Every new year, we think about resolutions and how we can improve ourselves for the coming year. While ending bad habits and exercising more are obvious resolutions, a website redesign might also be in the cards for you. When was the last time your website (whether it’s a personal portfolio or an e-commerce website) had a refresh? It’s not as daunting as you think when you have an experienced development team behind you to make your vision manifest. In addition, it’s a vital element to any business if you want to one-up competitors. If your business isn’t taking advantage of SEO best practices, intuitive user experience, and optimal performance techniques, you’re missing out.
Here are 5 key factors to keep in mind when planning a rebuild.
Review the Data
Google Analytics and other tracking platforms offer valuable information about your users and how well your website accommodates them. In addition, this data also reveals areas that may need improvement. For example, users visit your site through the home page and go to a secondary page. How long do they stay on a single page (average session), and which landing page do they exit your site at? Consider the pathway that a single user takes when they visit your site. Are they going where you want them to go? With this information in mind, you may want to focus on navigation during a redesign. A UX/UI designer creates a blueprint of your website, taking into account that the design needs to essentially “herd” users to where they need to go (or rather, where you need them to go). Elements like clear navigation and eye-catching CTAs can make this happen.
In Google Analytics, go to Audience > Users Flow. You’ll see a colorful diagram that looks something like this:
You have the ability to customize dimensions to show what device, browsers, and city users came from. In regards to Sevaa Group, for the month of November, I can see that most of our users came from the US through the home page or the blog. From the blog, users travel to another post or visit the About Us page or the hosting page. This may be a result of internal links in the blog posts themselves, or users may be generally interested in our services. Either way, if we were to do a redesign, I may consider sprucing up the blog or making improvements to our Hosting page so as to engage users.
Know Your Audience
In addition to the users’ behaviors, Google Analytics also tells you exactly who is coming to your site. This is good to know for marketers, sales, and designers alike. If you discover that your audience is mainly 18-30-year-olds, your designers may lean towards a more modern, and intuitive design. This type of audience is more likely to use social media, therefore, it’s important to offer them different ways to view or share your website. Elements like social media links or sharing icons encourage users to engage.
Or, you may find that users are interested in related topics. For examples, visit Audience > Interests, and you can see other interests that your users have explored on the Internet or various in-market segments. This information helps the marketing team construct KPIs and buyer personas. KPI stands for key performance indicators. These indicators offer a numerical value to measure the success of your business and/or website. A few examples would be conversion rates, monthly leads, average session time on a page. Determine what KPIs matter to you, and your designers will work with you to create a website that improves your measure of success.
Do a Content Audit
Next, you’ll want to take a step back and lay out all of your content. Not just blog posts…all of your content. That includes sidebars, page descriptions, captions, accordion text, menus, videos, images! A “content-first” approach to a redesign leads to a site that is geared more towards users. Content is the driving force behind your website’s traffic. You need content to share with social media followers, SEO purposes, and thought leadership. Think about all the ways a user might digest content. You may find that an entire page of your current website could fit into a well-planned video. Or instead of using paragraphs, use a different layout such as break out boxes. A UX designer can help you organize the information architecture of your redesign. When it comes to information architecutre, you’ll learn how to organize, label, and structure your content.
After reviewing your data and content, you can finally list out your goals. Talk to your team to get more than one opinion on how your site could improve. If you want to be thorough, send out an email campaign that gives your existing audience a chance to share their thoughts, either through a general form or a survey. Then sit down with designers and developers to determine what it takes to bring your visions to life. Often times, a client tells what they want users to do but aren’t really sure how that would happen, technically. That’s where Sevaa Group comes in. We take what you want and make it easy for you to work with on the backend of any CMS you prefer. We begin developing your website based on the designers working files. We’ll keep you in the loop along the way to get your approval on any deviations from initial discussions. Before we launch, we’ll ensure that all content has been migrated, the project has been tested, and everything is responsive.
Choose a Hosting Provider
Once your website is built, it needs a place to live. You’ll need to determine where you want to host your site. Not only can Sevaa Group build your site, but we’ll also host it! Our hosting is completely customizable based on your needs. We include all the security bells and whistles as well as ensure 100% uptime. In the case that your website experiences a traffic spike, we’ll make sure that your hosting plan is scalable and can handle the wave of success! Talk to us about starting the development process. We’ll start with a discovery phase to discuss your vision and keep you in the loop every step of the way.