What are the benefits of a website redesign?
If you are wondering how to plan a redesign of your website, you’re in the right place. This article is part of an in-depth series that focuses on the benefits of website redesign. Over the past 20 years we have redesigned hundreds of websites for businesses with diverse needs from a variety of industries. We will be drawing on our process and experience to provide you with answers to your redesign questions. If you prefer a visual format, this article is also available as a series of seven short videos you can access here.
Your website sits at the intersection of your business environment and technology – and both of these are in constant flux, therefore website redesigns are inevitable.
Your clients and customers interact with sophisticated, modern and intuitive websites every day, be it social media, e-commerce or news, and their standards have evolved with those platforms. If your site isn’t current, it may signal to the user that your company is outdated. You don’t want your business to be successful in spite of your website, you want your website to be propelling your business upward.
Though you may not be thrilled about the cost and energy that goes into a redesign, the good news is that this is a valuable opportunity to transition your site into a more powerful online business tool that drives your organization into the future.
Here are some of the benefits of a site redesign:
- You can refresh your logo and brand. Revamp your brand by finding better ways to integrate your brand colors, logo and messaging into your website pages.
- You can refresh your website design. Design trends change, this is an opportunity to catch up. Get rid of that generic, outdated stock art and replace it with better graphics.
- Usability can be improved. Perhaps your website has become less user-friendly over the years. This often happens over time as businesses continually add content to their website without properly organizing it. This is a great opportunity to streamline your content and features.
- You can focus the redesigned website around new products and services.
- New technology can be integrated to make your website more useful to visitors. The addition of interactive maps, product finders, service widgets, mobile features, etc., can make your website more “sticky” and effective.
- On the marketing side, there is great opportunity to better market your products and services to new audiences. SEO can be updated to include new search terms. Improved marketing plugins, such as social media features, CRM integration, and user tracking can be added during the redevelopment of your website.
Any or all of these are good reasons for a redesign, and I think we can all agree that the intended outcome of any redesign is:
Here is our handy infographic on website redesign benefits:
Website Redesign Case Studies
We are approached by clients from all types of organizations for redesign assistance. Here are a few accounts of businesses coming to us for redesign work:
Example #1: “Our website is so old and out of date.”
A business in the financial services industry approached us for a website redesign. The owner of the company had a “friend” create the website 8 years prior and it had remained basically unchanged. The business had grown; their client list was significantly longer, the staff had doubled and they had moved to a new and larger location. The younger staff had been pointing out to the CEO the weaknesses of the current site as compared to their competitors’ for some time, but he hesitated because he feared the cost and effort of a redesign. Finally, the owner acquiesced and gave the green light for a redesign.
One of the junior staff became the website redesign coordinator and contacted us for a bid on the project. We helped walk the client’s representative through the requirements gathering phase, also known as the “website definition” phase. This enabled us to all be on the same page regarding the business goals of the website. Since the client was local, we arranged a couple of face-to-face meetings to sort out the details and, once both parties had all necessary info, began the project. The project resulted in a completely modern solution that refreshed their branding and content across the board. Now the site is as cutting edge and competitive as the business, and, most importantly, the staff is not embarrassed to send the website link to prospective clients.
Example #2: “We went with a cheap web solution, and now we need help fixing it.”
A startup business had decided to use a low-cost bidder to build their website. The website had most of the content and features that the client had requested, but it looked “cheap” and didn’t reflect the sophistication of the brand. The client was worried that potential customers and investors would be turned off by the website and, as a result, the business would lose credibility.
The client had realized their mistake in hiring the low baller web firm, and now were in a bind because they didn’t have enough left in the budget to “fix” the problem. We performed a review of the website and created a redesign priority list to tackle the most damaging issues first. Some of the highest priorities were:
- Website was supposed to be mobile-friendly but it looked terrible on mobile phones.
- Website banner images were cheap stock art that did not look consistent or support the brand.
- Text blocks were too wide, hampering readability.
