Hiring an Agency
7 min read
Updated: April 06, 2020

How Do You Find The Best Web Agency?

I'm going to address a common question that most of our clients (and we’re sure many of our readers) ask:

“How do we make sure we pick the best agency to develop our website, provide us with marketing services or do both?”

Whenever I ask clients what criteria they use to vet a prospective web or marketing agency, they usually cite three factors: 

  • Cost
  • How well the two parties mesh together during initial conversation(s)
  • Whether the agency can actually provide all the services needed

Now all three factors really make sense. Yes, you have to mesh well with your agency, afford their services, and be sure they can do everything you need them to do. But there are other equally important factors to always consider: 

  • Experience. Does the prospective agency have the experience to deliver the results that you actually want? Not just have a pretty portfolio with many different websites and clients (even ones just like you). No, the agency needs to show you its track record and how it is uniquely qualified to deliver the results you need.
  • Show you the plan. How will this agency get you from Point A to Point B? In other words, how will it help you achieve your business objectives?

Ultimately, a website and marketing services are just a means to the end. You’re not buying the website, nor are you buying marketing services, per se. You’re buying the future client or cash flow an effective website and marketing services will generate.  

The key factors when choosing a web agency

The best web agency in Chicago

Below are the factors and recommendations to weigh when considering an agency: 

  1. Make sure you don’t just speak with a sales representative, but rather members of the actual team that will be working on your project. Get the marketing director, art director and anyone else to help you understand how the production process and team works. Ensure there’s a good rapport and cultural fit between you all.
  2. How experienced is this agency? Has it accomplished similar results as the ones you’re currently seeking?
  3. Does the agency have a clear plan on how to take you from your current benchmarks to your ultimate business goal?
  4. Does it have a portfolio that backs-up its claims? 
  5. Does the cost fit within your budget? Sometimes it is far less costly in the long run to hire an agency that charges more, if that agency is more experienced and has a proven track record.

How to choose the agency that will deliver the best results

After you’ve considered a few agencies, which one do you hire? 

We always highly recommend hiring one that’s more expensive. That is correct. And here’s why: agencies that deliver results do so because they have a team of highly skilled people working on various aspects of your project. Highly skilled labor is always costlier, but fortunately, in the case of expert-level agencies, in the end the cost will be zero.

Yep. Free. Here’s why. When a website and marketing services deliver the intended results (lead generation, conversions and sales), it more than compensates for the monthly marketing fees or the cost to build a website. The services and website outperform, and therefore pays for itself. 

If you choose an agency simply because its services are inexpensive chances are you will be left with an underperforming website and marketing campaign that not only does not deliver leads and conversions but also incurs a massive opportunity cost.

How much does a website cost?

Let me give you an example.

Let’s suppose that Agency A builds you a website that generates 20 new opportunities that you would not have gotten with your old website, and 20% of those 20 opportunities actually convert into business, and each one of those opportunities is worth $10,000. 

That’s four new accounts totalling $40,000 in extra revenue. 

Agency B will build you a website that is $30,000 more expensive than Agency A’s. However, instead of 20 new opportunities, Agency B’s website delivers 60 new opportunities and they close at the same rate. 

So, 20% of 60 new opportunities equals 12 new clients. With 12 new clients converting at $10,000 each, you generate $120,000 in extra revenue.

Now the difference between $120,000 and $40,000 is $80,000. Agency B cost $30,000 more but the delta between the two agencies is $50,000.

That means Agency A’s website underperformed and actually cost you $50,000 in lost opportunities (opportunity cost). 

Now with many of our clients, the delta is humongous. We are not talking $50,000, but more like $5,000,000, $1,000,000 or more in annual revenue that it wouldn’t be realized had they gone with the less expensive agency. 

So always consider this primary factor when choosing a web agency. 

If you want your small business to get more leads through your website, contact us, schedule a consultation and we will: 

  • Help you zero-in to see the volume of online search traffic and how much demand there is for your product or service
  • Help you define a plan on how to get from point A (where you are today) to point B (where you want to be) in accomplishing your business objectives
  • Provide a quote on cost and time needed to develop your future website
Need a high-performance website for your company?
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About the Author
Sasha Berson
Sasha serves as Managing Partner and VP of Client Solutions for Comrade Digital Marketing, a Chicago-based marketing agency dedicated to solving client’s most pressing digital challenges.
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