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Digital Marketing Real Estate Marketing SEO Web Design Agency

Real Estate Marketing – The Complete Guide

With the housing market in the United States continuing to heat up and more people looking to purchase a home than ever before, marketing your real estate business is essential to attracting clients and helping them buy and sell homes.

According to the National Association of Realtors, it is estimated that there are over 3 million real estate licensees in the United States, with 1.5 million active real estate agents.

Just by looking at the numbers, it’s clear that real estate is a cutthroat business, and only real estate agents who differentiate themselves and provide outstanding service can survive and thrive in the industry.

According to the latest research, nearly 90% of people who recently bought a home, used the services of a real estate agent or broker.

The question then becomes, how did they find and decide to hire their realtor?

What made them choose that realtor over others?

What can realtors and real estate agencies do to market themselves better and stand out from the millions of other real estate agents?

In this real estate marketing guide, we’ll show you how to differentiate your real estate business and get more leads and clients through digital marketing, branding, analytics, SEO, social media, and following online best practices.

Real Estate Marketing Practices

Real Estate Marketing Practices

The most telling aspect of home buying is how people find and purchase homes.

According to the National Association of Realtors, nearly all buyers (more than 95%), used online tools in their search for a home.

So essentially, everyone.

Real estate marketing can be challenging because as a real estate agent or realtor, you are marketing both your services and the homes that you are helping clients to sell.

The best way to target your ideal demographic of buyers and sellers is with online real estate marketing. With Google’s local ads, you can even target people in the exact neighborhoods that you are selling homes.

Whether you reach people through ads on search engines like Google & Bing, by staying active on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or by using real estate specific websites to post home listings, every touchpoint is another potential client or lead.

Get Professional Marketing Help

Get Professional Marketing Help

While there are some useful tips online from real estate organizations and associations, having a digital marketing professional in your corner is the best way to enhance your online reach.

The problem that many real estate agencies have marketing themselves or their business is that most of the time they don’t know what they need to do or what they could be missing in their marketing strategy.

Real estate agents and agencies need to create a comprehensive digital marketing plan to coordinate advertising, brand, and promotional campaigns to accurately measure their impacts. It’s hard to know which aspects of your marketing are missing or even working, without real-world insights.

Jives Media has helped a variety of real estate agents and agencies create new websites, market themselves and current home listings, update their branding and logo, and invest in better design and website SEO.

A small investment in marketing goes a long way towards growing your business and gaining valuable insights as to how you can improve the way you target clients or help people buy and sell homes.

Through SEO, marketing, and digital efficiency, our team can ensure that you get more website traffic, leads, and sales. At Jives Media, we help you create a complete customer journey with a variety of online touchpoints.

Our team develops a complete real estate marketing plan for your business, whether you are a single agent looking to get started or a large real estate firm that wants to ramp up your marketing efforts.

Invest In SEO & Optimize Everything

Invest In SEO & Optimize Everything

The most important aspect of digital marketing is ensuring that clients can find you and hire you.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the quantity and quality of user traffic to your website from search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

Invest in SEO to ensure your business shows up at the top of search results and beats our other local realtors and real estate businesses.

An experienced SEO marketing agency can help optimize your website and web content to ensure you rank at the top of search results for real estate agents in your area.

Optimize your on-page content (the content listed on your website), and off-page content (the links and content on websites other than your own).

Utilize local SEO and marketing techniques to appeal to nearby clients. Turn to local options for marketing your business, the homes that clients have listed for sale, your real estate services, and everything you have to offer home buyers and sellers.

People want to sell their homes using local agents, down to the city name they live in. A great tip is to create location pages for local and neighboring cities to promote your business.

Update & Elevate Your Website

Update & Elevate Your Website

Many modern real estate websites have become synonymous with home searches (such as Redfin, Coldwell Banker, RE/MAX).

These large real estate brokers and agencies have focused on enhancing their brand recognition, resulting in success in increasing the number of website visits and the number of customers they receive.

Make sure your website is intuitive and easy to navigate.

Some common website features we recommend include an accessible top of page menu, working links throughout the site, and content that Google’s search algorithm can easily comb and use to rank your website higher in search results.

