Chicagoland Website Design

How Beneficial Is Web Redesign? A Complete Guide

Websites have been a staple of every business for the last couple of decades, right? Wrong. In fact, 28% of businesses don’t even have a website. Well, if you already have one, then that’s good news for you, as this makes the competition a little easier.

However, there are still plenty of websites working hard to stay ahead. Luckily, we can help with that. Let’s talk about what web redesign services can do for your business. 

What Is A Website Redesign?

A web redesign is exactly what it sounds like but with an important distinction. If your website was already launched and you build it back from the ground up, then this is called a redesign in the industry.

However, this is different from a simple touch-up or bug fixing project, which is why we need to make the distinction. A redesign implies that it is being completely overhauled and redone.

Although, some of the content may remain intact. Some of your pages (services, contact, etc.) and posts (blog, video, etc.) may hold the same text or content after a redesign, but the aesthetic, controls, widgets, and other tools will likely look completely new.

You have likely seen many examples of complete website redesigns over the years, including on popular social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. Both platforms look completely different than they did 10 years ago, whether on mobile or desktop devices.

Well, Facebook didn’t stop being Facebook. The company simply adapted to changing trends in the market and, as we now know, it worked out for them. That is the purpose of a redesign, for most companies.

In the digital age, trends are unpredictable. A website may look futuristic or state-of-the-art right now but in as little as a year or two, it could be considered outdated.

A redesign could come with a brand change or stick to the same brand as before. The point is mainly to keep up with industry trends, improve SEO value, and improve user experience. With over 56 billion web pages indexed on Google, website redesigns are a familiar friend!

 

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Top 6 Benefits of Website Redesign

There are many reasons to choose to have your website redesigned, and they are all unique to your business’s circumstances. However, some benefits will help with nearly any business. Here are some examples.

1. Keeping Up With Trends and Standards

Think about where most users spend their time online. The most-visited websites on the internet are Facebook, Google, and YouTube. What do those sites have in common?

For one thing, they are owned by two of the largest companies on the planet that have vast amounts of resources. For another, they both have clean websites with all of the latest upgrades.

While it isn’t your fault that people spend most of their time on comparable sites, it does create a problem for you; your website can’t stand out as a low-quality or outdated website. Like it or not, the tech giants set the standards for the internet.

A website from 2006 is often very different from a website today. There is a much greater emphasis on mobile devices, page structure, load times, and modern aesthetics. More on that later.

2. Improving User Experience and SEO

User experience (UX) goes hand-in-hand with SEO on nearly every front. Think about why Google’s algorithm exists. It’s to attempt to match users with the highest quality content that’s relevant to their search.

Consequently, it would reflect poorly on Google if they constantly matched users with low-quality websites or websites with poor UX. That’s why there are over 200 ranking factors related to the quality of each website, most of which include UX. Here are some important examples that affect both SEO and UX on your website.

Page Loading Speed

The time it takes for your pages to load is a major component of UX, as this sets the first impression for your users. Google is well aware that the average user only waits 3 seconds before exiting a page if it isn’t fully loaded.

Because of this, your conversion rates, SEO strategy, and your UX need to ensure that pages respond quickly. You won’t get a second chance, as many users choose to avoid sites with long loading times.

Navigation

Having a clean navigation system and internal linking structure is critical to both your UX and SEO value. Users, as well as Google’s crawlers, need to be able to navigate through your site with ease. If Google can’t index your site properly, your website will be penalized. 

Also, if users can’t find their way through your site, it’s unlikely they will stay long enough to figure it out. Cleaning your navigation should also include fixing 404 errors and other redirects!

Mobile Friendliness

Google is also well aware that 56% of web traffic comes from mobile devices such as smartphones. Because of this, modern websites need to prioritize their websites fitting on any screen. A website needs to look as professional on an iPhone as it does on a Mac or a PC. 

If it isn’t compatible with smartphones, then your UX will suffer for a majority of users. Moreover, if it works well for mobile devices and not desktop, then that’s still a large portion of your users that are missing out.

Local SEO Value

Website redesign is a great way to boost your local SEO prospects. Let’s say that you’re running a local ice cream shop and you want to build your organic traffic. Well, the best way to do that is by using local SEO tactics, and that has to be implemented across your entire website.

