All too often, digital agencies get too wrapped up in designing beautiful websites for their clients to work on developing their own. It’s understandable, but you have to tell yourself what you tell your clients: your site is often your first chance to make a good impression on potential customers. A digital agency’s website is just as much their “storefront” as any site they craft for their clients.
So let’s take a look at what elements a digital agency website needs to have to lure in customers while maintaining a strong and consistent brand image.
In this article, I’ll first be covering some design principles, types of content copy, and website layout trends that will make your website stand out from your competition – whether you are making it from scratch or up for a website relaunch. Later, we’ll be looking at some excellent digital agency website designs to inspire you.
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Important Elements of a Digital Agency Website
You’ll find a lot of commonalities among digital agency websites, such as the position of their services, a blog section, and even a page dedicated to their portfolio. Hence, let’s first understand the basic elements involved in these sites before delving deeper.
You’ll notice a lot of digital agency websites design their webpages in folds. This is what allows a desktop website visitor to single scroll through section by section of the webpage. It makes for more intuitive navigation and easier readability.
You’ll see these folds come together as a website in the first digital agency website I’ve mentioned in the listicle. Each fold caters certain information and takes the user to an inner page that provides more detailed information.
Most digital agency websites are designed to have three to seven folds; it varies based on the nature of the digital agency. Creative agency websites focus more on UX and hence tend to add a parallax effect that gives the viewer a 3D experience. See the parallax effect in the picture below.
Source: Space Oddity
In contrast, digital agencies focusing on website development have more interactivity as that’s how they showcase their expertise. Website visitors interact with the website using buttons that animate, clicking on embedded videos, and performing actions that are prompted on the website. For instance, asking the visitor to add their email address with the help of a pop-up opt-in.
2. Web Copy and Web Content
Web copy and web content are vital elements that contribute to giving a digital agency a brand. The tone of the content explains who the digital agency caters to best. For instance, if you come across a digital agency’s website with a funny, quirky, and friendly tone that might mean it’s catering to startups and companies that seek creativity.
On the other hand, multinational companies are likely to pick digital agencies that cater to a global audience (having a multilingual website). They expect consistency and ease of finding relevant information on the website, regardless of the device they use to view this on.
With the help of web copy your website visitors can find the information they are looking for quickly. It’s often direct, informative, and to the point. Web copy and content are also where the unique voice and tone of your brand gets to shine. Remember this when planning to build or relaunch your digital agency’s website design. Here’s a chart that explains the perception of WordStream’s audience about the tones most associated with digital agency brands.
Web copy goes a long way in expressing those tones.
Web content, which also includes videos, podcasts, and images, plays an important role in search engine optimization. It also supports web copy, giving website visitors an interesting reason to remain on the page.
You’ll see a lot of this in the Blogs section of the digital agency’s website. Here, content and visuals come together to give the audience engaging user experience. Blogs also help your agency create a wide variety of content, which helps the site rank at a higher position on the Google search results page.
3. Attractive Visuals
A website needs strong visual elements such as high-quality images, animations, and videos to keep website visitors glued to the website, while consistently sticking to brand colors and logos. In other words, you want your audience to be absorbed by the content and visuals while they browse and find information that they’re looking for.
These visuals need to follow a uniform structure and style on all website pages that are reflective of the brand experience you want visitors to have. The architecture and design of your website define your website’s User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX).
As you can see, depending on the unique experience you want to curate for visitors, there are plenty of ways to visually organize your agency’s website.
Now that we have content and design out of the way, let’s look at a few elements that are vital for a digital agency website. Prospects will typically look through these areas to judge the capability of the agency.
4. An Easy to Understand Services Section
All too often, potential leads reach a digital agency website homepage but end up searching all over for the most important thing; what are the agency’s services? If the client feels they’re spending too much time trying to figure that out, they’ll close the website and start looking at other digital agency websites.
Hence, it’s important to navigate your visitors quickly to your Services section. Keep your message clear, distinct, and understandable. It’s also a good idea to link these services to the digital agency’s current portfolio, as it exemplifies the services with a real-life application.
Source: Bruce Clay Mena
5. Portfolio and Testimonials
Creative agency websites will often showcase their skills through showreels, testimonials, and project case studies. A design agency may demonstrate mock-ups of their work, while public relations agencies display highlights of events that they managed, and development agencies have the URLs of websites they have worked on.
Client testimonials help digital agencies get mentioned and recommended, while portfolios showcase their talents. Both help potential clients gauge your marketing reputation and client sentiments towards you.