Create interesting and detailed home listings with relevant links to other websites where they are listed, along with accurate descriptions that contain keywords.

Professional website design and high quality, modern graphics can make a huge impact on the way potential clients view you and your real estate business.

Implement features that clients and home buyers are looking for on a website like advanced search features and quick contact forms or buttons.

Make Yourself & Home Listings Accessible

Make Yourself & Home Listings Accessible

Buyers want to be able to search for their next realtor and available home listings online.

To help potential home buyers find the homes you are helping sell, list properties on your own website, along with any other real estate websites you use, and have an easy way to update listing images and information.

Take advantage of real estate industry websites such as Zillow, Trulia, Realtor, and others that let you list homes your clients are selling and to promote your business.

If the homes you are trying to sell aren’t listed on these sites, then you are missing a large group of potential buyers.

Fill out all information and details possible about available listings to ensure they show up when home searchers use site filters to find the perfect home.

Promote your own real estate business by creating an optimized website, updating your Google My Business listing, and creating profiles on social media and real estate industry platforms. The larger your online reach, the more people that notice and interact with your business.

Make your contact information easily available – both on your website and on Google.

Take Advantage of Real Estate Associations

Take Advantage of Real Estate Associations

In addition to marketing your own services, marketing home listings online can help boost sales and revenue.

Real estate associations and membership help enhance brand trust. Joining real estate associations can also help you gain access to valuable resources and enhance your brand image.

The more national and local real estate associations that you are a part of, the more legitimate people will find your business. Take advantage of the National Association of Realtors’ MLS & online listings.

The multiple listing service, or MLS, is “a facility that allows real estate professionals to learn about and share local property listings in support of the interests of clients and customers.”

The MLs can be a great resource, along with listing that you are a member of the National Associate of Realtors or adding logos of any other trusted real estate associations or organizations that you are a member of on your website.

Take Great Photos & Videos

Take Great Photos & Videos

It should go without saying but, when it comes to real estate, good pictures are king.

The quality of photos you take makes a huge difference in helping you stand out from the competition – especially in an online environment filled with thousands of other options just a click away.

Use high-quality, high-resolution images on your website, in ads, in social media posts, and excellent quality video when doing a walkthrough of a home or conducting a home tour.

Posting video tours to your website or YouTube channel can be a great way to show more homes and get people interested in taking in person tours or putting in offers on homes.

There are plenty of real estate agents that use video tours to appeal to a larger audience – especially in a large city or metro area like San Francisco, New York, or Chicago.

Videos can also act as added points of optimization for your brand and website since search engines collect data from multiple websites to decide how much they “trust” your business and how relevant you are within your industry. You may also want to hire a professional photographer or videographer to help you ensure the best quality media.

Utilize Social Media Profiles

Utilize Social Media Profiles

Many people underestimate the usefulness of social media when it comes to promoting their business.

In addition to real estate websites and your own site, social media is a great way to share information about your business, get leads and referrals, and stay on top of industry trends.

Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube are great for promoting your business, but they are also a fantastic way to elevate your branding and connect with more people.

To really be successful on social media, you have to do more than post occasionally and show beautiful homes. Stay active on social media and give followers something to do, read, or comment on.

Post regularly and engage with followers – comment back, post relevant blogs or articles, share infographics, and keep followers up to date to get more to get people to engage with your page.

When you have permission from clients, post “success stories” of helping people buy and sell homes and include high quality, high resolutions images.

It’s easy to get creative with social media posts, but if you’re at a loss for ideas, our in-house creative team can help with content writing, graphic design, and social media post ideas to help you get started.

Take Advantage of Analytics

Take Advantage of Analytics

If you aren’t already using Google Analytics, you should be. Analytics help you spend the least amount of time and money to get the most leads and conversions.

Use insights and tips from Google Analytics, Facebook Business Suite (Formerly Facebook Analytics), and other ad platforms and websites to gain a better understanding of what you can do better to constantly improve.

Online analytics tools can be used to provide details about which homes you have listed are most popular with searchers and can also help you figure out which types of properties and home features are in high demand.

