Three Things to Consider Before Embarking on a Website Redesign

Aug 24, 2017 admin

Are you concerned your website looks stale? Dated? Do you long for a new site - one that’s mobile-first and built with animation, automation, and SEO firmly top-of-mind? I can empathize, as InkHouse recently finalized a major redevelopment of our website and I thought I’d share some of what our team learned along the way.

Choosing to overhaul your website is not a decision that should be made lightly. It’s important to redesign for the right reasons: to help your company be found by more prospects, convert more leads into customers, and to bolster brand awareness.

How do you know when it’s time for a redesign?

You need to consider all of the implications of a redesign, and make sure you’re doing more than just making things look pretty; your new design has to be functional as well as visually engaging. These are a few indicators that, yes, perhaps your online presence could use a refresh:

- Your site looks bad on a mobile device

- Your site takes time to load

- Your competitors have redesigned their site

- Your product/service/business model has changed

- Your bounce rate is high

- Your content is difficult to share on social channels

- You’re not seeing business results, i.e. leads, conversions

What are your business goals?

Now that you’ve decided to redesign, goal setting is the critical first step to inform your strategy.

Are you seeking to grow your business by 15 percent this year? Do you need to stand out to compete in a crowded market? Does your C-suite need a platform for their thought leadership?

Your website goals are a function of your core business goals, and it's important to rank them. Extra traffic is nice, but traffic without conversions is not success. Prioritizing the goals for your website redesign helps you reach your most important marketing and business objectives.

Did you conduct an audit?

Your current site’s data holds the key to creating a more efficient and impactful website. Use Google Analytics to get a grasp on what is working and what’s not. Your dashboard should show you how visitors reach your site, where they are spending their time, and which pages have the highest bounce rates. This will help you determine which aspects of your site content should be kept, updated or removed.

Within this audit you should also attempt to wrangle your content. If content is king, then content strategy is king-maker. It guides the development, delivery and management of shareable long- and short-form content, video, imagery, graphics, and even metadata, often mapped to the specific needs of a visitor or buyer. Great strategy leads to the creation of well-timed content built around core themes with a user in mind.

A content audit will help you determine if your digital content is relevant to your customer, and to your company. Some questions to kick this off:

- What subjects and topics does your content address?

- Do you have clear messaging guidelines to follow?

- Is the content accurate/up to date?

- Does the content have a consistent voice?

- What content is missing?

Now the rubber hits the road

You have defined gaps and problems, identified strengths and goals, and can now develop specific recommendations for improvement. Your website is meant to bring you business. If it's not doing that, it’s time to make changes.

Next steps: finding a resource to guide you through the project and define your online aesthetic. Look for my next post on what to look for in a website design agency.

Topics: Graphic Design, Web Design, Content Strategy

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