tool used to meet specific marketing objectives. For example, a graphic designer’s site would feature a portfolio of their work. A retail business would focus on the e-retail element. An early-phase biotech company may focus on scientific innovation. At other times, a company is happy with most of the content but wants to refresh the site with a modern look or new branding.

When you approach a web design agency, you should be able to prioritize what your digital marketing objectives are. For example:

  • Increase conversion
  • Expand the subscriber base
  • Elevate one or more product categories
  • Draw investors
  • Appeal to target audiences  

TIP: Ask prospective agencies how they might address your website objectives. While you shouldn’t expect agencies to provide specific answers while interviewing, remove from consideration agencies that can’t offer general strategies.  

3. How much will it cost for an agency to design my website?

After determining your objectives, get internal agreement on what your company is willing to spend on your website—for initial build and monthly maintenance. The budget will affect which agency you choose and how sophisticated your site will be. Note that web design agencies can vary widely in what they charge for their services.

TIP: Ask what types of clients and budgets the agency typically handles? If your project is too small, you may not get enough attention. If your project is relatively large, they may not have sufficient resources. No matter who you choose, be prepared to separate your must-have from your like-to-have items. 

https://www.ladybugz.com/10-signs-that-we-are-the-perfect-interactive-agency-for-your-company/

4. How long will it take an agency to build my website?

There are no mathematical equations for how long it will take to build your website. There are simply too many factors, including the length and sophistication of the website. It may also depend on the speed and efficiency of the client’s internal decision-making process. An iterative process, where senior decision makers are kept in the loop at all times, is one way to prevent late-stage derailments.

TIP: Share desired launch date with the website design agency upfront. If they can’t do everything at once, you can use a phased approach, winnow down your wish list, or see if other agencies can build it faster—without sacrificing quality.

5. What do I want my website to look like?

Once you have a budget, look at other websites to get ideas about what appeals to you. Gather a list of sites you like for various reasons—graphic design, navigation, ease-of-use, and other factors. You can get ideas from websites inside or outside your industry. Depending on your business, you may need industry-specific expertise. Alternatively, you may prefer an agency with a broad perspective based on experience with diverse industries.

Your next task is to find out who designed these sites. You can often find this information on the footer of the website, the About Us page, or in the source code—as a metatag or near the top of style.css file in WordPress. You can also contact the company and ask the marketing department.

TIP: Once you have a short list of agency prospects, view their portfolio sections and visit the sites they have designed—you can judge for yourself if you like their work and want to contact them.

6. Is the agency culture a good fit?

When choosing any vendor, company culture is one of the most important factors. We’ve all been in situations where work is impeded or unpleasant because of poor team interaction.

Creating a website is a collaboration. Working with people in a work culture that matches yours will make the project more efficient, enjoyable, and successful. You can start out with a simple introductory call to get a sense of the culture. How do they answer your questions? Do they listen well? What is their focus? Chances are, you’ll quickly get their vibe and form a gut feeling.

TIP: Talk to the agency owner and the person (or people) assigned to your account. Some things to look for is overall comfort level, if you like their process, how they regularly communicate with clients, and how they function as a team. 

Why Hire a Local Web Design Company for your Business

7. Does the best web design agency have the right technical know-how?

Once you have a budget, know the type of website you want, and have identified a few agencies that might be a good fit, take a deeper dive into their technical expertise. Verify that they have the background to create a well-functioning site that will deliver an excellent user experience?

Beware if a web designer can’t deliver on these items:

  • User-friendly and easy to use
  • Mobile-first
  • Responsive web design
  • Optimized for search engines (with ongoing SEO program)
  • Seamless Integration with social media channels and email
  •  Expert WordPress (or other CMS platform) capabilities

TIP: Look at other sites they have designed (on a desktop, laptop and mobile phone) to see how their sites perform—and if these sites have the level of sophistication you need. Depending on your site’s complexity, you may want your marketing or technical staff to have a discussion with them about their technical capabilities and expertise.

A Five-Star Rated Web Design Agency on Clutch.co, Again.

8. Marketing and strategy from the best web design agency

If you are looking for a long-term agency, choose one that will help you develop objective-oriented website strategies, build performance measures into the website’s design, provide meaningful performance reports, and offer suggestions for improvement. Effective communication skills are essential.

TIP: If you are looking for an agency that provides the greatest marketing value, ask about their marketing skills and staff experience. Also find out the strategies and tools they use to understand, report on, and improve website performance.

9. Get outside opinions

You have finally found an agency that might be the right fit. Or have you? Put your findings to the test by getting outside verification. Ask the agency for referral customers you can speak with, read online reviews, look on their site to see if they have won any awards, go on their social media pages, and ask your peers if they know anything about the agency.

TIP: You may have good instincts, but it’s always best to get extra validation from current or previous clients and from other industry sources.

Who is the best website design agency for you?

There is no single “Best Website Agency.” Only you can decide which agency is right for you. What matters is that you take all the steps necessary to hire a high-quality agency that is fully qualified to deliver a website that meets all your objectives. Companies looking for a full-service website design, development and digital marketing company can contact award-winning Ladybugz Interactive to find out if we’re the right fit for you.

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