There is a problem with web design agencies that most customers of theirs are never even aware of: it is in the web design agencies best interest to sell you web design: as much web design as possible. It is not in the web design agencies best interest to ask you if the redesigns of your site are actually bringing in sales, or resulting in increased sales leads for your business, or getting you to number one in Google, or anything else.
A web design company exists to sell web design. They do not exist to give you the best possible honest, ethical and impartial advice. They are not consultants that will assess what is best for your company and advise you accordingly. When was the last time you heard a web design company say “Actually, you do not need to spend any more money on your website at the current time”? Their answer to any problem will be a web site revamp and relaunch.
They do not address the fundamental business issues involved in creating a site – just the superficial web related ones. They will not stop to ask “how do you propose to make more sales as a result of your site?” or even “since research indicates that people do not buy from a website on their first visit – and that first visits are a comparison shopping exercise – and people tend to buy on the second and subsequent visit; and also since it is quality information and content on your site that will mean that people return to it time after time: given all that – how will you update your site?”
Being fair, web designers are not expected to address these business issues and that is exactly what the problem is. A website for a business should not be allowed to be an exercise in a web designer showing off to their friends – but all too often the only people that websites impress are other web designers.
When your site was designed, did your designer tell you what to put on it because it “looked really cool” – or because “this is the cutting edge of web design” – or ” this is the latest plug in” or “everyone else is doing it?”
Or did they say “current research states that people READ on the web: you need pertinent, targetted frequently updated content with a well thought out call to action in order to sell effectively online”?
In actual fact what most companies need is a consultant that advises them what to ask for, and will then ensure that this is supplied. Most customers need to be educated by someone who is not out there to simply create a site that looks good on the CV but actually delivers real business benefit.
In effect you need an expert negotiating on your behalf with the web designer, ensuring that they expend effort (and therefore bill you for their time) only on elements that will actually sell your goods or service – and not flatter their ego.