Five Tips to Choosing the Right Digital Agency For You

With the growth of the internet still at a peak and e-commerce sales at a 13% increase for February 2009, typical of the year on year growth of e-commerce sales, a digital agency could be a vital factor in the survival of many businesses already online or looking to launch themselves onto the internet. Some digital agencies will try to sell you cheap services, and the result is normally a cheap looking campaign. Pushing your business on the internet is an expensive and time consuming process, however, if you work in partnership with a successful digital agency, the outcome can be extremely profitable.

But how do you spot the good from the bad? These five simple tips could be the most important advice you take in regards to the future online success of your business, saving you from wasting your money on an ill fated campaign by directing you towards a digital agency that will work with you for the long haul.

1. Look at their website: If a digital agency has a poorly designed or inaccessible website advertising themselves, how do they expect to sell themselves as a web design agency to potential clients? During the decision making progress, take time to navigate around the website of possible digital agencies. If their site is well designed and uses new technology such as flash, you know that these features will be available to you. If the digital agency has the staff and the technological resources to create an impressive website for themselves, they should apply this to their clients and their clients projects.

2. Look at their previous work and their other clients: Most digital agencies will be eager to show off their previous and ongoing work. Their website will probably contain a portfolio or links to the websites they have designed and marketed. It is a good sign if a digital agency has large and small businesses in the client portfolio as this shows dedication to any work they are employed with, and the ability to manage large scale launches and marketing campaigns. Do you like the work that the digital agency has done for these clients? Has it won awards or been effective in selling more products? If you like the work they have done in the past, it will make it easier for you to work together in the management of your online business features.

3. Are they in it for the long haul? Having a profitable presence on the internet is more than just a successful website launch. If you are looking for a sustainable income from your website, through an e-commerce store for example, you will need continuous marketing support. If an agency offers marketing strategies along side its web design/development services, take advantage of this. The best digital agencies will employ marketing professionals to ensure that once your website has been launched onto the internet, it achieves maximum publicity. There are a number of different ways to achieve this which can be discussed during the proposal stage.

4. Take a look at the team: When you are considering a digital agency and what you want them to do for you, take a look at the staff they employ. Smaller digital agencies with a handful of staff members may find themselves overstretched. Ideally, staff members will specialise in one field be it website design, website development, web content writing, online marketing, and accounts management. Under this process, each member of staff dealing with your account will have a brief to work to and can focus on their task instead of spreading themselves too thinly over the project. The less work a member of staff has to do, the better they will do it.

5. Points mean prizes! Professional awards are difficult to be nominated for, let alone win. There is huge competition for every nomination and judging panels take the process very seriously. Awards and qualifications from search engines are impressive, as are specialist accolades from media publications, regional business awards and industry awards. Recognition from others in their own field should be taken notice of when choosing the right digital agency for you.

By following these tips you are sure to find a digital agency that will be a useful ally on the World Wide Web, increasing traffic to your website and thus boosting your profits.

Choosing a Web Design Company – Aspects to Consider

Recognize the significance of content

For whatever reasons, you may decide to make some alterations to your existing website or to have a totally new site. The idea that next comes in your mind is the functioning and looks of your site. While the importance of these factors can’t be denied, the significance of content, the most vital factor, often gets overlooked.

In case your provider emphasizes more on design than content, you are dealing with the wrong agency.

Your provider must have a proper and adequate understanding of your business. It should know the kind of customers likely to patronize your products or services. An agency that doesn’t question its clients on these lines is not the best choice for you.

The agency must understand the relevance of content. They may generate the content on their own, or ask a copywriter to do it for them. The content forms the structure of your site, so the agency should be able to foresee how the visitors to your site will relate to the content. They should particularly understand how you are going to handle the content in the future. These are the measures necessary for ensuring that your site keeps delivering the correct message, without sacrificing its quality.

What you should do?

The users of your website should find the content informative, and thus helpful. The content comprises of a written copy, and also includes photos and videos. The web agency should give precedence to art. If needed, the agency should have access to a marketing team. If the agency is not generating content on its own, it should contact copywriters.

Define your goal and have realistic expectations

Understand and define your goals. Explain your expectations to your agency. Let the agency know what results you expect within the next 6 months or one year to justify the expense you are incurring.

You could define your goals on these lines:

  • Generating additional leads
  • Enhancing online sales
  • Maintaining contact with your customers
  • Enhancing awareness of your product/brand

What can you do?

Inquire the kind of services and tools that the agency can provide to obtain traffic to your website, and how will the volume of traffic be measured. The agency must comprehend the process of selling, enabling them to suggest ways which can make the sale more efficient.

Recognize your plan

A superior web agency should be competent in giving you a comprehensible brief web strategy. A superior plan has the ability to influence your business, make it relevant and trustworthy. The outcome of your plan should be measurable. Unless you get real data, you can’t revise or modify the strategies that help transforming the prospective visitors into customers.

What can you do?

Let your agency explain you their approach in detail. Make sure that their plan can help you reach your goal. It is imperative for the expected results to be delivered without exceeding the budget.

