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Does Your B2B Business Need a Website Redesign or Refresh?

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Your website should be a lead-generating machine.

Successful B2B businesses consider their website a critical marketing asset, depending on it as a lead-generating machine that helps pre-sell business. If your website isn’t getting you the leads you need, it’s time to make some improvements. This ultimately leads to the question: should you refresh your existing website or do a complete website redesign?

While there is no one size fits all solution to this question, there are key considerations that will help you make the right decision on how to start with your website project.

 

B2B Buying Processes

Because we work heavily with B2B manufacturing companies, we've noticed a B2B buying pattern. It usually starts with a prospect — often someone more technical in nature like an engineer or operations manager — who goes online to research solutions to a problem. In doing so, they may find your website where they collect information about your products. When they're on your site, they're hoping to learn how your product can help them do their job better and how you've solved similar problems for other companies.

This is where reputation and brand trust comes into play. If prospective customers trust that your business can deliver the solution to their problem, they'll often include your product on their shortlist. From there, most need to get purchasing sign-off from the c-suite, procurement department, or another management-level individual. But the buying process often starts with these key technical influencers.

One of the most important things your website has to do is connect with your audience. Honestly, this is a common problem, not just on B2B manufacturing websites. Your website has to speak the language and offer the technical information your ideal customers look for in their evaluation processes — otherwise, you’ll lose their interest. If you cannot answer the questions your audience is looking for, they’ll move on to the next one that does answer their questions.

Often we see B2B businesses coming for a website overhaul with their focus on the look and feel. But, the content and functionality of a website are a much greater part of the evaluation process. Don’t get me wrong; visuals matter and help build trust and brand authority, but we see too many websites suffer at the hand of making a website “look better” instead of resonating and relating to technical audiences.

 

Website Refresh

A website refresh is an iterative approach to implement the most critical updates and enhancements to an existing website.

This approach makes agile and quick improvements to existing websites with good technical operations. It also can work well alongside large-scale website redesigns to implement quick fixes for content or positioning while the more extensive redesign efforts are implemented.

When we work on a B2B website refresh, we typically start with a website audit. It’s important to fix the maintenance issues first. Once we ensure critical security and maintenance issues are resolved, we strategize and define the enhancements that need to be implemented on the existing site.

It’s helpful to group efforts and prioritize them into phases so that incremental work can start on the site immediately. Certain steps are heavier in layout and user experience, while others focus on design, but all include development and content.

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After wrapping up each phase, rigorous QA and testing are necessary before deploying the live site. From there, subsequent phases of website updates can roll out while simultaneously reviewing performance metrics on phases previously completed.

A great benefit to website refresh processes is that once you’ve completed all the phases, you can re-evaluate your website, analyze performance data, and undergo a similar process again, continuously updating your website over time to ensure you have the most accurate and relevant information on your site.

 

Benefits

Challenges

  • Lower cost investments
  • Agile and flexible approach
  • Continuous data feedback
  • Mismatched areas between phases
  • Limited customizations

 

Website Redesign

Website redesigns are the rebuilding of an old website on a new, modern content management system.

We often see websites older than three or four years on outdated content management systems (CMS) or cumbersome frameworks with inflexible page templates.

The website redesign process often starts with a website audit as well. This gives a complete scope of the updates and improvements needed. The website redesign processes will cover everything touched in a website refresh, but with more of a linear approach from strategy to messaging, user experiences, SEO, content, design, development, and ultimately the launch of a brand new website.

Benefits

Challenges

  • Updates software and systems
  • Complete design customizations
  • Long term strategic planning
  • Higher overall investment
  • Longer delivery time
  • Often little to no data until after launch

 

Keep in mind the points made between website refresh and redesign processes are generalized. Each should be evaluated and considered as the right fit for website projects.

 

Which approach is the right fit for your B2B website project?

Don't worry if you're still unsure which approach is the best for your business. You're not alone. Strategy always precedes execution. To start, we recommend documenting your website goals and objectives. We've developed a helpful worksheet that you can use. If you need help understanding how to look at your website goals, check out this article. Once you determine your strategy, it will be clear which approach is right for your website.

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