Choosing a web agency can be an overwhelming task. There are dozens of options in the Minneapolis area alone - from one-man shops to large corporate agencies. Here are a few things to consider when starting your research process.
Whether you are looking for assistance with your current website or looking to build a new platform, it is important to consider the type of technology that best suits your needs.
What language(s) does the agency use? What content management system do they recommend? Does that type of technology suit your short and long term goals?
For example, you would like to build an online store with 50-100 products and it needs to integrate with your point of sale inventory software. There are many platforms to consider such as Magento, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, etc. Through research and discussing with various agencies, you should be able to land on the appropriate solution.
Services they offer
Design and development seem like the obvious skill set for any web agency. However, there are many other pieces to the puzzle when it comes to your web presence. This could include other web related services such as SEO, marketing, copywriting, or hosting. Or it could be cross platform collateral such as video, photography or print design. While having a ‘full-service agency’ isn’t right for every company, it does allow for flexibility and can save you time and money in the long run - especially as unanticipated future needs arise.
For instance, one month into your redesign you realize that you need new product, facility and personnel photos. If your agency also has that capability it allow you to integrate the imagery into your site without holding up the redesign process.
In my opinion, this is the MOST important attribute to consider. After extensive online research, an agency may seem like the perfect fit on paper, however, in-person meetings and phone calls will help determine if there is a culture fit as well.
Both sides of the equation (client and agency) should feel comfortable and trusting of the partnership. We strive for long-term partnerships with all of our clients, which makes it incredibly important that we mesh well together and our values align. If we truly aren’t a good fit, either because of technology or culture, we let our prospects know and point them in a better direction.
Relevant experience can be important when choosing a digital agency. If they have worked with similar companies, industries or target audiences, they may be able to better understand your needs. The experience should definitely be relevant but does not need to be exact.
For example, if you are a local landscaping company that specializes in outdoor patios, you may want to look for a company who has experience with B2C service-based businesses whose goal is to generate qualified, local leads.
Some companies may be very design centric and focused on building flashy websites for events or promotional micro sites. Others may be marketing focused, looking to understand target audiences in order to attract and educate those users.
Often, many companies employ a combination of tactics depending on the project. This is why it is important to have a deep understanding of their approach and how they tailor that depending on your end goals. This also ties directly into their process, project management software and on-going support and maintenance.
There are certainly dozens of other factors to consider. One notable factor missing here is cost. Bringing your budget up at the beginning of the interaction is very important as it can save you and the agency time. If your budget is comparable to their typical project size, then continue the conversation.
Ready for a discovery call? We would love to determine if we might be a good fit to help you reach your goals. Contact us today.