3 Reasons Why Your Website Speed Matters

In general, people don’t like to wait, wherever they are, whatever they are doing. Everywhere we are, we witness impatient people cutting the line. It’s in the humans’ genes to get what we want when we want. And this applies also on our digital life. When looking for a piece of information on the internet, we might check several websites in order to find it as we need a clear answer straight away. Therefore, it is in the businesses benefit to have a website with a fast load time. But don’t worry, it’s up to the web agency who is creating the website to make it fast.

Here are 3 main reasons why your website should open in less than 2 seconds:

Yes, Website Speed IS an SEO Factor

The fight for high ranking on search engines will never end. Every day, millions of businesses do their best in order to position their websites higher than the competition. For this, regular activities should be performed to optimize a website. And one of the very important factors of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is improving website speed.

Google has secrets. Some of them are still undisclosed, and others have been revealed. What is no more a secret for SEO agencies, due to an announcement made in 2010, Google doesn’t like slow websites; therefore, they could be penalized in ranking. Of course, no business would want that, or else it will be outperformed by the competition with faster load page.

Faster access to information = better user experience

Active internet users are faced with hundreds of information daily. This shows that the internet keeps them busy. And we all know that no busy person like to wait. So once users visit a website, they expect to receive the information needed as soon as they click on a page. Otherwise, they will look elsewhere.

This not only affects the user experience but also, in a more complicated way, the ranking of the website. To explain this point, we need your full attention. When a user accesses a slow website, he tends to quickly move away from it. The results of this action are 1) a high bounce rate (the percentage of website visitors who leave a site after viewing one page), 2) less opportunities for the content to be shared which is also an SEO factor, and 3) Google registers the website as irrelevant to the user’s need. As you can guess, these 3 points have a direct relation with the ranking of the website in SERP as it won’t be considered as a significant source of information.

Mobile internet users are on the rise

Since the big wave of smartphones, more and more people are accessing the internet via their mobile. In 2014, 94% of internet users in the Middle East surfed the web with their mobile. This represents a huge number for any business operating in the region. The main reason for users connecting online via their mobile is that they’d need information on-the-go, in other terms, as quick as possible. So making them wait results in the same consequences as the previous point.

In addition, a fast website speed is crucial for online stores, for the reasons mentioned and more. In 2015, around 50% of online shoppers used their mobile to purchase, which also represented a promising opportunity. Therefore, building an eCommerce website with a fast load time increases conversions. How? Well, as you probably know, in order to purchase online, a user passes through a process of several pages. So, a customer attempting to buy from a slow website will end up abandoning his cart.

In conclusion, several studies showed that internet users would wait on average 2 seconds for the page to load before losing patience. According to KissMetrics, a load page of 2 seconds has an abandonment rate of 10%. This rate increases to 25% when adding 2 more seconds to the load page. There are several tools to make sure that the web agency, when building your website, took into consideration the website speed. For example, check Pingdom in order to see if your site fits in the average or needs optimization for a better performance.

How to Choose the Best Company Offering Website Development

A company offering website development won’t help you just by creating a visually appealing design for your website and equipping it with a healthy set of web-based tools. If you choose the right firm to work with, it can also ensure that your website is optimized and perfectly positioned to capture your target market’s attention with the best SEO execution.

Of course, remember that the key prospect here is right – you can’t just hire any web development firm for your business. You must make sure they’re the best one for your needs, and to do so you would need to consider several factors.

Specialization

Obviously, specialization comes in various forms. Even so, you need to find a firm that can offer you as many relevant specialized skills as possible.

  • Has the company any experience working with companies whose nature of business is similar to yours?
  • Has the company any experience working with a company of your size?
  • Has it certified professionals in your preferred marketing platform? (e.g. press releases or live blogging)
  • Has it certified skills in developing mobile apps?

Team

Speaking of certified professionals, you want to make sure beforehand that you will be assigned a team you are comfortable to work with and have faith in. It doesn’t matter how well recommended they are. It’s best to give them a chance or trial first, but if things are truly not working out between you and the team then do not hesitate to ask for another or to switch to another company offering website development.

At the very least, someone like an art director should handle the visual side of your website while another one – like a master editor or copywriter – should be given the reins when it comes to content development for your site.

If they also have article writers and bloggers as well as layout and graphic artists and digital photographers added to the fold, then so much the better!

Time

It’s very important to work with a firm or a team that is capable of effectively managing their time and working with minimal supervision. Otherwise, both your time will be wasted with unnecessary delays. There are signs you can look out for to know if a team is indeed skilled with time management.

  • They meet their deadlines – sometimes ahead of time.
  • You never see them cramming.
  • They have valid reasons for asking for an extension – if they ever do so, that is.
  • They have a schedule for all their tasks.
  • They keep you updated regularly about their progress.

Pricing

Make sure that you are able to afford their fees. Secondly, be sure to pay on time. Late payments won’t exactly put them in a good mood to work on your website.

In any case, it’s totally fine to pay more than usual, but only for as long as you can be sure you are getting your money’s worth with their services. After all, you can’t expect an experienced and excellent company offering website development not to recognize the value of their work, can you?