Your content marketing strategy should be utilizing specific keywords like “ice cream”, but also include location-specific phrases such as “in Hartford, Connecticut”. Then, when somebody arrives in Hartford and they have an itch for ice cream, they will pull out their phone, open their browser, and (hopefully) find your website.

For this to work, search engines need to have no questions about your location or the products you sell. To achieve this, you need to have the right keywords and an optimized website.

The good news is that in local SEO, the competition is less steep, which means that climbing to the top of a search results page is within reach for most industries at the local level.

Don’t underestimate the value of that. Ranking at the top of one relevant Google search is enough to single-handedly keep your business afloat for years to come.

Blog Development

If you don’t have a blog, then you don’t have an SEO strategy. Every website needs a blog to achieve its SEO goals. Why is that? 

A blog is the easiest way to add relevant content to your website that helps people find you on search engines. If you only have 5 pages on your website, how will anybody find you without searching for your website title and “services” or “contact”? They won’t.

Remember, users search for information far more than they search for brands. A blog is an easy way to offer relevant information and attempt to convert readers into customers.

For example, a company that sells and installs solar panels will have a blog where they can post a lot more than just “hire us”, which nobody will search for. They can have titles such as:

  • How much do solar panels cost?
  • Do solar panels really save money?
  • What solar incentives are there in Massachusetts?
  • Do solar panels need to be maintained?
  • Can I live off-grid if I have solar panels?

These are all highly relevant questions that highly relevant users will be asking. If that hypothetical company had 200 blog posts with this kind of valuable information, then they have 200 chances to rank at the top of a relevant Google search.

However, if you have 5 pages, you only have 5 poor chances of ranking. If you don’t have a blog, you’re not even competing, so include blog development or improvement in your redesign!

Visual Imagery

Users love visuals like images, infographics, GIFs, and videos. They are far more appealing than text, they improve the layout of your pages, and they can even provide quality information.

The process of adding visuals is simple, but getting it to fit the flow of your website, stay on-brand, and keep your audience engaged is an important part of the process. If you’re redesigning your website, then fitting your imagery needs to be prioritized.

While there is still a lot more to user experience, these examples go a long way on their own. However, improving the overall quality of your site is always best practice.

3. Conversion Rate Optimization

We mentioned how focusing on clean navigation, load times, and more will help with UX, but let’s look at it from a different angle. A website’s conversion rates depend largely on the quality of the website. 

Essentially, a website redesign will boost both leads and sales. When people click on an advertisement, link on a newsletter, or anything that directs them to your website, they won’t stay long if the website is poorly designed.

If the page won’t load quickly enough, they can’t figure out how to navigate, or if the site isn’t compatible with their device, they are likely to leave.

Offering clean navigation, an appealing website, and a direct path to where customers want to go is a great way to boost conversions. If you’re tired of pouring so much money into your ad campaigns, maybe you don’t need to!

4. Branding

There is no better place to display your brand than on your website. Unlike social media and other tools, a brand’s website is entirely under its control.

To create a brand identity that resonates, you must have a strong display of your brand across your entire digital marketing strategy, including your social media, email campaigns, content strategy, ads, and more. What lies at the heart of all of that? Your website.

Remember, a brand is not a logo. A brand is everything that your company displays from the font to the tone of voice you use. Color schemes, visual aesthetic, messaging, and everything else will help develop a concrete and recognizable brand. Let’s try a thought experiment. 

Imagine a blue square with soft corners and a white letter in the middle. We don’t even need to say the letter for you to know that we’re talking about Facebook because they’ve built such a strong brand identity.

We could do the same thing by mentioning a white background and letters alternating between blue, yellow, red, and green. How about a cardboard box with a curved arrow?

While these are globally-recognized brands, many niche companies are instantly recognizable among their target audience. Some brands only sell 3 to 5 cosmetic products like makeup and their audience would be able to recognize them just as quickly as they would with Facebook, Google, or Amazon.

The point we are trying to make is that if you want a strong brand identity, then you need to use all of the tools at your disposal to develop that identity. Yes, it will take time to develop, but that potential payout is too massive to pass up.

5. Saving Time

Whether you are trying to fix your website yourself or if you have an entire marketing team helping you, that time could be put to better use. When you hire a professional web designer, they know how to get the job done on time.

