Last week I discussed 4 signs it's time to redesign your website. If you considered those and are now ready to tackle website design, read on.
To get the best possible return on investment from your web redesign, it’s important to keep the process thoughtful and goal-oriented. When you work with a designer, you need to establish the main reason – or endgame – for the changes. Perhaps you want to make your online checkout process simpler, want more leads or need to change your site’s architecture.
Don’t move forward until you clearly understand what you want to achieve with the redesign, and have the right data to support your decision. Why? Because your goal is the foundation upon which all other decisions will be made. Without this foundation, your site will crumble. Once you’ve pinpointed your goal, don't miss these critical steps.
1. Establish key metrics.
In order to track and measure the success of your redesign, you need to establish targets (small goals) and measurable benchmarks. Consult your site’s metrics – such as those related to SEO, user engagement and e-commerce – both before and after the redesign to track the effectiveness of your efforts.
2. Update website assets.
A smart website enhances your company’s brand. As you plan your redesign, determine which keywords drive the most traffic to your site so you can incorporate them. Additionally, take note of any assets (such as web copy, images and whitepapers) you want to migrate to your new site, and revamp them if necessary.
3. Define your target audience and develop personas.
Before you can appeal to your target audience, you have to know who they are. One way to bring your audience into focus is to develop personas that represent your sites primary visitors. Customer personas make it easier to ensure your brand and website will engage and appeal to the audience you wish to attract. If you’re not sure how to create these personas, a marketing agency can help.
RELATED TUTORIAL: How to Understand Your Buyers
4. Test new designs before launch.
The best chefs in the world try out their creations before placing them in front of a customer. Before you launch a redesigned site, you should do the same thing. The benefit of pre-launch testing is that you learn about what works and what doesn’t so your web developer can help you implement any last-minute changes.
5. Launch when your site has the least traffic.
Contrary to popular opinion, the best time to launch a website redesign is when you expect the least traffic. This way, you can work out any kinks with minimal damage. You should also lay plans for promoting your redesign. As time goes on, work with your site’s developer to conduct audits, monitor errors and populate data.
A website redesign is a big task. By taking a thoughtful approach to the process, and avoiding the temptation to take shortcuts, you can ensure the time you put into a redesign will translate into a big ROI and improved bottom line.
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