Your website should be the go-to place for everything your customers need. Whether they have questions, want to buy products, or read blog posts, your web design must allow them to have a positive experience and find what they are looking for.
So, you’ve decided that your website needs a redesign. What’s the best process to ensure that your project is a success? Follow these 7 redesign steps to get started!
1. Analyze Current Performance Metrics
Before you dive into new branding, designs, and layouts, you must first analyze your current website performance metrics. Taking the time to evaluate how your site is performing will help you make strategic decisions for your redesign project.
For example, what is your average number of users? How many pages does the average user visit, and how long do they tend to stay on your site? What is your bounce rate compared to your conversion rate?
Answering these questions will help you develop a baseline for tracking your success in the future. The goal is to improve these metrics by redesigning your website, so you need to know where you stand first!
Similarly, analyzing these metrics will tell you what is working and what isn’t. There is no use in fixing something that is not broken, so use this analysis to select the areas your redesign will focus on. Perhaps you're making some simple SEO mistakes, or you need to boost website traffic – regardless of the goal, understanding your current metrics will help drive you in the right direction.
As you track these metrics, you should also benchmark your performance against the industry standards. Assess your competitor's website to get an idea of what they are doing well and ways that you can redesign your site to differentiate your brand.
2. Identify the Goals of the Redesign
The next step in the website redesign process is to set clear goals. We hinted at this earlier when discussing metrics, but this part is important enough to have a designated section!
You need to have set goals for your website redesign so that your team knows what they are working towards. Simply going through the process because you haven’t done a refresh in a while is not good enough – remember that your aim should be to improve specific areas of your site.
Here are some examples of specific goals you can set:
- Increase website traffic
- Decrease bounce rate
- Boost conversion rates
- Enhance SEO rankings
As you can see, the metrics we reviewed should help you make a data-driven decision about what your objective should be. Similarly, you may notice that many of these goals go hand in hand – if you want to boost conversion rates, you will likely need to reduce your bounce rate and increase traffic.
Once you identify one – or several – goals for this process, you must outline how you will measure success. What issues are you trying to fix? How will you know that your website redesign is working? What do you want your users to do when they are on your site?
For instance, if your main objective is to improve your SEO rankings, then you need to choose some keywords and topics your pages will focus on. Analyze the metrics for these keywords and use them as a baseline to measure your new site’s success!
3. Understand Your Audience
So, you’ve analyzed your KPIs and set some targets for your website redesign – now what? There is still some work to be done before you can start updating your designs and creating new content.
The third step in this process is to know your audience. Although you’ve likely done this exercise in the past – whether it be creating customer personas or mapping out the buyer’s journey – it is essential that your understanding is up to date.
Consider the Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 rule: 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your customers. To make the most out of your website redesign, you need to cater to these specific individuals!
Start by describing their defining characteristics: Who are they, where do they live, what other demographics apply?
Then move on to a deeper level such as what their pain points are and how your brand can solve them. This knowledge will help you fine-tune your customer personas and ensure that your website branding is tailored to the right audience.
Remember that everything you are developing is to improve the customer experience. Speak their language and choose content that will resonate the most with those buyer personas. Doing so will maximize engagement and allow you to meet your website redesign objectives!
In some instances, your target audience may change with your branding refresh. That means conducting proper research into what these shoppers are looking for is even more vital – you want to develop your strategy around the site visitors that are most important to your success.
4. Retain Your High-Performing Content
Taking time to revamp your website and create a fresh look is a great way to improve its performance. However, getting rid of everything can work against you!
Even if your website still needs a lot of work, there are likely aspects of it that are performing well. This may be specific blog posts or landing pages, but the key is that these content assets have already been built up – and a redesign can diminish its effectiveness.
Before you wipe your database and start from scratch, take inventory of your top content. What have visitors viewed the most? Is there certain content that has a high number of shares? Are there high-traffic inbound links to certain landing pages?
If you remove a page from your website that has accumulated many inbound links, it can significantly hurt your SEO rankings. That means it is more difficult for your target audience to find you, and you will need to start from scratch to build up your position on search engine results pages.
So, even if you refresh your website and optimize it completely, you won’t get the results you are looking for if no one can find it! Less than 1% of viewers will look on the second page of their Google search results, so if you are not in the first few links, your web performance will drop substantially.
Marketing analytics will play an important role here since it will allow you to categorize the pages that convert the most leads and generally perform well.
Documenting these links and pages will ensure that your website designers do not remove them and if they do need to be moved, that they establish the appropriate redirects.
5. Set a Budget
Most business endeavors require you to set a budget, and a website redesign is no different. Make a list of all the must-have improvements to your website before you get started or hire an agency to help. This will ensure that you have an appropriate budget for what you need while eliminating any extra fluff that doesn't actually add value.
However, your budget should be enough to develop a strong online presence. About 94% of first impressions on a website are related to its design, so give your design team enough funding to get the job done!
Custom websites will require a larger investment than a landing page built from a standard template or theme but remember that the more you can personalize your design to meet your audience’s needs, the better.
6. Choose a Content Management System
Once you have clear objectives and a budget, you need to select a content management system. While your website redesign will likely give you the boost you need to achieve your online traffic and conversion goals, it does not mean that your maintenance will end there.
You need a content management system, or CMS, to maintain your content and keep your site up to date. There are hundreds of options to choose from, so do your research before moving forward.
Consider options that have a user-friendly interface, SEO-compatible code, scalability, and more. If you are not sure of which CMS to commit to, reach out to the agency that is helping you redesign your site – they will be able to give you recommendations!
7. Work with A Professional
Completing the right steps for your next website redesign process involves an investment of time and resources. If you don’t get it right the first time, you may end up needing to go through this process over and over again – which can lead to wasted money and effort!
The best way to avoid this, and ensure that your website refresh is a success, is to work with an experienced professional. A digital agency that has expertise with redesigns can give you all the tools you need to make your project a success, without you having to go through the learning curve on your own.
However, the agency you choose to work with needs to be reliable and have industry experience. Your entire website will rely on them, so you need a strategic partner that understands your business goals and needs.
In other words, they should have proven experience with marketing, branding, and building websites – since there is so much more to a site redesign than just updating the code. With the right skill set, a professional can help you create a competitive advantage, drive traffic to your site, and generate impressive results.
At OPIN Digital, we specialize in building websites for a wide range of industries. Whether your brand works in retail, energy, government, or another area, our experts can help you develop a solution to maximize your success.
Be sure to check out our article covering website design best pratices to make sure your website redesign strategy is ready to go and meets industry standards before going through the redesign process.
Get in touch with us today to learn more!