Why an Internal Marketing Team Doesn’t Make Sense for Your Business

Your business is growing, and it’s time to make a bigger investment in your marketing. It’s time to start thinking, “Should I hire an internal marketing team or a marketing agency?”

There are certainly perks to having an internal team:

  • They can become deeply familiar with your business – Internal teams work among your employees for forty or more hours a week. They’ll learn your routines and garner a solid understanding of your company behind-the-scenes.
  • They can dedicate all their work hours to your company – Your internal workers can spend every minute of every working day concentrating solely on projects bound to your company.

But we’re partial, as you might expect, to hiring an agency to do your marketing for you – and we’ll show you why.

(This post has been updated from an earlier post written by the 2017 Leverage Marketing Content Team lead, Madeline Jacobson.)

You have too much work for a small in-house team to handle

purple sticky notes with to do everything

If you’re operating a startup, you may currently be dividing marketing responsibilities amongst a small team – even if marketing isn’t part of your employees’ primary duties. As you begin to ramp up your marketing efforts, the workload may become too heavy for your current employees to handle, which could lead to missed deadlines and – the ultimate profit-killer – burnout.

At this point, your options are to hire more employees and build up a marketing department or outsource your marketing to an agency.

You don’t have room in your marketing budget to hire a full in-house team

two hands sharing a half dollar representing overwork and underpayment

There’s more to a marketing team than you might initially think – but every team has to start somewhere. Let’s assume you want to assemble a team from the very beginning. At the bare minimum, an in-house digital marketing team typically includes:

  • An Analyst ($80,000 per year) – We’re being generous here. You should really have at least two analysts, one for paid search and advertising and another for search engine optimization to ensure that your efforts aren’t a waste.
  • A Content Creator ($65,000 per year) – There’s no internet without content, and you’ll need at least one professional to manage the creation of all your content so that you maintain a certain quality standard for search engines and customers.
  • A Social Media Manager ($51,000 per year) – Companies have a huge role to play in social media. It’s so huge, in fact, that you’ll need a full-time social media manager to keep up with only a few social media channels.

Salaries provided are estimates based on average salaries from Indeed and Payscale. That’s already almost $200,000 per year that you will be putting toward marketing. Plus, the number doesn’t factor in things like employee benefits and marketing software.

If the cost of in-house employee salaries alone will meet or exceed your marketing budget, you are better off making the cost-effective decision to work with an agency. Marketing agencies typically charge clients monthly, and services can often be tailored to meet the your budget.

You don’t have time for a lengthy hiring process

worker in shirt and tie representing hiring process

Your company is growing quickly and you know that you need to expand your marketing efforts, but you don’t have weeks on end to look for the ideal in-house candidates.

Even if you do make a hire relatively quickly, it will still take time for your new employee to receive training and become familiar with your company. And if you make a hire too hastily and end up with someone who can’t handle the job responsibilities, you have to go through the time-consuming and costly hiring process all over again.

Although the process of hiring an agency and familiarizing your dedicated team with your business also takes some effort, the time to hire is almost always significantly shorter. Agencies spend their entire working days creating marketing campaigns for their clients, and a professional agency will be able to pick up your marketing remarkably quickly.

You don’t have the right marketing talent in your geographic area

purple planet showing geography difference in marketing teams

If your business isn’t located in a major metropolitan area with a thriving marketing and communications industry, you may have trouble attracting qualified jobseekers to your open in-house marketing positions.

Fortunately, any quality digital marketing agency will have the resources necessary to effectively communicate with you from a remote location, so you can choose the best talent available with no geographic restrictions.

Your business has a lot of seasonal fluctuations

tree for seasonal marketing

If you have a busy season and an off season, your marketing budget may change significantly from quarter to quarter, and it might not make sense to have an in-house marketing team that is overworked part of the year and on standby when your marketing budget decreases. Your money is going to waste if you’re not using it to maintain or grow your business.

With a satellite marketing agency, you can easily scale your marketing efforts up or down by adding or decreasing the number of team members on your account.