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Some of the best agency websites have a dedicated section to the companies they have partnered with for authenticity. This is especially helpful when the company adds value to certain services provided by their partners.
The example below is not of a digital marketing agency, but it clearly puts forward the point and the function of a partnership section on the homepage.
Source: Bright Edge
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7. Blog Page
Most digital agency websites will have a blog section to elaborate on the services they offer and to share interesting case study findings from their recent work, as well as company news and industry updates.
The blog’s purpose is to engage with the current audience, build a brand voice, and generate leads. A digital agency’s blog typically covers topics under the categories of news updates, industry-related talks, case studies, messages from brands, and agency announcements.
8. Overall Usability and Functionality of Website
Whenever I talk about the overall “feel” of the website, I’m considering the combination of UI and UX together. It’s important to take a step back and review your website holistically because it can be quite easy to miss this so-called feel when focusing on specific sections.
The overall usability and functionality of your website is your website visitor’s journey from the point they click on the website, to the point they exit the website. UI and UX together can make this journey a memorable and even preferred one through an intuitive and easy to use the website. This is doubly important for digital agency websites because it’s representative of the talent and taste you’ll bring to your clients’ sites.
For the same reason, it’s an unforgivable sin for a digital agency particularly to lack a mobile-responsive design, especially given how easy it is to find tried and tested themes instead of opting for a custom design. You’ll find a number of WordPress themes that cater to keeping the website mobile compatible.
I like to assume that a mobile user is interested in quickly finding the relevant information on their smartphone from your website. Desktop users, on the other hand, are more interested in the overall user experience. That’s something you’ll want to keep in mind while organizing information on either version.
Now that you understand some of the underlying concepts behind some of the best agency websites, let’s look at some inspirational website examples.
Inspirational Digital Agencies Websites
The following digital agency websites have creative and innovative designs that convey an impactful message to potential clients that are in line with their brand. When you’re building a website for your own digital or creative agency, you can use some of the sites I’ve highlighted here for inspiration.
It’s noteworthy that there are dedicated forums and platforms where experts review and score websites. A proper expert critique looks something like this.
The figures above are an aggregate of scores given by a number of authoritative experts in the field.
In my list, however, I’ve only highlighted aspects of websites that I found interesting and visually appealing. Let’s have a look.
It’s plain to see this website had desktop and mobile users in mind when it was being designed. The combination of simple animations on the main page with interactive visuals for their work portfolio delivers a strong message about the agency’s work – it’s clean, bold, and minimalist.
This digital agency website has dedicated pages for their services and work portfolio. It’s interesting to note that they send out their publications through Medium – perhaps due to the popularity of this blogging platform.
RNO1’s core colors of black and indigo are easy on the eyes. You’ll also see pinks and peach colors where they want the website visitor to stop scrolling and read. These colors are all about creating a calm, reassuring mood. The first fold shows a simple animation of waves, complementing the company’s assertion that they’re here to create waves.
Beyond’s website keeps its design simple and clean, the perfect background for its fun UX. Visitors’ cursor turns into a black dot, giving them the same feel as a touch screen. This feeling is enhanced as you scroll up and down by left-clicking and dragging the mouse in the desired direction. Navigation is also helped by the website’s four-fold layout.
The website is optimized for mobile and tablet use, where the image alignment stays intact without sacrificing the empty space and compromising the overall UX.
The use of yellow and black simulates the same impression a visitor would have with a Yellow Pages directory, which lends it a feeling of authority. Further expounding on the site’s reliability is an explainer video for the services Beyond offers, and some of their greatest work.
3. YML Media Labs
This impactful website uses clean and bold visuals, to focus on the projects the company has already worked on. The mobile version of the website has a hamburger menu on the top right side. This menu takes the user to the digital agency’s Work, About Us, News and Updates, Career Opportunities, and Contact Us pages.
It’s easy to understand the services this digital agency has to offer through their Case Study and About Us webpage. After explaining who they are and how they impact the customers of their clients, they explain their services on the fifth fold; this could perhaps have been higher up in the hierarchy. However, its situation in the About section still makes visual sense.
4. Bruce Clay Mena
This website marries great functionality to intriguing aesthetics, combining distinctive visuals and relevant information on almost every page. Bruce Clay Mena has taken the time to create multiple web pages here, instead of working with a single multi-fold parallax web page.
The visuals on this website are what stand out; for instance, the background effect changes as you move the mouse. Pastel colors of blues and pinks show contrasts, and animal imagery lends to an interesting comic style. The website feels artsy and creative, in line with the brand image.
