Every successful website redesign project starts with questions.
Before you start your website redesign project, there are some important questions that you need to ask.
You have to consider the full impact of a website redesign. There are many moving parts. You have worry about a lot more than deadlines and budgets.
The level of success you can expect from your website depends on your ability to ask the right questions.
You have decided to redesign your website. What’s next?
Before you start on a design mockup, you have to ask the following questions.
Why do you want to redesign your website?
Hopefully, there are multiple reasons. To start with, you need to find the reasons you are redesigning your website.
If you are totally re-branding your business then you will definitely need a redesign. Likewise, if there are many different changes to your services, target market, personnel and the market forces, then these are all valid reasons for a redesign. The old website may be looking a bit tired and need updating. That is also a good reason.
Here are some common reasons to redesigning your website:
- Your website is not responsive. A responsive site is a mobile-friendly site. If you want a great user experience, you must have a mobile optimized website.
Your website is underperforming.
- The user experience is poor.
- The purpose of your website has changed. Initially, your website might have been an online brochure. In the future you want your website to be a lead gen asset for your business.
- Your website is buggy. Problems with your website hurt the conversion rate.
- Your competition has updated their site.
- Your website platform is outdated.
What is the website’s purpose?
Every website must have a purpose. You must know the purpose of your website before going ahead with the redesign.
You will ultimately be looking for a return on your investment so it is important to determine the purpose of your website.
If for example, the purpose of your website is to create leads and sales, then you must thoroughly analyze how your current website is performing. Then you will be able to make improvements in your new website.
The purpose of your website will have a huge impact on the redesign.
The following are possible website purposes:
- Information – Brochure websites are great to provide basic information about your business.
- Entertainment – One of the best examples of an entertainment website is Youtube.
- Ecommerce – If you want to sell something, you will need an e-commerce site.
- Service – Describe the services you offer and generate leads for your business.
- Blogs – Blogs can stand on their own. Often blogs function as an add-on.
Many websites have multiple purposes. For example, you could have a service website combined with a blog.
How will your website redesign impact SEO?
You work hard to optimize your website. You want to make sure that the website redesign doesn’t negatively affect the SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Your website redesign will not impact SEO negatively as long as it is done correctly.
Here is how to redesign a website and maintain, or even improve SEO:
- Use the same page titles. If your web pages are ranking for certain keywords already, make sure that the same page titles are used after the redesign.
Use the same meta descriptions.
- Maintain the same H1, H2, and H3 tags.
- Transfer old content to redesigned website. It is OK to improve your website content or even update it in the process.
- Use the same URL scheme. If you have to change the URL scheme, use 301 redirects.
- Submit the XML sitemap to the search engines. Also, submit it to Google Webmaster Tools.
- Update your robots.txt file.
- Remove broken links or correct them.
- Make sure that your new website will not be hosting on a cheap hosting account. The wrong hosting account can damage your SEO several ways.
- Include your GA (Google Analytics) tracking code on the redesigned site. GA will help you track your website. You can make adjustments based on the analytics data.
What new technology will you use?
You may be interested in new technology that could help your website’s performance. New technology is great if it helps you reach your goals.
Never use technology unless it helps your website.
You should not use a new technology just for the “cool” factor. If the technology doesn’t move you closer to your goals, it should not be part of your website redesign.
You might have an old HTML website with static pages. It would make sense to redesign your website on WordPress. WordPress makes content updates quick and easy. On top of it all, WordPress is a free, open source website platform.
How will your website redesign help your customers?
Customers are your source of income. It is important to focus your website redesign around your customers.
With every website change asks yourself:
How will this help our customers?
With every new website feature try to help your customers. Make your website more user-friendly. Make the website easier to scan. Help customers get in touch with you or buy from you.
What new content will you add?
Your website content could be one of the main reasons why you want to go ahead with a redesign. Your content could be out of date. You might have new products or services to introduce.
Content is a key part of your website. If you decide to go ahead with a redesign it is very important that you decide whether it needs to be re-written completely or just refreshed. It’s worth bearing in mind, though, that content can always be improved.
How will you market your website?
Your website should be the center of all of your marketing activity. This includes offline marketing as well. You will probably already be directing visitors to your website via advertising in newspapers, magazines and by other means. If you are redesigning your website you need to ensure that all of these links are maintained.
What about the overall look and feel?
As you work through your website redesign, you have to make sure that you are happy with the overall look and feel.
Evaluate the overall look and feel by considering the following:
- Does your branding come across? Don’t be afraid to show what your brand is about.
- Are the colors right? Does the website color flows with the colors of your marketing materials?
- Are the images tell your story? It is best to use your own images. For best results avoid stock photos. Take the time to take your own photos and to create your own images.
- Is the website navigation easy to use?
- Are the fonts easy to read?
- Is the text large enough?
- What is the writing style? Does it fit your target market?
- Is there white space, to avoid overwhelming the site visitor?
What can you do better than the competition?
You can learn from your competition. Take a look at your competitors’ websites. Check and see if they have recently had a redesign. If so, how does it look ? It could be that their websites look more functional than yours, more attractive and delivering a better message. You can get ideas from the competition and decide if this is worth acting upon with a website redesign.
Learn from the competition to make your redesign more successful:
- Don’t just copy your competition. Just because one of your competitors is doing something it doesn’t mean that it works.
- Instead of copying the competition, improve on what they do. If they have good website content, create even better quality content.
- Check out their images. Get better images created for your website.
- Find out how many backlinks they have. If they have 100 backlinks get 200 backlinks to your own site.
- Check public customer reviews. Are customers complain about website issues? Are they asking for new features or improvements?
- Read their tweets and Facebook posts. See what type of content gets the most shares and activity. You want to create even better content that their best content.
- Get more customer testimonials.
A website redesign could take your business to new heights. The key to a successful website redesign planning. Following a website redesign system is also important.
The new design has to create the right image about your business. It has to have all the features to make your business goals a reality. You not only want a better website. You want to outcompete your competition with your new website.
photo credit: Rakuten Expo 2016