In every town, city and suburb there is a ‘web agency’. In fact, there are probably 10 of them within a 3 mile radius of wherever you’re reading this from. Individuals and teams presenting themselves as the ideal solution to whatever business problem you have. That’s a lot of choice.

There are far fewer though, that are capable of creating digital assets and web properties to position a client as a market leader. This is the space in which we operate and we wanted to offer our thoughts on what it is that makes a standout digital agency. 

This is an opinion piece of course and we’d love to hear any comments that either challenge or endorse these assumptions.


Given that this is a feature that can’t be faked and is by necessity time-served, it’s one of the more solid indicators of how well an agency will deliver your project. A diverse portfolio with client testimonials will provide some insight and it is one of the areas in which we place an unapologetic focus. Ongoing and regular work for the likes of Co-op Insurance, Grosvenor Casinos and Expedia is a good barometer of how highly our work is regarded. Whilst not every client is as prominent as those mentioned, a common requirement is for their digital profile to position them as a serious and credible operator in their respective spaces.


Whilst we’d agree that, certainly as far as design work goes, aesthetic impact is as good steer as any to the capabilities of an agency, we’d also argue that it’s often what happens under the surface that separates good from great. Top bracket agencies are busy places with many plates spinning and how they keep them spinning is a good yardstick as to how you can expect your project to be executed.

By way of example, we’ve seen the impact that a dedicated project management resource can have and by making individuals available whose sole purpose is to ensure that projects are delivered in line with the project plan, we’ve been able to embrace more work without any degradation of output. In short, look at the logistics of delivery – it’ll tell you heaps about the agency!


We’re big believers in the correlation between standard of output and commercial success, and our whole team see a value in exceeding expectations. The logic is pretty simple – if you deliver outstanding work, there’s a better chance of that client turning into a long term account and that’s a big driver for us.

We’ve built our team and proposition around two things – the creation of market leading sites and the ability to connect those sites with prospects. A great agency is a partner and one who delivers measurable results through high standards of output.


Agencies with strong track records of helping clients achieve commercial success will inevitably have input to offer on strategy and how that aligns with the wider business objectives. Whether it’s initial discovery, conversion rate optimisation, traffic acquisition or web development, a great digital team should be able to marry that output with project goals and be prepared to take the lead in compiling strategy. The reality of many web projects is that clients need to be able to see commercial benefit – be that in the form of more new business opportunities, automation of client comms or more shopping baskets filled. 

Of course these are all qualities that we think are important and a cynical reader might suggest that we’ve aligned what we think you should look for with our strengths. Whilst there’s probably some truth in that, what’s undeniable in my opinion is that if you identify an agency that carries the four hallmarks above, you can be confident that you’re talking to the right people.

On a personal level, I’d love to talk to you if you’re interested in finding out a bit more about us. Blog posts are great for shouting out some headlines but if you’d like to get under the hood of a problem you’ve got and would like some opinion, get in touch and we’ll tell you how we’d approach it.

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Posted By David Redmond

Dave is the Head of Sales at Tone, talking sensible strategies for the benefit of customers. Follow him on Twitter @daveredtone