Should you go local? When it comes to web design, the answer is a resounding yes. Websites are the heart of modern digital marketing. It deserves and requires close attention as it plays a vital part in attracting, convincing, and converting audiences to buy into a specific brand.
That's valid regardless of industry but rings especially true for local brands. A recent study by eMarketer found search engines to be the most important tool for consumers to find a local business, followed closely in second place by the website of that business. Whether your audience wants to find out about your opening hours or your products and services, they rely on your website.
Given that importance, consider these 7 reasons why hiring a local agency is the best course of action to take when considering your next web design project.
1) Understanding Local Business Needs
First, and perhaps most importantly, a local web agency understands what makes the needs of local and small businesses so distinct from those of larger brands. Budgets tend to be more limited, the audiences are more strictly defined, at least some physical presence exists, and the products tend to be more niche. These needs, in turn, require very distinct marketing and website strategies. Various best practices exist specifically for this type of online presence, both in terms of your website design and SEO, and a local agency will take the time to ensure these methods are being applied effectively to meet your business objectives.
2) The Nuances of Local Audiences
Just as local businesses matter, so do local audiences. Put simply, a consumer looking for a fashion boutique in their neighbourhood will exhibit very different search and selection patterns compared to an online shopper. Your website has to account for these nuances. For example, local audiences tend to be most interested in functional information such as a phone number, open hours, and directions to your store. Google My Business takes on outsize importance, especially in connection to your website. Always look for a partner who understands these nuances and can build your website accordingly.
3) Personalized Attention for Every Client
Marketing agencies, from web design to social media, tend to have stigmas attached to them. One of the most commonly shared opinions by clients is that once their business is secured, a client becomes a small fish in a big pond. As a result, their needs are not prioritized on a daily basis. The opposite is true with a local firm. Instead, you can expect more personalized attention. That might include contact with an executive at the firm, and even regular in-person strategy and planning meetings. Reputation matters, and the right local web agency will ensure its clients are satisfied in order to build a positive long-term business relationship.
4) Ongoing Web Support
Don't make the mistake of assuming that web design is a one-time project. Instead, when going local, you can expect ongoing web support. Should something go wrong, or you need a minor update, you already have an existing partnership with your local agency. Also, think of ongoing web support as an investment. Just as you would continue investing in your sales team with training and access to the latest resources, your website deserves just as much attention. The internet is constantly changing and staying on top of current trends and updates through a web support team will help secure ROI, as well as ongoing success for your business.
5) Relevant References and Case Studies
Have you ever looked for a marketing partner, but couldn't decide on the best fit because it was difficult to determine whether they had experience relevant to your business? With a local agency, it’s easy to attain client references and case studies to ensure relevance. The reason is simple: a local agency’s market is more defined. The businesses they work with have been in similar situations and are targeting similar audiences. As a result, it's easier to evaluate how their past work and experience relates to your unique needs.
6) Increased Accountability
What constitutes a successful partnership? Never lose track of that question as you look for a web design agency. Simply completing a website and going live shouldn’t be all that matters. If the site doesn't perform to expectation or meet your business goals, you have a problem. That type of accountability problem is less likely to occur with a local web design agency. With increased face time and accessibility for clients, credibility directly translates to accountability for your website and business success.
7) Continuous Communication
Finally, you can expect more open channels of communication with a local partnership. The reason is a combination of many of the points mentioned above: a need for accountability, combined with ongoing support and the tendency for more personalized attention and communication. You'll be as involved in the web design process as you want to be. From regular emails and status updates to in-person meetings, you get plenty of touchpoints to influence the process from the ground up.
Going Local with Your Web Design Efforts
In short, finding a web design firm within close proximity can be a core advantage. For example, at Symetric we pride ourselves in the partnerships we have built, which has deepened our understanding of both local business in general and what works best in their markets.
In our 17 years as a web design agency, we have built various types of websites, while adapting our approach to every client's unique needs. Our websites have won awards for business, design, and development by breaking new ground and setting a new standard for quality. A local partnership, as we have proven, can significantly enhance your web design efforts. So, what are you waiting for?