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How to Choose the Right Web Design Agency for Your Business

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Introduction

Websites in 2024 are a big investment for a business and digital presence is more important than ever. 75% of users will make a judgement of a business's credibility based on their web design; meaning you have to stay ahead of the curve to remain successful.

Picking the right web design agency for your business doesn't need to be a difficult task. There are many web designers in Melbourne and across Australia ready to help businesses with their digital eco-system.

All of these studios will offer different specialities and price points meaning that the right website designer is out there waiting for you to find them. Here is how to get started.

Decide your budget

First of all, you need to confirm what your budget is for a new website. Whether you're a sole trader, or need to confirm with stakeholders, you can't begin your web design search without knowing how much you're willing to invest.

Different web design studios will have different price points. Some design agencies specialise in websites for small businesses, offering lower prices for websites expected to have less traffic. Other designers will be focused on the big dogs. Animation, interaction, high quality content and lots of website visitors. The more you want, the higher the cost.

Your budget is important because it can be the difference between a templated website, or full back-end development.

Once you've confirmed your budget you can shop around for design agencies that offer design at a cost you're happy with. All in all, return on investment is one of the key indicators of a website's success, so you don't want to spend more than you predict you can return.

Plan your web design essentials

Every business has a list of features and aesthetics that they want their website to have. The next step when looking for a web design agency is to plan lists of 'essential features', 'would be nice' and 'if-possible but not deal breaking'.

Offering this information to a web design agency will streamline the outreach process. Designers you reach out to can instantly let you know if their services are in line with your expectations.

Here's an example of a great website essentials plan to inspire you:

Essentials
Would be nice
Not deal-breaking
  • Animation
  • Live-streaming abilities

This list will differ for different business so use this as a spring board for your own essentials list. For example, an eCommerce business will have much different needs than a not-for-profit.

Ensuring that the agency you choose has the experience and expertise in the features you need will make the web design process a lot easier.

Look at portfolios of web design agencies

Every good web design agency will showcase their work on their website or social media. If an agency has a lack of case studies it could be a red flag.

Do you like the websites that you see? If not then it might be a sign that the agency isn't for you. While every website that gets built is different, most designers have a style which they will keep to. Meaning if you're not a fan of an agency's previous work then it's better to choose somewhere else than try to change the aesthetic that the designers specialise in.

For example, while most designers will be able to achieve any aesthetic, you wouldn't want to choose a web design agency that focusses on minimalism if you want an eccentric site.

Taking a look at portfolios will also give you insight into the types of business that a particular agency works with. Some web design agencies specialise in specific industries, others work with a variety but focus most efforts on a few, and other agencies will work with anyone!

If you're searching for a designer for a not-for-profit website and find a portfolio full of other not-for-profits then it's probably a good sign that the agency know how to create successful websites for that industry.

Reviews and reputation

Both online reviews and word of mouth are key to choosing a good website designer. Whether it's on-site testimonials, Google reviews, or simply an industry peer's recommendation; you need to be certain the designer has a good reputation.

Good web design agencies will have 5 star reviews from happy clients who sing their praise.

If you're struggling to find a design agency for you, look in the footer of your competitor's websites. Sometimes, web design agencies will add their logo or name at the bottom of a website to give credit. If you like that website then get in touch with the agency responsible for it.

Word of mouth is also very important. Online reviews are still important, but people are usually much more likely to give their honest opinions in conversations.

Here are some questions you should ask a previous client of a web design agency you're considering:

  • How long did the project take?
  • Did you find the agency easy to work with?
  • Have you seen a difference in business since your new website?
  • Do you think you got good value for money?
  • Did you have an open line of communication with the designers?

Ask about SEO

A stunning website is pointless if it can't be found by your target audience. Web design can have a big effect on SEO and your ranking on Google so asking your web design contenders what they do to ensure your website is optimised is important.

From page speed to accessibility, Google takes web design into consideration when deciding which sites to show to searchers. Great designs can lack in both of these fields. For example, an agency that is purely focusses on aesthetics might be able to build impressive animations. However if they take 60 seconds to load most of your visitors will have left before they even see it.

This is why it's important to inquire about SEO when choosing the right web design agency for you. If you want organic leads then choosing an agency that prioritises SEO as well as design is vital.

Even better, a studio that has in-house digital marketers or SEO specialists will ensure that your site not only looks great, but also has the ability to sit in the number one spot on Google.

Establish goals for your website

Presenting your goals to your agency of choice can create a great environment for web design success. A good web design agency will ask you this in your initial stages of inquiry as well.

The reason for this is web designers will optimise your website for these goals. If you want to increase conversions then a good designer would focus on compelling CTAs and a seamless customer journey. On the other hand, your goal might be to inform and educate. In this case, the designer would focus on optimising for that goal.

A design agency that doesn't ask, or doesn't understand that different goals need to have different website probably isn't the web design agency for you.

Final Thoughts

Following these steps can make deciding on your next web designer a whole lot easier, as well as helping you avoid a costly mistake.

Open communication with your chosen agency goes a long way. Make sure you're discussing your requirements and budget so you can have a website that represents your business in a way that you are proud of.

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