6 Questions to ask your B2B Website Design Agency
Choosing a new B2B website design agency can be a difficult task, so we've broken down some helpful questions to ask before deciding on one agency.
Published: 13 Dec 2019
4 minutes read
So you’ve decided you need a new website. You understand that updating your online presence can improve your lead quality, boost traffic, and create a stronger brand - but what now?
B2B website design agencies are everywhere, and choosing one that can effectively represent your brand and create an efficient site can prove difficult. That’s why we’ve broken down six key questions to ask your B2B website design agency that will help you successfully select the right partner for your business.
1. Which content management system will you be using?
The content management system (or CMS) that your design agency uses is a key part of your new website. The wrong CMS can mean that your new site is difficult to update, inflexible, or insecure and therefore vulnerable to hacks. There are many choices when it comes to website CMS, including “off the shelf” choices like WordPress and Wix, or you can opt for a bespoke design offering. There are pros and cons to each, and it’s important to understand these in order to determine which is the best choice for your business.
A CMS such as WordPress offers a great deal of customisation, and as WordPress has 58.55% share of the world’s CMS, it’s a popular choice. However, WordPress has previously run into security issues, and most of the functionality is dependent on plugins, which can make your site confusing. A bespoke CMS throws up separate issues. As it is more personalised, it means that for any changes you are reliant on your developer - while this is great if you have a good relationship, it would require a complete overhaul if you ever want to take the site in a different direction.
It’s vital that you are able to update your site, as your B2B website should be constantly adapting to fit the needs of your business and your customers. However, the ability to develop the CMS further into a more bespoke offering, without sacrificing ease of use, is the best option for many businesses. WordPress can offer this capability, as can our favourite, HubSpot. Each of these platforms utilises a drag and drop builder, but still offers development aspects: WordPress is adaptable through plugins, and HubSpot boasts a staging section where you can experiment with new page layouts, scripts and more. When choosing a CMS, be sure to check that it is a platform you will be able to maintain without having to call your developer every time!
Not sure which CMS is the best for your business?
2. Will the site be responsive?
Responsive design is no joke. If your site isn’t responsive, you risk putting off your audience - especially if they are browsing on a different device. On top of this, an unresponsive website can be devastating to your SEO strategy. Your new website should be built so that it is easy to use on a variety of different screen sizes, browsers, and devices, and any good web design agency should automatically incorporate this into their design.
The website needs to be accessible on different browsers, and if possible should be able to run on older browsers that haven’t been updated! It can be tempting to go for an all-singing, all-dancing flashy new site, but if it won’t load on an older browser or device, you could alienate a large percentage of your customer base.
3. Will the website be SEO-friendly?
Keeping your website optimised for search engines is essential to boost your rankings, and therefore your organic traffic. Your new B2B website should be designed following the “rules” of SEO, ensuring that there are no technical errors, broken or thin content pages, and it should be easy to optimise your content. You should be able to amend meta titles and descriptions on all pages in order to make the best first impression. You should also make sure that you can amend things such as h1s, URL slugs, and if possible, ask that your new B2B web design agency integrates Google Search Console during the development process.
4. Can you ensure that the site will load quickly?
Be warned: most website agencies will answer this with an enthusiastic “yes!”. However, there are some elements that can drastically slow down the speed of your site, impacting SEO and customer engagement. Make sure that speed is prioritised at a server-level, and if your new agency is building in WordPress, check on how many plugins they intend on adding to the site. Often, incorrectly sized or optimised images can contribute to poor loading times, so check with your web design agency what they intend to do to combat this!
5. Is there a user journey in mind?
Once your site visitors land on your homepage, where are they going? Your website should undergo a detailed planning stage where you consider what site visitors are looking for, and how to direct them in the most user friendly way. A common misconception is that websites should follow the “three click rule”, but this has been disproven. The website should clearly signpost what can be found on each page in the menu, and it should be easy for site visitors to find the right page, no matter how many clicks it takes to get there (although don’t go mad).
Your website should also be clear about who your company is, what products or services you provide and most importantly, why you are providing them. On a company homepage, 86% of visitors want to see information about what that company provides, and this should be considered when designing your site. Your homepage should be well-designed and visually appealing, but don’t forget to make it user friendly - a confusing site will inevitably lead to less conversions!
6. Can you help me create the content?
So you have the design, you know which CMS you will be working with, and you’ve been assured that your new B2B website will be responsive, speedy and geared towards great user experiences. The only thing you need to do now is create the content! A website redesign is a great opportunity to refresh your existing content, as when your site structure has changed, your content becomes out of date. Writing an entire website with SEO, user journeys, and buyer personas in mind can be a daunting task, so it’s a good idea to ask your web design agency if they can help create the content, or recommend a good agency who can. Ideally, your content creation should be part of a wider marketing strategy, so that it fits with your marketing and sales goals. You might have ideas for your content already, but a content team or marketing agency can help develop a full strategy to improve leads, boost brand awareness, and realise maximum ROI through your new website.
If you’re looking to redesign your B2B website, the best thing that you can do is ask the important questions, and make sure that your website brief is aligned with your business goals. By checking with your web design agency, you can create a website that is agile, easy to use, and can adapt to your changing business perspectives, and with the right brief, you’ll soon have a site to engage your prospects and customers alike. We’ve created a helpful template to help you put your website brief together for your developer - try it out below! We’ve put together the important questions to ask yourself, your company, and your new agency throughout the design process, to help you achieve your website goals.