lolajane, Staff Writer, October 7, 2009
A web agency serves a multitude of different purposes. For example, you may employ a web design agency in order to enhance your online image. With the Internet being the premier way that you create contact with your customers, your image is extremely important. You will want the site to be attractive, yet functional. The easier your site is to navigate, the more often a customer will return. The more loyal your customers, the more business they will provide for you. They may even advertise your business by word of mouth. Due to this reason, you should always put the needs of your customers first. What interests them, what are they visiting your site for? These questions should always be addressed in the creation of your web site. A good web agency will know these things and be able to emphasize the importance of your customers’ wants and needs.
The web agency that you eventually choose needs to have a few set characteristics. First and foremost, they should be professional. This means not only in their web design, but in their actions as well. If you are dealing with an agency that does not respond to phone calls or emails, consider finding a different agency. Remember, they are providing a service for you, not the other way around. They should be treated as if they were an employee of yours. Would you tolerate repeated tardiness and laziness? The agency should also be timely. If you have a set schedule, the agency should be able to stick to it. Late work is unacceptable when you have deadlines approaching. A web agency should also be cost effective. There is no point in paying for services that you do not need. If you are merely trying to redesign your site in order to attract your target demographic, paying for the services of a full service Internet marketing agency may not make sense.
What it comes down to is that the best agency for your online business should be at your service. If you need something done, they should be able to look at it objectively and honestly, yet still provide the services you ask for. If you are working with an ad agency web design company, they should focus on the solutions to your advertising problems. Viral marketing may be one of the solutions provided. This can be accomplished in several manners. The most professional method is to distribute literature pertaining to an issue that naturally occurs within your industry. For example, let us assume that you run an online clothing sales company. An eBook on the latest styles, or even a short article published on a networking site will establish you and your company within the fashion community. By prominently including a link to your site within the piece of literature, you will be not only establishing yourself as an authority figure on the subject, you will be advertising your business.
Another method that viral marketers use is by posting on industry related forums. This can be a delicate issue since it can easily turn into spam. Spamming a forum will damage your company’s reputation and should be avoided at all costs. However, informative and relevant posts can easily attract a following to your site. Blogs are effective ways to do this. By posting on forums and blogs, not only do you get the word about your company out, you are once again showing that you are an authoritative figure in your field.
A web agency should also strive to put your unique needs first. Regardless of what their prior success stories are, an agency should approach your company as a unique challenge. Every business is different and thus has different needs. Even if the agency has helped similar companies in the past, they should not just place your company in a cookie cutter mold. Your business is different from other businesses: it’s yours. The agency you select should acknowledge that fact and treat your business appropriately. This does not mean that you should discount the agency’s prior successes; these are the sign of a talented agency. Success in a certain field is important, but so is the ability to work competently with several different businesses.
Your research of a prospective agency is important as well. Do not be fooled by flashy web sites and self-proclaimed hype. Agencies are competing against each other for your business, and they are rather good at self-promotion. Of course, how else would they get business? But you should be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. Meet with the agencies you are considering to employ; or, at the very least, have a telephone conversation with an agent. Ask pointed questions and establish what-if scenarios. If they do not sound competent in a real life situation, perhaps they are not all they are made out to be. This interview method works especially well for businesses that want more than just an Internet presence. The ability to carry on a natural and meaningful demeanor cannot be underestimated. Awkward agencies will only make your site seem less professional.
Web design is everything for an Internet based business. You want your site to revolve around your customers. Enticing the public to come to your site is one thing, once you get them there, you need to keep them interested and involved with your products. Make sure that the customers’ expectations are met and then surpassed. Loyal visitors are much more likely to be repeat customers. Encouraging interaction with customers is one of the more successful ways to engage your audience. Have a place where customers can share their thoughts and stories about you and your services. Make them feel like part of your community. While the Internet is a global phenomenon, your site can be a familiar and intimate friend. Once this is established, a customer will have a difficult time navigating away from your site. Who knows, they might even bring a friend back with them on their next visit. The web agency that can help your business is just around the corner. You can find them by searching the Internet or looking through your local phone book.