In the pre-internet era, businesses could get away with using the same branding materials for decades. Now that our customers have way more options and spend a lot of time doing research online, the turnover for branding has to become more frequent.
In fact, if you haven’t rebranded in the last seven to ten years, it may be time to consider an upgrade. If you’re not sure where to start, consider your website.
Rebranding a website isn’t something you can do overnight or without copious planning. Rebranding can involve a few minor tweaks, or it can involve all new web design, content, and more.
If you’re at a total loss, don’t worry. We’re here to share our top tips for successful website rebranding.
Assessing the Type of Website Rebranding You Need
Not all businesses require the same approach to website rebranding. In fact, something like a total overhaul of your brand can do more damage than good if your current branding strategy is generating some success. Before we share our website rebranding tips, let’s take a look at the three primary types of successful rebranding.
A top-to-bottom rebrand is a complete overhaul that involves changing everything from the visuals (ie your logo and colour scheme) to the voice to, in extreme cases, the name of your company.
A complete overhaul is only recommended if your company is dealing with a poor reputation, recently merged with another business, or isn’t performing well against the competition.
What if the core components of your branding are strong, but your website is looking outdated? What if you want to maintain your voice and overall marketing strategy without getting stale? If this is the case, you may need something called a visual rebrand.
A visual rebrand is exactly what it sounds like. You adopt a new logo, a new colour scheme, and a fresh web design without having to build a new foundation.
A branding refresh is a subtle and gradual approach to staying modern and relevant. It can be as simple as streamlining your logo or company name. Brightening your colour scheme, making your website more user-friendly, and archiving outdated content are also ways to approach the branding refresh.
This is a good choice for any company that has strong analytics and a solid customer base and wants to make sure that they remain relevant. If all you need is to stay ahead of the curve, this is the right choice.
Putting Together a Rebranding Strategy
There are a lot of reasons why a well-intentioned rebranding attempt can fail, and going in without a clear plan is one of them. Let’s talk about the steps to take before you start rebranding your website.
Assess Your Core Message
You can’t start thinking about visuals or content if you don’t understand the voice, purpose, and values behind your company. Who is your audience, why should they pick your business over others, and what drives you to create the products or services your business offers? Remember, the old core message may be the reason why the old branding isn’t working–be prepared to make changes.
Determine What’s Working
Even when you’re gearing up for a top-to-bottom website rebrand, take some time to determine what was working. How were you able to reach the customers you already have? Make sure that you know what branding elements to hang onto moving forward, even if it’s something as simple as your domain name or social media handle.
Call in the Professionals
Before you iron out every detail, get in contact with professional web designers. The hard truth is that while you and your team are going to consider a lot of ideas, not all of them should make it to the execution stage. By partnering up with the pros in the planning phase, you can ensure that any plans you do execute are winners.
Establish Rebranding Goals
If you’re thinking, “I thought the goal of a website rebrand was to rebrand the website,” it’s time to go back to the drawing board. Just like any other marketing strategy, you want to establish clear and measurable goals for your rebrand so that you can see what’s working and when, if necessary, to pivot.
Website rebranding goals can include:
- boosting SEO
- increasing traffic to your website
- increasing your social media engagement
- expanding your customer base
- boosting your sales numbers
Along with goals, you should establish a timeline. When do you want to see results? The best timeline is an incremental one with specific milestones you hope to reach along the way.
Launching Your Website Rebrand
You feel confident about the planning phase and you’re ready to start rebranding. Let’s talk about the steps to take in the coming weeks and months as you rebrand your website.
Create Cohesive Visuals
A website has a lot of moving parts, and you’re going to need to update all of them. Make sure that every page you keep or build aligns with your new branding visuals.
Visual cohesion inspires trust and makes customers feel at ease while navigating your website. Visual cacophony creates confusion and leaves customers wondering if you truly care about your business. Create cohesion by updating the following design elements consistently across every page of your website:
- the logo
- the colour scheme
- stock photos
- additional visual elements you rely on
If your website is still live while you undergo these major changes, create a timeline for any visual upgrades it will undergo. For example, you might decide to start with the less significant changes, like font changes, before launching the new logo.
Focus on SEO
Rebranding a website isn’t just about making it look more appealing. It’s also about making it more appealing to use–and easier to find. That’s where search engine optimization comes in.
The goal of a new SEO strategy is to make your website more visible in popular search engines like Google. Even small businesses can benefit from rebranding with SEO in mind.
That means that it’s time to upgrade the technical side of your website to make it faster, easier to navigate, and more mobile-friendly. It’s also time to come up with a content strategy based on high-ranking keywords and relevant trends. Without a focus on SEO, your rebranding efforts may fall flat.
Start Paying Attention to Analytics
As we mentioned earlier, the purpose of setting goals for your website rebrand is to measure the success of your website rebrand. If you don’t already, it’s time to learn all about website analytics that will boost your marketing efforts.
One simple tool that you’re going to want to master is Google Analytics. Google Analytics will let you see everything from the increase in organic traffic to your website and what’s driving it, what types of content are generating interest, and what paths visitors are taking to get to the virtual checkout counter.
If part of your rebranding strategy seems to fall flat, don’t panic. Pivot. Trying something new is the only way to figure out what works.
Publicise Your Rebrand
Many businesses avoid rebranding for years because they’re afraid that it will alienate their current customer base. After all, what if your existing customers like your logo or feel comfortable navigating a familiar website?
We understand that not everyone likes change at first. That’s why we always recommend including your customers in your rebrand by making the process public. No, you don’t have to announce today that in six months, your business will have a new look, but it is time to start thinking about a publicity strategy.
Use your email list and social media to make milestone announcements about your website rebranding process. Use a tone of voice that generates excitement, rather than comes across as a warning. If any information is particularly pertinent, like a new domain name, make sure to include that at the top of any publicity materials.
Let Cosmik Carrot Help You Rebrand the Right Way
If your website hasn’t been touched in over a decade, it’s time to give it an upgrade. Website rebranding can seem intimidating or unnecessary, but we’re here to change that.
At Cosmik Carrot, we approach every partnership with the goal of bringing ideas and visions to life. We offer web design, SEO, and marketing services to businesses just like yours so that you can stay focused on what matters most: your products, services, and customers. If you’re ready to learn more about how Cosmik Carrot can help, contact us today.