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PR and marketing agencies don't have it easy. This crowded B2B market means agencies have to crow loudest, longest and with most meaning.
This is a simple little post marking a few things I've liked looking at on agency websites, and some things I haven't. There's likely a whole host of posts to write on copy alone, web design alone, and content alone, but this is just a snippet to start.
I would be very glad to hear pet hates about agency websites in the comments below (keep it friendly:-).
Some good stuff
Taylor Herring: ‘PRAISE’
Instead of ‘testimonials’ or similar, Taylor Herring has ‘PRAISE’ in its top menu.
This might not work for every PR agency but ‘bigging yourself up’ is a big part of agency life, so adding irony to conceit works to take the grittiness out of the whole experience.
Shine: infographics about the team
This is from Shine’s 'join us' page. It’s undeniably cheesy, but if a customer ends up here, some graphics are easier on the eye than too many photos of strangers, with (non-ironic) self-aggrandising copy attached.
These infographics show the agency is thinking about representation of information, which, given how many bad, lengthy press releases I'm sure you've received, is a breath of fresh air.
Topline Comms: team credentials
Another good ‘about us’ page. With some specifics about the skill-set and experience of each staff member, this feels personal, and is useful for determining if they’re a good match for you.
Boomerang: white space
I love white boxes. Using plenty of white space on your site will stop the customer getting confused too easily. If you use lots of this white space, you have to be confident with the content you do put on the page – but that’s a good thing, no?
Boomerang have a good balance, on their homepage, between examples of their work and examples of their thinking.
Some stuff to improve on
‘We are great!’ This is a difficult balance to strike, but if you’re not sure, it’s probably best to err on the side of modesty.
Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m crap at sales, but I’m a visitor and these proclamations stick out at me.
Mixing first and third person
Plenty do it, but I had to pick an example, and here it’s done in the first line of ‘about us’. In this agency's defence, it isn’t objectively bad copy, but if it doesn’t read well to some of your customers, it’s not the best start.
Inconsistent style, capitalisation and full stops
These screenshots are from just one example, from the agency websites I viewed. There is inconsistency with placing full stops at the end of headings and there’s use of both all lower case headings and all upper case headings.
I don't really see a reason to go lower case in calls to action, as below left, and feel it's part of the agency and branding collective wisdom to shun upper case. This is my pedantry, just a particular dislike of mine, but I think as an agency you should have as simple a style guide as possible.
And if you go lower case, be committed.
Feel free to air any praise or grievance in the comments below. Mind your language, mind.