A strong web presence and brand awareness on the right platforms can be make or break for companies in a digital age. Walker Sands Digital offers demand generation services that drive awareness and impressive results for B2B technology and professional service companies.
Check out the Demand Generation at Walker Sands Video, to hear our VP of Digital Marketing John Fairley, and Senior Digital Account Executive Katie Donabedian, explain how our paid, social, SEO and content teams collaborate to create thoughtful SEO programs. Watch the video to learn how the team utilizes relationships formed with clients and B2B lead generation tactics to drive quality leads:
Adopting a good SEO program is half the challenge of generating quality leads. In conjunction with personalized programs, we create websites that align with our clients’ business goals. Through the strategic integration of cognitive UX, visual communication and content, our teams work creatively to deliver a user experience that is intuitive and optimized for conversions.
In the Websites at Walker Sands video, our Senior Director of Digital Marketing Matt Brown, and Design Lead Jillian Kent, discuss how we work together with open client communication to bring web projects to life.
Today’s digital landscape demands an effective digital lead generation program coupled with a compelling website. Talk to us about your business goals and learn how Walker Sands Digital can work with you to reach your B2B business goals.
Something’s wrong, but you’re not sure what. Your product/service is as good or better than anything else on the market. Your customers love you, but the sales pipeline is drying up and revenue growth is flagging. What’s missing?
In cases like these, the usual suspects are your brand and your website. They are both crucial to the success of your business. But it can be difficult to tell which one deserves an overhaul; if one is off, the other can suffer as well.
Before we help you decide whether your business needs a website redesign, a rebrand or both, let’s discuss what website redesigns and business rebrands actually are – and what it takes to see each project through.
What is a business rebrand?
When a business rebrands itself, it changes the way it presents itself to the public through every channel (not just the website). A rebrand can impact the design of the brand (logo, color palette, typography, photography, icons, etc.), as well as the messaging of the brand (company name, value proposition, slogan, content, voice & tone, etc.) to more competitively position itself in the marketplace.
Like website redesigns, company rebrands are initiated and shaped by business goals and market realities. After tobacco products were exposed for their inherent health risks, Philip Morris realized that its brand was as toxic as its cigarettes. The company underwent a full rebranding when it changed its name – and accompanying design and messaging – to Altria Group in 2003.
Contrast that case with Google, which has essentially retained all of its design and messaging since emerging as a search engine, despite growing into a company that today has a hand in cell phones, home systems, business applications, cloud storage, driverless vehicles and more. Google’s periodic rebrands have included type changes and tweaked color palettes to keep up with design trends, along with other updates like redesigned favicons and new sub-brands to support products like Gmail.
A rebrand as subtle as Google’s can also be referred to as a “brand refresh,” but it’s important to remember that all rebrands exist somewhere on a spectrum. The elements that you reinvent, scrap, enhance, or keep as-is should always be considered within the context of your business goals.
Your corporate rebranding can enhance brand equity if it succeeds in attracting and retaining more customers, bolsters brand loyalty, and improves brand recognition. The rebranding decisions you make along the way will no doubt impact the design and/or messaging reflected on your website, but rebranding your business is not the same as redesigning your website.
What is a website redesign?
A website redesign is more than a new look. It’s a re-engineered website that is written, designed and developed to help your business accomplish specific goals. Priorities vary across businesses, but they can include:
- Driving more traffic
- Increasing user engagement
- Generating more and/or higher-quality leads for your sales team
Clearly, these are KPIs that every business would love to see improve. Unfortunately, website redesigns don’t happen overnight. Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version of what our own website redesign process looks like:
- Stakeholder Surveys and Interviews
- Competitive Analysis
- UX and Information Architecture
- Design and Content Creation
- Programming and Implementation
- Analytics and Marketing Automation Setup
- Optimization for Search Engines
- Final Go-Live Checklist and Launch
Each of those phases requires meetings, informal communication, research, management responsibilities and sub-tasks. The time it takes to complete any given website redesign project depends on a number of factors such as website size, number of stakeholders and technical complexity. But when your business is counting on a more productive website that supports business goals, the investment of time and effort is worth it.
Take the CloudCraze website redesign for example. Walker Sands Digital redesigned the e-commerce company’s website after they had just completed a rebranding. (Note the different logos.)
Before the redesign, the CloudCraze website had a busy design, complicated user paths, and a relatively slow load speed. After the redesign, the CloudCraze website was clean, easy to use and fast to load. If you’d like the full story on how we did it, we encourage you to read the case study.
So, how do you tell if your business needs a rebranding, website redesign, or both? Here are a series of questions to help.
Does your business need a rebrand?
If you suspect that it’s actually a rebranding that your business needs, then ask yourself these questions:
- Have the products or services we offer significantly changed since our last rebranding or inception?
- Has our target audience evolved (demographics, perceptions, goals, budget, etc.)?
- Is our brand out of step with current design trends and market expectations?
- Is our messaging and/or design aesthetic inconsistent across channels (e.g., website, sales materials, business cards and email signature)?
- Does our business lack a strong point of view?
- Are our key audiences unable to understand what we do?
- Are our key audiences unable to understand what we stand for?
- Are our employees unable to consistently and succinctly say what it is that we do and the value we offer?
