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We talk a lot with clients about web design. Many of our prospects engage with us because they need a new website. But what exactly do these prospects expect when they talk to a web design agency?
There are two essential considerations that you need to realize before you talk to another “web design agency”:
- Designing a website (i.e., creating the art and making it work in a browser) is no longer a specialized skill. We now have access to vast resources (like WordPress or HubSpot CMS) that make the process of creating a beautiful website very accessible – even for average web users.
- A website’s ability to generate revenue has very little to do with how it looks (or even how you build it). When we talk about web design, your primary objectives should be to be found and to convert. To do these two things, your web design agency must deliver these four services.
These are the “web design services” you actually need:
We call it discovery, but it can go by many names. Discovery is our process of learning to understand your business and your customer. There are many critical parts of a discovery project. Still, our overarching goal is to ensure every member of our team and your team is moving forward with clear expectations and metrics for the work we will do.
Without discovery, a web design project will struggle to define clear objectives. The competitor research that happens in discovery helps us to set the bar for your website’s performance. The buyer personas and buyer scenarios we build in discovery inform your website’s content strategy and conversion funnels. Our conversations with your sales team during discovery reveal the most significant obstacles to closing deals that we need to overcome.
In short, web design without discovery will never be as effective as web design with discovery.
2. Content Strategy
Prospects will find your website and you will create new customers according to the quality of your web content. The tricky part is this: Content that gets you found doesn’t necessarily convert, and content that converts doesn’t necessarily get you found. Content that does both requires strategic planning and a little trial and error.
Content strategy happens at the beginning of a new web design: building conversion funnels, optimizing copy for SEO, and establishing the right voice and tone. But the content strategy is never perfect from the start. You need to understand your goals and have a way to define and measure success. Your content strategy should evolve as you gather data, and your website should grow more effective at generating revenue. Great web design is excellent content design.
According to Forbes, presenting your brand consistently across all platforms can increase revenue by as much as 23%. Step one of this process is to define your brand – an exercise often neglected by smaller companies. Assuming that you already have a documented brand development strategy in place, you need to infuse those brand standards into the design and content of your website.
A great web design agency will want to understand your brand and continue to make it better through your new web design.
4. SEO Services
SEO is essential, but there’s a reason why it’s last on this list. No marketing service is an island. We want to talk about SEO services in the context of a website that also incorporates these other critical web design services.
In our experience, agencies that are hyper-specialized in SEO make terrible websites. They neglect all the other critical strategies that make a website effective after the user clicks your link in the search results. Web design is a balanced blend of all four of these services.
How can you tell an excellent web design agency from the rest?
It’s not much, but here are four red flags to watch for as you hire your next web design agency:
- RED FLAG #1: They can start design right away. You want a web design agency that wants to learn about your business, your brand, and your customers before they start designing.
- RED FLAG #2: They don’t put all the emphasis on content. Web design agencies that value content strategy love to talk about content. Beware if your agency wants to talk about design or SEO, but not content.
- RED FLAG #3: They don’t ask you for branding documentation. If the only effort they make to develop your brand is to ask for your logo, they don’t see you as a valued brand – they see you as a project to manage.
- RED FLAG #4: They’re hyper-focused on SEO. SEO is essential, and they should take it seriously, but you need a web design agency that puts SEO in the proper place alongside these other critical web design services.
Are you looking for a web design agency with no red flags?
Waypost is a digital marketing agency in Greenville, SC creating compelling, content-centric websites that get found and convert customers. We can’t start design right away because discovery happens first. We insist on brand documentation, and we’ll help you put it together if you don’t already have it. We love SEO, and we prioritize it, but this other stuff is also vital.
Get in touch when it’s time to buy a new website, and we’ll give you something that looks beautiful and increases your revenue!