5. Major Tom
This is a great example of a minimalist digital agency website that holds the visitor’s attention. Using simple black dots on a white background and animations to aid the storytelling, the website demonstrates their unique approach to creativity through a black and white design, with color added to areas where they talk about their approach and services.
The website is mobile responsive, but the desktop and mobile versions are distinct. The mobile version lays out formation in a simple and easy to reach manner, while the complete experience can be seen on the desktop version.
6. Isadora Digital Agency
This straightforward digital agency website uses a parallax style homepage with basic animations to get straight to the point.
Their ‘insights’ section stands in place of a blog to creatively elaborate on topics within the categories of creativity, inspiration, strategy, and technology, and to talk about how they cater to clients.
7. Space Oddity Dubai
This digital agency website feels refreshingly unique. The strong storytelling aspect of storytelling and casual tone is emblematic of the agency’s focus on user experience.
The simple black and white further help explain the message. Through visualizations and the scrolling effect, visitors receive a taste of the services the digital agency offers.
8. Frank Digital
Going through this website is akin to browsing through a magazine with rich images.. This refreshing experience remains the same for the audience viewing the website on a mobile phone.
In place of simple textual content, Frank Digital has used more visuals and video loops on its website, which speaks to the agency’s specialization in user experience. Furthermore, they use case studies and a portfolio to explain their services. By not breaking down their services in clear black and white, they showcase their ability to customize their work to fulfill their client’s needs.
The overall website is simple and clean, abstaining from multiple animations in favor of a clear focus on the content, case studies, and their portfolio.
The content copy here is bold and impactful. At the second fold, it explains what the digital agency does with the help of a simple animation that makes its rare presence felt. This is highly impactful and engaging and helps the audience understand the services of the digital agency without searching around the website for a Services or Works section.
10. Rabbit Studio
Rabbit Studio’s informative website remains attractive with the help of visuals. It’s also easy to navigate by scrolling through each fold to avail of most of the information.
The visuals are crisp and high resolution, and showcase their projects and portfolio, with their services explained through smart web copy.
11. Engage Massive
This digital agency website is a design-centric one; its aesthetics make use of ample negative space, and black and white for the content copy. The website is mobile responsive.
The services aren’t defined in black and white, but the digital agency has defined itself as a branding and experience design agency for those with ambition. To further understand what this design agency does, the visitor would have to look at their work or scroll down to the blog topics.
KOTA’s compact website lacks major animations, but the web page design clearly indicates that this agency knows what it’s doing. They’ve managed to keep the same experience on their mobile devices.
The website design uses white, slate grey and pink to show their creative side. Through pleasing visuals, they show their team and projects in aesthetic harmony with the design of the website. On the homepage, the digital agency showcases its work from the fourth fold. Each project is explained in-depth on their inner pages with mockups, visuals, and explanations of how they overcame the challenges.
13. Blue Fountain Media
While the color palette and balanced negative space give visitors enough room to breathe, this website uses a basic template to make an impact without resorting to animations on the homepage and inner pages.
As a content-centric website, they have a well-populated blog that updates frequently. Here, visitors will find detailed insights and ideas on digital trends, emerging technologies, consumer trends, user experience, digital platforms, and audience engagement.
The Mobiteam website prioritizes simplicity and clarity. The block style layout with the parallax web page section has easily distinguishable folds with just the right amount of information to appeal to the eye. The agency has also added a form in the footer for potential leads who wish to get quotations for a specific project.
The page makes creative use of visuals through slate grey and white text combinations of backgrounds and text. The second fold details the services the agency offers, using a symbolic visual aid to help website visitors find what they’re looking for. From the homepage, the website visitor can easily find the blog and navigate to the dedicated blog page.
This is a fun and fresh website that’s easy to navigate. They follow a parallax style website with distinct colors between folds within the same color palette. Bleach has also attached a downloadable PDF and PPT presentation for potential leads to see their services.
The visuals here are more vector-based than high-res images, the cool blue and dull orange further complementing the brand’s look. It all comes together to send the message that this is a fun web development agency that knows how to create an impact while maintaining design aesthetics and a light, breezy tone.
That’s a Wrap!
For digital agency websites, the good design depends on what you want to focus on, whether it’s website content copy, attractive visuals, website architecture, types of content, and even the placement of the Services section.
There are tons of digital agency website design templates out there for you to take inspiration from, so be sure to join the right discussion groups.
If you like any of these digital agency designs or feel that I have missed out on some worth mentioning, be sure to comment in the section below.