- Are our internal marketing and sales teams asking for brand assets and guidelines to communicate with external audiences?
- Is it difficult to distinguish our business from our competitors?
- Is our brand more of a liability than an asset?
More than three yes’s indicate that you should probably consider a rebranding for your business.
Do you need a website redesign?
If you wonder whether it’s time to update your business website, ask yourself these questions:
- Have we redesigned our website within the last three years?
- Do we ever hear compliments about our website?
- Does our website compare favorably to other websites in our industry?
- Have we seen traffic to our website steadily increase over time?
- Do our website pages load in 3 seconds or less across all devices?
- Is our website mobile-friendly?
- Does our website have SSL or HTTPS security?
- Are visitors finding our website on search engines?
- Are visitors converting on our website (e.g., submitting forms)?
- Do our visitors convert at or above industry averages?
- Is our website easy to navigate?
- Are visitors staying on our website and clicking around?
- Am I proud to share our website with prospects?
As you review your answers to the questions above, any more three no’s should have you considering a website redesign.
Check the foundation once more
After you ask yourself these questions, it’s important to consider whether the challenges you’re facing are related to your website, your brand, or your actual business. Your website and brand are both extensions of your core business, but rebranding and/or redesigning your website will have very little effect on your bottom line if fundamental business shortcomings are left unaddressed.
Gain new perspectives from colleagues
If your answers to the above questions have you leaning toward either (or both) a website redesign or a rebranding project, then it’s time to begin the conversation inside your organization. Canvas your colleagues across departments and levels of authority to get a sense of how important those initiatives are to them, and what they would want a website redesign or a rebranding to achieve.
Connect with the right partners
As consensus for a website redesign or company rebranding project builds, open up conversations with digital agencies and/or branding agencies. Ask them questions about their processes, experience in your industry, and how they measure success. This will get you started on the path to finding the right partner that can help you execute the right project. The investment of resources will be worth it, as it will allow you to best position your business for success in the years to come.
Looking for some inspiration?
Check out some of our favorite website redesigns and rebranding projects in our gallery of client work. If you’re interested in how Walker Sands Digital can help you reach your business goals with either a website redesign, rebrand or both, then you can get in touch with us here.
Walker Sands Q1 2014 Mobile Traffic Report Shows Android Gains 10 Points on Apple Mobile Traffic Market Share
Walker Sands Digital takes a quarterly in-depth look at the amount of Web traffic coming from mobile devices, reporting growth and market share findings in its Mobile Traffic Report. The report revealed the amount of mobile traffic accounting for Web visits continues to rise year-over-year, up 133 percent since Q1 2012 and 31 percent since Q1 2013.
Daniel Laloggia, digital strategy manager at Walker Sands Digital, discusses implications for businesses:
Key takeaways for from the report include:
Mobile Traffic Sees Most Growth Between Q3 and Q4; Is Typically Flat from Q4 to Q1
Despite continued growth each year, the report showed flat growth for mobile traffic between Q4 and Q1 for the second consecutive year, demonstrating that strongest growth typically occurs in late Q4 and continues an upward trend through the next four quarters.
While it’s important for businesses to be prepared for SEO strategies year round, they should be prepared for the largest spike of continued growth around the holiday season.
Mobile Traffic Market Share Continues to Skew Towards Android
The report also revealed that market share of mobile traffic continues to skew towards Android devices, with Android gaining an additional 10 points on Apple this past quarter. Android mobile phone devices now account for half of all mobile phone traffic, while iOS traffic accounts for 48 percent.
Apple still leads mobile traffic market share for tablet devices, but is on the decline, while Android more than doubled its market share in the past quarter, up 140 percent.
Businesses need to be prepared with SEO and optimization strategies across devices, as the study reveals there will likely continue to be a shift in market share among major players in the mobile space.
Discovering Your Website’s Mobile Traffic
With mobile traffic at record-high levels, it is crucial to ensure your site is mobile friendly. To determine your own mobile traffic, visit the Walker Sands Step-by-Step Mobile Traffic Guide.
Walker Sands Quarterly Mobile Traffic Report
The Walker Sands Quarterly Mobile Traffic Report is compiled to determine significant Web trends. The report is conducted by examining Web analytics data across a wide range of B2B and B2C clients in multiple industries. For more information, visit Walker Sands’ Quarterly Mobile Traffic Report.
To view complete findings from the Q1 2014 Mobile Traffic Report, visit http://www.walkersandsdigital.com/Walker-Sands-Mobile-Traffic-Report-Q1-2014.
Over the past few years, Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) has become a main focus for SEO experts. After all, what good is putting time and effort into driving traffic to your site if the visitors don’t turn into leads or sales?
To help with your CRO efforts, we are sharing how we helped one of our clients, a moving and storage company in the Pacific Northwest region, leverage customer reviews to increase conversions and user engagement on their website.
Each quarter, Walker Sands’ Mobile Traffic Report details a snapshot of the state of mobile traffic. The Q3 2013 study found that while the percentage of website visits coming from mobile across devices is up year over year, not all devices have an equal share in mobile market share.
While overall iOS traffic is up, its market share is down 4 percent from this time last year, presumably due to the rapid increase of other device’s traffic, as well as the introduction of additional devices into the marketplace.