Whether you’ve just launched your business or you have it set up and running, chances exist that at some point you will need some help to grow your business. Partnering with an agency can help you achieve more rapid growth, and will offer you resources and expertise that isn’t normally available.
Though these days, there are plenty of agencies available. Ranging from a remote freelancer or a small boutique agency to an international agency with offices all over the world – there’s plenty of options for every company. That’s why it’s important that when you decide to work with an agency, you want to pick the one that suits you best.
We put a little thought into this topic and came up with a list of questions for you. Here are some important things you need to consider when you’re deciding on the right agency.
1. What is my goal?
First things first. What do you want to achieve? And where is your business at now?
Maybe you are still at the idea stage. You have a vague plan for a business, but nothing more concrete than that. In this case, you’ll probably want to select a full-service agency, that can help you with your logo design, branding, web development, marketing strategy etc.
Alternatively, it’s possible that you already have a set-up business with a functional website but you’re not getting any traffic. In that case, you need to find an agency that is specialised in SEO strategies so you can improve your rankings and get more traffic.
2. What are their skills?
So now you know what type of assistance you require from the agency you want to work with, it’s important that you research their skills and expertise. If you require a full branding package, you want to see if they have experience in brand building and possess the necessary graphic design skills.
Browsing through an agency’s portfolio often gives you a good idea of their skills and experience. Look at the brands they’ve worked with and the results they delivered for them to good a better understanding of their capabilities.
3. Do they follow trends?
Since you’re at their portfolio now, it wouldn’t hurt to look at their style and vision for things. A lot of agency quickly go outdated and don’t keep up with the latest trends.
When we say trends, we’re not just referring to graphic design styles or fonts and images that look like they’re from a decade ago. We also mean if they keep up with the latest technology, development principles and SEO techniques.
4. Do they work in-house or outsource projects?
Another aspect that will tell you a lot about the agency is the fact if they do everything in-house or if they outsource tasks to an (overseas) team. If they do outsource their work, make sure there is significant quality control on the deliverables – so you are sure of the results you were hoping for.
Especially tasks like SEO, web design and development are often outsourced to other workforces. There are a few things related to these services that you would need to verify in order to see if you’re considering the right agency.
5. Are they experienced with responsive design?
If your website isn’t responsive these days, there isn’t really a point in going live with it in the first place. As an official ranking factor for mobile search, and a huge plus punt for your customer experience, your website should be responsive anno 2019.
So it goes without saying that you need to work with an agency that has experience with this. You might be viewing their portfolio on a desktop, but make sure to look at the websites they’ve built on a mobile screen too.
6. Do they focus on custom design or using a template?
When you need a website for your company, you want it to be unique for your brand. This means the website would be built custom for your business and is fully adapted to your needs and requirements.
Some web development agencies make use of templates, that are easy-to-use and to install. However, a website built on a template will never offer you the same functionalities or branding features than a custom website would – and would ultimately sell short.
Besides, if your developer is using a template, you could as well have done it yourself.
7. Are they aware of UX/UI practices?
There is a difference between designing a beautiful website and building a functional website with a focus on your users. If you’re letting a graphic designer or artist build your website, you might end up with something that is beautiful to look at but will be impossible to use.
Make sure your team knows about user experience best practices, so your website will be easy for your customers to use.
8. Do they have customer reviews?
So far, we’ve only really been looking at what the agency is communicating about themselves. In order to get a better overview of their skills, we would recommend looking at customer reviews as well.
Most agencies will include a section with testimonials on their website, where they will post (obviously the most positive) feedback they’ve received. Try to find out what the focus is on in order to understand the agency’s strong suits. If multiple customers talk about their great communication skills, you can probably assume they are good.
Alternatively, you can look at other places online where reviews can be collected. Think of LinkedIn, Google or Facebook and see how many positive comments they have.
9. Have they won an award?
Another reason to verify the quality of their work is to see if they’ve won an award. Since awards are usually granted by a professional jury, there is a guarantee that their work has been reviewed and approved by people who know what they’re talking about.
10. How is their communication?
Last but not least, it’s important to reach out to them and see what their communication is like. Are they transparent, open and welcoming? Are they willing to meet and discuss the project with you in all details?
At this stage, it’s also important to check if they can offer you honest advice. Your agency will be your partner who needs to find the best solution that fits your business and provide you with honest feedback at all times.
Once you’ve selected an agency that scored a good result on all of the above questions, it’s important that it fits. See how you feel communicating and working with them – you will be working closely together over the next few weeks. But once you’re off to a good start, you will be amazed by how many results you can achieve together!
Still looking for the right agency? We don’t like to brag but we think we scored pretty good on the above test. We’d recommend you to find out for yourself by having look at our portfolio and services. If you like what you see – feel free to send us a quick message and we will get back to you soon.