In this article, I’ll explain five ways to ensure you get maximum return with your next website redesign.
It could be initially that you feel your current website design is just getting old. It may be that new devices are not rendering your website how it should look, or it perhaps is that you are undergoing a rebrand. Whatever the case, a website redesign is something most organisations face once every 30 or so months.
So what can we do to improve the chances of even more success with your next website redesign project?
Here are five areas I recommend you consider paying close attention to.
Understand your goals and how you will measure them
Repeat after me “Make it look better” is not a useful objective. What we want to work on together, is how does the website help you with your objectives? Everything a digital agency does should revolve around this. Is it to make more sales (if you are ecommerce), generate new leads or raise awareness of your organization within a certain demographic?
All of these objectives are valid, and are important to explain to whoever is undertaking your website redesign. Ideally, you will also determine a measurable way to know if the new website is working better, the same or (unfortunately) worse than your previous one.
For example, with sales it could be total orders per month, and average order size. For lead generation, it could be total leads per month, and quality of leads.
Understand what your audience is currently doing
You should review your website statistics, and get a good understanding of a number of factors, being;
Overall most visited pages
It is very important to know what pages on your current website are getting most views. There are a number of things to watch here; ensuring you keep that content, possibly at the same address, perhaps move the content or add more calls to action to those pages, or more.
Devices and browsers
Every websites audience is different. An average of 35% of visitors being mobile for one website may 22% on another. How many visitors are visiting your website on non-desktop devices, and what does it look like? Same with browsers. Different web browsers can render your website differently – you need to test and ensure your new website works magnificently on these devices and browsers.
Most common landing pages
Many people seem to forget that it may not be your home page that is receiving most of the traffic. It is important for you and your web team to understand where most of your traffic is first arriving, and what additional design or content elements they should be considering adding to these pages.
Current pages per session and bounce rates
As designers, we want to try and reduce bounce rates, whilst increasing pages per session. This, however, could be a goal of an information heavy site, however with ecommerce you will want to reduce bounces and the amount of pages a user has to go through in order to purchase a product.
If you don’t have the sorts of figures above handy, then I recommend that you quickly add Google Analytics to your website, and monitor it over a month or so before starting with the website redesign.
Be open to collaboration
Choosing a website designer and developer is a leap of faith; you need to be able to trust that they can give you the right advice, and work hard on the right outcomes, even if this means disagreeing with your point of view.
A great designer should be solving a problem, and working on behalf of your customers and audience. This means at times, they may suggest something you haven’t considered, or wanted to avoid. If they can back it up with evidence, then you should really trust the professional to make the right choice.
Pay attention to content
The difference between being found on page one of Google, or not found at all (who goes past the first few pages of results?) often boils down to content. The saying ‘content is king’ is so apt when it comes to website redesigns.
Your website creators should partner with you to make suggestions around the type of content you include, the voice and tone it should be written in, and the key phrases and words that you should ensure your content contains.
This isn’t a case of writing the same phrase a million times throughout your text either; you should be focusing on both short and long tail phrases, all centered around human readability and what your audience wants to actually read.
Plan to continue the journey
In the 1990’s, we built a website, left it idle for two and a half years, and then started the process of creating a new one. Those times have long passed. Now, we need to consider a website as a living, breathing and ever evolving part of your marketing toolbox.
You need to discuss this in the outset of your website redesign, to ensure the areas and pages that you will be managing regularly are easily editable, and that any short to medium term plans you have are incorporated or at least considered during your website redesign.
A great designer will raise thoughts with you, on improving your website, and areas you should continue to maintain in the future.
There you have it – five steps to take to ensure a better chance of website redesign success. To recap, these are;
- Understand your goals and how you will measure them
- Understand what your audience is currently doing
- Be open to collaboration
- Pay attention to content
- Plan to continue the journey
Be taking care to address these points, you are more likely to end up with a successful result.
I wish you all the best of luck with your next redesign!