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- Almost half of the businesses surveyed opted to hire an outside agency to handle their website redesign.
- The top reason for website redesign was the company’s evolution and growth making the old website design and/or content redundant.
- The most common issue after redesign was website speed, followed by broken hyperlinks.
- According to SEO experts, the hardest SEO goal to achieve was ranking for existing keywords, followed by increasing domain authority. Meanwhile, increasing the number of website visitors was deemed easiest.
Websites act as the front door for all businesses with an online presence. An outdated website is not going to win customers or attract new hires. The ever-increasing pace at which the internet moves makes it imperative that websites be redesigned, or at least professionally updated, every few years. The benefits are not just cosmetic. There are also gains to be had in terms of speed, traffic, data collection, safety, and, of course, revenue.
SEO forms a large – and arguably the most important – part of this effort because search engines are the gatekeepers of the online realm. So consulting an SEO expert is often the first step on the journey to a better website.
We decided to explore the contemporary website makeover landscape by doing a split survey of CEOs and SEO experts. For business owners, we asked questions about how large their company was, specific project timelines, who was hired to complete them, and what the results were. SEO professionals were asked about their client interaction experience, common project goals, and the rates charged. Each group also shared their most valuable advice based on their own experience.
Reinvesting in Redesign
The majority of the CEOs we surveyed said that their website redesign needs were urgent. Business owners themselves were most likely to handle website redesign projects for large companies with 250 or more employees. In contrast, small companies (up to 49 employees) seemed to prefer freelancers for the job, while midsized companies (50–249 employees) opted to delegate the job to an outside agency. Outside agencies were the top overall choice for handling website redesign projects, as chosen by 43% of business owners.
The most common reason for website redesign was the need to reflect the company’s evolution and growth. The average cost of rebranding came out to over $1,700, while the average cost for a website audit came out to a little over $800.
Most business owners would advise attending to website redesign as soon as the need arises; otherwise, the website continues to become increasingly outdated. We also found that small companies were most likely to be dissatisfied with their redesign projects; freelancers were most often hired to drive traffic and sales; and outside agencies were the top choice for building brand awareness.
Top Reasons for Redesigning
According to our CEOs, the biggest reason to redesign a website was to build awareness, followed closely by driving sales and increasing traffic. Some of the other goals mentioned included improving customer experience, attracting new hires, and projecting an image of the company as an industry leader.
Large companies tended to have site goals related to improving accessibility, appealing to new hires, and improving the overall customer experience. Conversely, midsized companies were more focused on increasing conversions, improving security, and better understanding their audience. Small companies were looking to improve overall accessibility while also driving sales and increasing traffic.
We found that large companies were more likely than smaller companies to feel an urgent need to redesign their website. Companies in the science and tech industries tended to put an emphasis on the security of their websites. Most business owners agreed that it was good to establish clear goals for website redesign before starting a project. This helps guide all decisions, from hiring the right experts to creating an accurate brief for the team.
The process of web development is a complex one, and most business leaders have faced one or more problems with their newly redesigned website. The most common problem was website speed, followed by broken links and missing pages. Other issues faced included broken e-commerce functions and issues with the website’s mobile experience or navigation.
Businesses that relied on their own employees to complete redesign projects seemed to experience more problems with user-friendliness and site navigation. There also appeared to be a correlation between the amount of money paid for a project and the level of satisfaction achieved – an inevitable truth in any service industry.
We also found that companies in the arts and communications industries were the most likely to face site navigation issues, while companies in the science and tech industries were the most likely to have issues with loading speeds and duplicated content.
SEO Experts Weigh In
SEO professionals wear many hats. Using analysis and research, it’s their job to evaluate a website and decide what actions must be prioritized in order to improve search engine rankings. Below is a breakdown of the website design site issues that our SEO expert respondents deemed most common as they work to enhance search rankings.
Successful web redesign often relies heavily on SEO professionals. The average hourly rate for the SEO experts we surveyed was $43 per hour, although fees seemed to vary considerably by employment type and expertise. Professionals who charged more than $81 an hour tended to focus on optimizing existing content, whereas professionals making $30 or less were responsible for optimizing page speed.
The most important tasks for SEOs on the job were taking inventory of the site’s high-performing content, analyzing the current website, and updating the XML site map.
According to the responses collected from SEO professionals, the demand for SEO in the marketplace has gone up exponentially in the last year and a half. In fact, a recent ‘State of SEO’ survey revealed an 50.5% increase in SEO budgets over the last 12 months.
Website redesign projects are not always plain sailing, so we asked the SEO professionals to share their experience of working on them with business owners. According to the responses received, the toughest SEO goal was ranking for specific keywords, followed by increasing domain authority and the total number of sales generated (conversions). The easiest goal, they said, was to drive more unique visitors to the website.
The top reason for tension between SEO professionals and their clients was differing working styles, followed closely by the subject of financial compensation. Professionals charging $41–$60/hour said that timelines were the biggest source of client conflict, whereas SEO experts charging $10–$20/hour said that different methodologies were the biggest problem.
The top advice given by SEO professionals was to highlight the company’s unique offerings with the help of abundant, high-quality content.
Rethinking Website Design
The complex website redesign process can be completed successfully by involving the right professionals for the job. Setting clear goals, allowing for a realistic budget, and establishing expectations at the very inception of the project are also key, according to the business owners we surveyed. Meanwhile, SEO experts name quality, focused content as the most important ingredient for helping clients meet their goals.
As with all service industries, hiring an experienced professional seems to yield better short- and long-term results as well as overall savings despite a higher initial expense.
At Best SEO Companies, we recognize the critical role that search engine rankings play in business operations. Ready to up your rank? Visit us online at BestSEOCompanies.com today to find out more about the fundamentals of a great website and the best practices for choosing the right SEO expert for your next project.
Methodology and Limitations
We surveyed 437 business owners and 367 SEO experts about their experience and opinion on the website redesign process.
Forty-four percent of business owners had redesigned their company website within the last six months. Fifty-six percent of business owners had redesigned their company website between six months and a year ago. Eighteen percent of business leaders were from large companies with 250 or more employees. Fifty-seven percent were from midsized companies with 50 to 249 employees, and 25% were from companies with 49 or less employees.
Sixty percent of SEO experts surveyed were millennials. Nineteen percent were Gen Xers, 14% were Gen Zers, and 7% were baby boomers or older. Thirty-eight percent of SEO experts had an hourly rate between $10 and $30, 16% had an hourly rate between $31and $40, 23% had an hourly rate between $41 and $60, and 23% had an hourly rate of $81 or more.
The data are not weighted and are based on self-reporting. With self-reported data, there are limitations, such as the over- or underreporting of information as well as exaggerated numbers and answers.
Fair Use Statement
We are releasing our findings on SEO’s role in website redesign freely for all to use. You are welcome to share this article with friends and family members who might benefit from the information presented here. We are happy for you to use this information for noncommercial purposes as long as you link back to this page.