Analytics are a great resource for finding and reaching your target audience and demographic. Gain insight on how certain ads or posts perform and use A/B multivariate testing to ensure the best possible outcome for your ads with the people you want to reach.

A/B test ads and promoted posts, gain better understanding for the best times to post and the content that your audience responds best to, and learn which property types are most in-demand in the locations you serve.

Get In Touch

Contact Jives Media to create a personalized real estate marketing guide for your business. Our team of marketing professionals can walk you through a complete marketing strategy to hit your goals and expand your business online.

We work with you and talk through any issues you are having, along with coming up with the best ways to reach your goals. We’ve helped other real estate businesses create fresh, new websites, advertise to sell homes, get new clients, and create a complete marketing strategy.

We provide thoughtful ideas and powerful strategies to ensure your real estate business takes off and projects the right image to clients. By helping potential buyers and sellers find your website faster and with more accuracy, we can help you get more leads and sales.

If you’re looking for the next step and want to elevate your real estate business, get in touch with Jives Media. We’ll set up a meeting to go over your business, goals, accounts, and map everything out in a way that makes sense for you.

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Digital Marketing SEO Social Media Marketing Web Design Agency

Tips For Increasing Your Social Media Engagement

When it comes to developing a positive brand image, reaching more people online, and staying relevant, there is no better tool than social media.

From big platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to more business oriented social media like LinkedIn, there is a social media platform for almost everything and everyone.

Getting people interested in your business and willing to engage with it online is a great way to build up your reputation and increase your overall sales, leads, and influence.

If you’re struggling to build a social media following, not getting enough attention on social media, or just struggling to manage your social media, check out these tips for increasing social media engagement.

Get A Baseline

Get A Baseline

Increasing your social media engagement starts with knowing where you stand to gain and what your current baseline is for engagement.

Social media engagement is the measurement of how engaged your audience of followers is with your business on social media – typically by the number of comments, likes, and shares on your social media posts.

Some businesses may also include the number of followers they have as a total metric of success on social media, but the number of followers is not typically a good indicator of engagement. Many people may follow a page or business, but never interact with it online.

Once you have a baseline, set realistic goals for increasing social media engagement and establish a plan for reaching those goals. Set out to get a certain number of likes or shares, increased number of followers, or other metrics.

A good way to set goals is to look at similar businesses within your industry and look at how fast they have grown and the number of followers they have.

Use Analytics

Use Analytics

Determine who you are trying to attract, what type of engagement you want to receive, and discover how to best reach your goal through social media analytics.

There are several integrated analytics tools to help you measure existing engagement to get a baseline and figure out areas for improvement.

Most social media platforms have their own analytics, especially for businesses that choose to advertise. Analytics can tell you so much about your brand’s followers, target demographic, and other insights to help you boost engagement.

You can also use free and paid external analytics platforms to help guide your social media strategy.

Determine Which Metrics Matter

Determine Which Metrics Matter

Once you have collected data on your current level of engagement, you can use that information to create a plan of action and optimize your social media strategy.

You may find that you have placed too much emphasis on certain aspects of increasing social media engagement and not enough on others.

Consider the number and consistency of:

  • Post and page views
  • Likes
  • Shares
  • New followers
  • CTA clicks or landing page visits
  • Other actions (website visits, purchases, etc.)

Determine which engagement actions matter most to you and what those actions convey. A social media management agency or consultant can help you figure out what story your current engagement analytics tell.

Create A Social Media Strategy

Create A Social Media Strategy

The most important aspect of increasing social media engagement is to create a social media strategy.

A robust social media strategy should include your target audience, posting frequency and type, and establish a post “voice” to use. In order to create interesting content, take a look at what posts have worked well for your business in the past and what has made competitors successful on social media.

Create a strategy based on your findings and learn to avoid posts that receive minimal engagement and don’t help build up your brand and customer relationships. If you are new to social media, you can see what competitors have done well and how you might be able to improve upon it in your strategy.

Time Posts Right

Time Posts Right

When it comes to social media, timing is everything.

Figure out when most of your followers or audience are online and post during that timeframe to encourage the most engagement with your posts.

