Smart Agency Podcast: The #1 Digital Agency Podcast for Social Media, SEO, PPC & Creative Agencies

Does your agency offer web design services? What is your perspective on creating impactful agency web design? What do you think of how most websites are currently utilized? Today’s guest is an expert in website design with a growth-driven approach to agency web design. He’s been working in web design ever since the early days of the internet and believes nowadays many businesses are building low-quality websites focused only on sales. In his opinion, websites should have a strong technical foundation and create a journey that leads to engagement and conversions. Tune in to learn about his passion for creating impactful websites, how he developed a very effective foot-in-the-door, and how he’s embraced podcasting as a way to attract the type of client he wants to work with.

Mark Bevington is the CEO and founder of Ninedot, a website design and development agency that takes underperforming websites and turns them into the best-selling tools for their clients. Mark shares his insights on the limitations of traditional websites and the importance of growth-driven design. With over 23 years of experience, he sees a need for websites to evolve and adapt to changing analytics and customer preferences and allow for easy updates that align with business evolution.

In this episode, we’ll discuss:

  • How to provide value in web design.

  • WebCare as a foot-in-the-door strategy.

  • Using a podcast to create meaningful connections.


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Three Differentiating Factors that You’ll Find in Any Quality Website

With over twenty years in the industry, Mark has seen a lot as a marketer and agency owner. When he started his agency, the internet wasn’t really a thing, so they focused more on print work and newsletters and eventually moved to digital. However, some things remain unchanged because they’re at the core of a solid business strategy, starting with quality, which has taken a hit with the onset of AI.

In his opinion, since the pandemic and the surge of many new agencies that don’t work with the necessary standards, it’s become common to see crappy work all around. It can be challenging to differentiate quality work from garbage in the context of website design and development. Here are some differentiating factors:

  1. A reputable agency or designer takes the time to thoroughly analyze the client's business, target audience, and goals before embarking on the project. They conduct research and gather relevant information to ensure that the website aligns with the client's brand identity and effectively communicates their message.

  2. A well-designed website is visually appealing, easy to navigate, and optimized for different devices and browsers. For Mark, UI and UX have become such buzzwords and most people don't understand what that means. It’s not just about getting a client from point A to point B. Behind that should be an understanding of the experience based on the journey you're creating.

  3. A website should not be a static entity but rather an evolving platform that adapts to changing market dynamics and user preferences. A quality web agency conducts A/B tests, analyzes user behavior, and makes necessary adjustments to improve conversion rates and achieve business objectives. Garbage work, on the other hand, lacks this growth-driven approach and fails to leverage data to enhance the website's effectiveness.

Affordable Website Support as a Strategy for Long-Term Success

Mark’s web design agency has always provided some degree of web maintenance for its clients. However, as clients continually asked for a more affordable dedicated website support option, the agency developed a new service called WebCare. Through this service, his agency helps clients properly maintain the core functions of their websites by having an expert team keep a watchful eye out for technical issues. As Mark notes, most clients are brilliant at their actual business but lack the technical knowledge needed to run a website themselves and need reliable, judgement-free support to maintain it.

WebCare is all about maintaining a website as a long-term investment. While the aesthetics of a website may become outdated over time, proper maintenance ensures it continues to function effectively.

Additionally, it’s become a very effective foot-in-the-door offer for them. If a client comes to them with an underperforming site, they can offer this affordable option instead of hitting them right off the back with an expensive rebuild and get the relationship going. Being able to show quick wins to clients is a key element in building trust and further extending that relationship.

The Game Changer: Embracing Change Through a Mastermind

As a business owner, Mark acknowledges it can be difficult to allow himself to be vulnerable and open to change. Because of this, his business was at a point profitable but still not at the scale it could have been.

In this sense, becoming a mastermind member has proved to be the game changer for his agency’s growth as well as an emotional roller coaster.

The first 12 months were all about changing everything he thought worked about the business. Despite the initial challenges and doubts, the results of implementing these changes have been impressive in year two. Of course, success does not happen overnight and it requires time and effort to see the desired outcomes, but the mastermind has provided him with the necessary resources and support to implement the changes effectively.

After a year of establishing the right processes and SOPs, Mark now realizes how inefficient they really were with him handling too many tasks outside his expertise area. He needed to find people to handle these tasks. It was an investment – both financial and it terms of time – to get it right, but it’s been definitely worth it. This shift has brought newfound freedom to spend more time on personal interests and taking the time to think, implement, and try new strategies to grow the business.

Creating Meaningful Connections & Reaching the Right Audience with a Podcast

Even though his podcast it’s still in its early stages after launching three months ago, Mark loves podcasting as a way to connect with others, share stories, and create meaningful connections.

It all started as a way to reach more clients in the pet industry, since this is work Mark enjoys so much. A podcast seemed like a good way to get in contact with adoption shelters, animal centers, and independent pet companies.

Although he had initial resistance to the idea of starting a podcast, after discussing it with his colleagues and receiving encouragement, he decided to give it a try. It turned out to be another great benefit of being a mastermind member. The encouragement he received from the team pushed him to get into a world he now enjoys very much, with the experience not only serving as a marketing tool but also as a way to build unique relationships and friendships.

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