Selecting the right agency can be tricky and time-consuming—unless you know the right questions to ask.
So, your company is in need of a new website? Great! Now, the real work begins. Selecting the right web agency can be a tricky and time-consuming process—unless you know the right questions to ask. While you should always tailor your goals and expectations to your company’s specific wants and needs, we’ve compiled a list of 10 important questions you should always ask before signing on the dotted line.
Question 1: How Do You Measure the Success of Your Websites?
Every agency is sure to have a different answer for this one. Some may gauge their success by whether a project is completed on time. Others may hold off their celebrations until a site begins to show results. While there’s no right or wrong answer to the question, it will give you an idea of how the agency operates. The answer you should look for is the one that best suits what your company needs from the site itself.
Question 2: What Experience Do You Have in Our Company’s Industry?
You should always ask about an agency’s overall experience. At the same time, you should also inquire about their level of experience in your industry. Just because an agency creates incredible sites, does not mean they will do the same for your company. If they only work with healthcare clients, they may not understand the needs of a tool-builder. Simply put, different industries demand different approaches. Every industry is unique and without the proper knowledge or experience, you’re company could end up with a flashy site that offers little to the target audience.
Question 3: What Are Your Core Competencies?
Much like understanding an agency’s industry experience, it’s crucial to know the areas they excel in as well. If your company is seeking a more traditional site, an agency that’s well versed in Flash and mobile may not be your best choice. It all depends on the purpose of the site.
Question 4: Where Can I See Samples of Your Previous Work?
Simply put, you should always take a look at an agency’s previous work. While they might dazzle you in meetings with fancy presentations, it’s important to keep in mind that it could all be lip service. While some agencies tweak and personalize templates, others have the capability to build your site from scratch to meet your exact needs. But no matter the choice, you should always ask for referrals in order to better understand the agency’s process.
Question 5: How Are Timelines Built and Handled?
Knowing how an agency handles their timelines and project management should be a crucial factor in your decision-making process. Some agencies ask for 50% upfront and 50% upon delivery, while others set milestones. Choose the one that best suits your budget and delivery needs. At the same time, you should make sure the agency has the capabilities to appropriately manage your needs from beginning to end. Agencies that stretch themselves too thin tend to make room for errors.
Question 6: Who’s Going to Run the Project?
When speaking with an agency, there should be a balanced conversation. Some agencies allow you to do all the talking while offering little expertise on their end. While their intent listening may seem like a positive at first, it offers little in the way of results. A good agency will maintain a two-way dialogue to help turn your ideas into an effective web design.
Question 7: Are There Any Support Costs Associated with Building a Site?
Domains. Servers. Bandwidth. There are a vast number of secondary costs that come with building a new website. Are they all rolled into your estimate or are they additional services that you need to pay for separately? A good agency will let you know of these costs upfront. Some agencies are even able to eliminate many of them, if they have the capabilities.
Question 8: What Other Digital Mediums Are You Proficient In?
Is this agency proficient in creating web videos? What about managing social media accounts? If you’re building a site with specific features, the agency might be able to help. A well-rounded agency can assist in a range of needs. They can also offer trustworthy third-party vendors to assist with the elements they cannot handle. The right agency can deliver exactly what you need, without stretching their capabilities too thin.
Question 9: Does the Agency Stand Behind Their Products?
An excellent agency will always stand behind their products. You want to find an agency that will be there to assist you in case of bugs and technical issues. While some agencies charge more for this or simply abandon you once your site is live, the right agency will remain on call for weeks or even months after launch to see it through.
Question 10: Can Your Agency Assist Me in Marketing Our Site?
Once your site is live, can the agency help you with SEO rankings, banner ads, and other forms of marketing? While an agency with a marketing focus is beneficial in the long run, some services such as SEO are best left to another party. This is due in part to the constant focus these services require. If an agency offers too many services, it’s possible they’re spreading themselves so thin, they will be unable to offer excellence on every level. This is something you should always discuss with your selected agency.
While there are many questions you should ask a potential web design agency, these are some of the most important. As we mentioned, every relationship is unique and dependent on your company’s wants and needs falling in line with the agency’s capabilities and experience.