6 Steps to a Stress-Free Website Redesign Process
Redesigning your website can be a bit of a leap in the dark. What do you keep? What do you leave out? Should you even redesign your website in the first place? These 6 steps will throw the guesswork out the window so that you redesign your website stress-free.
1. Define Your Goals
Website redesign cannot and should not be done in a vacuum--you’ve got to know exactly what you hope you achieve by redesigning your website. And it is not enough to want a redesign simply because you are “tired of the old layout” or because your competitors are doing it.
Write down specific and actionable goals which you hope to achieve by redesigning your website, and these could include getting more visitors, increasing conversions, reducing bounce rate, and so on. The advantage of having well defined goals for your website redesign is that they focus your efforts and can help tell you whether or not you need a redesign in the first place.
2. Audit Your Current Website Assets
If your website has been around for a while it is very likely you have some digital real estate you would not like to lose. Website assets include keyword rankings, excellent content, inbound links, conversion tools and so on.
You want to go through your website auditing the pages to find out what you absolutely need to keep so that you can safeguard them. Questions you want to ask yourself during this exercise include: Which are my most popular pages? How many inbound links do I have? And so on.
3. Use Your Website’s Data to Know What Needs Redesigning
To make your redesign as simple and effective as possible, you want to stick to exactly what needs to be optimized and redesigned; and a key way to do this is by looking at your website’s data. Data from your website traffic logs as well as data from free tools like Google Analytics can help you understand more about your audience and what makes them tick.
A paid analytics tool like Crazy Egg can show the areas of your site that get the most clicks, while paid tools like UserTesting.com and FiveSecondTest offer qualitative analysis from actual users on what is working and not working on your website.
The goal is to use data to take out the guesswork from your redesigning.
4. Set a Reasonable Time Frame
Creating a great website takes time, and the last thing you want is to hamper your chances at success by adopting an unrealistic time frame within which to work. You want to give yourself 2-5 months to come up with a website that works for your business and delivers a great ROI. However, you can reduce the amount of time needed for a redesign by reducing the the size of your website, cutting off parts you don’t need or by carrying out the redesign in stages, focusing on the pages that are critical to the user journey before turning to less important parts of the website.
5. Pay Special Attention to the Homepage
Your homepage will probably be the setting for the first interaction between a potential customer and your brand. You therefore want to pay enough attention to it to ensure that you make a good first impression. One thing you want to keep in mind though: Keep it simple. Don’t make your visitors have to work too hard to find the information they need. Other tips to keep in mind include:
? Make your homepage navigable so that your visitors easily know where to go to get what they want.
? Create personas of your visitors so that you can create a homepage that appeals to that audience.
? Integrate social media widgets and links, blog posts, and other social content to bring your homepage to life.
6. Track, Track, and Track
You can only know if your redesign is a step in the right direction if you measure its effectiveness. Here are few metrics you particularly want to take note of:
- Visitors: How many people are coming to my website? Where are they coming from?
- Leads: How many visitors converted to leads? What did they convert on?
- Sales: How many leads turned to sales?
You will measure this against the goals you envisioned at the beginning.
Website redesign is an ongoing process, one which you have to do over and over again until you arrive at the goals you set for yourself. To shorten the distance between where you are now and where you want your website to be, however, you may want to talk to some experts.
We at Eternity love making sure our clients get the best ROI from their websites. Reach out today and tell us more about your goals and what you would want from your website.