Somebody with little to no experience with web design, even on a user-friendly platform like WordPress, will require a lot of self-education. There are industry standards, techniques, competitor analysis, and more to be aware of when designing or redesigning a website.

However, if you have professional help, you will cut out a lot of the groundwork and “guessing games” to ensure that you are getting the job done correctly and in a reasonable amount of time.

6. Saving Money

Lastly, and most importantly for some, is that a website redesign will save money in the long run. Without even factoring in its ability to generate more leads and sales, there are already costs associated with website maintenance that you can eliminate with the right services.

For example, if you need some website cleanup involving something like redirects or outdated content, then a one-time redesign will save money on doing these individually. Hiring a website designer for individual tasks as they come adds up to an expensive bill.

However, if you get it all done in one go, then all of your issues will be resolved for one fee. Getting it all done at once ensures that you won’t have to spend more in the near future and you can just begin focusing on your content strategy!

When Does My Website Need Redesign?

There are key distinctions between a website redesign and a website upgrade. Sometimes, all you need is a few tweaks to your website for improvement.

For example, your website was designed within the last two years and it’s performing well, but you notice some flaws in your analytics tools. In this case, cleaning up redirects, changing some links, and optimizing some images is likely enough. A web designer can do that for you in no time.

However, there are certain scenarios when an entire redesign is necessary. To figure that out, answer these questions.

Is Your Design Outdated?

While the amount of time will vary across different websites, there are some general rules of thumb. In an ideal world, you should have your website redesigned every 3 to 5 years. However, it’s best practice to re-evaluate your website’s performance every 2 years or so to see if it needs an upgrade.

Think about your website like the software that you use. If you’re using old browsers and antimalware software, then it won’t protect you from the latest threats. The same logic applies to your website, with the only difference being that you don’t get an alert about it.

Every 2 years, see how your website is doing relative to your competition and also relative to its performance from 2 years ago. If it’s falling behind slightly, it may only need some adjustments. However, if there is a substantial discrepancy, then it’s likely time for a redesign.

However, there are certain scenarios when an entire redesign is necessary. To figure that out, answer these questions.

Is Your Site Mobile-Friendly?

How does your site perform on mobile devices? Answer this for yourself by picking up your smartphone and scrolling through your website. Analytics tools are excellent for this, but nothing beats firsthand experience to understand your site’s weaknesses.

Once you are on your website, click on every link that you find. Take note of how long it takes for pages to load, how easy it is to navigate, and how readable the pages, buttons, and images are on the device.

Go on every page, even the ones where you aren’t trying to direct your audience. Google is indexing the page, so it still matters. If you find that your site isn’t very mobile-friendly, then it’s time for some web design.

Has Your SEO Strategy Been Working?

Unfortunately (for them), 70% of businesses don’t even have an SEO strategy. If you’re in the 30% of businesses that care about long-term growth, then take a look at your strategy. Bear in mind, it is common for SEO strategies to take anywhere from 4 to 12 months to begin coming to fruition.

However, if it’s been longer or if you’re unsure about your strategy, then a website redesign is likely in your best interest. See, if you have a content marketing strategy that isn’t working, it’s usually your website quality that’s bringing you down.

Consequently, if you notice a significant drop in your organic traffic acquisition, then you probably need some serious website renovations.

In this case, an SEO audit is always a good idea. Although, if you don’t want to pay for an audit, there are plenty of free online tools like SEObility where you can have your pages analyzed. If your score is low, then you may benefit from an entire redo.

How Is Your Bounce Rate?

Your bounce rate is the rate at which users exit your site before interacting with it. Check with Google Analytics or another analytics tool to see the bounce rate on your site. If people are exiting your site early on, especially if it’s across multiple pages, then you probably need a better website.

How Are Your Conversion Rates?

Have you ever lost money on a PPC ad campaign? Is that a common occurrence for your business? If so, your website likely needs some improvement.

Unless your product or service is extremely overpriced, the most common reason for people to bail after clicking on an ad is a poor website. Improving your conversion rates will save you money in the long run on your ad campaigns, so the sooner you do it, the better.

Have There Been Major Changes To Your Brand or Target Market?

When a brand changes, the brand’s website needs to change with it. Some of the largest companies in the world underwent serious brand changes in recent years, and their websites had to follow suit.

Remember, your website is the home base for your entire digital presence, so if you are planning on changing or adapting your brand strategy, website redesign needs to be accounted for in your strategy.