You want to manage your marketing team less often

marketing team representing micromanagement

Sure, keeping your team in-house means you have them physically on hand when you need them. But a satellite marketing agency is only a phone call, message, or email away, and they don’t need to be micromanaged.

Marketing agencies are trained, experienced, and set up to handle marketing campaigns back-to-front with little or no management. Their job is to make marketing easy for you so you spend less time solving problems remotely and more time focusing on large-scale tasks.

The teams at agencies work hard to minimize meetings, maximize results, and make reporting simple and straightforward. If you enjoy working rather than managing, consider the perks of a strong marketing agency.

Want to learn more about why other businesses just like yours choose an off-site digital marketing team? Download our awesome In-House vs. Agency infographic right now!

Amazon’s Race to the Top: Will It Change Ecommerce?

Amazon has become a titan in the ecommerce world over the last decade, making up 34% of ecommerce spending in 2017. In the last several years, Amazon has broken into new markets, buying up new companies and expanding its offline presence. With seemingly endless resources at its disposal, Amazon has the power to launch new technologies, leverage its supply chain in innovative ways, and change the face of ecommerce as we know it.

With Amazon’s entrance into the online advertising space, the company controls vast portions of retailers’ online experience, from sales to marketing, and its ad share is only growing, as it becomes the #3 player behind Google and Facebook.

As traditional retail stores become less relevant, Amazon’s power grows. By 2021, Amazon’s ecommerce market share will surpass 50%. In the coming years, Amazon will continue to innovate and change the way we shop.

Amazon’s New Markets

amazon ecommerce 2

While Amazon started off as an online marketplace for other retailers to sell their merchandise, it’s become so much more than that in recent years. The company has released a branded line of hardware products, including e-readers, including the current Echo products that integrate Alexa (Amazon’s voice assistant). With seemingly limitless resources and capital, Amazon can grow its ecommerce business in new directions.

Amazon’s recent purchase of Whole Foods Market indicates a push into grocery, one of the largest potential markets in the United States. Whole Foods only controls less than 2% of grocery market share, but with Amazon’s supply chain management and cost-cutting measures, it could take on big players like Wal-Mart and Kroger. Only Costco sells more organic food than Whole Foods currently, and that market is ripe for growth in an online expansion. With innovative new products like Amazon’s Dash Wand, which allows you to scan items, and order new food from Prime Now and Prime Pantry, the newly acquired Whole Foods can change the way grocery shopping works.

Watch for continued expansion from Amazon in new areas like meal kits, competing with Blue Apron, and home improvement goods, going up against Home Depot and Lowe’s. Amazon has already reached a deal to sell Kenmore appliances from Sears and has meal kits available in the Seattle area. Look for Amazon to take advantage of current trends in ecommerce.

Amazon vs. Traditional Retail

There’s been a trend toward ecommerce and away from traditional offline retail in recent years. As ecommerce sales grow, reaching close to $400 billion in 2016, more retail stores file for bankruptcy, including The Limited, Wet Seal, RadioShack, Payless, Gymboree, and more. With easy and fast access to goods on Amazon and other online platforms, many retail stores can’t keep up.

Only Walmart has been able to maintain pace with Amazon’s dominance. Both aspiring to be omnichannel retailers, Walmart and Amazon are expanding from opposite sides, with Walmart building out its ecommerce presence, and Amazon expanding its offline footprint. Traditional retail outlets won’t completely die out yet, but the landscape is changing drastically, and companies like Walmart need to modify their strategies to compete with Amazon. As Walmart buys up ecommerce companies like Jet.com, Modcloth, and Bonobos, Amazon is building out offline bookstores, purchasing companies like Whole Foods, and spreading out its warehouses across the United States and globally. It’s unclear which company will succeed in the end, but it’s fascinating to watch.

Amazon’s Growing Ad Platform

When looking at ecommerce in 2017, ads might be the most vital factor. With Google and Facebook currently ruling the roost on ads on desktop and mobile, Amazon is attempting to break into the space, with $1.5 billion in ad sales in 2016. Half of online shoppers begin their search on Amazon, making the marketplace an integral ad space for ecommerce retailers. Combined with Alexa voice searches, Prime video, and other marketing efforts, Amazon’s ads platform will continue to grow.

