Every website has a shelf life. Times change and with these changes your website needs to keep up, staying one step ahead of your competition. An outdated website can easily damage your company’s credibility, youthfulness and could eventually cause a loss in clients. Before beginning a website redesign, you have to plan for exactly what you want in your new modern site. Use these six simple website redesign steps for a quick and pain-free website redesign.
STEP 1: Evaluate Your Current Website
Examine your existing site and make a list of what pages and functionalities are working and what are not. Don’t do this singlehandedly. Ask coworkers for their perspectives to get a well-rounded evaluation of the website. Next, review the overall look of the site. Is it modern? Is it attractive? And overall… is it what your company wants in a website? Keep detailed notes of all of your findings so your web developers know exactly what you are looking for on your brand new site.
STEP 2: Survey Your Customers
Maybe the website is working well enough from your perspective, but the real question is “Is your website fitting your customers needs?” The best way to reach out to customers is to survey them. A simple email or a link on your site is the best way to do this. Do not repeatedly email them and pester them to fill out your survey. If they didn’t respond on the first try chances are they won’t do it on the 5th and 6th try. You can even add a small prize like a 50$ Amazon gift card for an incentive if you are having trouble getting enough participants. This survey not only gives you valuable information from the customer’s perspective and also demonstrate that you care about your customers opinions. When the website eventually rolls out, your customers will feel like they had a piece in creating it and will be more invested in your site and company as a whole.
STEP 3: Analyze the Competition
Search major search engines like Google and Yahoo with keywords describing your business. See what competitors come up before you and check out their websites. What do they have that you don’t have? Take detailed notes and use multiple perspectives so that it can all be used by your web developer. Make sure to keep in mind that you aren’t and definitely should not copy a competitor’s site, but instead figure out what your site can do differently and/or better.
STEP 4: Review Your Analytics
A good thing to have on your website is a tracker to make sure that it is investment. Keep tabs on how your current website is doing and then make sure to test the new website, to make sure there is a marked improvement. During this step you should also look through which pages on your site are converting users into customers as those will be pages that you want to definitely keep and spend the most design time on.
STEP 5: Detail Reasoning for Redesign
What is your reasoning for a redesign? Have your website’s sales gradually declined? Is your site still getting the same number of pages views but not converting the hits into sales? List specific web metrics that you hope to fix along with the customer feedback from step two to allow your developers a clear picture of what you want in your new site.
STEP 6: Make Clear Goals for the New Site
This final step can be done in conjunction with your developers. During this time you will set a realistic time frame for the site build time, cost, and overall look of the site. You also want to develop goals for the actual site’s performance once it is built. You need to make clear goals for increases in site views, conversion rate, high SEO and other important metrics. Your developers can help you establish goals that are both beneficial to your company and realistic.
If you follow these six simple steps for planning your website’s redesign, your website will be well on it’s way to being your top salesman.