It’s time to give that old website a facelift. Your customers complain about it, your sales team is embarrassed by it, and there has been a spelling error on the homepage for 3 years, and no one knows how to fix it. Sound familiar? So, you have decided that it’s time to have the site redesigned, but where do you start?
The Traditional Website Redesign Process
If you’re like most companies this is probably the short list of criteria you have for a new site:
- I want a “clean design”
- I want to be able to change and add text content - easily
- I need to be able to add pictures - easily
- It needs to be responsive
All great things, but this does not position your redesign project to be a springboard for growth.
If you hire a good agency to build your website, you will get the criteria above and more. They will go through a discovery process to learn what your website needs, build a beautiful website, and deliver it. In turn, you will have the very best intentions to update your new website on a regular basis, and you are going to set the world on fire with your content.
But, this is not what we see...
In our experience, once the website launches it takes about three months (or less) before your workload pushes the website past the back burner and off the stove entirely. Before you know it, two years has gone by and your content is irrelevant, incorrect, and your site’s design is out of date - again!
Does this look familiar? Almost every company finds themselves in this cycle. It's exhausting for marketing, frustrating for sales, and very expensive.
Truthfully, it's not a bad model for companies/organizations who do not need to grow - and I don't mean that sarcastically. However, for those who need to grow, this cycle does little to optimize the website to be the lead generation and sales tool that is was meant to be.
The Retainer Website Redesign Process
Consider this: in the traditional model a [good] agency will undergo a thorough discovery process. In the first month they will explore and understand your business, your industry, and your customers. All of the design, content, layout, and conversion path decisions will be made in month 1. These decisons will be executed and delivered across the following 2-3 months. The project is closed, and changes require additional budget or a change in scope.
I can tell you that we understand our clients, and their customers, significantly more in month 4 than we do in month 1. No initial discovery process will uncover all of the nuances that makes your business unique or how to communicate effectively to your customers.
The retainer model allows for continuous, incremental, data driven updates and changes to the website. See the model below:
This model allows you, and the agency, to weave every aspect of your marketing and sales into the website on a continous basis. This creates the sales and marketing asset your website was meant to be!
"Growth Through Relationships"
We have found that most companies who need a new website to help them grow, actually desire a relationship with an agency. This model removes the project mindset and fosters a working relationship with an agency that is able to keep your marketing on the front burner where it belongs.
Is a Retainer Model Right for Your Business?
As a business owner, I am the first to understand that there can be bigger challenges to the success of a business than getting sales. It's important to carefully consider if aggressive marketing and sales is what your business needs most at this time, and if you're ready for an agency partner. Perhaps your website needs a facelift for reputation management, but your capacity for new business is limited. The traditional model might be best for you in that situation. Every business is different. You need to make the right decision for your business - not someone else's.
Of course, if you're having these questions we would be happy to talk.
^ By the way - the retainer model also helps you avoid these mistakes!