Working With A Marketing Agency: Interview Part 2 (An Inside Look From Web Design Professionals)
Are customers turning you down? Whether customers are finding you online or through referral, what they see when they land on your website speaks volumes. Human connections are essential here. Consider the theory; if two people have chemistry (as they say), the attraction is known in seconds. Interestingly enough, the same principals apply to your customers; if they aren't interested within seconds of hitting your website, they're on to the next. It's a bit heartbreaking truly, yes? Indeed, it is. The great news is, it doesn't have to be that way. Start with a simple solution - make an excellent first impression online. The harder question is, how. How do technology professionals stand out online? How do they stay relevant? How do they establish credibility and worthiness? In part two of this article series, we interview a team of Web Design Professionals to get their inside take on online presence for technology professionals. We'll explore everything from how long it takes to build a website, to revealing answers from routine questions small business owners have about marketing and growth strategies. Let's get started.
How has your experience in this industry helped shape your ability to provide applicable recommendations to customers?
"Online marketing and SEO can be especially tricky because the best practices are always changing; whenever Google updates its search algorithms, their recommended best practices can change as well. Our years in this industry allow us to better anticipate website trends and future-proof our services to our clients. For example, a few years ago, mobile-friendly websites were recommended but not required by Google. Regardless, our team at OneFirefly felt that mobile responsiveness would only become more important as time went on, so we designed our products to adapt to any screen size. In 2019, Google has begun "crawling" websites using a virtual phone instead of a virtual desktop. This effectively means your website must be mobile-friendly in order to rank well with Google. Our experience with web design, marketing, SEO, and best practices allowed us to anticipate this change and prepare our clients."
Talk about some of the benefits of utilizing a CMS like Joomla versus some of the “Do-It-Yourself” platforms like Wix or Squarespace?
"Joomla has many exciting abilities that even other CMSs don’t get to claim. Do-it-yourself platforms (Wix and Squarespace are two great examples) are limited both in flexibility and in native blogging abilities, which allows for better organization and personalization of that page. For example, Joomla allows any new blog content to be tagged and categorized with relevant keyphrases, so not only is your page user-friendly for visitors, but you are benefitting from added SEO value. Each blog can be further customized with unique titles, tags, meta, internal links, and category information. Blog sophistication is one of the many reasons we chose to develop on a robust platform as Joomla.
As an open-source platform, you’ll also find that creatives around the world are continually turning Joomla into something more powerful and seamless than before. Consequently, there are countless developers who are knowledgeable in Joomla’s errors, creating one of the largest support communities for a CMS based platform."
Let’s talk about skill diversification, what are some benefits to utilizing the specialties of a team vs. a single in house person?
"Each member of a team has something valuable they bring to the table. While one individual might have an extensive set of skills, there are still areas where they are not versed in. Bringing a group of highly talented individuals together to collaborate as a unit is one of the most beneficial things any marketing agency can do.
Having more than one person on a team means that production is able to be evenly divided amongst the group. As a result, tasks and projects are finished in a timelier manner. Not only that, but having the work divided means that each member of the team can give each of their solo tasks more time and attention, ensuring the project is nothing but the best when it’s completed. If a company only had a single in-house person, they would be overloaded with work and would have to rush through projects to keep up with demand.
A group setting also allows for brainstorming sessions – ideas are developed quickly and solutions to problems are found in a more efficient manner than if one person was trying to work on their own. Everyone on the team has their own methods and views; everyone has something unique and useful to offer. Each individual has their own strengths, and many team members have certifications in different areas. This means that anyone holding certifications went through rigorous training to earn it, making them well versed in the skill they got certified in. When a team has members with certifications across the creative and marketing board, the team becomes a well-rounded entity that will be able to serve a client in all areas, not just the few a single person could provide."
What are some benefits of having pre-configured web content related to this industry?
"As the home automation industry continues to expand and evolve, the list of manufacturers and the technology they offer grows along with it. Each manufacturer in the industry has their own niche that makes them stand out amongst the competition. In order to promote these products to a consumer base, it is essential for dealers and installers to educate their clients on what these products can do for them.
This is where an informative website comes into the picture. Having a hub where curated information can be accessed and shared is a surefire way to both educate possible customers, as well as sell them on the idea of a specific manufacturer or product. Pre-configured content is one of the best ways to achieve this goal.
"OneFirefly has made it possible to quickly educate consumers while simultaneously benefiting the installer. With OneFirefly’s manufacturer and trade partner pages, any installer can have a wealth of information at their disposal. These pages are tailored to highlight the strengths and unique aspects of the manufacturers an installer works with, as well as visually represent the manufacturer or product in question in an aesthetically pleasing format."
"OneFirefly’s manufacturer and trade partner pages are another win-win for customers and business owners. Having pre-configured pages helps to boost SEO (search engine optimization) and drive more traffic to the installer’s site. Since the page format and information for these pages has been pre-baked, it allows for quick and easy customization to the page. If a dealer, for example, wants to have their Control4 OS 3 page feature images their photographer took of their own projects incorporating Control4 OS 3, that is an easy swap that will make the page unique to the individual installer while still reaping the benefits the written copy provides."
In an ideal scenario, how quickly can a website be deployed through the One Firefly process?
"This process is where OneFirefly really gets to shine! At a typical design firm, a client would have several onboarding meetings to familiarize their new marketing team with their industry. Next, they would need to provide a general site structure, deciding independently which pages would best serve their SEO needs. At that point, they would begin to work with the designer to gather photos and copy for the entire website, all the while hoping that they're making the best choices for page layout and site structure. The design firm will certainly help deploy an attractive site, but it may not be optimized for your market and it will take months to complete.
OneFirefly only serves the automation market. Because of this, we're able to provide the copy, stock imagery, and other relevant information right out of the gate. We know what kinds of content your customers will be looking for and the best way to arrange your site/page layouts to cater to those needs. And because we can provide so much information upfront, once we begin production, we can launch a site in less than 45 days!"
What type of intake is done from our agency to ensure a business is accurately represented in their marketing efforts?
"We have an extensive (but necessary!) process that a client goes through once they’ve joined our team. To ensure that we are able to accurately represent our client’s existing branding and voice, we go through a series of questions about styles they prefer, brands that they work with frequently, and information that they feel is pertinent to who they are as a company in their community. We also understand that local geography can impact decor styles and landscapes, so we make sure to also personalize any imagery on the site to match your location.
Aside from intake, constant communication throughout a project lifecycle is always key. We have account managers who keep in touch frequently to ensure their clients are happy with monthly web (and creative) services, and our web team reaches out during every step of the web build process so that the client is always informed of the status of their brand new website!"