Choosing a web designer is like a first date: you need to find out as much about your potential new partner, then decide if you're a good fit. Picking the wrong designer could spell disaster for your business. Forty-eight percent of consumers say website design is the No. 1 factor in determining the credibility of a business. Moreover, 38 percent of people won't engage with a website if its content or layout is unattractive. Here are five things you need to know about choosing a web design agency.
1. Look at a Web Design Agency's Portfolio
When it comes to website design, aesthetics are important. Two-thirds of consumers would rather look at a beautifully designed website for 15 minutes than a plain one. If you want to generate more customers and increase revenue, you need a contemporary, creative design that resonates with your website visitors. Always look through a web design agency's portfolio before you go any further. You will be able to view projects the company has worked on in the past.
2. Find Out About Website Features
Headers, banners, images, maps — web designers can incorporate all of these features into your website. Some web design agencies offer customized websites, where you choose the features you require for your business. Others sell all-in-one solutions, also known as "off-the-shelf" software. While bespoke sites work out more expensive and time-consuming, they could provide you with a long-term return on your investment.
3. Check Out Google for High-Ranking Web Design Agencies
Web design agencies who rank high on Google have likely mastered search engine optimization (SEO) — the process of generating traffic from search engines. Companies on page one of the search engine results page probably use SEO techniques like competitor analysis and keyword research. If you are looking for a web design agencies who can optimize your page for lead generation, check out Google for top-performing companies.
4. Ask Lots of Questions
Make sure you ask a web agency lots of questions before you sign up for their services. You'll find most of the information you require on the company's website, but you should still speak to a member of staff and find out more. For example, obtain a quote for the services you require. Then, ask if this amount includes hidden fees or other costs. Not every web agency is upfront about their prices, so make sure you get a full estimate for your project. You can also ask an agency about their accessible design practices and customer service principles.
5. Find Out About Page Loading Times
Page loading times are a pet peeve for the bulk of website users. Slow-loading pages can increase your churn rate — the number of people who visit your site and then click on the "back" button on their browser. Pick a web design agency that creates eye-catching pages that don't slow down your site. Even website elements that increase loading times by a few seconds could have a detrimental impact on your sales. Research suggests that pages with a 2.4-second loading time experience a modest 12.8 percent bounce rate. Pages with a 3.3-second loading time, however, experience a significantly higher 20 percent bounce rate.
Choosing the right web design agency doesn't have to be a challenge. Follow the five tips on this list when searching for one of these companies, and transform the way you present your business on the web.