If you talk about website optimization, user experience should be the first topic you touch on.
It’s such an important (yet often overlooked) aspect of doing business online, because it can have a big impact on:
- Conversion rate
- Customer retention
And if your user experience is not top notch, you can be missing out on new clients.
There are a few basic tweaks you can always pull off, such as improving loading time, serving scaled images or even hiring a developer to do some mods on the source code.
But as time moves on and technology evolves, your website will need a rebrand at some point in the future.
At Authority Hacker, we just went through a full website rebrand.
So we learned a thing or two about that, and we’d like to share the information with you.
Settle On A Few Basic Details
The first step is to get a grip on what you expect from a website rebrand.
And most importantly to that is to find a color palette or combination that best embodies your brand. We always had a blue undertone to our site, so we stuck with that through the rebranding, but we also settled on different yellows and blacks for our content appearance.
What’s really helpful in this stage is to find examples of branding you like.
Find logos, brands and websites that look good for you.
You don’t have to copy their design – it’s just to get some inspiration.
Lastly, try to step in your designer’s boots for a while, and figure out as much guidance as you can give them.
Check elements of your current branding that you’d like to take with you during the rebranding.
And clearly define what you want to change.
All of this is to help you in the first few chats with a designer.
Because yes, there will be a lot of chats. Let’s get one thing clear:
A website rebrand should not be treated lightly.
If you want to do it right, it should be a long process of back-and-forth with a professional that understands your company’s needs.
Find A Professional
If you’ve got a full-stack experienced designer in-house, you can work with them.
More often than not, however, you should work with an experienced professional that has experience going through a large-scale website rebranding.
Remember: you don’t just need someone to create a new logo and choose a color palette.
The designer should be able to understand, and create an entire brand complete with:
- Website design
- Social Media Content
- Presentation Templates
And any other content that embodies your brand.
So keep all of that in mind when you browse reviews, talk to business partners and crawl freelancing platforms for the right partner.
Write A Brief
Once you found the right person to work with, you should detail a brief with your company details and expectations.
This brief should include the following.
For example, we had worked with a bunch of designers in the past, so the Authority Hacker website had overlapping concepts and visual elements.
It’s important to explain such details to make sure your designer can properly understand what they’re working with.
Design work can be pretty haphazardly done for an online business, especially when you’re bootstrapping.
And through the improvised stages of development, you can forget all about specific visual changes from the past. That’s why it’s important to detail any background work and concepts.
Examples and preferences
The brief should include examples of work you like, whether it’s from your current design or from other companies that inspire you.
You should also detail any preferences you have in visual communication.
But we’re not just talking colors here.
Showcase your preferred fonts, elements and transitions.
Moreover, if you want to get this right as efficiently as possible, make sure you include elements or concepts that you wouldn’t want for yourself, especially if said concept is a trend in your industry.
A rebrand is more than just fancy colors and transitions in CSS.
Your brand should clearly state who you are as a company.
Visual elements like colors, imagery or shapes have specific cultural and social connotations, so information about yourself is important for a designer.
If you’re defined by steadiness, stability and professionalism, a blue undertone will work wonders on your audience.
If you’re an agency focused growth hacking and fast evolution, a red background could best transmit that.
But that’s just an example.
Different values can have an impact on a bunch of visual elements, so make sure you state them clearly in the brief.
If you don’t have any clear values set right now, maybe this is the best opportunity to draft them.
Your mission is the way you want to change the world.
Or you know, just your own market.
And the mission is important for branding as well. A brand is something that you build in time, based on the frequency of interaction with your audience.
Each time they read one of your blog posts or see one of your instagram posts, the visual identity of your company seeps deeper and deeper into their mind.
So that’s why who you want to be 5 or 10 years from now is just as important for branding as who you are now.
Maybe a designer can see you have articles posted about affiliate marketing and website builders.
But the products you’re trying to sell can vary differently, even if you cover that content.
And if you sell courses, your visual identity will differ from that of a company covering the same topics, but only offering consultancy.
Here’s something to keep in mind: If you spent years growing your website, you have a ton of knowledge about who you are as a business.
Your designer doesn’t.
So make sure your brief includes important details that you may overlook in a first chat.
You should also provide an overview of the channels you’re present on.
Different platforms have different paradigms and requirements for the content you post on them, so a designer should have fast access to all of your channels so they can understand your needs, and even create mock-ups to showcase what your final branding will look like.
And this one is extremely important.
Sharing a buyer persona, or at least an overview of who your clients are, is crucial for any marketing process.
Even more so when we talk about design.
A professional only creates visual content by thinking about who’s going to see it.
This one isn’t a requirement per se, but it helps.
If you clearly communicate who your competitors are, your designer can steer clear of visual elements common to their brand, so you don’t get mistaken.
Or worse yet, have people think you copied their visual identity.
This one’s a must.
(Our actual list is much longer)
Much like any other collaboration, you should clearly define the terms of said collaboration beforehand.
A rebrand can take a while.
And when it’s over, you’ll need files to update all of your existing platforms.
So clearly state what you expect from the designer you’re working with.
A mock-up isn’t crucial, especially if you don’t have an eye for design and you’re comfortable letting the designer work his magic.
However, if you have a clear website in mind, you can try to include the mock-up in your brief.
To create it, you can use Sketch or Moqups, both work great to outline a visual identity.
And if you want to take it a step further, you can use Elementor.
What To Expect
If you found the right professional to help you rebrand your website and provided them with a clear brief, don’t settle for a few logos and a home page example.
Good designers provide brand guidelines, filled with logo examples.
And even collateral elements, like business cards or presentation templates.
Ideally, you’d first get a guideline like that with a few visual varieties, and you can pick your favorite, which the designer will then use to create all deliverables.
And that’s about it on how to perform a successful website rebrand.
From our experience, it was worth it.
If you want to get inspired for your website’s rebrand, check our successful affiliate websites examples. If that got you thinking about other business decisions in the affiliate space, make sure you also read about the best affiliate programs.
But we want to know what you think too, so make sure you tell us all about your rebranding ideas in the comments section below!