5 Steps to Ensure a Successful Website Redesign
by: Laura Johnston
When considering a website redesign, knowing the steps to ensure a successful project is incredibly important. You probably remember the process of creating your initial website, and we would be willing to bet it was quite an undertaking! The redesigning process is similar, but you have a head start of knowing what did or did not work the first time around.
Follow the five steps below to use data from your existing website to your advantage during the redesign process. Make sure to involve the agency you will be working with on the website redesign throughout this process, as their insight will be an invaluable guide. This process will save you time, money and leave your company with a great digital refresh!
Start With Strategy
Determine why you are looking to refresh the website. Is a redesign necessary? These projects can be expensive, so make sure you are not reinventing the wheel without a purpose.
Reasons for a redesign include:
- Rebranding of imagery, messaging, or both. If you have ever gotten feedback that your website doesn’t give a clear picture of what the company does, a rebrand might be the place to start.
- Product launch. A new product, a major change in service offerings, or a shift in the company will likely warrant a redesigned website.
- Functionality problems. When users have trouble navigating a website, they’re not likely to stick around long. Any major functionality issues call for a redesign.
- Changing industry trends. Every couple of years, fundamentals in web design shift, just like in fashion! Even the best sites need updating as your brand continues to design for your buyer persona’s needs. This shows your brand is staying ahead of the curve while serving your users best.
Set Clear Goals
Come up with a list of goals you want the website redesign to accomplish. Six months from now, what measurable achievements will tell you the redesign has been a success.
Possible goals include:
- More conversions. Achieved by creating stronger visuals on the site or more compelling copywriting around calls-to-action (CTAs).
- Increased views. Achieved by creating a knowledge base or learning center for your site and updating it regularly to promote return website visits.
- Higher download rates. Creating high-quality, gated content pieces and resources for your audience to download is an awesome way to acquire new leads.
Reviewing the site as it currently is and the associated metrics will help you formulate the benchmarks you want to hit in the future. For example: if there is a blog post that gets exponentially more views than any other content on the site, consider using that topic as pillar page content and building more content around that topic. This can be a great place to lean on your digital agency and let them lead your team’s brainstorming to plan new topics for content pieces that fit into the redesign.
Get Actionable Feedback
Ask colleagues, clients, your digital agency, and other key stakeholders in your business to review your current site from a user experience standpoint. Some questions you might ask them to keep in mind during their review:
Questions you might ask to help guide their review include:
- Is the website’s navigation simple and intuitive?
- What primary message about the company do they take away from the site?
- Do they feel the site is visually appealing?
- Would they be motivated to respond to CTAs and/or signup forms on the site?
- Are their questions answered in a simple, thought-provoking way?
Taking responses to these questions into account when planning the website redesign provides invaluable information. Be open to all the responses you get, and make sure to thank your “reviewers” for their time and effort – depending on how thorough you expect your review team to be, their time may warrant an incentive (who can’t use a Target gift card, am I right?!).
Take Quality Inventory
Websites are often used as the central location for a company’s content, and a content inventory can show you both what you already have and what you are missing. Based on your findings, create a list of ideal content pieces for your redesigned website.
Content options include, but are not limited to:
- Video assets
- Expanded service offerings
- Usable resources
- White Papers
If you are already active on social media, looking at what types of content are performing well and integrating those ideas and topics into the redesigned website will increase engagement and provide users with answers to their questions.
Build a Plan of Action
Using all the previous steps, create a brief to pass to your digital agency. The brief will allow them to use their expertise and dig deeper into your redesign ideas and goals, creating a roadmap for an achievable and actionable project.
If you’re more visual, PowerPoint or Canva are great options to layout your brief. But, if lists are more your thing (HellOoOo, me), using a spreadsheet or text document works, too. Having this brief allows the team you are working with the review the plans you have in mind and provide a solid roadmap to being the redesign process. This will streamline the process of bringing your ideas to life.
While a website redesign can feel like a daunting task, if done properly, it is a great way to reinvigorate your brand and jumpstart your company’s exciting, fresh look, feel, and position in the marketplace.
Working with an experienced digital marketing agency will help flush out your plans and ideas, saving you time and money. At The Buzz Effect, our Growth-Driven-Design process (GDD) focuses on a data-driven mindset that continually improves over time. We develop a detailed understanding of your online audience over time, allowing your website to improve continually. In turn, saving you money and time.