However, certain changes are out of our control. Sometimes, there are major shifts in competitor standards, target audience demands, and the market in general.

When this happens, a web redesign is often necessary. Even though it doesn’t feel like it, we are still in the early days of the internet, so standards change all the time. That’s why it’s always best to reevaluate your website periodically and see what needs improvement. 

How To Choose A Web Redesign Service?

Clearly, there are major benefits to a website redesign, and you may have discovered by now that your website needs one. Although, it’s important to remember that not all services are created equal.

Because of this, there are some best practices to follow to ensure you are getting the right services for your needs. Here is how to start.

Review Services Offered

First, you want to make sure that the services you require are offered by any prospective companies. Every web design company should have a services page where you can see what they offer.

If something is missing from the page, it’s okay to contact them and see if they offer what you need. Web design is intricate and there are a lot of practices that come with the trade, so it’s normal for companies to leave out a few niche services on the list.

For example, if you need a WordPress redesign specifically, then you should look for a company that offers WordPress development services

Read Online Reviews

Fortunately, we live in a time when you can get a lot of free information and insight into a company just by reading through a web page. Reading online reviews is a great way to gauge client satisfaction, but it has to be done correctly.

You would be hard-pressed to find a company without a 1-star review, so do your diligence and read through the actual reviews. Don’t pay attention to ratings if they don’t come with any detail, as this won’t add any value to your search.

Remember, businesses can control which reviews you see on their websites but not on other review sites like Yelp! Once you find a company with decent reviews, your search will be narrowed down.

Review Portfolio

Most web designers will offer either a portfolio or case studies. Review these thoroughly to get an idea of how well the company performs, the quality of their previous work, and how well the websites have done over time.

If you are reviewing a portfolio, look through all of the nuances of the website to ensure that its of high quality. For case studies, see how well the sites have performed since their last redesign. Portfolios are a great way to get a general idea of the company’s quality standards and what they can do for you. 

Check References

If the reviews and portfolio look good, then it’s time to ask for references.

References are different from portfolios and online reviews in one important regard; you control the questions. If something was missing in the online reviews or portfolios, or if there is a specific service you need, you can ask about it.

Also, you will have the chance to ask about the team’s communicativeness, how they handled deadlines, whether they stuck to their estimates, and if they would repeat business with the company. If you have any specific concerns, you can address them here. References are a great way to gauge previous customer satisfaction.

Talk Price

Now, if everything checks out, you can move on to discussing options with the company. Prices and plans aren’t always listed on the company website, so if you have a few prospective companies in mind, then you can now begin to discuss prices with them.

Reach out to these companies, give them a detailed list of what services you want, ensure they have the right qualifications and experience, and ask about their price and timeframe. If you compare prices and find a company that matches your budget and can handle your deadlines, then you’ve found the right company!

Frequently Asked Questions

Although we’ve touched upon a number of important questions related to website redesigns, it’s okay to still have questions. Hopefully, we can clear those up for you. Here are some of the most common questions about web redesigns!

1. Do I Have To Redo My Entire Website?

Not necessarily. This will depend on the quality of your website as it exists and what you are trying to achieve with your website. By talking to an expert in the field, you will receive a more personalized answer. 

Some websites will need an entire redesign, especially if they are more than 10 years old. Technology has changed a lot in recent years, and the standards for SEO, UX, and overall web design are completely different now.

If the website was DIY, it’s usually best to get a redesign. For most companies, even small ones, a proper website helps you stand out from the competition.

Again, users spend most of their time on Facebook and similar high-budget websites, so it’s important to not stand out as a DIY site. 

2. Will A Redesign Hurt My Brand Recognition?

The answer entirely depends on how you handle it. In the short term, a complete redesign is likely to throw off your existing customers.

However, customers who are already aware of your brand will likely adjust very quickly. Think about all of the times you’ve seen Facebook change, or how often your smartphones adjust certain controls. It takes a few tries to get used to it, but once you do, you forget all about the previous design.

While this isn’t a website, iPhone users likely remember how their texts used to look. Many users were outraged by the change, but did the brand stop being Apple? No.

If you integrate your new brand identity or redesign across all of your platforms (social media, physical marketing campaigns, etc.), your active users will have an easier time adjusting. Also, this new design will act as the first impression for many future users, which means that it won’t harm future acquisition or brand recognition at all.

