The world of e-commerce and online business has opened up a wealth of possibilities, and new ideas and services can be delivered from virtually anywhere in the world. Brick-and-mortar businesses operate similarly to digital agencies with key differences. If you choose to work with a digital agency, there are some factors you need to take into consideration before hiring the company. We’ve compiled a list of ten checkpoints you should mark off before choosing to work with an online web development agency
Does the agency have a solid and established online presence?
Does the agency have active and established social media channels?
Can you find genuine client testimonials other than on their website?
Is the agency representative asking you the right questions?
Does the agency have a diverse and strong portfolio?
Are their web content services as emphasized as design?
How is the agency’s communication and response time?
Is the company transparent about its base location, number of employees, and how many individuals will be working on your project?
What metrics does the agency use to measure results?
Is the cost of the website reasonable?
1 – Does the agency have a solid and established online presence?
Since the agency is online, it can be more difficult to determine if it is legitimate. You should be able to find the agency immediately through a quick search engine search; and not just on its website. For example, a quick Google search for Slide Sigma instantly gives you our Brooklyn location, telephone number, social media channels and more. You should not have to dig deep to find any agency’s information, and if there is a weak presence, it is usually a warning sign
2 – Does the agency have active and established social media channels?
Social media is now the online voice of business. Before you hire a digital web development agency, make sure that they have an abundance of active and established social media pages with client engagement. The reason why this is important is because it ensures that the company cares about its image, and established to make sure that this company doesn’t create dummy sites or channels to dupe prospective clients. Our social media channels at Slide Sigma are maintained and updated constantly, and our social media channels are active and engaged.
3 – Can you find genuine client testimonials other than on their website?
Client testimonials on websites can easily be made-up. Unfortunately, it’s a tactic that many companies use but this is usually easy to spot. Look for third-party review sites or check their social media pages such as Facebook or Twitter. Clients are less likely to be fake, and you can check what others are saying about the company’s legitimacy and customer service. Slide Sigma’s social media testimonials were written by real professionals from their personal account pages and we love to show them off!
4 – Is the agency representative asking you the right questions?
Asking the right questions weeds out the amateurs from the professionals. These questions are not just about what your budget is, but about the website’s purpose or function; is it an e-commerce site, or do you simply want to inform your clients about a service? The agency should have a vested interest in understanding your business model, marketing methods, and then crafting campaigns and ideas around your product or service.
5 – Does the agency have a diverse and strong portfolio?
The digital agency does not necessarily have to be in the business for years to provide cutting-edge quality. What is necessary however is a solid portfolio which showcases a multitude of previous projects designed by the agency for different industries. If the agency also provides marketing services, you can ask for statistics or case studies which showcase the agency’s approach, allowing you to make better-informed decisions? Slide Sigma’s portfolio is as diverse as it is professional, and any legitimate digital agency must have one to showcase to prospective clients.
6 – Are their web content services as emphasized as design?
If the company only wants to give you a “beautifully designed” website but won’t touch the content, you will be paying for a product that will fail in the long run. The reason why you are building a website is to have a strong (or stronger) online presence. This includes solid content that is updated, changed altogether, or placed differently. Your digital agency should have content writing services, strategists to understand your idea and bottom-line, and professionals that can apply these ideas to your project.
7 – How is the agency’s communication and response time?
A digital agency that truly wants to remain ahead will maintain more than just average customer service. This is because it is more difficult to trust a virtual company, and establishing trust starts with solid communication. Did an agent get back to you within a reasonable timeframe? Is there proper follow up with you? Are you being listened to and treated with respect? If the customer service is lacking, that is a major sign to pay attention to, especially before you invest your money and time with the agency.
8 – Is the company transparent about its base location, number of employees, and how many individuals will be working on your project?
You have the right to know who is going to be working on your website or project, and especially if the site contains sensitive information. The agency should readily provide you with the names and titles of the individuals working on your project, give you its base location (U.S, UK, India, etc.), and sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement that protects your content. Slide Sigma for instance, operates from New York and has worked on several projects with sensitive content, and our clients trust us to get the job done.
9 – What metrics does the agency use to measure results?
Your digital agency must provide you with metrics that give you a before-and-after understanding of what they have accomplished and how the agency has improved your site. For example, only some of the metrics used at slide sigma includes bounce rate analysis, site traffic analysis, the percentage of increased conversions, site speed, and/or better Search Engine Optimization rankings. This analysis starts before your project is executed, and is completed once the project has been launched and tested.
10 – Is the cost of the website reasonable?
This goes both ways; whether the website is too expensive or too cheap. Each project is different and there is no set price for every project, but if you are asking for an e-commerce website with full social media marketing and you cannot believe how cheap it is, be wary of a scam. This also applies to websites that are unreasonably expensive for very little work done. Research the nature of your site before agreeing on a price, and ask for a pricing list before you make your choice.
Building a fully-functional, professional website is an integral part of increasing your digital presence’s importance. These ten questions are just main points to get you started on the process of choosing to hire the best digital agency in New York. The most important factor however should be how you are feeling about this project. If you can hardly wait to get started with the agency, that’s a good sign. If something seems “off” from the start, keep searching. You are the business owner and you must be pleased with any product or service that is made to enhance your business.
This guest post is courtesy of Hamza Shatela.