If you are in the U.S., post when most people are awake and online. If you have a global business, post when most of your audience is online, even if you have to post twice or more per day to reach different audiences.

Each social media platform has general guidance on posting, based on research that other businesses have done, so you can experiment to determine when most of your followers and audience are online and responsive.

There are tools that allow you to schedule social media posts, so you and your team don’t have to be online 24/7 to meet your goal of increasing social media engagement.

Lean Into Automation

Lean Into Automation

While the creative content you post should showcase your brand identity and be authentic, it’s also important to take advantage of modern social media tools and automation for posting and collecting information.

There are plenty of automated tools and features on the top social media platforms to adjust your posts, ad budget, posting time, and many other aspects of how you interact and post on social media.

Schedule social media posts, collect demographic data and analytics, and automatically adjust your ad spend or budget based on social media engagement and performance.

Several social media platforms allow you to schedule posts, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. There are also many external tools for collecting data and automating posts to fit your strategy for increasing social media engagement.

Maintain Authentic & Consistent Brand Voice

Maintain Authentic & Consistent Brand Voice

One of the most important aspects of increasing social media engagement is how your audience perceives and resonates with your brand. Increasing social media engagement depends on how well you find and use your brand voice.

While every business will require a different strategy to connect with their audience and promote engagement, it’s a good idea to use the same language as your key demographic of followers and customers.

A company selling sneakers to skateboarders is going to have a different voice on social media compared to a luxury skincare brand or a workwear brand selling coats. If your brand is fun and young, comment on news that affects your demographic. Create posts with pop culture in mind.

If your brand is established and has a reputation for quality and innovation, comment on industry news and developments that your key demographic would be interested in learning more about.

If you’re a tech brand with new products or solutions rolling out, talk about the technologies behind them and stay active on relevant industry pages to pique the interest of potential customers.

Keep Things Relevant

Keep Things Relevant

For most businesses, social media is a chance to connect with customers, engage with followers, and keep up to date with what is happening in the world and in people’s lives.

It’s not enough to just be on social media. A business needs to give attention just as good as they expect to receive attention. Staying at the forefront of your industry and in the feeds of your target demographic keeps your brand relevant and on-topic.

Increasing social media engagement means providing value to your business’ followers, customers, and social media fans.

A good rule of thumb is to stay aware of industry trends and modern events. There should be a balance between posting content and commenting on other news and events.

It’s smart to comment on large events within your industry or post about news that affects your business or customers. Join the conversation when something happens and ask your audience for their opinion or input.

Keep A Calendar

Keep A Calendar

While increasing social media engagement might seem simple, keeping track of all your planned posts across various social media platforms can become a lot to handle.

Create a social media calendar to help you stay on top of your posting schedule, but don’t be afraid to mix things up or add more posts when ideas or relevant events pop up.

It’s a good idea to plan posts for important holidays in your country and the countries that most of your customers or followers celebrate.

Strategically plan announcements to coincide with busy or off seasons, and reward follows, shares, and more through giveaways or other insider privileges. You may even find that some posts do better than others based on the day of the week or social media platform on the calendar.

Post Regularly

Post Regularly

When it comes to increasing social media engagement, the more consistently you post content, images, and videos, the more people will interact with your business.

Your posting schedule will depend on your industry and the kind of engagement you want to elicit, along with the resources you have for posting content.

A good baseline is a minimum of post once per week up to several times per day, per social media platform. If you don’t already have a social media presence, it’s best to start out slow and then ramp up.

It’s a good idea to do a weekly post that engages people, such as a weekly poll, video, podcast, blog, or anything else that gives people something to look forward to and to engage with, along with daily posts to stay in people’s feed so they see your business.

Add Value And Be Unique

Add Value And Be Unique

Increasing social media engagement means thinking outside of the box and creating unique value to followers and potential customers.

Don’t be afraid to showcase what sets your business apart from others – such as awards, reviews, creative, niche services, products, or industry-leading ideas.

Create unique and valuable content to share, including blogs, industry tips, how-to guides, and anything else to walk customers through a product or service. Help customers make informed decisions or let them know about a benefit or perk that they might not get elsewhere.