Amazon’s growing ecommerce dominance necessitates working with the company to sell your product, serve up ads, and more. As Amazon continues to develop new strategies and ventures, it will change ecommerce forever.

Are you an ecommerce company looking to grow your sales? Leverage Marketing has the knowledge and experience to help you succeed in this evolving space. Contact us today, and we’ll help your business succeed.

What’s the Difference Between SEO and PPC?

SEO is a “free” method of driving visitors to your site, while PPC is paid promotion of your site content. Both are effective methods of search engine marketing (SEM), which refers to types of digital marketing practices that target businesses and consumers who are searching for what your site offers.

SEO vs. PPC, TL;DR Edition

PPC is a search engine marketing technique that is comparable to traditional advertising practices, in that you pay in accordance to your goals. The amount you pay will determine where, when, and how your ad shows up, similar to buying advertising space in a magazine or on a billboard. While this comparison is somewhat of an oversimplification, the basic concept is the same: if you have the money and want to reach potential customers, you’ll be able to use PPC to gain a lot of visibility. Wondering how to get on the top of the first page of Google with PPC? Pay the highest cost per click (CPC) for your target keywords and search phrases.

SEO, however, focuses on driving traffic to sites by catering to the needs of searchers. SEO cannot be accomplished by sending a check to Google, as in PPC; rather, SEO is about building sites that:

  1. deliver great content that is in line with searchers’ intent and answers their questions
  2. follow accepted standards expected by search engines, and
  3. do not intend to deceive search engines.

Wondering how to get on the top of the first page of Google with SEO? Optimize your site to be the most relevant to searchers for your target keywords and search phrases.

Common Misconceptions about SEO and PPC

SEO and PPC side by side

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to digital marketing, and for good reason – search engines, bidding, and algorithms are much more alien than familiar forms of marketing that businesses have been dealing with for decades. However, knowing the differences between SEO and PPC is key to being able to make the right choices, whether you’re pursuing your business’s digital strategy yourself, or you’re seeking a consultant or agency to give expertise.

Luckily, a little knowledge goes a long way in the digital marketing world! Here are a few common misconceptions about the different types of digital marketing that we encounter fairly regularly at Leverage, and some information that will help you make clear decisions for your business. Trust us – you don’t want to play around with decisions based on less-than-factual information gleaned from your uncle or web developer’s friend of a friend.

Misconception #1: SEO is Basically FREE MONEY.

Remember the first sentence of this article, when I said that SEO was “free”? There are quotations around that “free” for one reason: GOOD SEO is basically never free. Unless your cousin is a freelance SEO consultant willing to take on 10+ hours a week worth of pro bono work for your site, good SEO is going to take some resources. At the very least, performing good SEO will take some time and manpower, and at the most, it could require reallocating your marketing budget a bit.

Notice I keep saying GOOD SEO, not just SEO. Sure, you can find a guy living in the shadows of the internet who vows to bump your site to the first page of Google by next week for a low flat rate of $50. However, like most things that sound too good to be true, that is most likely not going to turn out well for your site. You might end up with bad SEO work that will cause your website to be penalized and require thousands of dollars of damage control work to be performed by actual experts, or you might just end up with nothing to show for the funds you invested. Do your homework and find an experienced SEO agency instead.

Misconception #2: SEO is More Effective than PPC/PPC is More Effective than SEO

So your friend tried working with an SEO consultant once, and it didn’t really bring him the huge returns he was looking for. He now runs paid ads for his site, and he gets a LOT of traffic from them. That sounds great, right? Why shouldn’t you just perform the same search engine marketing techniques and put all of your resources into PPC efforts as well?

Digital marketing, like almost every other type of promotional or marketing effort, is not a one-size-fits-all deal. Some businesses will find that their advertising money goes to waste if they pay tons of cash for PPC that drives traffic but that doesn’t result in conversions, and some businesses will find that SEO efforts just aren’t enough on their own to drive brand awareness.

