What Are User Personas In UX & Why Are They So Important In App Development?
- Industry Insights
As a business owner, you know that your website is one of your most valuable assets. It’s the first place potential customers go to learn more about you, and it’s a crucial part of your branding and marketing efforts.
So when it’s time for a website redesign, you want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck. But what factors will drive your redesign costs? Here are five critical ones to keep in mind.
With it drawing to an end, 2020 has got to be one of the most memorable years in history – obviously not together in the best way.
With the global economy taking a battering hit, staying on top of your finances during the crisis has become very difficult.
Hence, being smart with your budgets has become a top priority for everyone and by ‘everyone’, we mean everyone including business owners, employees, shareholders, and the list goes on.
The current situation has brought fear and uncertainty, and in these circumstances, a little saving can go a long way. Resisting the urge to be reckless with your budget can really help in these uncertain times.
This holds true for redesigning a website as well. If you are looking to redesign your website, you need to be smart and mindful when budgeting for your website redesign project.
Your website can not be something that you set up once and forget about. It needs constant care and nurturing like a real living being.
Many brands fail to realise this and hence don’t bother updating or maintaining their website regularly. As a result, their website fails to deliver the results they want.
There are a number of things to consider when planning out a website redesign. If you are on a tight budget, every single decision you make is crucial.
On a positive note though, you can still execute a website redesign project without it costing an arm and leg if you are able to decipher your ‘must-haves’ from your ‘nice-to-haves’.
Ok, so let’s jump into the 5 x MAIN COST FACTORS that can really affect the cost of your website redesign, shall we?
To succeed at anything worthwhile, you need a game plan, a strategy to begin with.
So the first step of your website redesign project should obviously begin with a clear strategy in place that stands as the foundation for your entire website.
Great website projects are built upon a strong foundation. Just like building a house, you need plans to guide your team along the process and to keep them working towards the same goal.
Strategies, however, can vary depending upon the nature of the company, the size of the project, and of course, the budget. And speaking of budget, the cost of a website strategy really boils down to one thing… the number of deliverables!
So what are these “deliverables” in a website redesign? I am glad you asked…
A value proposition map is a user perspective view that helps you explore and understand the pain points and worries of your ideal customers, and how your product/service solves those problems.
The visual map can vary since each company has different target audiences and ideal customer profiles. The core purpose, however, is always the same: to consider the needs, wants, and desires of customers and then position your features and benefits in a solution-orientated way so that it can add value to their needs.
This technique comes in handy while mapping out the main purpose of your website pages. By considering the needs and wants of your ideal customers first, all the pages on your website will be geared towards addressing their needs, solving their problems, and providing them with what they are looking for as opposed to what you think they are looking for.
A sitemap is a high-level hierarchical overview that lets you organize and clarify the pages that are needed on your website, and also helps you to remove any unnecessary ones. The sitemap is the foundational base of your website that everything can be referenced back to. You can determine the overall size of your project and know exactly how many pages your website will accommodate. You can also see easily if those pages are covering everything your website needs to portray.
A sitemap will help organise and clarify the content that needs to be on your site as well as eliminate any unnecessary pages. Moreover, a well-structured sitemap gives a pleasant experience to visitors, leading to more conversions.
A high-level page strategy is a silhouette of your website layout, focusing mainly on your important pages. It sets up two goals for each of your pages, a primary one and a secondary one, and recommends relevant content for each page. This helps visitors to navigate through different pages and find what they are looking for. Recommended sections such as client testimonials, infographics, educational resources, case studies, etc. can be set to support your goals.
Under this strategy, popular keywords and phrases that people search in Google and other search engines are researched and identified. Then this process is coupled with a detailed competitor analysis, so you can have a clear picture of what exactly your website should rank for. This step is extremely significant as it allows you to determine what you should be ranking for in Google searches in order to drive your website to be achieving the goals you have set for it (traffic increase, conversion rate improvement, booked appointments etc.)
Identifying what users type into Google and other search engines will assist you in creating relevant content that can satisfy the search intent of the users. And when you craft relevant content that answers questions that users are likely to search for related to your solution offerings, your pages will start ranking higher and will also help boost SEO traffic.
This strategy takes things a step further by also suggesting URL structure, SEO titles, headline recommendations, and meta descriptions in addition to suggesting keywords. This helps search engines to understand your website content and makes your content more relevant to a searcher’s query.
On-page SEO strategy is something that should be looked upon and worked on a consistent basis, and you might want to definitely consider this strategy when planning a website redesign. But wait! What about the budget restriction? Not all companies have the budget to implement all of the above deliverables right?
It is true that all of these deliverables do play a pivotal role in the website redesign process being a success but, bear in mind that each of these strategies comes with its own cost factor. If you happen to be working on a leaner budget, you should consider working to prioritise the deliverables that make sense to do right now and postpone the ones you feel you can do in the future.
