In this day and age, having a carefully considered online presence is vital, and while an agency’s work remains it’s strongest asset, presenting it succinctly on a website, alongside a clear proposition and culture also plays heavily into the perception the agency will have within the industry.
Rightly or wrongly, prospective clients through to potential job applicants will form an opinion of an agency based on the look, feel, personality and content of an agency’s website. This could make the difference between winning work from your dream brand, hiring the perfect candidate, or missing the boat on both.
The Future Factory meet with, work with and support the growth ambitions of over 100 agencies per year. Through their travels in 2015 they have collated their view of the best agency websites, particularly from the perspective of attracting new clients.
There are 6 key tips The Future Factory recommend agencies consider when reviewing or redesigning their own website:
1) Cut the jargon
It’s fine to have some flowery language but for an agency to stand out and not frustrate its visitors it must rapidly be clear what the agency’s service offering is.
2) Tone match
Look to align the culture and feel of the website with that of agency’s ideal brand clients. This may mean a playful tone (Paddy Power), an uber cool look (Sonos) or a more serious design and copy (Barclays). The discipline of the agency can also influence this greatly.
3) Link channels
Make sure there are clear links to all the agency’s channels, social or otherwise. These channels can provide an increased sense of personality (Twitter, Instagram), help encourage agency networking (LinkedIn) or display an agency’s thought leadership (blog). Additionally, ensure the messaging is consistent across these channels.
4) Use & play to your strengths
Whether you like it not, an agency’s in-house skills need to be evident and replicated in it’s own website; i.e a digital & UX agency can’t afford to have anything other than a well-designed site.
5) Don’t make it like a maze
If a visitor to your site can’t find your latest work, location and contact details without getting sidetracked (and possibly lost forever) by confusing and sticky navigation, then no matter how pretty and cool it is, it’s probably missed the mark. It’s worth noting here that if the page takes too long to load, you may have lost them already.
6) People buy people
If visitors can get a feel for what it might feel like to work with your agency teams, they’re already part of the way down the decision making funnel. A photo of your office in full swing is the quickest way to convey the day-to-day life at your HQ.
If you’re after inspiration, the top 12 agency websites listed below are stand out examples.
Poke is a creative company driven by a passion for the endless possibilities of digital media, and we think their site ticks every box.
Wing London is a high-end branded video content production company based in West London. With video content at the core of their website, they really know how to show off their work.
Code & Theory
Code and Theory is an independently-owned and creatively-led agency that creates products, content and campaigns across physical and digital worlds. We love them for their clever word play on the homepage.
The App Business
The App Business is a 100+ person agency dedicated to engineering mobile strategies, products and change. The opening line on their website sets the tone for the scale and impact of their work.
AnalogFolk is a digital creative agency with 5 offices across the US, Hong Kong, London and Australia. Their look and feel oozes cool to match with the agency’s innovative nature.
ODD is an independent creative agency, which works with fashion & lifestyle brands. The style of their site is beautiful, clean and definitely appealing.
Based on both sides of the Atlantic, DesignStudio is a creative branding & design agency. Their site is beautifully clean and colourful, super easy to navigate, and their team look lovely!
Oliver creates dedicated, on-site agencies to deliver integrated brand and comms solutions. Their unique agency model is communicated well via client testimonial videos on their homepage.
FCB Inferno is a genuinely, and proudly, media agnostic creative agency delivering across ATL, digital, CRM and retail. We found their cheeky copy a pleasure to read.
Monitise Create is a digital technology and mobile innovation business with offices in London and San Francisco. Their website is nicely split between agency work and agency culture.
The Brooklyn Brothers
The Brooklyn Brothers blend PR, social, digital, experiential, brand advertising and strategic prowess with the creativity of Hollywood. Their website ties into this bold proposition, is fun to interact with and steps away from the norm.
Hugo & Cat
Hugo & Cat is a top 100 digital agency based in London specialising in brand engagement, customer experience, content and technology. Their website is a simple pleasure to navigate.
And the best of the rest also delivering an excellent online experience:
While these websites were judged on look, feel and experience, an additional factor that plays heavily into the success of an agency’s website is SEO.
If an agency can’t be found through searches based on location & discipline, they may fail to be discovered in the first place by a brand on the lookout for fresh agency input.
Sadly, there still seems to be a gulf between agency websites which are a pleasure to navigate, and the websites which clearly have SEO as their number one priority above aesthetics and snappy copy.
What does that mean for the beautiful agency websites listed here? There’s still room for improvement in 2016!