The balance of PPC and SEO varies from business to business. Some businesses will find that SEO efforts bring a lot of value to their business, as they help create trust and drive qualified traffic. Other businesses find that PPC gives them a huge boost in visibility that takes their brand to the next level. Neither SEO nor PPC is wrong or bad, and neither is superior – they are simply different practices that are best leveraged off of each other.

Not sure what your business needs? We want to take a look! Learn more about how the Leverage Marketing team can dig into the details behind your business and your industry, make sense of the numbers, and draw a roadmap for success.

Misconception #3: Both SEO and PPC are a “Waste of Time, Just Get a Newspaper Ad”

You might have had someone tell you that they pursued either/both SEO and/or PPC in the past with horrific results. Maybe their site received a penalty, their ads were all disapproved within Adwords, or their consultant was less than attentive to their account. Search engine marketing must be pretty risky, right?

In the SEO and PPC world, there are always risks and bad stuff does happen sometimes – but that’s true of any marketing effort that is made without the right attention to detail. Remember when one classic American department store attempted to rebrand their entire business model, and realized that their changes actually made their store less desirable to their target market? Sure, they might have skimped on their market research and dropped the ball when it came to listening to their customers’ needs, but their epic rebranding fail doesn’t indicate that any rebranding effort made by any company is always a waste of time – it simply indicates that they didn’t take the right steps to achieve success. Look at what a legendary designer clothier’s rebranding campaign achieved – their excellent rebranding effort doubled revenues over a five year period and saved the brand’s exclusive image.

Search engine marketing techniques, like rebranding or really any other business effort, are only as successful as the team driving strategy. That’s why it is vital that you choose the right partner for SEO or PPC campaigns. Paid and non-paid digital marketing strategies are intertwined efforts, which is why finding an experienced full-service digital marketing agency to handle all the intricacies of your business is one of the best ways to ensure success. If you’re splitting your efforts or going it alone, do your research and ask yourself if you’re willing to take the risk of playing it too small in an increasingly competitive and rapidly changing digital landscape.

Want more digital marketing myth-busting and guides to getting the most out of SEO and PPC for your business? Sign up for the Leverage newsletter for informative and non-annoying weekly digests today.

Enhance Your Ecommerce Marketing Strategy with Leverage Learning

95% of Americans make an online purchase at least once a year, and 80% have made at least one online purchase in the past month. And, as the Washington Post recently put it, about a third of consumers now buy something online at least as often as they take out the trash (once a week). As online shopping becomes increasingly popular, it may seem like there’s never been a better time to own an ecommerce business.

However, growth-focused ecommerce businesses still face plenty of challenges, especially when it comes to attracting shoppers (who may be inclined to start their search on Amazon) and converting those shoppers into paying customers.

Build Your Ecommerce Marketing Knowledge

At Leverage Marketing, we want to help online businesses address these challenges with actionable ecommerce marketing ideas. We’ve been doing this for years with our digital marketing services, and now we’re taking what we’ve learned and sharing it in a free educational email series called Leverage Learning: Ecommerce.

The goal of Leverage Learning: Ecommerce is to help online business owners find digital marketing ideas to reach more customers and increase sales. The series is broken into 11 lessons on the following subjects:


content marketing for ecommerce email preview

  1. Branding
  2. Search Engine Optimization
  3. UX Web Design
  4. Content Marketing
  5. Influencer Marketing
  6. Facebook and Instagram Marketing
  7. Paid Search Advertising
  8. Email Marketing
  9. Online Customer Service
  10. Mobile Marketing
  11. Measuring Success in Google Analytics


When you subscribe, you’ll receive a new email lesson twice a week until you’ve received the full series. The emails offer best practices for ecommerce marketing, quick tips that business owners can implement right away, and recommendations for free or low-cost tools to streamline marketing efforts.

If you’re ready to use digital marketing to drive sales for your ecommerce business, you can subscribe to our Leverage Learning: Ecommerce series by clicking here.

SEO for ecommerce email preview

And if you enjoy this series, stay tuned: we’ll be releasing our Leverage Learning: Content Marketing series next!

As always, we’d love for you to contact us if you have any questions about our Leverage Learning series or the digital marketing services we offer!

