Integrated. Full service. Marcoms. All of these words inevitably ring alarm bells with me. Unless they are of a decent size, with specialist teams of several people focusing on a particular aspect of marketing, many agencies that profess to be able to provide every service under the sun are essentially leading customers down the wrong path.
Let’s not pull any punches; look at our industry – websites are not something that everyone can do. It’s not a simple brain-dump on an online portal, but rather a carefully constructed [huge] piece of content that can provide the global window to showcase your brand story.
With agencies that offer so many services, it can often be challenging to have confidence that these people are dedicated towards furthering your brand. If they don’t live and breathe their specialism, your website is just another ‘par for the course’ job, and quite frankly, they’re not learning anything or improving their service. For focused, dedicated web experts, every inch of the process from the planning, strategic vision, execution and post-launch insights is in their blood.
Web design and development agencies specialise in the core area of websites – they’re not digital marketing agencies employing a single contractor to put some code together on an identikit template. Specialists, with a sole focus on web, ensure that your return on investment is maximised, and isn’t treated as a fancy add-on. Whether it’s SEO algorithm changes, improvements in web design, new technologies etc. it is all factored in from the briefing stage to the launch of a site.
Maximising an online platform
Before any code hits the screen, a smart digital strategy is needed to ensure that your business goals will be met and that you’re able to take users on the best possible online journey. This is what boosts website conversions and can ensure your investment extends beyond the first few leads or sales.
Many professionals are under the impression that a website is an “add-on” to a business cycle, but that’s simply not true. Having an effective online platform that seamlessly integrates with your other business channels is a must in today’s digital economy. This is none more true than for the world of eCommerce; with retailers increasingly looking at the omni-channel route, which ties together all of their channels (in-store, online, social, mobile, etc.), the website becomes the hub of a consistent, seamless customer journey.
A website should be the beating heart of your brand; it increases awareness, adds credibility, raises the value of your proposition and so much more.
Understanding the business
Your website is the primary outlet showcasing your brand 24/7, and frequently the first step for a potential customer. A website should be the beating heart of your brand; it increases awareness, adds credibility, raises the value of your proposition and so much more. A smart digital strategy takes all of this into account before code hits the page.
Understanding the business isn’t just about what you sell, or your USPs. A website specialist understands the inherent need to reflect your company’s culture; the tone, look and feel and corporate principles. Your overall ethos should drench the site – even down to the tiniest of tactical details, such as imagery. Only a specialist can get under the skin of the business to translate your brand effectively to the screen.
Understanding the consumer
Some agencies may claim to understand your audience but the online consumer is far different. Too many times, websites are plastered with content that they think will resonate with higher search engine rankings, rather than understanding what their audience will actually want.
Where are users accessing your site from? What content/landing pages is most valuable to your audiences? This level of minute detail is often overlooked and where we see more customer drop-offs. If your audience continues tuning out then your website will essentially fail in meeting your business aims. Invested knowledge of online user trends can help identify the distinct qualities from physical customers to provide even more engagement with your brand.
If you’re looking for a specialist agency that offers that personable touch that you require in getting the most from your site, then give us a shout!
A focus on being experts, not generalists By Will Morris, Managing Partner at Alchemy Digital