Why You Should Choose a Web Agency over a Marketing Agency

With the ever-rising standards of online presence, choosing a web agency as your website developers is crucial for its success. Your decision will make or break the site. The immense potential of a company website can only be realised if you treat your site as an investment. Your website works for you tirelessly 24/7 and can't be a mere marketing expense.

Web Agency vs Marketing Agency
Article by Dawid Zimny
I am particularly interested in web analytics. Knowing the way your visitors browse your website will help you improve their browsing experience and is crucial for converting them into clients.

There’s an abundance of companies that offer web design & development services. It‘s easy to get lost in the jungle of web agencies, marketing agencies or even simple drag-and-drop tools with a low monthly fee. Which one do you choose? What should you look for in your future website maker?

You shouldn’t use website creators

Let’s get this out of the way – avoid drag-and-drop website creators. There are multiple reasons for that:

  • repetitive templates – they might be attractive if you want to build a website fast, but it means you will share a similar design with hundreds or thousands of other websites. The design is very important for your visitors – 48% of people cited a website’s design as the number one factor in deciding the credibility of a business (IronPaper)
  • you don’t own your website – you have no ownership of the code of your website, you can’t change the parameters of the hosting and migration from the service is often impossible
  • they won’t have a content management system – adding new content requires you to change your static website which is how we were building websites in the early 2000s
  • most of the website builders won’t offer analytics tools – that leaves you with no insight into what you can improve on your site
  • the websites aren’t responsive – most website creators state that their websites aren’t fully responsive yet. You can’t afford bad user experience for your mobile visitors.

They will do more harm than good for your business, even if a fast, cheap process of building a website seems appealing at first.

The marketers’ approach to web development

Most marketing agencies treat websites as an expense. These days sites are often the focal point of many businesses and they can’t afford that kind of approach. A lot of the marketing agencies are only now branching out to the online world to enjoy the popularity of the market.

Because of being new in the e-marketing business, a marketing agency rarely has web designers & developers on hand. This causes several issues. They outsource the website for you, hindering the information flow between you and the developer.

There’s a high chance you would pitch the idea and requirements to someone with no experience in web design. Then, that person will contact a developer outside their marketing agency… I think you can already see the issue at this stage. And it doesn’t end there.

We get enquiries from clients with broken websites that lack updates. A site outsourced by a marketing agency gets only a few iterations before becoming the final product. Maintenance is almost non-existent or in the best-case scenario you have to monitor your website and ask for fixes. It shouldn’t be like that.

Furthermore, e-marketing and online design aren’t identical to real life marketing and print design.

Not only do marketing campaigns work different online, but they also won’t benefit you if your website isn’t well-crafted.

Some companies delegate their in-house designers to work with a web developer but this doesn’t end well. The online design has its own laws. Even the best design can go to waste if it doesn’t follow specific rules. Rules you can’t learn overnight. It takes a lot of time and trial and error to get web design right. Considering the rate at which the industry is changing, if the online design isn’t your focus, you have no chance of keeping up with the good practices.

The difference between a web agency and a marketing agency

For a marketing agency, your website will often be one of the least important tools. On the contrary, a web agency like ours delivers a full product. We start with the content and the design of your website, then we develop the first iteration of the site and maintain it to realise its full potential for as long as you need to.

Creating content

If there’s one thing we can describe as the foundation of your website, it’s the content. Developers often overlook this aspect entirely.

Content makes your site. Designing the user interface without preparing the content first will cause a lot of issues down the road. There’s a high chance you will need to redesign parts of your website as you realise the interface doesn’t work well with your content. The consequences? Increased cost, delays, or what’s worse, going live with a half-finished site full of “Lorem Ipsum” sample text on top of that.

An experienced web agency makes sure the content is polished before they even mention the design. Whether your experts provide the content or the web agency creates it by working closely with you, it’s the first step to create a website of the highest quality.

Designing the website

Knowing the type and volume of your content makes designing the site way easier. Designing the best website to have your content not fit forces you to either compromise on the quality of your content or as mentioned above, completely redesign your site.

I already mentioned the key difference here. While working with a web agency you’re pitching your requirements to an experienced web designer. Going through your design with someone that knows the good practices of the web design will make the process smoother and result in a better product. That person will have a deep understanding of how visitors interact with your site and will guide you to the sweet spot between your idea and the best practices.

Web design planning process
A proper planning process ensures your design is thought-out.

If you hire a marketing agency that doesn’t have in-house web designers you won’t get any assistance in that matter. Your ideas and requirements will be passed to an outsourced developer. Some of them might get lost in translation and as a result, the design process will require way more iterations. It consumes a huge amount of resources and often you won’t be satisfied with the final version anyway. This can have such a big impact on how people perceive your brand that no marketing campaign will help you recover.

Web development

The code behind your website is its core. If an agency outsources your developer, there’s little you can do to ensure his competence. A marketing agency will often spend a small part of their resources on the site, meaning the developer will compromise across-the-board. Fewer resources will lead to issues including, but not limited to:

  • a cheaper hosting that will affect your load times and uptime
  • less testing, leading to bad user experience
  • unoptimized code will slow down your website
  • an unresponsive website that isn’t displayed correctly on all devices

Once again this leads to increased cost and delays in delivering a full product – only this time, the cost rises exponentially. Fixing a poorly developed site can cost more than building it from the ground up.

Website maintenance

In a web agency, the moment your site goes live is an enjoyable one, but it’s not the end of our work. We focus on maintaining your website way beyond making sure it runs smooth and has an impeccable uptime. We handle the security of your site and update it based on analytics. Nobody gets it right on the first iteration so it’s important to keep improving the site. Take our site as an example – in the last 12 months analytics helped us double the amount of time visitors spend on our site.

We've doubled our average session duration
Year-to-year the average session duration on our site increased by 100%.

What works on one site might not work on the other. Every customer base is different, hence we keep an eye on your website on a regular basis. That way we can tweak every aspect of your site to make sure your visitors have the best user experience possible and your conversion rates go up and up.

Your website should be made by a web agency

When working with a web agency, each step of building your website is handled by experts. A website-first approach will give you a top-notch site that will work for you 24/7. People leave a sub-par website in a matter of seconds – 40% of them never come back after a bad experience and no marketing campaign can change that. Your website might promote your brand, your services or sell your product. But remember this – your website is also your product and you should approach it as such. People won’t buy your bad product no matter how you advertise it. If you treat your website as an expense rather than an investment, the money you spend on its marketing will also become just that – an expense that never pays back.

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