Mobile Shopping: The New Norm

We originally published this post back in 2016. Since a lot can change in the online marketing landscape in a year, we’ve updated it for 2017.

Throughout the last decade, mobile and online shopping has been on the rise, pushing brick-and-mortar businesses to compete harder for their share of consumers’ dollars. During the 2017 holiday season, eMarketer expects ecommerce sales to grow 15.8%, with total retail growth limited to 2%. The National Retail Federation (NRF) believes overall retail growth will be around 3.7-4.2% in 2017, while online retail will grow 8-12% alone. It’s clear that mobile shopping on smartphones and tablets, rather than brick and mortar shopping, is the new norm.

In the United States, consumers are increasingly using their smartphones more hours during the day for shopping, social media, and other activities. Mobile ad spending is on the rise, as marketers realize they need to target mobile consumers even more than through traditional advertising avenues. As mobile data and the online shopping industry grow, vendors and retailers will need to come up with innovative ways to target consumers.

As fewer consumers purchase laptops or rely on them as a primary device, tablets and smartphones will increasingly become the primary devices for purchasing, with 31 million US Internet users only using a mobile device to go online in 2016.

mobile online shopping

Amazon and Walmart

Comparing two retail giants—Amazon and Walmart—shows the chasm widening between online and brick-and-mortar sales. Amazon posted $82.7 billion in sales for the last 12 months, while Walmart, with its massive physical presence, only posted $12.5 billion. With ecommerce juggernauts like Amazon driving more sales through programs like Amazon Prime, online sales will continue to eclipse traditional brick-and-mortar options, and the online shopping industry will grow.

Both these companies are working hard to break into each other’s markets, with Walmart strengthening its ecommerce skills and Amazon its brick-and-mortar abilities. Walmart has purchased Amazon, however, announced its intention to purchase organic food giant Whole Foods and has been opening up retail bookstores in NYC and other locations. These two massive companies make it clear that ecommerce is the future, but brick-and-mortar isn’t dead either.

Demographics: Who Shops Mobile?

New data shows that younger buyers, especially those with smartphones, are more likely to use mobile devices for shopping compared to older consumers. In a 2016 Bronto survey of over 1000 people, 65% of adults ages 18-24 say they use their smartphones for shopping, as do 63% of those ages 25-34, and 58% of those aged 35-44, with the numbers dropping significantly as age increases. 35-44-year-old people are more likely to purchase on tablets, with younger consumers not using those devices as frequently. As age increases over 44, these numbers decline.

What these statistics suggest is that most mobile commerce growth is driven by the 18-34-year-old segment of the population, with less push from older American adults. As an increasing number of millennials accrue wealth and enter the workforce, mobile sales will continue to grow and overtake online sales from computers and eventually brick-and-mortar entirely.

Online shopping growth, especially on mobile, is a force that will only increase as the conveniences of shopping from your home and online-only deals eclipse any advantages brick-and-mortar stores retain. Millennial shoppers are pushing this evolution, and the next generation will only further it.smartphone graph new


Consumer trends suggest that mobile sales are the new norm. Mobile devices, especially smartphones, are convenient to use and able to fit in your pocket, and retailers are providing seamless app experiences for purchasing on their platforms. Tablets are also a significant part of this growth, to a lesser extent, among adults in the 35-44-year old range.

Mobile commerce growth is inevitable, and it will overtake brick-and-mortar. The only question is when. With giants like Amazon reporting close to $100 billion in annual sales and growing, retailers and advertisers must pursue solutions to engage with mobile consumers in innovative ways. While brick and mortar stores are still relevant for the foreseeable future, Walmart and similar large retailers must continue to adapt to stay in business.

At Leverage Marketing, we employ pioneering techniques to further your company’s digital marketing efforts We can help your ecommerce business create a mobile-friendly design that adapts to smartphone and tablet design. Learn more about our web design services and contact us today.

How Far Down the Search Engine Results Page Will Most People Go?

This post was originally written by one of our summer 2015 interns, Kelly Iden. Since things change pretty quickly in search engine marketing, we’ve updated and expanded the post with new stats and info.

