Tips: Hiring the Right Digital Agency for Your Online Business
Here at Quertime, most of the articles are written by people who are in some way involved in the tech industry, web development and so on. They are all super-useful and interesting articles that can help pretty much anyone with the issue at hand.
This article, however, will be written by someone who has very little tech education and experience, someone who has been involved in brand promotion and marketing for the most part of his professional life. The goal of this article is to help new business owners venture into the world of online business. It will not be particularly tech-lingo-heavy article as there are many business owners who are not that versed in the world of web development and design.
It will be a practical article that will, hopefully, help them make the right decision when choosing web developers for their new website and keep the basics in mind when doing so.
(Image Source: LinkedIn.com)
Reasons to go online
The list of reasons for a business to go online is an extensive one that leaves no doubt in the mind of anyone who wants to grow and do business the way they can today. First of all, there is the sheer number of people who are online. For example, the number of internet users has grown to over 3 billion this year. That is 40% of the world population. In some countries, the percentage is double that. For instance, in the US, the percentage is more than 85%, in some countries in Asian and Europe more than 90%. These are all potential visitors of your website.
Another reason is that an increasing number of people are buying stuff online. But they are not only buying. They are renting, they are recommending and they are researching. You can often hear from people who run smaller, local businesses that they have no reason to go online. This is a huge mistake. Nearly all consumers, 97% of them use internet to find out stuff about the products and services they can get locally. And this is data from 2010.
Furthermore, you can go online relatively cheaply and you can try your luck against the biggest players. This is not saying that you will become the next Burger King or Foot Locker, but you finally have the chance to at least get in the ring with them. Internet presence is relatively cheap and it can help you become more than just a local business.
How to start
The first thing that you need to start thinking about is what it is that you want to gain from your online presence. Do you simply want people to be aware of the fact that you exist, or do you plan to do more? Do you want to go heavy on your online presence and buy ads for your business or do you want people simply to be able to find out more about your business? Do you perhaps want to start actually doing business online? These are all your options and these will influence where you go from there.
You should next look at what your competition is doing. Everyone has competition and it is more likely than not that your competition is already online. Try to find out how their online experience is helping them. Try to find out whether some of your potential clients or customers have gone with them simply because they have a great website. See what their website looks like. See what the best e-commerce website designs look like, for instance. Discover ideas.
Finding the right people
Once you have decided roughly on what you want to do, it is time to start looking for someone who will do it for you. You will need to find someone who will do your web design and, if you are more serious, someone who will make sure that you are reaping all the potential benefits of going online – a digital agency, if you like.
The good news is that it is a buyer’s market out there and that there is definitely no shortage of choice. You can try and find people in your city or your area that do web design and you should start looking into them. Check how reputable they are; see what they have done in the past; talk to other business owners who have had positive or negative experiences with said agencies. This should narrow down your search at least a bit.
Talk to them
Of course, you will not be making any decisions before you sit down and talk to the prospective digital agencies. There are so many things that you need to know about them beforehand and this is the way to do it. You will need to find out whether they have had experiences in the same industry as yours or whether they worked in a similar industry. This is not crucial but it can only help.
The next thing to find out is what they can do for you. For instance, you may encounter agencies that will only do web design for your business and call it a day. Others will help you synchronize your new online facet of your business with your offline work. They may set up an online shop for you, do some extensive SEO for you, train your people on how to manage the website and upload content even if they are not tech-savvy.
It goes without saying that you will also want to go with someone who seems hungry, inventive and not afraid to try out new things to help your business grow. In addition to this, it is always a good idea to ‘click’ with your web designers so that they are able to properly turn your vision into reality.
A few things to ask of them
There are a number of things that are crucial for your new website and online presence that you might not be aware of at the moment. For instance, always make sure that your new website has a mobile version that will work perfectly on mobile devices. This is essential as there is a rapidly growing number of people who go online exclusively or mostly using their mobile devices.
You should also ask of them to enable you to track the results that you are getting from your online presence. This is not a difficult thing to do and every respectable digital agency will let you come in possession of all kinds of online statistics.
Making the final choice
In the end, your choice is going to depend on a number of factors – your needs, your budget, the reputability of the agency, their professionalism, their track record and a number of other details. It is not something you should go about without being thorough in your research. Only once you are certain you have found the perfect agency for your online presence needs should you make the final choice.