Website Redesign – Successes and Slip-ups

Congratulations! You have your business website up and running. Oh? You’ve had it up for a while? You see some changes you want to make? Well, hold on a minute. You’ve come to the right place. Redesigning your company website, be it a corporate web site or small business site, is a complex task. This article will give you redesign successes and slip-ups in website redesign. In other words, you are about to encounter some points to ponder as well as actions you’ll want to avoid.

Website Redesign Successes

1.What is the goal of your website? Most likely, your reasoning for changing the design of your website is to positively impact your business, not because you’re bored with the color scheme. You want your website to be a tool for increasing revenue. The first step in doing this is to determine the goal of your site. Does your website design help you in attaining your goal? Is the information easily accessible to potential customers or clients?

2. What is working well? Once you determine that your website design is aligned with your company goal, you can look at marketing. The formula here is quite simple. More visitors, leads, and customers equals an increased bottom line. Find out what qualities are assets for your site (ex. great content, keywords you rank for, inbound links to individual pages, conversion tools), and protect them carefully during the redesign.

3. Do you have a content- building strategy? The more pages in your website (quality content pages), the more website visitors you’ll get. The more visitors you get, the faster your business can grow. And if some of those web pages were written recently, that’s even better. If you have a strategy to continue to add more and more content to your website over time, you’ll likely see faster rewards. How can you do this? Try adding a blog! Remember to keep it current and include topics of interest to your desired customer. A blog is also great for initiating dialogue with your customers and potential clients.

4. Can you measure it? Two things you’ll want to measure are your website conversion rate and the number of leads you get. Your website conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who take a desired action, e.g. purchasing products, registering for membership, subscribing to a newsletter, downloading software downloads. Leads are a way of identifying people with potential interest in your product or service. The key to improving your conversion rate and the number of leads you get from your website over time is to continuously improve the effectiveness of your conversion tools. In homepage redesign, incorporate a system for this so that you will not have to go to a consultant or IT person each time you want to set up a new landing page or change an existing page. Otherwise, you might be limiting your ability to experiment, monitor, and adjust.

5. What are the essentials? Your website should not be without a few basic components: blogs, RSS, landing pages, and SEO. Blogs were discussed previously as a means for connecting with clientele. RSS allows some content from your website to be automatically pushed out to other websites and people, increasing the reach of your content. Landing pages, or pages linked to advertising or social media sites, are critical to actually get value out of your traffic. Finally, SEO, or search engine optimization, helps to improve the search engine visibility of your site. All of these components are straightforward, essential, and effective.

6. Who will do the redesign? If you opt to go with a design studio to help you, that’s great. You’ll want to use this resource to determine how to create attractive content and get more hits. When visiting your site, most people care about the content more than the design. The design should be good, but that does not mean unique and expensive. “Web design experts” can often get this stuff wrong. They can design experts rather than Internet marketing experts. This is something to consider in determining which design studio to use. If you don’t have room in your budget for an outside source to do your redesign, consider the wealth of information out there on the web. Web design blogs are one valuable source for these ideas.

Redesign Slip-ups

1. Thinking of your project as a redesign project when it’s actually about “redeveloping” the site. Are you changing the look of your site or improving the content based on data available to you? Sometimes what you need to do is to make your website look better. Make sure to determine your needs and consult your web data before moving forward with the project.

2. Missing the target. Web marketers must avoid developing the website for internal audiences (CEO, staff, etc.) The job of your site is to gain an audience for your product or service in a manner that advances your business. Current and potential customers are the audience who should guide decision making in your redesign.

3. Paying too much attention to the look and feel and neglecting content. Of course your sight has to look great. People are going to make snap judgments about a site based on its look and feel, but, all too often, people spend time focusing on color while content is neglected. Don’t fall into this trap.

4. Packing up after the launch. Establishing a new site design is the foundation for your web marketing strategy, but it’s only the first step. It’s important to continue to feed the site with new content and features that align with your marketing strategies.

A business website is a business tool and should deliver business results. While beautiful web pages are nice, artsy homepage redesign should not be your focus. Leave the works of art to the galleries and museums. Your career and your company will be grateful you did.