The average web user won’t go past the first five listings on a search engine results page (SERP). According to a 2014 study from Advanced Web Rankings, more than 67% of all clicks on SERPs go to the top five listings. Things start to get grim when you look past those first few results. Research shows that websites on the first search engine results page receive almost 95% of web traffic, leaving only 5% for remaining search results pages.

Why Does SERP Position Matter?

Once a search engine result grabs web users’ attention, the logical next step for the user is to click through to the website to get additional information and potentially take some kind of action (such as making a purchase). Most people will click on one of the first few results because they’ve found what they’re looking for, don’t want to scroll further, are short on time, or some combination of the three.  Therefore, the higher a company’s organic search ranking, the higher the click-through rate (CTR). A July 2014 Google organic desktop search study found a 71% CTR for page one results while pages two and three have a combined CTR of just 6%. You can see just how dramatically CTR declines by position in this graph from Advanced Web Ranking, which looks at searches from June 2017:

click through rate dropoff by search engine results page position

If those stakes aren’t high enough for you, consider the fact that Google and other search engines factor in CTR when determining how to rank pages. In other words, Google will recognize a page with a high CTR as one that is valuable to readers and is more likely to push it towards the top of the SERPs. Because high click-through rates correspond with powerful organic search rankings, many companies question what it takes to reach their optimal search engine standings for their most valuable keywords. Claiming the top organic positions for relevant keywords is not an easy accomplishment, but one that many businesses worldwide compete for. As companies improve their SEO strategies and Google updates its algorithms, search engine rankings constantly shift.

What Challenges Are Organic Search Results Currently Facing?

It’s not just competitors’ organic listings that search engine marketers have to worry about. Google frequently tinkers with its SERP format, and depending on the search query, the first organic first result may be pushed below a local 3-pack, a featured snippet, or up to four text ads. The presence of ads can make a huge difference when it comes to organic CTR. For SERPs with no ads, the average CTR for the first organic result is 30%, but that drops to 17.9% when ads enter the picture.

Here’s an example of what we see at the top of the SERP when we search for “Austin hotel:”

ads on search results page

When we scroll past those ads, we see a local 3-pack before we ever get to the first organic result:

local 3 pack on search results page

When businesses compete for long-tail keywords (a keyword phrase consisting of at least three words), they may also lose real estate to Google’s relatively new featured snippet. A featured snippet is a block towards the top of the SERP that pulls a few lines and a link from a high-ranking page in an attempt to answer a searcher’s question. Here’s a very meta example:

featured snippet on search engine results page

Featured snippets can cause a major nosedive for click-through rates because in many cases, the searcher can get the information they need without ever leaving the SERP. A study from Ahrefs found that there’s approximately a 25% drop-off in CTR for the first organic result on SERPs with a featured snippet. However, in many cases, readers will click the link for a featured snippet to learn more, which can lead to a significant increase in site traffic if one of your pages gets featured.

How Can You Compete for Organic Traffic?

As it becomes increasingly challenging to rank well for industry-relevant search queries, your business needs to invest in search engine optimization (SEO) strategies that will help your site achieve SERP visibility. Here are a few examples of things to try:

  • Search for long-tail keywords with higher traffic and lower competition. The more competition there is for a keyword, the harder it will be to rank on page 1. By focusing on long-tail keywords that are specific to your business, you’ll have a better chance of getting in front of the web users who need your product or service.
  • Identify questions that your target customers are asking (and that are relevant to your business). Provide in-depth answers to those questions in blog posts or knowledge hub pages on your site and your content may end up in a featured snippet.
  • Work with a web development team to make technical improvements to your site. Improving your site speed and ensuring all your pages are mobile-friendly can give you an SEO boost.
  • Optimize your title tags and meta descriptions. Your title tag and meta description make up the preview of your content that web users while see on a SERP, so you need to make sure they provide a compelling reason to click. Incorporating a primary keyword into both the title and description can help you rank higher for relevant search queries, too.

Companies that pay attention to their search engine optimization strategies will find that in return, users will notice their website links, leading to higher click-through rates, greater visibility in the SERPs, and more customers.

