These days, it is difficult to imagine a successful business without a significant online presence, which, among other things, includes a business website. As a business owner, you could consider building the website yourself. But is this really the best approach? The competitive nature of brand positioning and visibility in the online space means that you need a considerable amount of knowledge and skill to build a successful online presence. A quiet revolution in web design services has emerged, comprised of talented designers and developers who are able to build world-beating websites with high-level functionality, slick visuals and all manner of innovative features designed to boost the performance of your business.
Benefits of Hiring a Web Design Agency
A business owner’s priority is to boost brand awareness, and one of the business website’s core tasks is to strengthen brand presence. A strong brand presence nurtures brand loyalty, which is more likely to provoke repeat visits. The marriage of distinctive logo and page design, colour and font combinations, and punchy, memorable copy makes visiting a site a pleasurable and repeatable experience. Consistency of design helps solidify a brand’s identity over time, leading to growth and higher conversion rates.
Web design is not an area where business owners should cut corners. Website builders such as Wix and Squarespace might sound appealing to the fledgling business owner due to their ease of use and low costs, but in a highly competitive market, cookie-cutter style web design comprised of overly familiar templates and drab fonts will not make a good first impression.
The main benefits of web design agencies are:
1. They create visually appealing and easy-to-navigate websites
Your website is your virtual storefront, and broken layouts and counterintuitive navigation will not inspire confidence in your prospects. The landing page should be designed in such a way as to be a warm, welcoming point of contact for new and returning traffic. There must also be smooth internal logic to the website as a whole. One thing must lead naturally to another, and a web designer’s understanding of hierarchies is key. What should be clicked on first? Are prompt buttons clear and well placed? Poor navigation makes the user experience feel random and skittish, whereas mapping things well avoids confusion and repeating steps over and over again. A web design agency will draw on its technical knowledge and experience to ensure the website is easy to navigate and fully responsive and has a visually appealing layout.
2. They apply specialist knowledge and theories
Technology is rapidly evolving and challenging for business owners to keep up with. A good web design agency has a team of experts in different areas, such as web design, web development, SEO, graphic design, copywriting, content writing, proofreading and video production. Each member of the team applies their specialist knowledge, which means that every aspect of the website is in safe hands.
3. They understand the importance of branding
Branding is a crucial element of every successful business because it communicates its personality to the audience. Branding is a process that applies a distinctive set of features to a business and creates a positive perception of the company in its customers’ minds. A web design agency has an in-depth understanding of the power of branding and consistently applies it when developing a website.
4. They have an in-house team with expertise in different areas
A full-service web design agency has a team of specialists in web design, SEO, web development, graphic design, video and audio production, content writing, copywriting, copyediting and proofreading. Occasionally, they also have a marketing psychology consultant with specialist knowledge in neuromarketing and neuro web design.
Web Design Agency Roles
As web-based commerce grows ever more complex and nuanced, greater demands are placed on designers to meet the challenges of tailoring a strong web experience. In a free, creative market, innovation produces pockets of bespoke technical know-how that one designer cannot master alone. As the industry expands, so does the agency.
Delegating a task to a specialist in a particular area serves as one part of a greater whole. Though these roles share many characteristics, they each perform their own specific functions.
Depending on the needs of your business, some of these services would not be appropriate or necessary. Instead, an assortment of services tailored specifically to your brand’s sensibilities would achieve far better conversion rates.
Below, we look at the typical web design agency roles.
- Creative Director: The creative leader of the team. The role inspires creative thinking and idea sharing amongst the team, delegating tasks effectively in pursuit of the common goal. This role also ensures the agency’s values are reflected in all agency’s products.
- Account Manager: The main point of contact and dedicated agent for the client. They guide the customer through the process, mediating between them and the design team until project completion. It is very much a nuts-and-bolts role that holds the entire business structure together.
- UI/UX Designer: User interface (UI) relates to the visual elements on the screen, such as font, colours, and toolbars, whereas user experience (UX) focuses on the overall experience a visitor has when engaging with the visual display. The UI/UX designer’s job is to ensure functionality, efficiency, easy navigation and visual appeal of the website and to create an experience that is smooth and responsive.
- Web Developer: This is a highly technical role where coding skills are paramount. The web developer’s job is to write complex code to build the site’s skeleton, core functionality and features. They are also responsible for the website security, performance and maintenance.
- Graphic Designer: Divines the ethos of a business through images and words. Logos, background textures, motifs and textual flourishes are all designed in service to the brand. From webpage design to promotional brochures and social media graphics, the graphic designer’s goal is to capture a prospective client with a deft balance of dynamic visuals and carefully placed textual content.
- SEO Consultant: This role is focused on increasing the visibility of a website on popular search engines like Google and Bing. The SEO consultant researches keywords and calibrates them to achieve the highest possible ranking. In such a competitive market, traffic is a premium. The SEO consultant’s job is to ensure it is steered towards your website. They are also responsible for the development of a bespoke strategy tailored to the client’s goals.