Share content and stories about your business or brand that set you apart from competition and draw people in to learn more.

Use High Quality Images

Use High-Quality Images

One thing that all the largest social media platforms have in common is that people are much more likely to engage with good quality images. Using high quality images, graphics, and videos is one of the top tips for increasing social media engagement.

Whenever possible, use attractive photos and videos of real products or services. Short videos that tell a story are also a great way to boost engagement.

While content posts are good for building interest and engagement, photos should be used frequently as well – especially in links to blog posts or for short daily or weekly posts.

Images can be client submitted or images you take of your service, product, or as part of your brand. You can also purchase high-quality stock images from individuals or websites, if you need some images to get started on social media.

Engage With Posters

Engage With Posters

When it comes to increasing social media engagement, the more you respond, the more you can expect your followers to respond, like, share, comment, and connect with your business online.

Engage with posters by liking and responding to comments, posting polls, and occasionally engaging with other brands. Set standards for replying–including the type of comments you will leave, what is okay to say, and which topics to avoid.

It’s also a good idea to set some standard for replying to negative comments or posters that have an issue and are reaching out over social media.

Advertise On Social Media

Advertise On Social Media

Increasing social media engagement isn’t limited to organic posts and content. Many businesses choose to advertise to get new leads and encourage more engagement on social media.

Social media ads can also help you promote your business and get more traction on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Reddit.

Social media ads are a great way to promote brand awareness as well as showcase products and services you offer.

Be careful to include only ads that are relevant and add value – such as promotional offers or ads to differentiate your brand.

Get Expert Help from An Agency

Get Expert Help from An Agency

Ultimately, increasing social media engagement is a marathon, not a sprint.

For a business that is new to social media or digital marketing, the best way forward is with the help of a professional.

Hire someone with the experience, knowledge, and resources to help you with increasing social media engagement and who will help you create a social media strategy.

Contact Jives Media to get started with a winning social media engagement strategy. Our social media marketing experts have the time and resources for increasing social media engagement with new and existing followers.

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Digital Marketing SEO Web Design Agency

Best 5 Marketing and Advertising Agencies in San Francisco

When it comes to local, experienced marketing there are some agencies that do it better than others. Read up on the best five marketing and advertising agencies in San Francisco, CA.

Find the right fit for your marketing or advertising needs and learn which agencies do what in the San Francisco Bay Area.

From small businesses that need help getting started with a new website to existing marketers who want extra help for client PPC advertising, these agencies have what it takes to achieve your goals.

Don’t just take out word for it, learn more about San Francisco-based marketing agencies and how they differentiate themselves in such a competitive and complex industry.

Jives Media

1. Jives Media

With almost a decade of marketing agency experience, it is hard not to put ourselves on top of the list. However, we’re not the only ones who think Jives Media tops the list of the best five marketing and advertising agencies in San Francisco, CA–just ask our clients!

Since getting started in 2012, we have served a variety of clients located all over the world.

From small businesses just getting off the ground to established Fortune 500 companies and large brands, Jives Media has created customized marketing solutions for clients of all sizes and industries.

Jives Media is a versatile, dynamic, full-service marketing agency that applies transparency to everything we do.

Our clients are never left in the dark about their ad campaigns or websites–they receive regular updates and provide input so that they are happy with and have a hand in the results we achieve.

We provide our clients with complete marketing solutions that include:

  • Web Design
  • Google Ads Management
  • Search Engine Marketing (PPC & SEO)
  • Social Media Management
  • Content Marketing
  • Graphic Design & Logo

Each business and brand is unique and in different stages of growth–which means that what is right for one client may not be the best for another. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, we customize marketing services and efforts to our clients’ needs.

Relationships make or break marketing efforts. Customers need to trust a brand to buy products or services from it or take its advice.

Similarly, we know that we have to earn client trust and build a relationship to become a true extension of their team.

Our client testimonials speak volumes about the way that Jives Media operates.

Jives Media is one of the best five marketing and advertising agencies in San Francisco, CA. We help clients gain traction and build their brand, bring in more customers, and design sleek websites that are easy to navigate.

