Every small business needs to hire a web design agency to become more competitive in this modern world. It is no longer just a business advantage, it has actually become a business necessity. A web design firm provides more than just a beautiful website, it also creates strategic direction for the business as well as practical technical development for products and services.

Top web design companies create websites that do more than just entice an audience to visit the web page over and over again—the digital strategy includes converting the audience to a real market. So what do you look for in a web design agencies? Here are the top five essentials:

1.    Get a web design agency that understands your product or service

There are a number of web design agencies that create great websites, but your business doesn’t necessarily need a great website. You need a website that is captivating and functional. First, you want to capture an audience. Second, you want the audience to buy a product or service. So it is important that a web design firm understands what your business is offering.

It takes more than just reading through the business brochure: mission, vision and core values to understand a business. As a business owner, you should take meetings with a digital agency seriously. Ask the firm’s representatives some questions to determine if they understand your business or not. This is your business’s future you are talking about so you can be brutal with your meticulous queries if you have to.

2.     Experience is not everything but it is an important asset

As mentioned, you want an agency that will understand your product and service. That could mean hiring a new web design agency that doesn’t have a repertoire. That is not limiting at all, as long as you have seen what the development company can do through presentation and mockups. However, experience is a pretty darn good advantage.

Experience is the best teacher—that relates to web design as well. Every web agency is expected to learn from previous mistakes, so every new client means a better digital output. So if you have a web design firm that provides you with a long list of clients, it only means that this agency has a solid reputation and knowledge-based web design experience. Having numerous clients also means that companies have been satisfied with the firm’s work over the years. No agency will ever amass more clients if it was not doing satisfactory work.

3.     Web firm’s body of work

Speaking of experience, as a business owner in the market for a web design agency, you should research about the client list of your prospects. Before you make a choice of a web firm, you should at least have a choice of three firms. Check out the agencies’ clients and browse through the clients’ websites. Are you satisfied with your browsing experience? Are you inclined to buy any of the product or service from any of the clients? If you are satisfied with the websites of your prospect, then that is generally a good sign. But you can do so much better than just browsing through a firm’s body of work. You make seek out the firm’s clients and ask about their experience.

You should also read user reviews. Are users generally satisfied with the website? Are there complaints about usability and function? Of course, complaints about the product or service is no longer your concern so don’t delve too much into that.

4.    Make sure that user interface and user experience are priorities in the web design

One way to encourage internet users to frequent your web page is if you have an aesthetically pleasing and user friendly website. So make sure you hire a firm considers the UI and UX designs important aspects in the design process. The UI ensures that the layout of the web page is in order and that it is generally attractive—not messy and confusing. This is the first step in attracting an audience by enticing them with the good-looking page. Loyalty comes when your page is user friendly. When a website is easy to maneuver and enjoyable, chances are the audience would be inclined to buy your product or service. This is referred to as conversion.

Here is an article from Mashable about the basics of conversion in marketing. There are so many times that an internet user browses through a web page and immediately leaves for another. Here is a concrete example: an individual browses through an e-commerce website, clicks on some items that are stored in the virtual cart. However, the individual sees an interesting pop ad and clicks on that instead. The cart is suddenly forgotten. Well, a functional web design with great UI and UX designs that translate to practical usability will never let pop ads divert the attention of a user.

5.      Find a full-service digital agency—If possible

A web design agency per se is great at creating a functional web page that also looks good. But wouldn’t it be better if all of the business’s online content is just handled by one agency? This will make for a consistent branding package. So if it’s possible (budget-wise) then a business should hire a full-service digital agency to handle all kinds of online activities including the creation of a web page, web application, social media presence, and online marketing force.

A perfect example of a web design firm that does the above web works is Ramotion, a web design studio that creates marketing websites and landing pages that tell brand stories with the aim of increasing conversion while also building trust with consumers.

A full-service digital agency takes control of everything web-related: from the design process to the software development. This is important because as a business owner, you want marketing to be integrated in every aspect of the web page design—a digital marketing agency, if you may. As soon as a user goes to the landing page, there should already be that cognitive process of wanting to buy the product or service. This is the work of a marketing team—it knows how to convert the audience to consumer.