Making the choice to redesign your website is an important business decision and could have positive impacts on your revenue, brand image, and overall competitive advantage.
In the digital age, your website is one of the biggest representations of your brand that exists. Unless you are a social media e-commerce shop, this is where your potential customers and target audience will decide whether or not they will buy your product or schedule that demo call.
Think of it this way: you put serious effort and budget into your marketing efforts. Where do those CTAs lead?
To your website.
Here is everything you should know before embarking on your web design journey and what to expect in the process.
Web design vs. web development
Many marketers don’t necessarily understand that web developers and web designers are two completely different things. A web developer is in charge of the back end functionality of your website. They input code to create things like banners and customer service chat boxes. Your website’s user experience and overall website performance depends largely on the backend.
Web designers are in charge of the customer-facing portion of your site. They take care of the visual designs and UX designs. Oftentimes, web designers are graphic designers who understand the intricacies of branding, marketing, and target audiences. They design based on your business goals, competitive research, and fluctuations in the market.
When redesigning your website, the design and development is equally important. It’s vital that you pay equal attention to both and don’t assume that a web designer will be able to develop as well, and vice versa.
Redesigning a website is a large project.
It’s easy to underestimate the amount of time that it will take to redesign your website because the word ‘redesign’ implies a straightforward process where a lot of things will be copy and pasted to the new site.
Clients may be surprised to find that this couldn’t be further from the truth. The website redesign process can be just as intensive, if not more so than building a website from scratch. For example, let’s say that you are redesigning your landing page.
The one that you currently have was designed back before the company could afford to hire a professional designer. It does not reflect your company’s values and does not cater to your target audience.
In order to be the most effective, you will need to almost completely redesign your landing page.
Redesigning your site for the digital age is going to involve a deep understanding of the competitive landscape, your target audience, and search engine optimization best practices. You shouldn’t copy and paste your existing website design, and you absolutely should not copy and paste your web copy.
What to expect when starting a website redesign project
SEO: For this section, we asked our digital marketing director, Jesse MacFarland, for his take on SEO best practices.
“A beautiful and well-designed website is a powerful asset,” he says, “but only if visitors can find it. Make sure your website is easy to find on search engines with a well-structured SEO plan. Here are some of my recommendations:
“Optimize the content on each page of your website by focusing on one topic and one to two specific keywords. Prioritize your webpages with a SEO Sitemap. Make sure your website meets user-friendly standards by monitoring your site speed for mobile and desktop users.”
Branding updates: In order to get high quality web design, you need to have an updated graphic design style guide. A graphic design style guide ensures that your designers are as consistent as possible with your branding. It also helps speed up the design process because there are less mistakes and less back and forth overall.
Updating your consumer persona: Your consumer personas are the heart of all of your marketing efforts. You make your biggest decisions based on the pain-points of your customers and how you can address those pain points.
If you haven’t updated your consumer personas and target customer profiles, it’s time to hit the drawing board. Sure, you can redesign your website without this, but you will just end up with a whole lot of decisions based on guesswork instead of data.
Intensive competitive research: Unlike the above step, this is one that is not optional, especially if you want to stand out in a competitive market. Competitive research helps you identify the holes in your competitors’ sites and take advantage of opportunities.
Time commitment: The time commitment for a website redesign will largely depend on how you decide to approach it. For example, working with one freelancer is going to extend your timelines considerably and eat up a lot of your own time.
Working with a design agency or service can reduce the amount of time and bandwidth that you spend on your redesign, especially if you have a creative director and a great brand style guide. This means that your creative team will lift the burden of having to manage the entire process, essentially cutting your personal time commitment in half.
Regular updates: The website redesign process doesn’t end at your launch. In order to stay ahead of the curve, you need to stay on top of regular updates. Tastes, trends, and preferences are constantly changing, and if you want to stay relevant, you need to flow with the tide.
Small changes over time can save you the challenge of a massive redesign later.
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How much should a website redesign cost?
The price of a website redesign largely depends on which avenue you choose to take.
Freelance designers typically charge around $100 an hour to design your website. Working with a freelance designer also means that the likelihood of them being available for ongoing changes are slim.
In-house design teams have reliability on their side and the advantage of knowing your brand inside and out. The reason why midsize companies don’t just hire in-house designers right away is because in-house teams are usually salaried. The average salary of an in-house web designer ranges from the mid $60ks to $100k per year.
Working with a design agency will typically require a retainer or a flat monthly rate. One thing to consider is that a lot of agencies require upfront payment and a minimum commitment. Even if you finish your project early. This is why doing thorough research is so important.
For more information on how to choose the right web design agency for you, check out our last blog for some helpful tips.
Big decisions, big rewards.
In the end, making the decision to redesign your website is not only beneficial for your conversion rates, but also for your standing as a leader in your space.
While it is a big financial decision, the ROI and boost over your competition will be priceless.