What Does a Website Refresh Cost in Los Angeles?
Wondering about website refresh cost in Los Angeles? There are plenty of reasons for a facelift for your website. Maybe it’s out of date, maybe your business changed course recently, or maybe you just want a new look after using the same site for a few years.
As one of the biggest cities in the U.S., Los Angeles offers many of the nation’s premier web design studios. Of course, that outstanding service can come at a high price.
Top Services for Top Dollar
Because of the competitive market and high living costs, many Angelenos charge high hourly rates when contracting for services. Web developers, for example, charge upwards of $60 per hour in Los Angeles—significantly higher than other areas of the country. With websites taking between 10-200 hours to design and build, a website refresh in Los Angeles can cost thousands of dollars.
Thankfully, a refresh won’t cost as much as building a new site. By taking the time to list exactly what you want to change, you can limit time spent on the idea whiteboard and get what you want on a tighter budget.
Why Refresh Your Website?
Like anything involving the internet, coding for websites has improved and changed over the years. By hiring fresh eyes to assess your web presence, you can find better ways to delight your users. If your website works well, it will drive more traffic to your business and improve your search rankings.
A refresh can help your website to:
- Load faster
- Navigate more easily
- Perform better in search rankings
- Offer new features to users
- Read more clearly
The better your website performs, the longer people will stay there and explore. Search engines will measure this and—if the numbers are good—boost your SEO rankings and direct more people your way. A refresh is more than just a great way to spruce up your business’s web presence. It can help you gain more relevance without building a whole new website.
Reducing Bounce Rate
Google is too smart these days. They know when a website doesn’t serve its visitors’ needs, and it doesn’t take long before a bad site is bumped down the list of search results. Don’t let it happen to you.
So what hurts a website’s search rankings? Bounce rate.
It’s what happens when someone visits a website, scrolls through it briefly, realizes it’s useless, and leaves. The time they spend there is measured by Google, and if it consistently dips below a certain level, the site is penalized. Other sites will take that traffic until the issue is fixed.
What’s worse is you may not even know when it happens to your site.
By refreshing your site, you can take steps to reduce the bounce rate. This means revising code, shortening load times, improving written content, and making it easy to navigate through your website. Plan on spending at least $1,000 for these changes.
Adapting to Modern Design
Websites today don’t look the same as they did two years ago. Newer sites use simple animations and transitions to make it easier for visitors to read, scan, and glean information quickly. A web designer can help you consider snappy layouts that can better represent your brand, saving you money on advertising, and keeping your customers happy.
The best advice? Do your homework. Find websites you like and take notes. Ask what makes them easy to read, why you like visiting those sites, which fonts and color schemes they use, and other details. Don’t be afraid to steal a good idea—it’s what all the greats do.
A UX designer in Los Angeles can help you brainstorm ideas about layout and usability for between $40-$100 per hour.
Working on Legacy Code
When you hire a web developer to look over your site, the first thing they have to do is look over the existing code and check for errors. This takes time, so the best thing you can do is to figure out as many issues on your own as possible. Ask a friend to check your website and tell you about anything they don’t like.
You can also use Google Analytics as a free tool for gathering data about how people use your site and whether they stick around for very long.
If visitors can’t access a page, or if your site’s security is in doubt, your web developer will have to review the website’s code and make changes. In the worst cases, they will have to rewrite it. This can take a few hours, so if you’re working with a freelancer, expect to spend at least $500 on the fixes.
Write Better Content
There’s no substitute for great content. People don’t like sentences that just extenuate a propensity to establish lackluster vernacular to… you get my point. Bad content loses readers and increases your bounce rate.
Hiring a good writer is always worth it. There are bloggers out there who make six-figure salaries just because people like their writing enough to read about their pet subject. You can find good writers in the ballpark of $50-$100 per web page.
If your site is small, this means you shouldn’t have to spend much beyond $500 to have better, more readable content on your pages. Plus, you can instruct your writer about how to establish the kind of tone you want throughout your website.
Revisions take less time and money than new pages, so do your best to tighten up your existing content before asking an hourly contractor to come in and change it. Print it out on paper, read it out loud, and keep a pen with you to make notes.
When hiring a writer, make sure they use the right SEO keywords. Engaging content is important, and your SEO score will go up if people read what you have to say. By using the right keywords, though, you increase your chances of appearing at the top of the list of search results.
Also, consider scheduling blogs for the future. Blogs and other fresh content will show Google that your website is current and cares about its relationship to the market.
Get an SEO Report
An SEO expert can help you get your foot in the door when people search for your type of business. By being specific and narrowing your focus to only those who are most likely to use your services, you gain more customers and increase your search rankings.
SEO freelancers charge about $100 per hour or more, and the work they do is critical. They help you build your website around the right search terms, rather than irrelevant keywords that serve too many people and waste money. The right keywords drive more business and boost your search rankings.
Google uses location to put searchers in touch with local businesses, and they prioritize businesses that use smaller geographical keywords.
If your site is optimized for a large metro area, for example, people aren’t as likely to find you as they would be if you target a smaller, less advertised area. This matches you with better, more qualified customers who want exactly what you offer.
Tidying Up Loose Ends
There’s more to a good website refresh than just what people see, and those behind-the-scenes fixes can make the difference between people sticking around to see more or leaving right away. Ask your freelancers about other tips they know that can help you rank higher in searches.
Alt Text Alterations
Those photos you have on your website? They’re probably slowing it down.
You can also add some SEO magic to your images by adding in alt text, helping your site rank higher in searches. This is an easy way to build better site relevance and drive more traffic. Use your SEO report and ask your writer or web developer to write some alt text for those images using best practices.
If your website is a few years old, you’re also missing out on better image compression that can speed up load times, lower bounce rate, and boost your SEO score.
Adjusting to All Forms of Traffic
Responsive Web Design (RWD) is no longer optional in the pocket screen world of today.more than half of web traffic now occurs via smartphone, and that means your website will have to adjust to the various sizes and orientations of every screen.
While many developers understand how to make the right changes for a responsive experience, it takes time. Be prepared to pay for it.
The Overall Website Refresh Cost in Los Angeles
Refreshes don’t have to burn up your budget. By taking time to do some planning, you’ll be able to get the results you need without breaking the bank. As your website is a permanent part of your business, the $2,000-$3,000 you spend on it will be well worth it.
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David is the Co-founder and CEO of Goji Labs. David loves working closely with passionate founders to understand their vision and help them build beautiful applications while focusing on risk-mitigation. As an author, he focuses on informative and educational blogs that enable our clients to make the most of their businesses.