- Video Producer: This role complements the visual aspects of web design by producing video clips that best convey the essence of a business’s personality and ethos. For example, video producers create product explainer and customer testimonial videos. They also produce ads, Q&As, interviews and comedy clips, which are a great way of dispensing useful information in an entertaining or thought-provoking fashion. This generates engagement and increases the conversion rate by leaps and bounds.
- Content Writer: This role creates long-form text for webpages. Long-form text is there to inform and entertain visitors and add context to the overall experience. Blogs, articles, reviews, interviews and Q&As all serve to engage a potential client over a longer period of time. Content writing is crucial for generating organic traffic.
- Copywriter: Excels at snappy short-form text. This is a much bolder and more immediate form of communication. The copywriter’s goal is to persuade a visitor to take some form of action — and as soon as possible. The copywriter’s work can be seen on billboards and social media channels and in newspapers and commercials. Strategically placed prompts and calls for action are the bread and butter of a good website.
- Copyeditor: This role carefully scours the text for grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and awkwardly structured or muddled sentences and polishes the text to the highest standard. Economy and clarity are key. Sloppy copy reflects very badly on a business, implying a lack of commitment or incompetence. The copyeditor presents your business as a serious, trustworthy and highly capable one.
- Marketing Psychologist: This role goes directly to the ancestral source: the human psyche. The approach here is to apply psychology to your business strategy. The unconscious emotions of consumers have a profound effect on their decision making and account for the majority of sales across countless industries. The marketing psychologist understands that logic plays a much smaller part in decision making than you might think. Emotions and intuition significantly influence customer behaviour, and irrationality or ‘’psycho-logic’’, as Ogilvy’s Rory Sutherland puts it, plays a massive part in a successful online business. Applied neuromarketing can set you way ahead of your competition.
Things To Discuss With Your Web Design Agency
It’s crucial that the right team is working with your business. Sometimes, you won’t necessarily know what you want, and your agency should be able to provide suggestions, guidance and expertise in the quest to shape an experience that fully capitalises on your product or service’s strengths.
Here are some important things you should discuss with a website agency.
Will the website have a user-friendly content management system?
A content management system (CMS) is software that allows users to create, edit and publish digital content without the need for specialised technical knowledge. Once your website is fully developed, you should be able to easily upload new content, such as blog posts or images. A great agency will build a website that is easy for you to update and maintain. They should also provide you with training on how to manage your website.
Who will write copy for my website?
Written content carries immense importance on any website. The content needs to be written in the right style and tone, engage with the target audience and accurately reflect your business’s personality. It is advisable to work with a writer who has sufficient writing experience, in-depth knowledge of SEO and a good understanding of your brand.
Some agencies outsource copy and content writing services, which can impact the quality and cause unnecessary delays. Other agencies produce copy but do not provide copyediting and proofreading services, which can mean the final product may be grammatically incorrect or adopt a wrong tone of voice. A great agency will have an in-house writing team, which consists of a content writer, a copywriter, a copyeditor and a proofreader.
Will you optimise the website for SEO?
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website from search engines, such as Google and Bing. SEO targets organic traffic and increases your website’s visibility when people search for services or products related to your business.
A great web design agency should be able to design an SEO-optimised website and consult you on your SEO strategy, taking into account the unique needs and goals of your business.
Can you make a promotional video for my website?
Videos have an immense storytelling capability, and video marketing has gradually become an essential component of effective marketing strategy. Many visitors prefer to watch content in video form rather than reading it in written form. Uploading video clips on your website – and promoting them across your social media channels – can boost interest and sales significantly. Having a presence on YouTube also increases your chances of ranking higher on Google results.
Some agencies will outsource video production for you, but this can delay deliverables and have a negative impact on quality if quality assurance checks are not meticulously conducted. To keep the process streamlined, the best choice is an agency with an in-house video production team.
Can you integrate third-party tools such as online payment tools?
The possibility of integration of third-party tools is an important factor you should consider when hiring a web design agency. Even if you do not need certain functionalities at the moment, it is important to explore your options for any future upgrades. Although you may be in the early stages of growth, you never know how your business will develop with time, and it is important to consider scalability to ensure you can benefit from ongoing technical innovations.
Will you provide training on how I can manage my website?
Though many business owners will be familiar with basic website maintenance, such as removing and uploading content, it is crucial that the agency offers basic training about website maintenance, where they teach you how to update plugins, edit and customise images and posts, and monitor website performance over a range of criteria. You may only want a minimal amount of coaching, or you may aim for a more detailed, deep-dive understanding – a great agency will be able to accommodate both requests.
It takes time to learn web design, which is time you could spend focusing on business development and reaching out to prospective clients. When hiring a skilled web design agency, you should be at ease knowing that all aspects of your website’s functions rest in the hands of a strong, talented team. The aesthetic flourishes, responsive interface, compatibility and water-tight security will avoid any delays with the site’s launch, boost your business’s credibility and increase conversions dramatically.
Altlier is a full-service web design agency. Our team consists of experts in web design, SEO, graphic design, copy and content writing, video production, copyediting and proofreading. We also offer a groundbreaking service that draws upon the psychological aspects of design, which is provided by our marketing psychology consultant. To find out how we can help your business, check out our services page or get in touch. To receive a detailed web design quote, check out our handy Website Design Cost Calculator.