Gumas

2. Gumas

Gumas is an award-winning, full-service San Francisco advertising agency and the country’s foremost authority on Challenger Brand Marketing. The marketing agency help clients take on industry “gorillas” to quickly generate the greatest results from marketing investments.

From research, strategy development, award-winning creative design, web development, digital media (including search, social media, and everything in between.

The agency’s goal is to create a marketing strategy specifically designed to help build its clients’ unique Challenger Brands–essentially providing all the marketing support needed under one roof.

Gumas positions itself as an agency which exists to help Challenger Brands take on their industry gorillas, and win. Challenger Brands are organizations that find themselves up against better-resourced competitors, and simply can’t compete head-to-head with their industry gorillas.

Since being founded in 1984, Gumas has created hundreds of award-winning campaigns, ranging from strategy and branding to messaging and design; all aimed at helping clients grow their business.

Gumas provides clients with the resources needed to generate results from any size marketing budget and is one of the best five marketing and advertising agencies in San Francisco, CA.

This agency is a great option for businesses and brands that need to challenge competitors and come out on top.

Colibri Digital Marketing

3. Colibri Digital Marketing

Colibri Digital Marketing was founded in 2012 and is San Francisco’s first and only full-service, B Corp-certified digital marketing agency.

Based in the heart of San Francisco’s dynamic tech scene, Colibri Digital Marketing is a forward-thinking, woman-owned, and certified LGBTBE agency focused on the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit.

As a B Corp-certified digital marketing agency, Colibri is committed to marketing that models and supports business for good – for clients, themselves, the planet, and for everyone.

According to Colibri, their aim is to ensure that everyone has access to digital marketing technologies, and by extension a wide array of technologies and skills that will facilitate expanded opportunities both personal and professional.

Colibri hopes that one day everyone has the means and the understanding to use marketing technologies for good.

Their services include digital marketing plans, analytics, branding, websites, SEO, advertising, social media management, content marketing, email marketing, and brand naming.

As one of the best five marketing and advertising agencies in San Francisco, CA ,Colibri is a great option for B Corps, not for profits, and any other business or brand that needs digital marketing help.

SF Marketing Group

4. SF Marketing Group

SF Marketing Group provides white label PPC management for marketing agencies & franchises.

Their services include PPC ads and social media ads on platforms such as Google, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Yelp, Snapchat, and YouTube.

By becoming highly specialized in digital advertising, the company has differentiated themselves from traditional ad agencies. What sets SF Marketing Group apart is their specialty focus on white label PPC and the reporting they provide.

The company partners with TapClicks to provide industry-leading campaign tracking in an all-in-one dashboard. Additionally, the company is 100% focused on white-label PPC, allowing for a tailored approach to each client’s PPC needs.

SF Marketing Groups is San Francisco-based with no overseas outsourcing. Their team lives and works in the Bay Area and are certified professionals, so there are no automated bots or software managing client campaigns.

The employees are native English and Spanish speakers and guarantee no freelancers or sub-contracting on all the advertising work they perform.

SF Marketing Group is a family-owned, minority-owned, woman-owned digital advertising agency which prides itself on all in-house work.

With hundreds of successful campaigns, and a positive customer rating, SF Marketing Group is a great choice for locally based PPC advertising and ranks as one of the best five marketing and advertising agencies in San Francisco, CA.

SPRITZ

5. SPRITZ

Spritz is a San Francisco based integrated marketing agency that seamlessly combines digital and traditional marketing with clever, powerful design.

Headquartered in San Francisco with satellite offices in Bangalore and Paris, Spritz is a global team of over 25 versatile professionals with unique expertise in strategy and marketing.

The agency identifies and implements current trends with personalized marketing strategies, and takes a dedicated, hands-on approach to each account.

Spritz develops websites and mobile applications according to its clients’ needs, customizing everything from clients’ brands to their software architecture.

Between e-commerce, display ads, and digital brochures, the agency serves as a one-stop shop to keep clients top of mind, and top of search results. Spritz make the list for the best five marketing and advertising agencies in San Francisco, CA.

With marketing know-how, in-house design, development, and search teams, Sprintz is a great option for businesses who need to stand out among a crowd in an increasingly visual world.