Need help with your SEO strategy? Contact our digital marketing team—we can perform a site audit to help you identify opportunities for higher organic rankings.


Which Web Design Company Should You Choose? 8 Things to Consider

Freelancers, web design specialists, full-service marketing agencies… how do you even begin to choose the right web designer for your business? There are a lot of factors you’ll need to consider based on your goals and the scope of your web design project, but we recommend starting by looking for a web designer who demonstrates these eight important qualities.

A Diverse Portfolio

Checking out several agencies’ portfolios will probably be one of your first steps when choosing a web design company. Pay close attention to the different brands and industries represented in each agency’s portfolio: has the agency worked with a diverse group of clients, or are they creating similar-looking sites for businesses in the same industry? You’ll want to work with an agency that can adapt their design aesthetic to match your brand and make your site stand out, rather than just coasting on a similar style across sites.

Quick Tip: Visit some of the sites the agency has designed rather than just looking at screenshots in the portfolio. Pull up the sites on your phone as well as your desktop to make sure they look great across all screen sizes.

An Understanding of Your Goals and Audience

target market for web design concept

A web design agency might not be an expert on your business or industry from the get-go, but they should do their research so that they understand your goals and the audience you’re trying to reach with your site. When you first meet with them, they should give you the opportunity to talk about your business model, sales cycle, customers, and pain points. A good agency will recognize that they need to combine your industry knowledge with their design expertise to succeed.

The Ability to Design a Site That Scales with Your Business

telescope long-term marketing concept

It’s probably not much of a wild guess to say that you want to grow your business—that’s why you’re redesigning your website (or creating a new one), right? To that end, you should look for a web designer who can help you set up a site that can scale with your business. A top web design agency should recommend a web host that has enough bandwidth as your site begins to get more traffic and a CMS platform that allows for add-ons as your website evolves.

A Big Picture Marketing Approach

You’ve probably heard the expression “can’t see the forest for the trees.” Keep that in mind when choosing a web design company. You don’t want to work with a designer who is so caught up in the initial site design that they don’t consider your long-term marketing goals. Ideally, you should look for an agency that does more than just design. By partnering with an agency that offers branding, SEO, and content marketing services, you’ll have a new website created with an integrative marketing approach.

Quick Tip:
It’s especially important to work with an agency that can build a search engine optimized site. After all, your site needs to rank for relevant search results to drive organic traffic.

A Focus on User Experience

Your agency shouldn’t just rely on the latest design trends. They should focus on design strategies that improve the user experience and lead to more conversions. To get a sense of their UX design skills, go back to the websites of several of their past clients. Are the sites easy to navigate? Are the calls-to-action clear and easy to find? If you’re looking at an ecommerce site, is the checkout process straightforward and painless?

A Willingness to Stick with You Post-Launch

toolbox site maintenance concept

Before hiring a web designer, ask them about the services they can offer you after your new or redesigned site launches. One of our top tips for hiring a web designer is to choose someone who can provide troubleshooting and maintenance assistance after your site launch. That will save you from having to find a new vendor and bring them up to speed.

Awesome Communication Skills

It’s probably too much to expect your web designer to pick up the phone at 11 pm on a Saturday, but they should provide reasonably prompt responses to your questions and feedback (at least during business hours). When interviewing web design agencies, ask if there will be a designated point person you can reach out to for help. Also, find out how the agency plans to keep you updated on project developments—can they set up recurring meetings and walk you through exactly what they’re doing.

Quick Tip:
Contact several of the agency’s past clients to find out what their experience has been. Be sure to ask how well the agency communicated with them.

Data-Driven Decisions

When investing in a website redesign, you don’t want to go with an agency that makes all their decisions based on gut instinct. The best web design agencies will be able to show the results of past projects by looking at KPIs like bounce rate, site traffic, goal completion, and conversion rate. Your web design agency should perform an audit of your current site, make recommendations based on your site’s performance, and provide transparent reports once your new site goes live.

We can’t tell you which web design agency to choose, but we CAN recommend checking out Leverage’s web design services! Give us a call to learn more about what we can do for your site.