Design is a subjective issue and is a tricky beast when it comes to redesigning a website.
Every person has different design preferences, and what might look good to you, might not necessarily look good to your website visitors. Just because you like that soft and mellow colour combination on your website does not mean that your visitors will like it as well and certainly doesn’t mean they will be changed into conversions.
Designing a website can be a tedious process, and there are a lot of things to keep in mind. Details that seem so simple but are actually important to a successful website redesign often get easily overlooked which is part of the reason why many websites still look visually unpleasing and unattractive even in 2020.
More than a third (38%) of web visitors will leave a website if they find the layout to be poorly designed. The average Internet user only needs around 50 milliseconds to form an opinion about your website! Thus, the design plays a vital role in shaping the overall impression of your company.
There are certain key elements to consider when it comes to design, let’s have a look at these.
But, hold on a second! Before we dive into those elements, it is important to note that the more you want to play with different design elements, the more will be the cost. So, it is crucial to know what design elements actually translate to leads and conversions, and what elements simply fall under the ‘nice-to-have’ category and don’t really translate much to sales.
Okay, jumping onto the elements themselves… 👇
Things such as slants, overlaps, animations, glitter effects, etc. can look visually appealing but can also demand a lot of development time, which in turn can drive up costs. So, you should be really assured about their worth and lead-generating capabilities for your website.
If some elements are ‘nice-to-haves’ but not really a ‘must-have’ for your project, you can always come back and add them to your website at some point in the future. Always remember your website needs constant care and nurturing. It is not a one-time setup and needs to change according to the market and user experience needs. Therefore, if the cost is really a concern, focus on the ‘must-haves’ and the ‘nice-to-haves’ can always be worked on at a later date.
Custom graphics and icons can convey more information than words alone. If done correctly, they have the power to communicate the most important information to the visitors quickly without them needing to go through all the text on your page.
Having said that, it also can be added to keep costs down. If you feel like they play a crucial role in your redesign project and fall under the ‘must-haves’ category, then go for it. But, if it is something that doesn’t add much value to your website redesign, then you can definitely integrate it at some future date.
Imagery is a crucial part of any website – no doubt about that. Well-thought-out imagery helps to grab your viewer’s attention, makes your website more lively, and adds additional visual appeal and context to vital information.
We often recommend a custom photo shoot for your website images, but if you already happen to have stock photos, you can take the help of your design team to optimize them for your website.
The number of page designs you need depends upon the size of your project and budget. Obviously, the cost of designing 15 website pages is going to be more than the cost of five. But, if the elements on your website pages can be reused and modified, then a custom design for each and every page is not necessary. Also, this can help to keep the cost down.
Ultimately, the main objective is to have a design that drives visitors to convert. And it all comes down to deciphering your ‘must-haves’ from your ‘nice-to-haves’. Although investing in a more sophisticated design can prove to be beneficial, however, if your foundation is strong and you have a solid strategy in place, the bells and whistles can always be worked upon and optimized later.
Development can be as tricky as design and can greatly affect your website redesign budget, given the complexity and time period of the work. For instance, you want to redesign your living room. Would you rather choose mass-produced ‘generic’ furniture, or go the extra mile for a custom-made one? The same applies to the functionality required for your website redesign as well. Sometimes you can easily find plugins or systems that can satisfy your development needs, while other times you might require a custom solution.
A custom solution can be relatively costly, but if you feel like they are a ‘must-have’, then you can opt for a custom solution and cut the cost down in other possible ways. At the end of the day, it all comes down to knowing which elements actually translate to sales and which don’t. So now, let’s take a closer look at some of these elements.
Personalisation is slowly becoming the prime driver for marketing success. Studies have shown that customers adore personalisation and are more willing to buy from brands that communicate with them using their names and remember their past purchases. Obviously, personalisation is much more than just knowing names and purchase history, and there is a whole lot you can do with it like creating persona-based campaigns, segmented promotions for up-selling, and so forth.
If HubSpot happens to be your CMS of choice, then there are a ton of personalisation features to play with. However, bear in mind that, depending on how you want these features to be integrated, it can get quite costly.
Self-selection tools can be built on a moderate budget. However, similar to personalisation, it ultimately depends upon how you want the features to be implemented and what the features need to accomplish.
There are tons of self-selection tools available to choose from, ranging from simple and relatively inexpensive to incredibly savvy and expensive ones. While some of the highly sophisticated ones can be worth the investment depending on the value they provide, you should be assured about their worth – especially if budget is your primary concern. HubSpot’s Website Grader is a great tool we recommend. You can also find other great ones like ConvertCalculator and Wix’s Product Configurator.
If your website has pages or information that only certain authorised people can view, you will need to add membership portal functionalities for your login pages, and user profile pages so that your users can update their personal settings and information. Integrating these functionalities is going to demand some development time, and thus can drive up costs.
