If you’re even partially responsible for your company’s online presence or marketing, you’ve likely had a conversation about redesigning your website. Maybe it’s outdated and no longer matches your branding, you aren’t getting enough leads, or you’re getting leads, but they’re not the right kind.
No matter the size of your organization, a website redesign is a major project. If you’re planning a launch in 2019, it’s best to get started as soon as possible. Some elements of your site might only need retooling while others require a complete redesign. Proper research, planning, and a bit of foresight can help make this endeavor a success.
What Hasn’t Changed Since Your Last Web Design
The primary purpose of your company’s website hasn’t changed. If someone told you a decade ago that you just need an “online presence,” this was wrong.
Instead of being a digital brochure of information about your company, your website should tell and show visitors how it will solve their problems. In addition to this, your site can be a tool for brand awareness and client retention.
Since it is a means for business growth, several elements of effective website design haven’t changed.
Make it simple for the user to find what they need
Websites should always be user-friendly. If your site is cool-looking but visitors can’t find what they need or struggle with navigation, they’ll quickly leave. If you didn’t do so before, make sure that it is simple for a visitor to locate the content that is relevant to their needs.
Let the website user’s goals drive your choices
You should already have a strong grasp of your customer personas and primary pain points. These should be what drive your content choices (words, photos, videos, and calls to action). Too many business owners make the mistake of designing a website for themselves instead of for their customers.
Remain consistent throughout the site
An easy-to-use and attractive website will be consistent throughout with its navigation and color scheme. Anything else will just frustrate and confuse your visitors.
Critical Design Changes for 2019 and Beyond
Now that you’ve decided to approach a website redesign for 2019, you’ll want to do it right. Not only has technology made leaps and bounds over the past several years, but there are also some new rules that you’ll need to comply with if you expect your content to perform well online.
Design for mobile
In 2018 alone, an estimated 52% of internet browsing was done on mobile devices.
If your current website isn’t set up for mobile browsing, you could be losing half of your visitors. When you redesign your website, mobile should be a priority.
Since Google is implementing mobile-first indexing, the mobile version of your website will become the starting point for what Google includes in their index. It will also be one of the important factors to determine your website ranking.
Remove barriers to communication
Older websites often made it difficult if not tedious to contact and converse with the owners. For many consumers, this is no longer acceptable. People loathe picking up the phone to make a call and don’t want to wait for an email response to a contact form.
If it fits with your business model, consider adding a live chat feature to your website and plenty of links to social media to continue the conversation.Another way to improve communication is to add a Chatbot to your website. There are a number of success stories of using Chatbot in organization to grow communication and streamlined operations.
Have a strong SEO strategy
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has been around for years, but it continues to evolve. Any website redesign in 2019 should focus on the user experience first and keywords second.
You can keep your website simple with this unofficial three-click rule. This user experience navigation rule suggests that users should be able to look for the information they need with no more than three mouse clicks.
Going beyond your website, don’t forget to properly set up your business for local search, such as taking advantage of Google MyBusiness.
Keep an eye on speed
While we’ve always cared about page speed, this has become more important for ranking over the past several years. Now that more people are searching on mobile devices, page load times matter for engagement. Your web developer will know how to optimize your site for the fastest speed.
One of the common fixes to make your website fast is slimming down your website files such as optimizing images, reducing the CSS and Java Script files.
Google’s Chrome Browser is now the most widely used internet browser on the planet, which means that your redesigned website should take an extra step. You see, Google has decided that non-SSL websites are “not secure” and therefore will not rank as well.
Because of this, you should ask your web designer about implementing SSL on your site. Alternatively, you can make use of free SSL provider such as Let’s Encrypt which will turn your website to an “https” instead of “http” in front of your URL.
Learn about GDPR requirements
The World Wide Web has its name for a reason. If you expect to receive website traffic or business in the European Union, you’ll need to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules that went into effect in 2018.
These rules, meant to protect the personal data and privacy of individual users, put requirements on web developers and website owners. If your site collects or holds any data about visitors, speak to your developer about complying with these rules.
Other Tips for Planning a Website Redesign
One HubSpot study concluded that 32% of marketers were unhappy with their last website redesign and 47% took longer than planned to complete the project.
That’s too many people being left unhappy with what amounts to a major business project that is meant to breathe new life into the customer experience. If you want to avoid becoming one of these statistics, you can do a few things.
Participate in the Process
This isn’t a project that you should just hand over to a design firm and then walk away from, nor it is generally something you want to tackle internally. Website redesign is a major project, and you should be involved as much as possible from beginning to end. The best website designers will have planning and update meetings with your company and let you know where your input will be most valuable. Don’t ignore these requests.
Set Your Budget Accordingly
Skimping on cost might be tempting, but the old saying rings true here – you get what you pay for. Depending on your requirements, the cost of a website can range between $200 to $10,000 or more.
To get the estimation figure, above is the market survey done based on 400 freelancers’ Upwork profiles with top 100 freelancers above 85% job success rate that cover web development, content writing, SEO, SMM and graphic design.
Web design isn’t cheap, but it’s often helpful to take a close look at the benefits of having a website that is firing on all cylinders.So, before setting your budget too low, remember that a top-notch site will help your company achieve its goals. Your budget should include enough to cover strategy, development and design, SEO, copywriting, licenses, creation of visual assets, and quality assurance.
Your Business Website Redesign in 2019
Your company’s website is capable of providing more value to clients than at any time in the past. This is a 24/7 tool that allows customers to learn about your company and even give you their business while you sleep.
This online resource can generate leads, establish your brand, and handle customer service, but only if it is designed and functioning properly. This is a project that is best approached as a team with the help of an experienced web design professional.