Do you need to upgrade your website?

Ask these 10 questions first.

The online world moves phenomenally fast. Some say that if your website is more than three years old, the chances are it is due for an upgrade.

If your SEO rankings have been slipping away, leaving you wondering where your website visitors have gone, this checklist is for you.

If you’re thinking of upgrading your agency website, these are the questions to ask:


1. Does it rank highly in Google Search? 

Google Search bar
If your website ranks highly, you’ll get a constant stream of website traffic for absolutely nothing. For this reason alone, we’ve put your Google search ranking in first place on our top 10 list.

If you’re not doing so already, it’s worth keeping track of your position in the Google rankings – at least for your most important keywords. The highest volume of searches is usually for location-based keywords, such as ‘Estate agent in {place name}’, or ‘{Place name} Letting agent’. There are many tools on the market to help, or for a rough and ready estimate of your performance, you can simply Google your primary keywords each month and note the results.

If you notice your position slipping and that competitors are stealing the top spots – in both the paid ads and the organic search results, it’s time to take action.

A new website will give you an SEO boost and can put your agency back at the top of the pile. We work really hard to ensure that our websites are optimised for search engines.

 

2. Does your website showcase your agency brand?

Looks aren’t everything, but like it or not, your website is a reflection of your agency brand.

If your site is visually stunning, easy to navigate, and is loaded with help on how to buy, sell, let or rent a property, people will see you as the local expert.

If your site looks a little out-of-date, they’ll make the same assumption about your agency – and it may be time for a change.

Not sure? It can be really difficult to take an objective look at your own website. Read about the latest trends in website design, or if you’d like a fresh perspective, just ask for one of our free, expert reviews.

 

3. Does your website deliver a steady stream of instructions?

Web design is about more than the aesthetics. A pretty website is pretty useless if it’s not delivering the results you need.

Your website should just work. Your customers should be able to find exactly what they need, without having to pause and decide where to click next.

Your site should seamlessly and fluidly coax your customers through to getting in touch. It’s all about lead conversion. Guiding landlords and vendors through a conversion funnel, to the point where they decide to share their contact details.

A thoughtfully designed website is a joy to use and delivers a great experience. It says more about your professionalism and the reliability of your business than a thousand words.

If your site isn’t as user friendly as it could be, you’re losing out on potential leads. Our websites are built to deliver valuation requests.

 

4. Is it effective on desktop, tablet and mobile?

We live in a smartphone society. Most of us browse the internet on our mobile devices – and we expect websites to flex and adapt to the screen we’re using.

Google cares about mobile traffic. If your site isn’t responsive, you aren’t going to rank highly in the Google Search results, so fewer potential customers will find your business.

What’s more, customers who do find your site on a mobile device will be far less likely to request a valuation – losing you potential business.

All of our websites are mobile responsive. Take a look at our template designs.

5. Can you add new content easily and quickly?

It’s frustrating when you want to update a web page, but need to wait for someone else to make the change for you.

In today’s world, you need to be able to update your site in minutes. Fresh new content is essential to maintain your SEO rankings – so you need a site that makes this easy.

If you can’t easily update your staff profiles, promote a new landlord offer, or add a new blog post, it’s time for a change.

Our Content Management System (CMS) is intuitive to use and gets the job done fast. If you get stuck for any reason, our Support team are here. And if you don’t have the time to get new content written, our copywriters can help. Just get in touch.

 

6. Is your website fast enough? 

In today’s impatient world, website speed matters. No one wants to wait for a page to load – even five seconds can feel like an eternity! Speed makes the difference between customers browsing, or leaving your site and never returning.

It’s generally true that websites slow down over time. However fast your brand new website loads initially, within a year or three the platform on which it is built will become outdated and it will begin to lag behind.

With a fresh design, your website will load faster – helping your Google search rankings and convincing customers to hang around.

Want to check out your site speed? Ask us – we can give you your current speed stats, and let you know how you compare to agencies of a similar size.

 

7. Does it fully integrate with your software platform?

How does your website talk to your software platform? Most estate agency websites are linked in a very limited way to their back end software – and this impacts on your customer service.

Let us explain. Homeflow is building a world in which nobody can so much as breathe on your website without your branch team knowing about it. So when Mary walks into your branch, your team can see that she’s looked at a property on your website 9 times in the past week. And when David and Michelle come in to discuss their house-hunting, you can create a website account for them, so when they visit your website later, they can see their favourite properties bookmarked. We go into the detail here.

Homeflow are the only estate agency website provider tackling the issue of integration – and better website integration means better customer service.

 

8. Is your website code compliant with the latest standards?

We have a team of technical geniuses in our Brighton office, working full time to make sure that our sites are using efficient, up-to-date, clever code. Every year, web standards change radically and programming techniques become more advanced to comply.

If your site is a few years old, we’re willing to bet it has a lot of unnecessary code – which is probably slowing your site down, and hitting your Google search rankings.

Homeflow websites stay ahead of the curve.

 

9. Does your website offer hybrid agency tools – such as appointment booking?

The online agencies are quickly losing any edge that they had online, as traditional clicks and mortar agencies add new tools to their websites.

An example is Homeflow Calendar – our latest website add-on.

It’s basically an online diary. You specify when you are available for valuations or viewings. Your customers can book their preferred appointment through your website, day or night. It’s made clear to the customer that this is a preferred time, not a confirmed booking, so that you can finalise the appointment when you are back at your desk. Streamline your organisation of appointments and bookings and provide customer service to rival the online agents. 

 

10. How does your website stack up against the competition?

Finally, before deciding whether to update your site, we’d recommend taking a look at the cold, hard evidence.

Log into your Google Analytics account and set it to pull data for the past 12 months. Are your visitor numbers holding up? How long do people spend on site and how many pages do they look at? How many leads are coming in?

If your stats are in decline, it might be time for a rethink.

If you can’t make head or tail of Analytics, don’t worry, you’re not alone. We’re happy to help.

What’s more, we can tell you how your Analytics figures measure up against other agencies of a similar size, through our free Homeflow Benchmarking tool. If you haven’t joined yet, it’s a simple way to get a handle on how your agency is performing. You can sign up here – or simply get in touch for a chat.

Best Website at the 2017 Neg Awards – Gold and Silver!

Well done to all of our clients on their success at the 2017 Awards

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2017 Negotiator Conference slides

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Integrating Homeflow Valuation

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Time for a new website?

Take a look at our latest Template designs