The decision has been made. Your organization has finally decided to revamp or launch a new B2B website that will accurately represent your products and services. What next? As a B2B company, it’s unlikely you have a full-time, experienced web developer, knowledgeable web designer, and professional copywriter on staff. Additionally, you probably don’t have the time to manage all the procedures and processes that go into building a custom website. Your best option is to hire a qualified B2B website design firm to handle the day-to-day activities involved in building an effective website.
Choosing a qualified website design firm can seem like an overwhelming task, but with a little preparation before you start, it can be a breeze. Once your company has decided to move forward with building a new B2B website and opted to hire a website design agency, there are several questions you can answer to streamline the selection process.
1. What Do You Expect From a Website?
The first step in selecting a B2B website agency is to determine what you expect the website to do for your company. What is the objective of the website? Is the main function lead generation? Do you need an online brochure of your services and capabilities? Or do you need an online resource to educate potential clients about your industry and build up your authority?
Although a website may act in a variety of capacities, it’s best to narrow it down to one major objective so you can choose the proper design.
2. Do You Have a Budget & a Price Range?
It’s imperative you have a budget and/or price range in mind before you start looking into hiring a website agency. The phrase, “You get what you pay for” definitely holds true when it comes to a B2B website design. Depending on your allotted budget, you can get a minimalist 12 page template website with little customization or a fully responsive website tailored to reflect your brand. Knowing your budget helps set the expectations for you, your organization, and the agencies you interview.
When you do get a quote from a web design agency, make sure you know everything that is included and not included in the proposal. If a website design firm comes in significantly lower than other firms, check to make sure the proposal includes all copywriting, revisions, image purchases, coding changes, etc. A reputable agency will clearly communicate when a particular requirement you asked for is not included in a website.
3. When Do You Need the Website Completed By?
We live in a world of deadlines and due dates. When determining a timeline for your website development, ensure that it is reasonable and attainable. While it would be nice to have a fully custom website completed for your next tradeshow, you won’t get the high quality website your organization requires. As an experienced B2B website design agency, we’ve discovered the average timeline for creating a professional, responsive, custom website is about 12 to 16 weeks.
A realistic timeline allocates for research, copywriting, revisions, designs, and development. Since your website is the online face of your company, set attainable timelines that work for the decision makers in your organization and allows enough website design time to create a professionally branded product.
4. Do You Need Cutting-Edge Technology?
Regardless of whether you are selling high-end financial services or jet engine components, a non-responsive, one page website just won’t cut it. However, when it comes to cutting-edge website design, there are variations to consider and whether your business can benefit from them.
Today, professionals use mobile devices to search for business partners online. In order to reach your ideal client audience, you need a website that can be viewed on desktops, laptops, tablets, phablets, and even smartphones. You do have a choice though when it comes to what kind of technology to implement on your website. You can elect to go with a responsive design that enables your website to morph to fit any device used for online browsing, or you can elect to go with a simpler mobile optimized website that returns a different website altogether on mobile devices.
You don’t need to layout all the different tools you need as long as you have a good idea of what type of technology you want in your website.
5. Can You Look at a Portfolio?
Once you start meeting with website design agencies or researching them online, we always recommend looking at what the firm has produced for other clients. A firm’s portfolio is a great way to get a good idea of what types of designs the firm creates. While you may not know exactly what type of design aesthetic you want, you likely have a good idea of what types of design will work. Although the portfolio of a firm won’t show all their capabilities, it gives you an idea of their range of work and general design aesthetic.
6. Do They Have Experience with Your Type of Business?
Most companies specialize in a particular type of service or product. If you need a B2B website, it’s best to find an agency with experience in creating B2B websites. By selecting a website design firm that has relevant experience, you streamline the process and can be confident they understand your challenges and needs.
7. Does the Web Design Include SEO Best Practices?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential to the success of your online presence. When interviewing B2B web design agencies, ask if SEO is included in the design. An experienced agency often includes on-page SEO and copywriting as they build the website. An essential component of SEO is well-written copy, so it’s easier to incorporate SEO as the website is built and written rather than attempting to optimize the website after launch.
The structure and coding of your website has a large impact on a website’s SEO. Working with a web design agency familiar with SEO best practices for structure, development, and coding ensures your website is set up for success.
8. Are Content and Copywriting Included?
A typical B2B website includes a minimum of 18 pages to accurately convey the mission, details, benefits, and features of your organization’s products and services. Many people don’t have the time to sit down and write that many pages of unique, professional content for their website. Ask the website design firms you interview if copywriting is included and to what extent. A reputable firm works with professional copywriters who have experience in writing for your industry and the web.
9. What Is the Maintenance After Launch?
When choosing an agency to work with on designing a new website, be sure to ask what happens after the website is launched. Find out if there is any post-launch monitoring and maintenance. At Bop Design, our website design service includes 301 redirects, plus monitoring and correcting any 404 errors for 30 days after the launch of the website. This ensures that your website doesn’t lose any valuable traffic to your new website.
Making the Final Selection of a B2B Website Design Agency
The process to choose a B2B website design agency should be a fun process for your company as you get to see all the possibilities of a new website for your organization. By answering the questions laid out here and gathering the necessary information you need to get accurate proposals, the process can be a breeze. The final decision on an agency may not be easy, but with due diligence, you should be able to find the right fit.