A Step by Step Guide to Redesign
What catches your eye when you browse online? A website’s logo? Was it the color? Or perhaps you’re really interested in a certain post? Now ask yourself: Is there something (hopefully more than one thing) on your own website that will have someone open another page or leave a comment? If you’re not sure if people stop and look when they browse past your site (your shopfront to the rest of the world) it may be time for a website redesign strategy.
Why should you be glad you’re reading this post today? Because websites have become business assets you can’t afford not to optimize. It’s not only about having one—it’s vital you know your website really works to your benefit.
We’ll share how a little revamping could make the difference for your business. Browse through the topics below or, even better, read every word so you can be sure you’ll get it right this time (at least until your next redesign):
- What is Website Redesign?
- Why is Redesigning a Website Important?
- How Do I Plan a Website Redesign?
- How Long Does it Take to Redesign a Website?
- Website Redesign Checklist
- How Much Does it Cost to Redesign a Website?
What is Website Redesign?
This may sound like an overwhelming task, but relax. It doesn’t have to be. As you work through the checklists and questions realize just how big a project your web redesign project plan will be–every revamp is different. It can be as simple as changing the cosmetics of the website to entirely changing the back end if you realize your audience wants more functionality. All will be revealed as you go.
What is Web Revamping Exactly?
When you do any of the following you’re busy with revamping your site:
- Making it look different
- Adding features
- Changing navigation options
- Customizing a standard template
- Making it more efficient or faster
This is therefore a very broad term for something you do on a regular basis. However, once in a while it’s necessary to look at your pages very critically and consider a more intense web design strategy than usual.
You’ll see why.
Why is Redesigning A Website Important?
Here’s the reality of owning a business in 2019: You need a QUALITY website to survive in the competitive market. Let’s unpack this so you can see how vital this procedure is—and will be again in future—to keep your business afloat.
What is the Goal of a Website?
In the same way a store is not simply a warehouse of goods, your website doesn’t simply contain your message or product details. A website is:
- Your shopfront to the world
- How you showcase your products, services, professionalism and all the other values your company prioritizes
- The way you connect with your audience by making you and your business more approachable
- A medium of reaching out to potential clients and partners which means your website must be easy to find
- The message to the world that you’re the market leader in your industry
Here’s the prime reason for investing in your site: It’s the tool that turns online browsers (visitors to your site and other platforms such as a Facebook profile) into customers and committed followers. It may be the only way you can connect to certain individuals if they’re not located near you.
Now, can you honestly say that your website fulfills all those tasks?
Common Challenges That Require Website Redesign
So, what motivation will you give your bosses to fund a website redesign strategy?
Chances are that one (or all) of these factors is having a negative impact on your website, meaning you’re not getting all the customers you need. Apart from limiting your impact, negative characteristics can even HURT your public image and scare people away.
Problems can relate to any of these areas; You and your team need to research them as soon as possible.
Why do web design companies ask hefty prices for creating your website? Because they know what works (and what doesn’t).
Something as simple as using the wrong colors or using outdated styles can scare off customers. Or perhaps you have a self designed website (so you can save money) that looks unprofessional. In a world where consumers are spoiled for choice you’re not doing yourself favors by doing this on your own and delivering a sub par product.
Invest in website redesign best practices, get quality designs and use colors & styles to send messages subconsciously to visitors:
- Communicate power by using the color red
- No clutter so users can find information easily
- A modern logo that’s easily recognizable
All details matter!
A quick search will show you whether your website is doing what it’s supposed to: How high does your site rank when you do a search relating to your specific niche?
If your pages don’t rank high you’re not being noticed so changing a few things will be worth the investment. Otherwise, why even have a website? And remember that you need to keep people engaged so they don’t navigate elsewhere, so monitor your bounce rate and take action if it’s too high.
Is it Benefiting Your Business?
