Top Tips on How to approach Website Redesign
There are several reasons why you may be considering a complete website redesign. Your current site may look outdated, you may not be getting the traffic – and the engagement or conversion rate – you want from your site or perhaps you want to have a responsive web design. In any of these cases, a redesign is a good solution, but only when it is done properly. There are a few things to keep in mind when planning the new site. We are going to talk about them in this article.
Know Your Audience & How They Interact with Your Site
No matter what kind of web site you are developing, the most important thing to begin with is your audience. After all, they are the ones who will determine whether your site is a success. As yourself these questions:
- Who are my audience? Who am I targeting?
- What do they enjoy the most from the existing website?
- What are the things they look for (or expect) from the website?
These questions, I admit, are not easy to answer. Since you already have a website running, however, you can learn a lot from your existing analytics. The number of returning visitors, for instance, can tell you so much about whether your existing audience is making the most of the features you offer on your site.
Take it a step further and analyze these things: the top-performing keywords, the time on site and your overall conversion rate. Top-performing keywords often offer a lot of insight on how your target audience finds you. They also tell who your current audience are and how you can improve in this department.
Time on site, on the other hand, provides you with information on whether your site offers good user experience. When the UX is on point, you will see a steady hike in time on site; users simply love to browse through your site.
Last but certainly not least, study your conversion rate to understand how good the flow of your current website is. When you have a nice flow that directs users from high quality content to effective calls to action, your conversion rate will reflect that.
Know Your Redesign Goals
What are the goals you want to achieve with the website redesign? Are you trying to increase traffic? Do you want to simply update the look of your site? Each specific goal will determine how you need to proceed with the project.
Similar to the previous step, determining the goals of a web design project is essentially important. Once you know the goals you are trying to achieve, you can formulate ways to achieve them all.
I was once involved in a redesign project with sales as its primary goal. The existing site was quite effective in terms of converting leads to sales, but the owners wanted to sell more products and expand their business. With this goal in mind, I looked into the existing site and find ways to improve the checkout process. A cleaner checkout form, fewer checkout steps and well-placed verification badges were added to increase sales. It worked.
Have a Clear Message
A classic mistake a lot of developers still make when designing a website is inconsistency. I’m not talking about changing navigations or color scheme. I’m talking about a layout that doesn’t work well with the actual brand – and the key messages – of the company or the site.
Having a clear message, a general theme that works well with the brand it represents, should be part of the website redesign. Work with web site developers that can advise you on creating a consistent, pleasant experience. This way, it is much easier for audience to recognize your brand and the messages you are trying to convey.
When you have a brand that screams ‘modern’ and ‘chic’, for example, using flat, simple colors paired with a clean and functional layout will help convey a consistent message. Going for a lot of animations or using too many colors, on the other hand, will slightly distract audience from the key messages.
Create a Clear and Detailed Brief
Web design is a craft, a combination of science and art. To produce the best results, you need to provide them with as many information as possible.
Now that we’ve done some research, you can start planning every detail of the redesign project. Use information gathered in the previous steps to help you pinpoint web elements that need to be changed. Discuss the project with your developer and don’t hesitate to work on fine-tuning the new layout before going forward with the project. After all, a good web redesign plan is 70% of the work; the rest is easy once you have a detailed plan in hand.