3. How Much Does an Entire Redesign Cost?

Many factors go into pricing. A small business with 5 pages and a dozen blog posts will have a much easier time redesigning than a major eCommerce store will.

Also, it will depend on the type of redesign that you need. If your content is going to remain more or less the same and you just need some buttons and images changed, then a redesign will be very affordable.

However, if you are looking to have a website completely torn down and built from the ground up, then this will take more time and resources to achieve. Most complete designs or redesigns cost in the $3,000 to $5,000 range for a mid-sized company. Although, the best practice is to get an individual quote from a web design firm.

4. How Does the Redesign Process Work?

Your redesign will start with communication between you and your web designer. They will ask you a series of questions about your brand and you will have to fill them in on any special instructions that you have. We strongly advise that you begin developing a list of needs ahead of time to avoid any delays or need for revisions down the road.

After these meetings, the web design team will begin working on a website that is on-brand and fits your specifications. They will communicate with you throughout the process, update you on target deadlines, and alert you if there are any problems or concerns. This process will vary from website to website.

Before launching the website, your team will go over all of the details with you and give you a chance to interact with your new site. If it is to your liking, it will be ready for launch!

5. What If I Can’t Afford a Redesign?

If a website redesign is out of reach, you may still benefit from some basic website maintenance. As time passes, it’s necessary to keep your website up to date as best as you can. However, our budgets don’t always allow for it.

In that case, you should still look into what you can afford, especially if it’s been more than 3 years since your website was last upgraded. Standards change, content loses relevance, and errors are bound to occur in that time, so some basic cleanup will still go a long way toward improving your SEO and UX strategies.

6. Why Am I Not Seeing SEO Results?

We promise that no web design company in the world is good enough to bring a company to the top result overnight. It simply doesn’t work that way.

Google’s algorithm requires time to develop trust in a website before increasing its ranking. In most cases, a solid SEO foundation along with a proper content marketing strategy will see results in around 4 to 6 months. Again, there has to be proper follow-through.

In some cases, particularly if you are competing for higher-traffic keywords, it could take up to 12 months or even longer to start seeing results. SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. However, the potential payouts are worth all of the effort and more.

If you don’t have a content marketing strategy, then you should hire blog content writing services. This way, you won’t have to worry about your SEO strategy at all.

7. How Long Will My New Site Stay Relevant?

Again, the industry-standard suggests that you should review your website’s relevancy every 2 years or so. In most cases, a modern website should last for 3 to 5 years before it needs some degree of an upgrade, but this varies widely between industries and locations.

If you are running a small, local business, you should expect your website to last you up to 5 years. However, if you’re competing at the national or global level for a more general topic, then it could be outdated within 2 years.

8. Will I Be Trained To Use My New Site?

Let’s say that you run an eCommerce store or a company blog. In that case, you will need to upload new products or posts regularly, which means that you will need to learn how to use your website.

In most cases, your web developer should be able to teach you or your marketing team how to do this. There are plenty of reasons why you would need to access your site without the help of a web developer.

If you already use the same platform (like WordPress), then there won’t be any difference in how you upload new posts or materials, so don’t worry. However, if the developer is using a new platform, ask ahead if they will teach you how to use it.

9. How Long Will The Redesign Take?

In most cases, an entire redesign will take between 4 to 8 weeks. However, this is only the case for a complete overhaul of the site. If you only need certain services that don’t require a site to be rebuilt from the ground up, then the turnaround could be less than two weeks. 

10. Where Will My Website Be Hosted?

In most cases, that is up to you. If not, you can usually figure this out on the company’s website.

Hosting is very important, so if there’s a specific platform you want, talk to your web designer about your concerns. This will also eliminate the need for training if there is a platform that you already know how to use.

If it’s an important feature for you, see if prospective companies offer a list of approved hosting platforms on their websites, as this will help narrow down your search. You can usually find this information on their services page.

How Beneficial Is Website Redesign?

As beneficial as you make it. The more focus you put on SEO value, UX, conversion rate optimization, and more, then the more you will get out of your web redesign. Remember, the field is ever-changing, so it’s important to stay up-to-date as time passes. Keep up with our latest web development news by signing up for our newsletter today, and reach out for any help you need!

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