That brings us to this question: Is your website even benefiting your business? If you can’t say with absolute certainty that a large portion of your revenue is thanks to your website, you’re missing out on a lot of money.
Any website has the potential to make you an instant success—if you’re not there yet it’s time for a website redesign project plan.
Lack of Mobile Responsiveness
This is a relatively new requirement, so if you don’t have this yet, don’t feel too bad. It’s importance sky rocketed only in 2019, but it was to be expected.
For the past few years people’s habits have changed and now they browse via their mobile phones, much more than on other devices such as desktop computers. Your website redesign proposal MUST include making your page more mobile responsive. It’s how more people will connect with you easily and it’s how Google determines your value these days.
Security and Functionality
We hope you know about all the goings on in the online world: Hacking is a real threat. An unfortunately it’s becoming MORE of a problem, not LESS. Therefore, even your relatively new site may require website redesign for security’s sake.
From your customers’ point of view they may prefer a few more modern functions and design. Interactive websites are all the rage such as chatbots that give information on demand or booking your consultation the moment you’ve found a service provider you think you can trust.
If your website doesn’t have this level of functionality, once again there may be a more engaging one out there your audience will prefer.
Remember: Your audience has grown accustomed to getting instant access to most information they need. Everything is available online! A lack of features can quickly let you seem out of touch with what the modern world is used t.
Perhaps your website impresses in some aspects, but not in all. Is it still necessary to work on your pages? Absolutely.
Simple things such as not having the latest payment methods or using outdated tools to boost your SEO will quickly out you in this game. You need to stay on top of what the latest website requirements are, ALL THE TIME.
Which brings us to the next question on everyone’s lips.
How Often Should You Redesign a Website?
Based on the facts above you can see that you’ll have to do website redesign on a regular basis. But what is regular for this niche?
The general consensus in today’s market is that a website redesign strategy is necessary every two to three years.
But note: That’s the minimum.
Below you’ll see one of the tools of a website redesign strategy is monitoring the competition. This and other factors such as your industry’s developments & search engines’ changing algorithms may prompt you to do it even more often.
How Do I Plan a Website Redesign?
You can try this on your own or you’ll go through this with your website redesign agency. Any reputable website company should be more than happy to work on your existing site and start optimizing it.
Important tip: Make sure your site can migrate to the new host’s server if required. Otherwise you may have to start from scratch.
Why learn about these steps when you’re paying someone to do it anyway? Because you can monitor progress and ensure that this time your website will really make a difference in your business outcomes.
Website Redesign Strategy
In general the website redesign project plan will follow the steps below. Some pros may join multiple tasks into one step. Just make sure none of the important processes get ignored.
Remember: You operate in a fluid business environment. Every few months a new innovation changes what makes a truly excellent website. Make sure your website redesign company is up to date with the latest developments.
Consider Your Budget
First of all, consider your budget. The scope of the project determines how much you’ll pay. While it’s vital to get this done you may have to devise a website redesign strategy that implements changes one by one over a long period of time so you have the cash to pay for the services rendered.
Analyze the Current Situation
Now it’s time to be very honest: What really works on your website?
You can use dynamic tools to help you gauge each feature’s value:
- A heat map shows you which features people really spend time on. The interesting diagram or video you created may not appeal to your audience, so it’s time to find different content.
- User flows represent how people move through the pages of your site.
- Use Google Analytics to determine how people reach your site.
When you have the facts you’ll see which areas need improvement.
Important: Don’t fix what’s not broken!
Your audience doesn’t always think the way you do, so never assume—investigate. You need statistics to back up your upcoming decisions otherwise you may remove the one feature your audience adores, simply because you think it doesn’t work.
What is the Competition Doing?
Another handy research tool is to simply look at what competitive pages contain.
Remember: Everyone knows how important websites are, so they’re all doing research too.
A simple method is to Google your industry and open the sites that appear at the top of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Then compare them with yours:
- What do they have that you lack?