Integrating two software together can get pretty complex and might require a lot of development time, which in turn can drive up costs – especially if you’re requesting unique data.
One can argue that there are many free integrations to be used, however, those free integrations might not offer all of the features you may need. The majority of the free integrations offer a very limited set of permissions and features. Yes, you can upgrade to a pro version, but there may also be times that you might need to build a completely custom integration in-order to get an all-in-one package.
Additionally, as development is concerned, there might be certain features and functionalities that can be a ‘must-have’ for your website’s success. Therefore the key is to understand which functionality fulfils your needs and allocate the budget accordingly.
You might have noticed that I have mentioned understanding your ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’ several times now. You see, the actual budget required for your project is likely going to be higher than your estimation. Hence, without having an in-depth understanding of your needs, it is impossible to effectively allocate your budget,
Content is one of the most important aspects of your website redesign and also one of the more time-consuming ones. Good content is what sets your website apart from the rest and delivers the right message into the hearts and minds of your ideal customers.
Your website visitors are seeking essential information about products and services. They make quick decisions without thinking too much, hence, your website content is one of the underlying factors that will persuade them to take action. So, the content on your website must be clear, and concise and should grab the visitors’ attention.
Creating high-converting website content, however, can require a lot of work. More often than not, clients experience something called ‘writer’s block’ which is basically spending a lot more time on a single page than anticipated.
Text is an important component, but images also contribute to a big part of how engaging and readable your content is. Finding the right images for your website pages will demand additional time and cost but we promise you that it is worth doing right. See more on just how important this topic is here…
Let’s look now at the following factors involved in the content creation process that all influence the final price tag;
You can either go the route of creating your own content or hire someone to write for your website. Hiring a copywriter will provide more expertise, however, professionalism and experience come with a higher price tag.
If your budget is kind of restrictive, then we recommend hiring a copywriter for your high-impact website pages. Whereas you can work on the remaining low-impact pages with some guidance from the copywriter.
As the name suggests, insert the written copy into your website pages. Some agencies include this in the overall redesign package, some don’t – either way, this adds up costs. However, if you have the resource and ability to take this task in-house, it could help you save a dollar or two.
If you are willing to write the content yourself, then it is better to have it reviewed by a content writing expert. Tools such as Grammarly can also help in scanning your content for grammatical errors. Grammatical errors and typos are some of the easily avoidable mistakes. It signifies unprofessionalism and affects your brand’s reputation and credibility. So, investing in an expert or online tool like ‘Grammarly’ to check your copy for typos and punctuation can be a wise move.
The overall size or number of pages affects the budget for your project. The more pages you want to have the more you will need to spend your budget on all of the above-mentioned factors: strategy, design, development, and content. Having more pages does give your website a higher probability of ranking in Search Engines but only if all of the pages are performing well and have high-quality content, which helps distribute SEO value across the domain.
If you are on a leaner budget, you should focus on increasing the performance of your website pages. Put your emphasis on strategy, design, development, and content. After all, quality is what truly matters! A website containing many pages should only exist if and only if it is offering users lots of valuable information.
So, with all of these cost factors in mind, how can you allocate your redesign budget in a smart and mindful way?
Know and understand your ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’, and give full emphasis on the ‘must-haves’ at the moment. Only when you know what works and what does not, you can be smart with your budgeting.
Sometimes investing a lot of money in a website doesn’t necessarily give you the desired results you expected. One can create a high-converting website on a less budget as well. Don’t get me wrong, your budget size definitely plays a huge role in a website redesign, but it isn’t everything. At the end of the day, it’s about understanding what you absolutely need and what you don’t. Without this understanding, regardless of how much you are willing to invest, success can be far-fetched!
Never forget your website is a living mechanism that needs constant care and nurturing. You can always add your ‘nice-to-haves’ in later iterations to keep costs down. Your ‘nice-to-haves’ occupies a portion of your budget but don’t really contribute much to sales, so by identifying them you can then wisely invest your budget that makes a difference in conversions and sales.
You don’t need tons of pages with information that offers little to no value. Creating low-value pages with little content with the intent of targeting new keywords will not be rewarded in the long haul, and will devalue your website’s overall ranking. Hence, quality is something that shouldn’t be overlooked at all costs!
Your website should be easy to navigate, pleasing to the eye, and have engaging content that provides value to your visitors. Of course, nailing all of the elements perfectly is easier said than done, as it requires a lot of work, skill set, and of course – money.
Most importantly, your website should be considered as a ‘sales tool‘ that works to help you increase your lead opportunities, and sales conversions.
Get your foundation i.e. strategy right, build your website with that strategy set in motion, and everything else can fall into place. By understanding what you really need and what you don’t, costs can be allocated accordingly and you can get the most out of your investment.
You can learn more about the importance of first getting your website strategy right BEFORE embarking on a website redesign here.
Please reach out to us if you are looking for further help with making your website return better results for you and your business!