The market has changed drastically over the years. To succeed and be competitive you need to offer your customers a brand experience, not just a product. Social media and the fast pace mobile web has given consumers more power of where they shop and get information. They now have different platforms to choose from, which leads to you finding the right agency to deliver efficiently and effectively to your audience.
Make the right choice by following some steps to help you through the process.
Step 1 – Know what you want
Consider carefully what you want your website and Internet marketing to do for you. What is your aim, your goals and how will you measure it?
If you are mainly an e-commerce, your focus will be on return-on-investment (ROI), building and maintaining your online shoppers.
If you are a new business, you may need to focus on brand awareness.
This is where you ask your agency if they can meet your needs. Once you know exactly what you want, you know what to ask from them.
Step 2 – Know the difference between Cost and Value
If you are a new business, cutting down on cost may be your main focus. When hiring an agency the cost will be the deal-maker or breaker. When you begin to cut costs just for saving a dollar now, you may not get as much value on the long-term goals.
How do you justify the costs? This is where you do some research and stop to see how much you have spent in marketing and advertising for the past year and what was your ROI for that investment.
Once you have these costs you can ask your agency if they can provide you with value delivered through tangible results. Keep in mind this is not about cost, it’s about value. For example, if they can provide a website or service that brings ROI, then cost should not be a deal breaker. If you do your research you may find that your money has not been invested properly and has not brought you results for some time. If the old tricks have not worked, it is time to change them.
Step 3 – Determine a solid track record
It doesn’t matter how long the agency has been in business, what matters is their understanding for your industry. See if the agency has delivered similar solutions to other clients and what ideas or methodologies they have considered. Ask for case studies and client testimonials.
Step 4 – Understand, Communicate and Learn
With this fast pace monster the web has become, it is challenging to keep up to date with every detail and trend out there. It is very important that you understand what your agency is doing and talking about.
If you ever feel lost in a discussion, your agency’s job is to be on your side, explain and walk you through what they are doing and how they do it. Never feel that you are in the dark about your investment.
Step 5 – Recognize your Website problem
Always have a good reason for a website redesign or a new site launch. Very often the first thing that needs work is how your website looks and functions. Content is most likely the problem that is most overlooked.
Your agency should tackle content first before any art and should be asking questions about your customers, your business and the your industry. How your audience interacts with the content and how you will manage the content in the future ensures that your website is set to deliver your message and quality for years to come.
Step 6 – Realistic Achievements
Spend some time in narrowing down what your goals are and what you are expecting from your agency that will reassure you that your money is well spent.
Some goals you might have can be:
- More Leads
- More online Sales
- Brand Awareness
- Keeping in touch with your customers
Step 7 – Have a strategy
Your web agency should offer a clear web strategy that gives your business authority, relevance and customer’s trust. Always measure and have a solid plan to be able to make good decisions based on real data. Know how many visitors became customers.
Step 8 – Build a relationship
Once your site goes live, a good agency will help you maintain a healthy relationship and be on board to help you reach your goals. Depending how involved you are in maintaining your website, your agency will assist in analytic reporting. Ask if they have an ongoing maintenance or service plan on a monthly or quarterly basis that you can sign up for. See how they are assisting other clients.
Now that you are more prepared on hiring the right agency for your project, contact us and find out how we measure up.