- Can you see what attracts visitors to their sites?
- Read their reviews to learn what your audience likes and dislikes
Now you already have a few items to add to your website redesign project plan.
Get to Know Your Audience
We already mentioned it above: Your audience’s likes and dislikes.
How well do you really know your customers?
Researching a buyers persona is Step #1 in almost any marketing project. It’s no different when you’re in a website redesign process.
Remember that you can’t cater to everyone. Having too broad a target market leads to not connecting with anyone at all. You need to know exactly what your audience will respond to in terms of:
- Content themes
- Times of the day you post new content
- Where most of them live
- Price range they can afford
- Payment options they prefer
Knowing this helps you pick the right aesthetic and practical features of your revamped website.
What Are Your Goals?
Now, keeping in mind what your audience will respond to, you also have to incorporate your own goals into the website. New, innovative features have made website design so versatile but you can’t add ALL modern features to your pages. It can become cluttered and scare users away because they’re overwhelmed with options.
While you should do as much as possible, you also need to keep it simple. We know, it sounds a bit absurd but it’s all about keeping balance. A professional website company will know how to get it right.
In essence, throughout the website redesign strategy you’ll make decisions so all features align with your basic goals:
- Do you want to improve sales?
- Is it simply a source of information?
- Must the funnel get you as many leads as possible?
- Perhaps you simply want more followers for your blog?
Each one of these goals requires different calls to action, layouts and positioning of information. Don’t make the mistake of trying to do everything at once, because you may not hit even one of those targets.
What Look Do You Want AND Need?
Now it’s time to talk about aesthetics. You need to consider it all:
- Which colors will work for your audience? You can’t pick what works for YOU; it must work for THEM.
- Pick a theme that will run through all your pages, because they must be seen as a unit—visitors easily become confused and may navigate away if they’re not sure if it’s still your website.
- You must decide what type and how many pages you need. You’ll also have to include landing pages—a handy tool for almost any type of website goal.
Let’s Get Creative
Once you and your team have decided what’s needed, the designers will create mockups of your pages.
Your Content Creation
As much as we’ve spoken about the look of your website you can never forget to set aside time for the content: The text.
Gone are the days when you can simply add anything. Thanks to modern search engine algorithms and Google’s creepers you need quality content. That means:
- Consistency: You need to post new content regularly. Therefore your website redesign project plan should stretch far into the future. Know who will write new blogs or product descriptions over the coming months.
- Quality: You can’t let bad grammar or punctuation lower your website’s ratings. Search engines can gauge when it’s low quality writing so you need good copywriters on your team.
- Relevancy: You’ll use keywords to show search engines which SERPs you need to be on.
- Expertise: The quality of your content and the time visitors spend on your pages will tell search engines if you’re a valuable source. In depth, researched content will establish you as a market leader, quickly boosting you to the top of search lists.
Time for the Developers to Jump In
The aesthetics, features and content you created now get thrown together. Website developers use coding to make sure it’s a functional website.
Will it Work? Monitor Technical and SEO Aspects
Before anything goes live, make sure you checked SEO and tech aspects. You don’t want to get a bad reputation before you even started.
A testing phase must prove:
- Your pages load quickly
- Images and videos don’t lag because of issues on your servers
- All you buttons work—you can get penalized if your visitors have to deal with ‘Error 404s’.
Without an SEO audit it’s not worth going live, because you won’t reach the one goal everyone with a website has: Ranking high on Google’s list. Make sure the team checked:
- The right keywords are used
- You used many links so there are no orphan pages
- Your content is reader friendly
This is getting more and more important: You must have a mobile version of your page if you want Google to notice you in 2019. Because consumers browse on their phones more than via computers these days Google and other search engines know they must provide mobile relevant sites.
The Key to Success—Continuous Evaluation
This battle isn’t won in a day. Even if your website redesign process resulted in online success, your work will never be finished.
