If you’ve never designed a website yourself, then you may be hard-pressed to describe the roles and responsibilities of a web design company. Sadly, many business owners are unaware of what they should expect from their agencies of choice: they make their decisions based on marketing speak instead of hard evidence and strong background knowledge.
We’ve prepared this guide to make sure you’ll be well-positioned for the next time you have to outsource your web development. Read on for an insider take on what a web design company can (and should) do for you.
1. Build Websites (Obviously)
This should come as no surprise, but web design companies create and manage websites for their clients. They collaborate with businesses to plan, design, and create websites—and then keep them running smoothly.
Creating a website isn’t easy, especially for businesses that want or need a high level of functionality (ex. ecommerce sites or sites with code-intensive lead magnets like pricing calculators. An expert web design company would be able to help you choose a hosting service, organize your sitemap, write code, and perform routine maintenance.
Even if you opt for a site builder like Wix or Squarespace, you’d need a significant amount of skill and knowledge to set things up to look and feel professional. There are countless ways a website could go wrong, and when you consider the high expectations of the average internet user, it’s clear that experience is a must-have when investing in digital.
Finally, you wouldn’t want to cut corners on web security. Now that ransomware attacks are commonplace, you need professional web development services to ensure that your business and its customers are insulated from any digital threats.
2. Promote Your Brand
At the end of the day, a web design company is responsible for amplifying their clients’ brands and improving their digital reputations.
With roughly 400 million active websites on the internet, the first major challenge your business has to face is standing out from the crowd. When deciding on an agency, it pays to take a look at their portfolio and check their work for diversity. It’s a good sign if they’ve handled clients from many different industries and built sites that look unique (or at the very least, don’t look generic).
On the topic of promotion, the best web design companies also provide SEO services to ensure that the sites they build perform well on search engines. Note that while it’s common for firms to bundle these services, not all of them are going to be great at it. It’s important for you to take the time to assess their skills—ask them for success metrics or case studies and see what kinds of success they’ve brought clients in the past.
Finally, the best website designers know how to collaborate, because even the most skilled artists are nothing without inspiration. Developers need input from their clients to create output that serves a clear marketing purpose, which is why the best firms are also veteran communicators who know the right questions to ask.
3. Connect You to Your Market
The end goal of a website is to either give customers a new avenue to shop for your solutions or collect new leads for your salespeople to pursue offline. While building a gorgeous website helps you reach this end, it doesn’t guarantee it: your site needs to be built to convert.
There are a few things that go into building a website that captures new business. First is to make sure that your site is built with your target market in mind—so if you run a business in the UAE, it pays to invest in a web design company in the UAE. Choosing a local agency means that you’ll be able to address the nuances of the areas you service and connect with your audience in more meaningful ways.
Another key point to consider is how well your site can serve the needs of its visitors. The best websites deliver important information in an organized manner. Would-be customers can land on your site and follow an intuitive path that tells them exactly what they want to hear about your products and services before setting them up for an easy purchase experience.
Conversion is a major focal point for web design companies, and there are myriad opinions on what methods work best. Again, the best way to vet for quality in a partner agency is to ask for their metrics of success and case studies: if they have a proven track record for delivering results, then they’re likely worth your investment.
4. Provide You with Essential Data
A lot of websites can look good, load quickly, and even make it easy for customers to purchase. The final piece of the puzzle, and the last step towards having a modern and impactful digital presence is to track and organize data related to your website.
Many developers forget to set up trackers and either train their clients to analyze site data or analyze said data themselves. It’s a wasteful mistake, because you should be able to see exactly how many users visit your site in a given period, where they came from (ex. Google, social media ad campaigns), and even how they use your site—right down to which buttons they clicked.
In fact, you can take things a step further and run experiments to see which versions of your website perform best, and then use that knowledge to improve over time. A/B testing is a powerful tool to learn how simple things like colors, button placement, and other site features can boost your revenue.
It’s important to know what today’s web design companies can deliver so you don’t find yourself short-changed the next time you need to build or revamp your digital assets. The nature of the job is changing all the time, but the fundamental value offerings we listed above are definitely things you need to keep an eye out for.
As a team of web developers, branding specialists, digital experts and all-around marketing professionals, we at Igloo know a thing or two about building beautiful sites that deliver strong marketing ROI.
Contact us to learn how we use our collective decades of digital marketing experience to take your business to the next level of growth.