Take a look at your average ad agency web site today-2002 comes to mind.

If you are engaged in finding new business for your agency in any form-where do you drive them to find out more about you?

In almost every case, it’s to your site, or landing page, microsite, etc. (And BTW, you’d better be driving  them somewhere.)

Some agencies have opted to send prospects directly to their blog or Facebook page for example, but again, in almost all cases, you’re sending them to some digital agency domain.

So for the love of all that is holy, why are so many agencies still making it so hard to find out who they are and what they do?

Ad Agency Web Sites

It’s time for a little Ad Agency Web Site 101.

The following steps to take to make sure your site is an effective tool for new business are elementary for some of you, so for those in good shape, nothing to see here; however, there are many, many agencies that need to read these and soak it in.

The basics on ensuring your agency site effective tool for new business:


1) Clearly state your agency name

If I don’t know the name of your agency in the first few seconds, that’s problematic. Laughable you say?

While it’s gotten better generally, but I spent time on agency sites yesterday where, other than the URL, I couldn’t tell you what the agency name was without some work, mainly due to being overly creative or clever and having to click on all kinds of moving objects.

A prospect or potential employee shouldn’t have to play a game to find out the name of your agency.

2) Clearly define what type of agency you are, functionally. (Full service, digital, branding, etc.)

Jumping on an agency site and not knowing what kind of agency they are is still widely prevalent.

I do understand, this goes to the core of what you are and can be tough for agencies to settle on.

“Do say we’re full-service (because we are) but is that too broad?”

“We’re a digital agency but we don’t want to pigeonhole ourselves, because we do have traditional capabilities.”

Well, it’s not really doing you any favors when a prospect can’t figure out, in the first 20 seconds, how you might be able to help them.

Bite the bullet and embrace who you are, then let ‘em know.

3) Clearly define the sectors you are expert in. (Healthcare, consumer brands, etc.)

Self explanatory, but once again, too many agencies don’t do it.

Caveat is that some agencies are expert in many sectors, so explain that on your site.

Don’t’ write copious amounts of copy, but briefly tell the reader several of the sectors you are expert in, and then touch on the great work you’ve done in other areas.

4) Clearly point them to your work

I’ve seen a lot of sites that try to cram way too much work onto the home page.

Yesterday I saw 20 cases studies, nicely and artistically arranged in cubes on a site’s home page, but because there were so many and they were so small, I had no idea what to even click on-there was no outward organization.

If you really want to put work examples on your home page, pick the top 2 or 3 and in 2-3 sentences each, explain the challenge, agency insight and result.

5) Clearly point them to the best way to contact you

Again, this is maddening.

I’m not saying you have to post personal emails and extensions, but give them a way to contact you.

And I’ve come across several sites with no information whatsoever about where the agency is located.

Are you in a witness protection program? No? Then embrace your city and let them know where you are.


Alright, jumping off the soapbox now.

Ad Agency Web Sites

Parting words: I’m not saying an agency web site has to be boring and just list out the info on a white background, far from it.

Go ahead and show your creativity, but don’t get too cute.

Make sure prospects can get to the important stuff quickly.

And go light on the philosophy.

For the most part, marketers don’t care about all the conceptual stuff that makes your agency what it is.

That’s not to say it isn’t important. By all means, give some initial insight into the  core beliefs that truly make your agency what it is.

Just please don’t cram a manifesto onto your home page. It’s not pretty.



I'm the VP of Sales at RSW/US. We specialize in working with services firms to help drive and close new business-if you need help with that, email me at lee@rswus.com. What I actually do: drive sales efforts to bring ad agencies and services firms on board with RSW, create content around successful new business tactics and help drive RSW/US marketing objectives, including social media channels, blog content, webinars, video and speaking engagements. Dig it.