So It’s Finally Time To Redesign Your Website
As you know, your website is essentially your company’s digital salesperson. If it’s good at its job, you’ll do well. If not, you’re leaving money on the table.
You may have reached the point of decision and determined it’s time to act. Time to make a change. Time to redesign your website.
Have you ever just started doing something without knowing exactly what you’re hoping to accomplish?
When you’re investing in a redesign, it’s incredibly important to have several important specifics nailed down. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
The key to accomplishing goals is setting them in the first place. What are you hoping to accomplish with this redesign?
And no, “More sales!” is NOT the correct answer.
Let’s get numerical. How many more visitors, conversions, sales, etc. are you hoping to acquire? 1,000 more unique visitors per day? 10% increase in conversions? 23 more sales per week? Before you invest in change, you should have a defined numerical value for what you hope to accomplish.
This may seem like the most basic part of doing business, but you have to know your value proposition.No one is going to be more passionate about your product/service than you are. Identifying what makes your business a unique, attractive option is the foundation of everything else you do.
Once you know what you are offering, you need to identify who wants it.If you don’t know who you’re talking to, how on Earth do you expect to sell them your product?
At worst, you should have a broad definition. Are you marketing to men or women? Are you marketing to younger people or older individuals? At best, you can identify a specific segment or even a number of segments that your product/service appeals to.
Strategy is all about getting specific.
Like strategy, planning is all about the specifics.
What specifically is lacking from your current website?
Sometimes, a website simply needs a face-lift, and that’s fine, but keep in mind that there are plenty of outdated websites raking in major revenue online. Even if you have nothing obviously dysfunctional to fix, a redesign is the perfect opportunity to optimize.
Whether it’s your CTA placement, navigation, or branding, having a clear idea of your desired improvements before beginning will allow for a much more efficient and effective redesign experience.
What is your marketing strategy?
This is one of the most important points to define in the strategy and planning stages. What will your marketing strategy be?
If you’re number-one goal is building an email list, your website could look much different than if your marketing strategy is focused on affiliate networks, PPC, or channeling users to your online store.
Most websites can be adjusted to facilitate a given marketing strategy, but doing a dedicated redesign is the perfect opportunity to customize your online platform specifically for your online strategy.
3. Design & Build
When initiating the design of your new website, there are a couple of helpful things to keep in mind.
If you outsource, make sure your designer is on the same page.
Planning the perfect website is fairly pointless if that website doesn’t get built. The following strategies can help ensure your designer starts and stays on the same page throughout the process.
- Order initial mockups rather than simply paying for a new site, sight unseen (total pun opportunity right there)
- Require concrete deadlines for project completion (references can help verify these will be followed through)
- Frequently check up on progress to ensure your site is matching your expectations
Remember that your site is an extension of your brand.
There is nothing wrong with building a beautiful website. I love beautiful websites.
Just remember that your website is an extension of your brand, and it should LOOK like an extension of your brand. While Jim Carrey’s artsy home page is visually interesting and uniquely captures his personality, it probably won’t do a great job of representing your pet care products.
In terms of look and feel, focus more on emphasizing your brand than creating a uniquely beautiful or clever site. At the end of the day, your primary (if not only) goal should be to increase your business’ profit. Don’t waste time and money on fancy or high-tech features unless they directly increase your income.
4. Analyze & Optimize
After you’ve built your new website, it’s time to start tweaking. Building based on universal conversion rules and best practices is recommended.
- Is your site multi-browser compatible?
- Is the navigation simple and intuitive?
- Are open graph tags properly set for easier social sharing?
- Are your analytics tools installed and running?
- Is your site optimized for mobile viewing (potentially nearly 40% of your traffic)
After you’ve been up and running long enough to adequately measure traffic and conversions, compare your data against past performance and evaluate your progress towards meeting those goals we discussed earlier.