How to Choose the Right Web Development Agency for Your B2B Company
For a growing company like yours, the list of business priorities, challenges and ideas never ends. As you prioritize business objectives driven by market demands, emerging technologies, stiff competition and evolving customer behaviors, your website must be solid and at the same time flexible to support your online business goals.
Give Your Website the Attention It Deserves and It Will Pay You Back
Studies show that in B2B transactions 57% of the buying decision has been made before engaging with Sales. To get the highest ROI from your website, you must treat it as a key sales tool assisting the buying process. And even after you closed the sale, can your website continue to serve your customers, vendors and partners in a way that makes their life easier? Does it reassure them that they made the best decision working with you? Does it save you money by automating tasks and enhancing customer service?
Know when you’ve outgrown your current web dev team
There are many talented web designers who can create visually stunning web pages. There even more web developers at virtually any price point who can program the design into a functional website. But, there comes a time when the demands of your fast-growing business become too much for a narrow-skilled web dev agency to handle. These are the hurdles that may be hurting your bottom line:
- Low conversions and high bounce rates,
- Web pages break too often,
- Website loads slow,
- Edits and enhancements take too long to complete,
- Website is unusable on tablet and smartphone screens,
- Admin panel is too complicated for non-tech personnel,
- Getting new ideas from your web dev provider is like pulling teeth.
This is why a reliable partner with the right web development skillset and a strategy-focused approach to digital marketing can ensure that the investment in your website is worth every penny.
Start Your Search Right: Evaluate Your Needs
The search for a new web development agency can be stressful and time-consuming. There are many well-qualified local and national digital agencies ready to wow you with experience and accolades. Before starting your search, assess your current and future needs. Answer a few simple questions:
- What do you like about your current provider?
- What do you wish they did differently?
- Where is the bulk of your time and money wasted?
- Do you meet or exceed the objectives you set for the website repeatedly?
- Do you get the right data to help you make informed decisions regarding the website?
- What are the must-haves and wish list items?
- What portion of your marketing budget is allocated to website development and support?
- Do you need services beyond web dev such as content development, SEO, paid advertising and social?
The answers to these questions ensure that you set realistic expectations and help you clearly communicate your requirements to your new digital marketing partner.
Ways to Expand Your IT Capabilities: Retain, Hire or Contract
Depending on the scope of your projects, immediacy and internal resources, there several ways you can expand your IT capabilities:
Retain a Web Dev agency. If you’re looking to expand into new markets, attract new clients and partners, retain more customers, increase online revenue, you may need a full-service digital agency. An agency partner has the experience and the resources to develop a cohesive, well-researched marketing strategy and implement suitable digital tactics to achieve real results. You can trust performance-based agencies to have your best interests at heart because their compensation depends on your success. You pay for the services you need and nothing extra.
Contract a freelancer. This arrangement works well when you need a specialist to build a custom tool or software. There many developers who offer a very unique but narrow set of skills and work on a per-project basis.
Hire an in-house web developer. If you expect on-going long-term IT projects, hiring a full-time developer could make sense. Keep in mind that even “generic” web developers do specialize in certain programming languages and/or CMS. They may also have an additional skillset to help with design, analytics, etc. Just make sure you have enough work for them to justify the cost of having a full-time employee.
Criteria for Choosing the Right Web Developer for YOU
Once you know your deal-breakers, you can confidently start your search for a new web dev provider. Here is a list of criteria we recommend to help you find a digital marketing agency or partner that will build up your IT capabilities, explore and execute innovative ideas, and ensure that your business continues to grow and make money.
- They care about your success as much as they care about their own. It’s important to start with the end result in mind. Make sure that the agency you hire gets to know your business: your vision, history, target audience, products and services. This will ensure that every decision is made to achieve specific goals.
- They listen to ideas and bring new ideas to you. No one knows your customers better than you. But sometimes you need a fresh perspective to sort through ideas and find the ultimate solution to better serve your clients. Anticipating your customers’ needs is a powerful differentiator in a highly competitive market place.
- They have expertise in your industry. While many digital strategies and tactics can be applied across many industries, specialists can provide interesting insights and unique solutions that have been proven to work for your specific niche or target market.
- They have a proven track record. Do a reputation analysis. Can they provide case studies for projects similar to yours? What do others say about the results and the overall experience working with a particular agency?
- They have the resources and skillsets to support your technical needs. Not every business goal is about making money. Often, it’s about gaining efficiencies, automating tasks and processes, solving complex IT challenges. If these items are on your to-do list, make sure your web development team has broad capabilities.
- They implement User Experience principals. User Experience (UX) is what defines the effectiveness of your website to meet your business objectives. The best sales copy in the world will be a waste if not supported by thoughtful visual design. And the best-looking website will fail to deliver results if it loads slow. Make sure your web dev agency can see your website through the eyes of your customers.
- They know how to test and measure success. Your website is an ever-evolving mechanism. Not every headline will resonate with your customers. Not every digital tool will work flawlessly from the start. But if your digital agency knows how to test, optimize and measure the impact of any change on the bottom line, you’ve got a keeper.
- They offer maintenance and ongoing optimization services. The performance of your website can be affected by many things including server configuration, code, scripts, software, images and third-party integrations. The technology that runs your website will evolve. You will be adding images, videos and digital tools that require specific resources for optimal performance. For these reasons, on-going website maintenance and optimization is a must-have service.
Making the Choice
After you assess your needs and the budget, consider all possibilities and interview several candidates, the final step is to select a partner who delivered the best sales experience. Did you feel being sold to or was it a natural, mutually-invested experience? Imagine what it would be like to work with this team or person on a regular basis. Do you like their communication style? Do they compliment your current team? No arrangement is permanent. However, starting the search for yet another web development agency drains valuable time and money not to mention adds a level of stress. So, once you check all of the boxes and narrow down your choices, go with your gut.
Give Us a Try
At DirectiveGroup, we’d like to give you a taste of what it would be like to partner with us.
We offer several complimentary audits and assessments to show our capabilities and start a conversation.
Find out what we can do for you. No obligation. No commitment.