How to Prepare For An Upcoming Website Redesign Project
If you’ve gone through a website redesign before, you know that it’s no small undertaking, no matter the size of the site. As a client, I’ve gone through a couple, and as a project manager, many more than that!
Here are my tips for clients to be set up for success to market themselves well online and for a streamlined process to get you there.
Review Your Existing Site
Take an inventory and review the pages that currently exist (also known as a sitemap) and the content that lives on them. Can any of the pages be trimmed down or consolidated? The average website user is only on a site for 53 seconds, so getting them to the page they need and conveying the message they need to see is critical.
Identify the key pages that you want to drive traffic to (often that is product or service pages) and check out analytics to validate that’s where users are spending their time. If they’re not, focus on the content, keywords, and calls to action (CTAs) on the new pages to encourage engagement.
Also, Talk to Your Sales and Marketing Teams
- What are their pain points with the current site?
- What do they hear from customers?
- What tools/features would help them be successful?
Every recommendation might not be actionable, but it’s helpful to hear about the customer journey and let that guide design and functionality.
Content is a significant component of building a website in which the client has a majority stake. Between search engines interpreting your products and services so you show up in their results and conveying key messaging to the user once they land on your site, your content is the key communicator.
Questions to ask:
- Who is writing your content?
- Who is signing off on your content?
- What is the tone you’re trying to convey?
If you don’t have staff in-house to take this on, you can hire a content writer to help you in a few capacities:
- Review what’s already been created, offering insight into word count and word choice and making sure keywords are prominent and well placed in key places throughout your site. /li>
- Start from scratch – interview key stakeholders and review existing documentation, guidelines, and product information. They’ll create page outlines based on the topic and content that will coordinate with the designer’s creation.
Images are essential for effective first impressions and supporting your brand as users navigate the site. You know your business best, so we look to clients for guidance on the images that best represent themselves. Inventory what images you have and organize them (what images go with what service/product?). If stock images are needed, think about what a designer should look for.
Creating a new website is a big deal for a company, and there will need to be approvals along the way. It’s best to identify who these decision makers are early in the process, keep them up to date with progress and set timeline expectations with both internal and external teams.
Consider Digital Marketing
If you’ve got someone that manages your digital marketing already, they’d be a great resource to pick their brain on improvements to the site. They can look at data to discover gaps in usability, conversion rates, and key landing pages and identify keywords that will drive traffic to your most important pages. All of these will help guide better conversations in design and will be sure to show great results when the site is live.
If you don’t currently do any digital marketing, it can be a great compliment to help drive traffic to a brand-new site. 3 Media Web has a team of digital strategists that can help brainstorm tactics that drive results. Get in touch to learn more.
Think about Support and Hosting
What to think about now:
- Is your new site staying with your current host? Does your current host provide a robust server to support your new site?
- Have you been happy with your level of support?
- Is your content management system (CMS) easy to use?
3 Media Web builds sites on WordPress, meaning a streamlined build and an optimal user experience for the client post-launch. You’ll want to ensure that the CMS your site is built on is intuitive and effective in allowing you to update content easily. Additionally, it can be helpful to streamline your website experience with one vendor that offers website design and development and can assist you with support and hosting post-launch.
Once the website is live, think about who will update the site content internally. Google and other search engines value sites with regularly updated content, so it’d be great to have a plan to keep the site fresh with blogs (filled with relevant keywords), events, and resources.
Social media is another great way to drive traffic to your site once it’s live. Utilize your platforms and audience to highlight features and products from your website. Effective social media plans often result from a consistent posting schedule, and there are tools out there to help schedule posts in advance, like Hootsuite and Buffer, or from your CRM, like HubSpot.
Are You Ready for Your Next Website Project?
Our most effective web design projects are the most collaborative with clients. It’s certainly an investment of time and planning on an internal team, but the results will be better off because of it. Your visual brand will be accurately represented in the digital space, your messaging will convey who you are and what you do, and the user experience will drive site visitors to where they need to be.