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Reshape Digital #11: Perpetual Website Redesign
Your website should be in a perpetual state of redesign. That doesn't mean you need to overhaul it every month. It means you need to test every assumption you make in your marketing strategy and pivot every time you learn something new. Listen to find out what it takes to keep your marketing strategy and website fresh!

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If you run a Google search for “reasons why you should redesign your website,” you’ll see a bunch of boring, canned content. Articles listing reasons like “your website is not mobile-responsive” and “your loading time is too slow.” Nowadays, if your website is lacking in these types of functionalities, you’re way behind the curve. In today's episode, we make an argument for why your website should always be in a state of redesign

Marketing Pivots

A good marketing strategy is always in flux. Good digital marketers are paying attention to their metrics and trying to understand what their audience is telling them. This means that you should always be ready to adapt your marketing strategy to better serve your audience. For most marketers, their website is their bread and butter.

When you change your marketing strategy, you need to change the way you present your marketing as well. Whether you are revising your content, presenting a new brand or updating your colour scheme, your audience has to feel that there is a difference. A changing marketing strategy shouldn’t be subtle. You want to let your audience know that you are listening to them and making changes. A difference in marketing strategy should feel different in the customer experience.

Hit them in the Experience

Your customer journey is well and truly an experience. More importantly, it’s a branded experience, meaning that you control the way it feels to interact with your brand. For many marketers, the centerpiece of that experience is the website.

Whether you are making a small or a large pivot in your marketing strategy, you want your audience to know about it. It could be as simple as promoting your new white paper, or as complex as a rebrand with new logo, mission statement and colours. Either way you’re going to announce it.

It’s easy to just say “always redesign your website,” but what does that actually mean? For a marketer, it means capitalizing on lessons learned. Let’s say you don’t get enough engagement on your white papers, but you have a really exciting one you just published and you are hoping that your audience gets to see it. This is an opportunity to introduce a new component to your site to announce the white paper at the top of your blog posts. This is a new experience for your avid blog readers, and requires applying the new component across all of your blog pages. Redesigning your blog pages presents you with an opportunity to capitalize on a new and exciting piece of content.

Testing

The idea of constantly redesigning your website comes from an “always testing” mentality. Let’s say you changed the content on your landing page and went from 1000 daily visitors to 2000 on that page. Any marketer would be thrilled to see this kind of improvement, but what if they are missing out on another 2000 visitors because they didn’t restructure the CTAs on the page.

A great story about testing is the Obama campaign in 2008. Obama was trailing Hillary by double digits for the Democratic nomination. But one thing he had on his side was his digital strategy team. They ran an elaborate A/B test to increase the number of email signups. The test involved four different buttons and six different media types, meaning that there were twenty-four total combinations.

What are the takeaways from this? First, you want to test early. Many people wait until they gather data before running tests and pivoting their strategy. In the Obama example, the tests ran from the start, and they were able to capitalize on the results much sooner.

The other thing is to never stop testing. Your audience’s interests and behaviours can always change. You never want to assume you’ve figured out the perfect marketing formula because that formula is always changing.

Finally, challenge your assumptions. Your assumption might pertain to the type of content that will perform best. That can be challenged via A/B testing. What’s more important, though is that you don’t make assumptions about the rationale for your audience’s behaviour. Many marketers fall into the trap of believing they understand why a piece of content performed better in an A/B test. This assumption can lead to faulty decisions about future content and strategy.