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Featured SEO Web Design Agency

Things to Consider Before Hiring A Web Design Agency

Things to Consider Before Hiring A Web Design Agency

Grow your business and attract new site visitors and leads through a new, optimized website. Find an experienced website design agency to create a fresh, responsive website design or transform an old, outdated site to bring in new customers and increase sales.

An up-to-date website helps your business show up higher in search results to ensure that customers find you online first, as opposed to finding and visiting your competitors’ sites. It can be difficult to commit to a website design agency, especially if you have never worked with a designer or agency before.

Check out the top things you should consider before hiring a web design agency to create a new site for your business and ensure the final site design is everything you want.

What Experience Does the Agency Have

What Experience Does the Agency Have?

What experience does the agency have, and do they have a portfolio of client work? Inquire as to whether they have created mobile responsive sites before and get an idea for their standard of work. Look at the agency’s online reviews and client ratings, or ask around for suggestions from family, friends, and colleagues.

If the agency has other clients in a similar field or industry to yours, you will get a better understanding of what requirements you may need for your website and how the final design will look.

An experienced agency will likely have more work experience; however, do not discount a younger agency altogether. An up-and-coming agency can offer fresh ideas and often have equally capable designers that will complete your site design at a lower price point.

What Kind of Website Does Your Business Need

What Kind of Website Does Your Business Need?

Do you need a simple website listing company information or a more complex site design for eCommerce, online interactions, or service offerings? If you aren’t sure what site functionality you need, consult with a few different agencies an get an idea of what they typically provide.

Regardless of what needs you have for the site, it should be mobile responsive so that mobile users can access the site with ease and will have a positive user experience.

Make a design wish list or must-haves list before getting started and ensure the agency can fulfill all those items. Talk to the agency about what they suggest for site design and how the new website will benefit your business in that format.

Who Will Be Completing the Design

Who Will Be Completing the Design?

When discussing your new website, ask who will be completing the work. Is the design and development all done in-house, or will the company outsource certain aspects?

This distinction between who will be completing the work and from which location can affect the time it takes to complete the website, along with any communication and back and forth you might need to have with site designers to get the final website completed.

If possible, try to meet with the designers who will be handing your new website design and development, and if that isn’t possible then at least ensure you can talk to your project manager or project point of contact.

What Is the Expected Timeline

What Is the Expected Timeline?

Prior to officially hiring a design agency to create a new website, you should determine the expected design and completion timeline.

Ask how long it will take to complete the website and what will happen if there are unexpected delays or if you have design changes for the team.

Web design and development takes longer than most people think, especially with complex or unique designs. Prepare for hiccups in the process and include some flexibility in the schedule for design changes and reviewing. (are you on a tight deadline for opening a business or a grand opening?)

Do You Need A Customized Website

Do You Need A Customized Website?

Determine if you need a simple website design, a more complex design, or a completely unique custom site design. Keep in mind that the more complex the website is, the longer it will take to complete and the more expensive the work will be.

Ask whether the company provides customized web design services that will meet your needs and if they have any suggestions for custom design work.

It can be helpful to go into a meeting knowing exactly what you need, sitemap in hand, but realistically many new businesses or individuals in need of a website don’t understand what their needs are.

After a discussion, you may find that a preexisting template fits your needs, or that the new website will only need a few custom sections as opposed to a complete design from scratch.

What Is the Website Development & Design Process

What Is the Website Development & Design Process?

When considering hiring a website design agency, inquire about their process, including different steps and timelines for completing work, and any effort required from your end.

Discuss what happens if there is an issue that requires additional time or reworks.

Are there certain steps that you will need to take or items you need to provide prior to the agency beginning work? Make sure to outline the design/development process and establish a timeline for deliverables and reviewing.

What Is Included With Website Design & Development

What Is Included With Website Design & Development?

Get an idea of what is included with website creation, including any SEO, content, or initial support.

While some agencies will scrimp on anything other than the website to offer a lower price, you might want to pay up for a better overall experience for visitors and higher search engine rankings for your website.

