Drag-and-drop website builders make it sound like a breeze to build any website you can dream of. But is that true? Can you subscribe to a $168/yr plan and ask cousin Joey to whip up a website during his Roblox break?
Well, you can build a decent-looking website quickly. But it won't have what it takes to deliver the business outcomes you want to achieve in today's competitive digital environment. There are many not-so-obvious steps to ensure that your website isn't only beautiful but also functional and converting.
Yes, a converting website! If it can't turn visitors into customers, you're in trouble.
That's why successful businesses partner with reputable development agencies to deliver a seamless, on-brand customer experience. Here are 7 ways working with an agency can help you cover all your bases and improve your website's quality and effectiveness.
1. Set a Solid Foundation
A successful website must cater to its visitors' needs and deliver an experience that resonates with its ideal customers. A development agency starts by understanding your business objectives, brand personality, and target audience to create a strategy that will guide the creation of a website experience that appeals to your visitors.
Your agency will help you establish an audience and revenue model and identify key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the effectiveness of the strategy. It'll also help you leverage data-driven insights to fine-tune the customer experience over time so you can stay relevant and competitive as consumer expectations evolve.
2. Perform Prototyping and User Testing
Cousin Joey is a Gen Z. He insists everything should look like Fortnight. But if he applies the Fortnight aesthetics (and pace, gasp!) to build user interfaces for boomers, your customers may have a hard time finding the information they need, let alone completing a purchase! So how do you know your website will have a good chance of appealing to your customers?
An experienced web development agency often includes prototyping and user testing early on in the design and development process to validate its ideas and ensure that your final website navigation and design resonates with your target audience. This process also allows them to make improvements before starting the development work to save you time and money.
3. Use the Right Tools and Technologies
When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Most developers only know a handful of platforms and programming languages, limiting the range of functionalities and solutions they can deliver. On the other hand, a development agency will assess your needs, recommend the most effective technology, and provide the talent required to implement it.
Additionally, a development agency stays current with the latest website development tools to help its clients create a modern user experience (UX.) A long-term partnership with an agency will enable you to access advanced technologies and implement them strategically to meet the latest market demands and your business objectives.
4. Create a Seamless Customer Journey
Today's customers don't interact with brands via a single channel. For example, they may encounter an ad on Facebook, check out the brand's page, visit its website on their smartphones, look at its products on Instagram, and then a few hours later, return to the website on their laptop to place an order.
When you work with a development agency, you have access to a team of experts to help you consider the entire user journey — from before landing on your website to completing a transaction. Your team will help you deliver a seamless experience across channels to augment the website's effectiveness.
5. Ace Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Your website won't do any good if it can't be found by people searching for your products or services — this means you can't afford to ignore SEO. But long gone are the days where you can just include a slew of keywords and call it a day. SEO best practices involve many disciplines, including content, design, UX, and coding — we doubt cousin Joey has expertise in all of them.
You can't leave anything to chance, from optimizing images and creating a responsive design to publishing high-quality and relevant content. A web development agency understands the nuances of search engine marketing and has SEO experts to help you dial in your website copy and configurations to win the SEO game.
6. Leverage Data Analytics and Audience Insights
Your agency will set up the appropriate tools to collect and analyze data to evaluate the effectiveness of your website, make targeted improvements, and gain in-depth customer insights. For example, you can see where high-quality traffic comes from to double down on your ad spend or identify where most visitors may leave your site to improve the user flow.
The team can also help you implement A/B testing to make continuous and incremental improvements to your website. These insights will help improve your KPIs and inform the messaging on other customer touchpoints to deliver a consistent and converting buying experience.
7. Perform Ongoing Maintenance and Upgrades
Your website is an essential sales and marketing tool, and it must keep up with your brand image, product offerings, customer expectations, and competitive landscape. Simply put, you'll be very disappointed if you launch a website and hope it'll just keep on giving without frequent updates.
A development agency can perform maintenance and upgrades to ensure that your website is always in tip-top shape without any frustrating glitches or security issues that could drive your customers away. Additionally, it can help you create new content and experiences to support various marketing initiatives and product launches based on your long-term business goals.
How To Hire the Right Website Development Agency
Your web development agency should have a proven track record of creating successful websites. When you review its portfolio, don't just look at the pretty pictures — ask for metrics that demonstrate the effectiveness of its approach and strategy. Also, look for a team with an in-depth understanding of website design and development trends to help you stay ahead of the curve.
Moreover, the agency should have experience and expertise in your industry and understand the necessary security and data privacy requirements, which have become increasingly critical for many businesses. For example, your team should be familiar with PCI-DSS compliance if your website processes transactions.
Instead of jumping right into the website build, the agency should take the time to understand your business objectives, research your target audience, and create a website strategy to guide implementation. It should recommend the right tech stack based on your goals and integrate your website with other marketing tools (e.g., customer data platform, email service provider) to deliver a seamless customer experience.
Camber is a full-service website design and development agency. Our expertise covers everything from strategy and prototyping to development, testing, and audience insights. We can be your fully-dedicated website development team or work as an extension of your in-house resources to deliver value every step of the way.
Get in touch to see how we can help you build a website that aligns with your brand image and business objectives.
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