After an extensive website redesign project plan is finished off, you’ll have to monitor:
- Website impact
- Changes in the industry to make changes accordingly
- Current SEO requirements so you adjust when necessary
Use online measurement systems so you’ll know the moment consumer engagement drops and you’re not reaching your goal anymore.
Website redesign is essentially a continuous process as you’ll make small adjustments on a regular basis.
Website Redesign Tips
That’s a lot to take in, we know. But you can never do enough to ensure online success. There’s always something you can tweak to be even more effective.
Here are a few small website redesign tips that bring huge rewards:
- Use contrasting colors when you decide on style. This has aesthetic value while making it easy to highlight certain features or facts such as a CTA (call to action)—simply use a different hue.
- If there was ever a time to redesign your logo, this is it. Make sure it looks modern and it’s recognizable for optimum branding impact.
- Even if you’re building a business website, add a blog feature. It’s an easy way to add new content to assist in SEO.
- Apart from mobile responsiveness, voice search is also becoming popular. You should start optimizing your website for voice search. Do this by using keywords that relate to how people ‘talk’ not only ‘type’ what they are searching for.
How Long Does it Take to Redesign a Website?
Remember your process will be different to all other website redesign project plans. There is an average timeline of five weeks for most website redesign projects, but this only applies to sites with a maximum of 15 pages. If yours is a large one and your industry is very complex, planning & execution may take longer. Remember: Planning is vital for long term success so don’t rush it just to get your site up.
Website Redesign Checklist
Are you ready to take your industry by storm through the relatively simple process of website redesign? Let’s recap what you need to do:
- Assess your current situation and impact
- Research various aspects such as your audience and competition
- Based on the feedback, decide what your goals are
- Let the style and layout align with your goals
- Create the website
- Test it rigorously for functionality, SEO and mobile responsiveness
- Keep on monitoring performance so it stays a valuable asset to your business
How Much Does it Cost to Redesign a Website?
Here’s one more thing that will vary based on your particular website. Cost depends on many factors, including but not limited to:
- Whether you’re adding new features such as navigation bars.
- Do you simply want to move items around or have a completely new design?
- Customizing an existing template you’ve been using will be different from creating something entirely new.
Based on what you want done your budget will range anything from $300 (for simple customization) upwards. A large project that’s more complicated can cost you as much as $15 000.
Website Redesign Services—Your Key to Real Success
You probably identified many problems with your current (or non-existing) website while you scrolled through these questions. Now the question is, what are you going to do about it? In any year, your website is the key to success whether you’re promoting a business or personal message.
PTC Computer Solutions has you covered. A simple consultation and audit of your website will quickly help us identify what’s needed so you can get on par with the rest of the world. Contact us directly and we’ll ensure you have the best consultants working for you available anywhere in the world, and we’re all here locally in the United States.
Parker Associates has worked extensively through the years on Multifamily housing demand and affordability. It’s always been an issue and likely always will be.
The REMA Team is an alliance of professionals in the real estate industry focused on research, data, and how it can be used in marketing and sales with our expertise in understanding and interpreting the data we gather for our clients. We focus on ensuring that visualizations are clear and accurate, giving decision-makers confidence in their choices. Data is data, but visualizing the data is what makes the difference. Explore both the spatial and non-spatial data in several different formats to understand it fully such as mapping, charting, and tabular. Interpretive data follows in qualitative, quantitative, and temporal data formats. Understand what will suit your situation best. We’d enjoy the opportunity to connect with you. Contact us directly to discuss your personal situation.
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J. Chris Parker is a principal of Parker Associates of Jacksonville, Florida, marketing consultants to the real estate industry as well as the lead associate on the new Barclay’s branch, Barclay’s Real Estate. Though based out of Jacksonville, Florida, Chris & David and the team at Parker Associates have worked in 17 Countries and 33 States through the years as well as 65 out of 67 counties in Florida. Chris can be reached at 904-607-8761 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.