good agency websites

We are still working on our agency website. It’s cool though, we’ve only had a few potential and real clients mention how they couldn’t find the website on Google. Clients don’t really care about that sort of thing, right? Eh? Oh.

Anyway, my partner and I are working on the website again today. This time though, we’re going big – we’re making the (asinine and contradictory to the earlier round) changes that Bozo the Clown requested, but we’re also creating the site that we think we should have.

Wasted work? Probably.

Going in our book anyway? Absolutely.

To help spur our creativity, we have been checking out agencies far and wide to look at their websites and see what works and what doesn’t. We’re not ripping off ideas, but rather trying to find what makes a site user-friendly, what information we care about and what we don’t and what are the lame agency things that everyone touts as differentiating but are the same from place to place.

We are also cutting out all meaningless marketing-speak.

Two sites that have risen to the top this morning are…

Minneapolis-based Catalyst has a fun, easy to navigate site that is also a blindingly fast load (even here while they are upgrading our IT and everything else takes longer to finish than our hefty art director in the bathroom…yes, I know that visual was unnecessary):

catalyst1.png

Also winning some praise today is Campaign’s Digital Agency of the Year, Agency Republic. Though I am not a fan of their “we live life at the speed of digital” tagline or the very loud pink, I like the rest of the site – simple, easy, and the video is a nice touch that gives me a feel for what their place is like without being an agency cliche:

arepublic1.png

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3 responses to “good agency websites

  1. A particular sore spot with me: agency web sites that don’t serve their main purpose which is to allow potential job hunters and clients to quickly look up the address and phone number.
    Secondary function being to showcase the work.

    http://tangerinetoad.blogspot.com/2007/07/physician-heal-thyself.html

  2. I’ve noticed more minimal sites lately for agencies (such as Crispin) and less “theme-based” sites. Currently updating an old agency site with that in mind. Trying to let the work stand out instead of the site. Any feedback appreciated: http://www.tinsley.com/new PS Doesn’t work on IE yet (caca).

  3. Most agency sites technology blows from a search and accessibility standpoint. WordPress is an amazing platform for both- although you should port it to your own server and ditch wordpress.com asap (especially for your URLs and link relationships).
    I’ve found that most agency sites make it impossible for clients to send a link to something relevant to making a case for hiring the agency.
    Like- “Hey boss, these guys at The Next Wave have done some amazing work for Sally Hogshead- check this out: http://www.thenextwave.biz/tnw/?p=298 and see why they get digital and search better than the rest of those “new media” gurus”
    and- there you have it. I once tried to find a decent case study on Leo Burnett’s ground breaking work for Altoids- with no luck on their absolutely retarded flash site.
    If clients can’t find you- what good is a site anyway? Stick to WordPress- and a lot of content. Make sure you alt tag everything- and describe your pictures so a blind person would know what’s going on.
    Best of luck

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