How To Convince Your Client That It’s Time For A Website Redesign
I’ve been in this situation a ton of times.
Someone contacts me asking about website maintenance, ya know, like they need a few words changed on their homepage…..
So I ask them for their Website URL….
I type the URL into my browser…hit enter….and BAM
My eyes start to bleed.
Sometimes I’ve had to stop myself from saying “WTF IS THIS?!”
(especially if I’m on the phone with them)
So now the dilemma begins…
Do I update their out of date website?
Or do I try to suggest a website redesign?
For the sake of all internet users out there…..I bring up the idea of having their site redesigned.
This conversation can get a little sticky…for several reasons…
- Sometimes the client….doesn’t understand the internet so they really don’t see the problem with their current site *face palm*
- Sometimes the website…..was designed by their cousin’s brother’s nephew & they think they’ll offend someone if they change it *double face palm*
- Sometimes THEY designed the website & they’ve become so impressed by their own “tech-savvy” skills that they think having any website at all….is a good website….
- Sometimes the client has gotten themselves into a deal with another designer…who clearly hasn’t kept up with current web standards….which results in an ineffective website that the client totally thinks is top notch (This one makes me want to cry & pull my hair out at the same time)
- Here’s the most heartbreaking one…….Sometimes the client doesn’t look at their website as a potential asset to their company & business. They think that being on the internet at all…is good enough. They don’t see the importance of spending X amount of dollars on something that doesn’t bring in business…..(oh, but FYI…..If your website isn’t helping your business….you need a new website)
Okay….so regardless of their excuses….
How Can You Help Convince Them That They Need A Website Redesign?!
Very often web designers get frustrated with their clients because the client doesn’t understand aspects of the web. The good news is….as web designer…..you do!
It’s your industry.
You’re passionate about it.
Use your knowledge as an advantage.
Here’s a list of 4 things I touch upon when suggesting a website redesign:
1. Google, Google, Google.
Google basically runs the world. Well, the internet world. Everyone who has a website knows what Google is & they usually understand that fact that Google is….powerful. Bring up these two points with Google Statistics:
- Mobile Responsiveness: Google “punishes” websites that don’t adjust for smaller screens. They like when their users can find information easily on mobile devices. Now toss out some statistics: “Did you know that Over 60% of internet users access online content through mobile devices like, smartphones, tablets & ipads?” (Source)
- SEO: Sometimes you have to explain Search Engine Optimization to clients. I usually give them a brief explanation of it, addressing the fact that it helps people find their business on Google….which can lead to more customers, clients & sales.In order to be favored by Google when it comes to search results, the client needs a website that’s SEO friendly. If Google bots can’t figure out what kind of content is on their page…they can’t recommend the business’ services to potential clients.
Social Media Influence:
It’s no secret that social media is a huge thing these days, but some client’s don’t know the potential for business on social media. If their website is extremely out of date, they won’t have any integration with social media whatsoever….and that means they’re basically throwing free marketing out the window.
Social Media can increase brand awareness, which in turn will help potential customers not only FIND them….but connect with them and trust them. That’s how you get sales…..relationships & trust.
Money Saving Features:
- Updates – If the client’s site is over 5 years old….or is made in static HTML format, they’re missing out on a huge money saving technology….content management systems, like WordPress. Updating to a WordPress platform saves them money when it comes to content updates/maintenance because they can do that themselves with little-to-no tech knowledge.
- Print Materials – Having the ability to update your website can save on printing materials….especially if notices, manuals, and information is constantly changing.
- Advertising – Reduce advertising costs by shifting some of their marketing budget to online avenues, instead of ads that only hit targeted areas. Websites make it possible to target a wider market, often at a cheaper cost.
- Security – Updated websites & security can not only save the client money…..but also headaches.
Leg Up On Their Competition:
What’s the point of being in business? Making money, right? In order to make money….people not only have to want what you offer….they also have to CHOOSE you.
There’s a ton of different businesses doing the exact same thing as other ones, offering the same services, features & products.
What’s a good way to set your business apart from all the rest?
Being ahead of the game.
Investing in a new website that takes advantages of new technology & features has potential to put you not only ahead of your competition on the web…..but it could be that final piece of the puzzle to making your target audience CHOOSE you.
Pain Points & Communication Are Key.
All of these tips aside….I think the best way to talk someone into a redesign is to locate their pain points. Talk to them. Find out what’s giving them trouble, or what they want to get better in. Use that information to build a design proposal exclusively for them. Try to brainstorm new solutions to their problems.
After you’ve come up with the perfect proposal….you have to take the time to educate your client on WHY you decided on certain aspects of the redesign.
One of the biggest misconceptions with the internet is a result of lack in education.
- Spend some time going over your design & development steps.
- Explain the rationalizations behind every corner.
- Show research or numbers to support your decisions. (People love numbers)
- Don’t confuse them with complicated tech talk. Simplify your language (I’ve found that analogies work very well. Compare the website features to things they already understand….like a car. Cars are technological. Cars need to be replaced, updated & maintained. It costs money to get a new car….but the advanced features far out way the cost….if you invest in the right one. Technology is forever evolving…car standards are constantly changing…..the web is no different.)
- Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Feedback and involvement of the client is crucial in the process. (Otherwise you’re setting yourself up for complications & false expectations…on both parts)
- Be honest. If the client suggestions something ridiculous….take the time to explain why that’s not the best idea & give them alternatives.