A cursory search of Google for ‘web agency’ in Tampa or St. Petersburg will result in four to six paid advertisement slots, as well as businesses trying to sell their services. At no point do the rankings display a page that educates the searcher on what exactly a web agency is or does, though. An agency is a more than just a marketing firm— it provides services such as,
- Website development and maintenance
- Search engine optimization
- Social media management
- Ongoing tech support
- Graphic design
Why Do I Need a Web Agency?
People are spending more and more time online, and that translates into dollars. The U.S. Census Bureau has reported a steady increase in online retail purchases as opposed to a brick and mortar stores, with 342 billion U.S. dollars in online sales last year and expecting to hit over 600 billion by 2025. So, it can be reasonably asserted that, if you own a business, you cannot ignore the internet. It would behoove any business to have a strong online presence.
Web agencies can help with this in a number of ways, such as building an attractive modern website people want to visit, managing social media accounts, or optimizing search engine results so that your business is listed on the first page. A web agency can provide all of this, and if you search in your local area, there are many to choose from, especially in St. Petersburg or Tampa Bay.
How Do I Know Which Agency Is Right For Me?
As previously stated, there is many a web agency available, especially in the St. Petersburg or greater Tampa Bay area. When choosing one that fits your needs the best, there a few pointers to bear in mind:
You Get What You Pay For
It is a tough time economically for many Americans, and no one is telling you to spend your hard-earned money without shopping around. Remember, though, that you get what you pay for. If three or four different agencies quote a number for building a website at around 6,000 dollars and that seems a bit much, remember how much functionality and customization are going into the website. A website alone takes hours of work, coding, and fiddling with widgets and plug-ins. If someone comes along and low-balls a quote in the 2000-dollar range, it may be tempting, but ask yourself: what are you actually going to get?
Look At The Agencies Portfolio
Observing your potential agency portfolio is an excellent way to assess their skills and capabilities. However, make sure you aren’t just looking for pretty websites. Aesthetics are important, but a well functioning site is essential too. Even if it looks great if people can’t use it efficiently, then the designs and aesthetics are irrelevant. When you’re looking through the agency’s portfolio, there are a few key elements you want to keep your eye on. Some examples are,
- Are their various sites to similar?
- Is the agency creating mobile-friendly sites?
- Do they create sites for your industry?
- Is the agency following the latest design trends?
Weed Out the Corner-Cutters
On any search engine, particularly Google, there are slots reserved for businesses that paid for them which known as ‘ad slots.’ Part of the job of a web agency is search engine optimization, to organically raise the ranking of a website in search engines. So, if said company cannot even do that for their own website and have to resort to cutting corners, do you really want to trust them with your website? When looking in the St. Petersburg or greater Tampa area, look at the organic rankings rather than the advertisements to find the best company.