- Calls-to-action were few, so visitors were unsure what the company did.
Fortunately, we were able to improve the website and control costs by using our prioritized list. The website didn’t need to be rebuilt, just tweaked and finessed to bring it up to a much higher standard.
Example #3: “Our business is pivoting, and we need to redevelop our website to reflect our new focus.”
When a business “pivots” it means that the business environment or the company management initiate a refocus of the business direction. A manufacturing company came to us with a desire to refocus their products and services to capture new markets. This was an attempt to broaden their product offering to take advantage of new sales channels that had become available to them. To achieve this objective we recommended a website restructuring and enhanced online marketing solutions.
To focus the site on the new products and their accompanying resources, we:
- Expanded the site navigation to accommodate the new products.
- Had website messaging rewritten to reflect the new direction of the business.
- Recategorized products to make them easier to find.
- Expanded contact page to include additional sales offices that handled various regions and product lines.
On the marketing side, we recommended a multi-part solution to increase visibility in the new markets:
- Search ad reach was extended into new markets.
- Email lists were separated into regions, so that campaigns could be better controlled and tracked.
- We published Remarketing ads that emphasized the brand and new services.
- A press release announcing the pivot and redesigned website was distributed via online channels.
This website pivot strategy was completed in 10 weeks and the organization has continued to grow since then.
Example #4: “Do I really need a mobile website?”
An issue that we come across often is businesses with non-mobile sites experiencing drops in website traffic. One such organization came to us perplexed because they were experiencing a gradual fall in business and didn’t know why. We found what they had suspected, that they were losing search engine placement because of lack of mobile-responsivity. In fact, some of their smaller competitors were surpassing them in the search engine rankings because they had mobile websites. The solution was simple but had many factors involved:
- The website was completely rebuilt on a mobile-responsive WordPress framework.
- The website design was refreshed at the same time. The new format allowed for the client’s portfolio images to be enlarged.
- We streamlined the content by removing older blog posts.
- 301 redirects were used to redirect to the new pages, so that search engine ranking would be retained.
- The website was thoroughly tested on Android and iOS.
Website Redesign Conclusion
As you can see from the above examples, there are many reasons to undertake a redesign. You can also see that a redesign helps solve real business issues, and results in a better online presence for the business. Despite its advantages, a website redesign has to be done strategically, taking into account a variety of factors that include: business goals, technology, the competitive landscape, and marketing strategy. This series of articles and accompanying videos were created to help businesses understand the necessity of, and best-practices process for approaching a redesign so that optimal results can be achieved.
This redesign series also features 6 companion videos, below is a list of their titles and descriptions:
- How do I plan for a website redesign?: This article discusses how businesses can put the critical pieces in place and set the stage for a successful project. As the old adage goes, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” View Video >
- How to approach branding strategy for your redesign.: Branding is the cornerstone of your business; It’s your outside face to the world. In this article we discuss how a redesign is an opportunity for you to strengthen your brand. View Video >
- How to organize content for your redesign.: Content is still king. Website customers want relevant text content, compelling imagery and other media. We discuss how to approach your content strategy and organization for optimal usability. View Video >
- Technology considerations with redesigns.: Technology changes as fast as design trends and there are many ways to improve your website technology. We take a straightforward approach and provide sensible recommendations. View Video >
- SEO considerations with website redesigns.: Many businesses are in need of an SEO refresh and are missing opportunities for increasing the relevancy of their content. Watch this video if you want to maintain your search engine equity. View Video >
- Budgeting for your redesign?: This is a tough topic, it stands to reason that a redesign should cost less than the original website, right? But don’t fail to consider rising labor costs and increased technical and testing requirements on the mobile side. View Video >
Finally, although you can learn a lot of basic information from reading and watching this series, you can get much more specific and relevant information by discussing your redesign project with us. We *love* to talk about web projects and brainstorm solutions with potential clients. You can call us directly at 310-754-3807 or fill out our email inquiry form.