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The marketers’ approach to web development

Most marketing agencies treat websites as an expense. These days, sites are the focal point of many businesses and they can’t afford that kind of approach.

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, the agency rarely has experienced web developers & designers on hand.

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 where this is going. 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 and even years in print design won’t make you successful in the digital world.

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 delivers the full product. They start with the content and your website design, then 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 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.

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

When 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 will make the process smoother and result in a better product. That person has a deep understanding of how visitors interact with your site and will guide you to the sweet spot between your requirements and users’ expectations.

If you hire a marketing agency that doesn’t have in-house web designers, you won’t get much 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. With the democratisation of the Internet, the entry-level to “web development” has fallen drastically. Almost anyone can learn to use platforms like Wix, Squarespace, or WordPress to build a functioning website.

A marketing agency will often spend a small part of its 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 a 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 costs 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.

Do you have web development horror stories?

We’ve all heard of small projects dragging on for months, or even never coming to fruition despite the designer charging a deposit. Has anything similar happened to you? Let me know in the comments.

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 smoothly and has 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, so 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.

Why do GOV.UK, Google and IBM have a design system

Read the article

Videos about working with an agency

Originally published Oct 25, 2018 8:49:47 AM, updated June 12 2023.

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