How to Prepare for a Website Redesign
October 10, 2013
Technology is ever-changing, and your website should be periodically refreshed -- not only to ensure it accurately represents your current business offerings -- but also to be in sync with the expectations and standards of today's users. If your website is more than 3 or 4 years old, it's likely that it's not mobile friendly. As more and more people routinely access the web from handheld devices, an outdated web presence is not going to make the best impression with today's tech-savvy consumers. Responsive design is worth considering, as it is a new way of delivering page content so that the web design will adapt to any size device.
Additionally, if your website uses Flash for video or multimedia presentations, understand that it doesn't function on many smartphones and tablets; however there are alternative technologies available.
Before you jump into a redesign project, there are steps you should take in preparation that will enable your project to proceed smoothly, avoiding any unnecessary delays.
- Know your competition. Before starting, be sure to cover all your bases, including taking a good look at your competitors and their websites. Be sure you haven't overlooked something important to your own site design. Note what you like and dislike about how other brands market similar offerings.
- Adapt to your audience. Understand that today's consumers want information delivered quickly. Less is often more. Keep text blocks and descriptions brief and well organized for easy accessibility and consumption.
- Know what elements you want to keep and what you want to change. Will you hold onto the existing color palette, or do you want a completely fresh approach? With page content, determine what is still relevant, which sections need updating, and how new content best fits in. If you have pre-existing pages that are ranking well in search engines, be careful about retaining keyword phrases that are working for you. Avoid altering the page URL (if possible -- or utilize automatic redirects) -- especially if there are a lot of inbound links. Hold onto benefits you've already earned.
- Determine what graphics are necessary and have them ready at the onset of the project. Do you have a clean version of your company logo? If your website is an ecommerce project, having product photos professionally photographed and properly sized ahead of time can assure that your website redesign project won't be delayed. Keep in mind, with social media sharing exploding on sites like Facebook and Pinterest, it's worthwhile to invest in beautiful photography.
- Along with having great photos, unique product descriptions that go beyond standard manufacturer descriptions can make a huge difference with it comes to your website being found in search engines -- resulting in increased sales for you -- and leaving your competition behind. Having your data organized and associated with the corresponding product images in advance goes a long way in keeping your redesign project moving along without delay.
- Review your Calls-to-Action such as offering opportunities for free information, email newsletter sign-ups, special offers and promotions, free trials, etc. Make it clear what you want a website visitor to do before leaving your page.
- Be sure your analytics code is in place. If you had analytics installed on your previous website, be sure the coding is carried over. If not, this is a perfect time to ensure you have analytics in effect for all pages.
- Again, ensure you have 301 redirects on old URLs to bring users who may have bookmarked old content to the new pages.
- Once your new design is launched, monitor what works and what may not be doing so well. Ask for feedback from others to determine if any edits are warranted.
- Lastly, know if you need professional guidance, Brave River Solutions' team of specialists has extensive experience optimizing websites for maximum visibility.
Is your site set up properly to attract customers who are searching for your products and/or services? Are your sales falling short because of website usability issues? Brave River's team members have the expertise to provide guidance along the way. Let us review your website for free. Call us today at 401-828-6611. Contact us today.