Find out if the agency has “add on” capabilities, such as marketing strategy, branding, copywriting, content marketing, lead generation, marketing automation, and SEO, among others. You may find that a website alone is not enough to sustain your business or draw in new leads after a certain point.

Ask about the items that you should produce–will you need to provide media and content or can the team product those things in-house (either from stock images or their own media) with some input or guidance from your end?

What about SEO

What about SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is what helps your website appear in relevant search results and a new website should be optimized before going live and may need to be optimized on a regular basis as search terms change over time.

In order to attract more visitors to your new website and ensure that it shows up in Google search results, your site should be optimized with relevant keywords, backlinks, a fast loading page speed, proper web security, mobile-friendly features, meta details, tags, and technical SEO.

While you don’t have to hire the same website design agency to implement SEO for your site, they will likely be able to implement these items faster and more efficiently than a new company that has to take over managing the SEO for your website.

Do You Get Along with the Agency

Do You Get Along with the Agency?

If you can’t see eye to eye with the web design agency you hire, then it’s likely that the entire web design process will leave you feeling underwhelmed and unsatisfied.

Do you get a positive feeling about their work or team from discussions with the company or website designers? You should feel comfortable with the team and point of contact, especially if you need to make edits or corrections.

While each agency is going to have a different culture, it’s important to have productive discussions and maintain some level of trust throughout the design process with the agency you hire to create your new website.

How Much Will It Cost

How Much Will It Cost?

Cost is a big factor when it comes to hiring a website design agency. When meeting with different agencies, provide the same scope of work for each and inquire about an estimated cost for the proposed work.

Do some research and ask yourself whether the cost reflects the quality expected in website design of the caliber you expect.

Get cost estimates from several different agencies and compare the quality relative to the quoted price. Some agencies will charge more but have a quality of work that is well worth the extra cost.

Ensure that you have gotten a great website for the money, but don’t cheap out either. Make sure to discuss payment as well. Many agencies require funds up from, while others take half payment before completing work and half after delivering the finished website.

How Is Hosting Handled

How Is Hosting Handled?

How does the agency handle website hosting? If you don’t like the host that they typically use, are there better options available?

There are a variety of website platforms and hosting options, some better than others. A good web design agency should be able to discuss the pros and cons of different hosts with you.

Learn how often will there be site backups and how long will your site be backed up? Having access to your site information is important in case you decide to move to a new host or get a new website in the future.

Is There A Content Management System (CMS) For Your Website

Is There A Content Management System (CMS) For Your Website?

A content management system allows you to update and make changes to your website without the need for coding. Some common CMSs include WordPress, Drupal, Wix, and SharePoint, among many others.

Whether the agency uses a system you are familiar with or something you’ve never heard of, you should be able to make simple edits to the site, update content, photos, and add new pages with ease (no coding needed).

How will you update your website? Will you do the work yourself or depend on the company? Discuss what logins and final ownership will you have of the website, along with any training or user guides the agency will provide for your website’s CMS.

What Does Post-Launch Support Look Like

What Does Post-Launch Support Look Like?

Ask what support the web design agency provides after your site has been launched.

From small adjustments and walking you through the new site design to updates upon request, it’s best to find out how the agency plans to transition support after the site is live so you aren’t left hanging when an issue crops up unexpectedly.

Some agencies may have support plans, while others may offer guidance or a demo to show you how to make changes yourself. How accessible is the agency? Find out whether you will have to submit an online ticket to fix something or you can email contact at the agency with questions or issues.

Contact Us

Jives Media is a web design agency in San Francisco, California consisting of award-winning web designers, growth hackers, and MBA brand strategists. In 2012, we decided to bring our unique superpowers together to form one lethal web development and digital marketing team.

We help organizations from early-stage startups to Fortune 500 corporations meet their marketing goals while serving a wide range of industries. Our experience in responsive web design and development, digital marketing, and analytics allow us to serve as a triple threat for our clients.

Jives Media will create a sleek, powerful, and mobile-responsive site that is tailored to your business needs–3x faster than from any of our competitors.

Our team helps create innovative and stunning websites so that your business gets off the ground running, with analytics and measurable results starting from launch day. Contact us online today for a web design consultation.