Outsourcing of crucial business functions has been steadily rising in recent years. Enhanced connectivity and widespread acceptance of remote work mean that getting things done, even outside the office, has become a popular option for businesses of all sizes. Most companies would be lost without their website, but not all have the internal resources to ensure their sites are up to date and actively meeting business needs.
Indeed, website management is often one of the first things brands seek to outsource. As a result, it becomes one less task for someone on the team who might not be a specialist. It's also often highly cost-effective, as great websites tend to pay for themselves over time, even among smaller businesses.
Crucially, whether your website is there to sell products, provide information, or enable prospective customers to get in touch, it should be done well. Therefore, website management shouldn't be outsourced to just anyone. It's vital to find the right fit, ideally from the outset. When deciding who to entrust your online presence to, consider the following factors:
1. Understand Your Target Audience in Advance
It makes perfect business sense to have the ideal audience in mind. For example, a brand might use customer avatars, general profiles, or internal data to understand who best to target their products and services at. But, crucially, no matter how good a third-party agency is, they'll need time to understand that audience and adapt to specific business goals.
Time is often of the essence when outsourcing services, so most businesses should be prepared to share their own ideas as well as invite new ones from their partner provider. That way, the provider can immediately start working toward primary goals through strategy, planning, and site updates.
2. Ensure Your Budget Expectations Align
Website management isn't always a discipline where end-users get what they pay for. As with most businesses, numerous factors influence pricing, from experience and staff numbers to supply and demand.
It makes sense that a business would have a budget in mind when passing website management on to someone else. Similarly, suppliers generally have relatively fixed prices for their services, whether worked out on a per-project basis, hourly, or in any other way.
In many cases, it's better to look elsewhere than compromise heavily on what's available. If a business requires an entire website overhaul as part of a new mission, for example, there's no point enlisting a website management agency for just part of the job due to budget constraints.
Essentially, the best possible partner is one that can meet a company's internal goals for a price they're happy to pay.
3. Discuss What They Plan to Do and Why
Website success is a two-way street. A business may have a clear vision of what they want their website to achieve, but part of what they pay for when outsourcing to a third party involves using their expertise and recommendations.
Most potential partners will have numerous plans and ideas from the outset. This might be their own checklist of initial services provided to every client or explicitly based on what they believe they can bring to a business.
Strategies will evolve over time, and business owners shouldn't expect a comprehensive roadmap to online success at the very first meeting. However, it becomes easier to get a feel for a prospective supplier's approach based on their initial findings.
4. Ask How Their Skills Align with What You Already Have
Website management often requires a new partner to adapt to what's already in place. Most companies want to ensure that their site is modern, fresh, and regularly updated. That means tasks involving creating something from scratch are often few and far between.
As such, a provider's skills must align with what's already in place. For example, there's little point in hiring a WordPress agency for a site built in Joomla or Drupal. Likewise, brands would struggle to obtain value for money from a Shopify specialist if their site revolves around informational content.
Prospective partners shouldn't be rejected outright because they don't specialize in something specific, but determining how well they fit with current online efforts warrants a serious conversation.
5. Ask for Experience and a Work Portfolio
Some prospective partners enlist sales teams. Others let their previous work speak for itself. The fact is that design is often subjective, and what one person might consider a masterpiece, another may not be overly keen on.
Past performance doesn't always indicate future results, but previous work can often provide insight into a design team's style and their approach to overcoming corporate and technical challenges.
The chances of a business being a web management agency's first client are slim. However, a comprehensive overview of past work can explain how they'll perform in a new setting, their influences, and what they consider a job well done.
6. Decide on an Ongoing Maintenance Schedule
Hiring a website management team usually involves ongoing work and maintenance. In practice, their role often involves making a website as good as possible and ensuring that it stays that way.
Many of a business's efforts with a new supplier are front-loaded between onboarding, training, and meetings. Ideally, it won't be something they have to repeat regularly thanks to a long-term relationship with their supplier of choice.
Companies should always have an eye on the future when selecting the right partner and should never be afraid to ask ‘what's next,' even far in advance.
Professional Website Management from Vervology
The Vervology team specializes in taking care of every aspect of website management and digital marketing, leaving clients to focus on what matters to them in their business. From increased conversions and flawless designs to security and uptime, we provide comprehensive service packages of which all our partners can be proud.
We'll work with you and grow with you, ensuring peak performance across all digital channels.
Crucially, we understand that every website is different. We can proudly say that we check all the boxes listed above, and many more besides. Get in touch with the team today to discover how we can turn your website and marketing efforts from basic necessities to genuine business assets.