The first impression is often the last impression! You only get ONE chance to make it, and more often than not, your website is the first impression people get of your business.
According to research back in 2011, it takes users only 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) to form an opinion about your website. One that determines whether they like it or not, and whether they should stay or not. We doubt that this time bracket has increased over the years, if anything, it's probably decreased!
What leads users to make these snap judgements? Well, in most cases, it’s the design of a website. According to a 2015 study, 94% of negative website feedback is design related. That’s the primary reason it's important that you should choose a web agency that not only understands modern design well, but also caters to the cultural sensitivities of your target audience.
Choosing the right agency for your website can be challenging. With so many to choose from, it can be hard to identify the one that is the best fits for your needs. To help you out, we've listed eight things that you must consider before finalising your decision.
1. Do they Have the Right Experience?
The number of years a company has been in business doesn’t necessarily equal quality. However, in most cases, if a company has been around for years, it is likely that they have a well-rounded team of experts and suite of skills. To get the full picture, try to find the answers to the following questions:
- How long has the company been in operation?
- How many clients have they worked with?
- Have they won any awards or accolades?
- Are they experienced in delivering the kind of website you require?
- Can they provide client references?
Remember, when hiring a design agency, you are not looking at a one-off engagement. Rather, you're looking for a partner who you feel comfortable with and ready to collaborate with for the long term.
Do you like the team? Do you find them to be positive and brimming with confidence? Do you think they are genuinely interested in your business?
If you answered yes to the above, you're on to a good start.
2. Do You Like Their Portfolio?
Once you are past stage 1, ask the agency to share their portfolio with you. This will help you assess whether their designs match your taste or not.
However, don’t be impressed by the screenshots in a portfolio; ask the agency for links to live websites they have designed. This will help you assess whether their designs are fresh and user-friendly and also give you an idea of their technical expertise.
3. Do they Understand Your Customer Base?
If you are running a local business, you need to hire a design agency that understands your local market and client base.
Remember, a good website design is one that resonates with your target audience. Therefore, the web agency must be willing to research and understand your market before proceeding with the design.
For example, when designing a website for a specific demographic of customers in the UAE, one must ensure that the language, images, and symbols used in the website are acceptable and understood by said audience.
4. Are they Up-to-Speed on Modern Website Design Practices?
Customers are more likely to trust your site if it looks modern and inline with current best practise. Therefore, you need an agency that is abreast of the latest best practises lest you end up with a website that’s only fit for nostalgia. For example, websites today must be responsive, i.e., it should be optimised for mobile devices as many if not most users will interact with your website on mobile.
Did you know that 57% of internet users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile?
5. Are they Experienced with SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO plays a critical role in the success of your website. Google continuously updates what it considers good (white-hat) and bad (black-hat) SEO practices. So it's important that your chosen agency is well-versed and up-to-date with the latest policies and procedures.
Here's an example of why a good understanding of SEO is important. At the time of writing this blog post, one-page websites are quite a popular trend. However, when your site is a one-pager, you are using all your keywords to optimise a single URL decreasing it's impact and reducing its chances of popping up in multiple searches. An experienced web design agency knows this, will inform you about such issues and help you avoid using unsuitable trends.
6. Do they Have a Support Team in Place?
Will your web design agency offer ongoing support and maintenance once your website is live?
Things go wrong all the time. Technologies get old or out of date or open to security issues. You may experience trouble with forms stopping working, hosting issues, or the content management system (CMS) not working.
A good web design agency will be at hand to provide you with the support you need to ensure that your website continues to function properly with minimal interruption to your business.
7. Are they Good Listeners?
You're an expert in your industry, you know your product and service best. Therefore, you have a fair idea of how best to present your goods and services to your target audience.
But, is your web design agency open and willing to listen to your suggestions?
A good web design company can take your ideas and creatively incorporate them into the website.
8. Do they Offer Transparent Pricing?
Coming to one of the most critical parts of the engagement, the budget!
The cost of designing a website can vary greatly. For the same brief, it is not unusual to receive quotes ranging from AED5k to AED50k to AED500K!
However, just because a web design agency quoted a higher price for your website, does not mean that it comes loaded with everything you need. Ask the design agency to give you an outline of what is included in the price before making your final choice. We recommend that you check if your package includes things like hosting, licensing, content production, management fees, testing etc. as these can add to your budget significantly.
At Blue Beetle, we understand the profound impact a web design can have on your business. We work hard to create impactful solutions inline with your business goals and target audience needs to ensure that your website becomes your most effective lead generation tool.
From design to SEO to content management and aftercare, we offer end-to-end web design solutions that help you grow your business. If you are not just looking for a one-off vendor but a long term partner for success, you're in the right place. Get in touch with us to learn more about how we can help you increase revenue.