You are ready to redesign your website. Perhaps you have just completed a brand revamp or your product has been updated. No matter what reason, a successful redesign can prove to be a great success. Redesigns can be tedious and time-consuming. This is why it is important to have a clear vision of the problem and a solution.
Your redesign will be more successful if you can clearly define your vision from the beginning. The entire process will also be smoother if you do this well.
No matter if you are working with an agency or redesigning your site in-house, offering a redesign to stakeholders. This guide contains tips to help plan your website redesign.
What is website redesign?
Website redesign refers to the process of updating and changing the content, structure, and format of your website in order to increase performance and convert more people.
As their business grows, many organizations decide to redesign their websites. Other companies invest in website design as part of a larger rebranding effort. No matter why are the reason your company is interested, The project is itself a huge undertaking. It’s also an important one considering the crucial role that your website plays in marketing and branding.
New research shows that 50% believe website design is essential to a company’s overall brand. Many visitors believe that the website you create is as important as the products and services you offer.
How often should you redesign your website?
Business2Community states that websites last between 1.5 and 2.5 years. This is because design trends change and technology improves, so this is how long it will take for a website to feel “fresh” again and be competitive. This time frame is just a guideline. You will have to decide what is best for you.
These factors will help you decide how often your website should be updated:
Consider how often your brand and goals change. Before you start looking for a new website, ask yourself if this website still represents who we are as an organization.
What budget do you have for design and development? Ask yourself: “Can I put off a site design? Or do I have good reasons to spend the budget now?”
The time it takes for your website to be functional and responsive. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers and navigate the site with ease. You want to find the information you need quickly and without any errors. Nearly 50% of websites receive between four to six-page views per visit. All that browsing shows that speed and navigation are important.
Website performance. Ask yourself: “Is this site converting an acceptable amount of traffic?” Are people staying on the page for a reasonable time or do they bounce?
Changes in the industry. Google, for example, announced it would switch to mobile-first indexing. This meant that websites had to be mobile-friendly or risk losing organic traffic from Google.
Your website is the first place customers and visitors go to when they have questions, want to read content, or need to purchase products or services. It is important to be prepared before you commit to a website design.
Your website redesign plan may take you longer to create than the actual redesign. These steps will help you decide what to include in your website redesign strategy.
How to Redesign a Website
Let’s look at eight important website redesign tips that you should consider when planning and completing your project.
1. Compare your performance.
Your current website performance metrics should be documented before you start planning your redesign. This will help you to see where your website is at the moment and which metrics you can improve.
Analyze the monthly performance of your website in these areas. Each may have different importance depending on the website redesign goals. However, it is helpful to gather each metric before diving into your redesign.
- Unique visitors and number of visitors.
- Rate of bounce
- Time on site
- The top-performing keywords for rank, traffic, and lead generation
- Number of inbound linking domains
- Total number of new leads and submissions
- Total sales (in dollars).
- Indexed pages total
- Traffic to pages total
For better visibility and tracking of your website’s performance, I recommend tools such as Google Analytics and HubSpot Marketing Analytics.
Also, take note of the tools that you used in the past to measure these benchmarks. It’s a good idea to keep the same tools in mind when you collect your post-redesign metrics. You’ll end up comparing apples and oranges.
2. Determine your website redesign goals.
What is the “why” behind your website design? There should always be a reason for a website redesign.
If you answer with “well, it has been a while since our last one” or “my competition just did a design redesign”, those reasons are not good enough.
Remember that it’s not about how your website looks, but how it functions. Make sure you are clear about the reasons for redesigning your website and then tie these goals to tangible results. Communicate your goals to your agency, designer, or team.
These data-driven goals can be used to build your website.
- To increase the number and quality of visitors.
- To lower bounce rate
- To increase site time
- To improve domain authority
- To increase the number of leads and submissions
- To increase sales
- To improve SEO rankings of important keywords
Many of these goals depend on each other. You may need to increase traffic and decrease your bounce rate to get more conversions.
Also, review the metrics that you gathered in the previous step. Is there anything you could improve on with your new website’s metrics? You might also use the metrics from your previous website to help you set new goals.
3. Define your brand and messaging.
Be clear about what your unique branding, messaging and value proposition are before you start designing your website. This will ensure consistency across all pages of your website.
Everyone who visits your site for the first time should be able to understand what you do and how it might benefit them. They should also understand why they should keep coming back so that they don’t leave to go to other sites.
Consider whether or not you intend to change your branding/messaging, or if it will remain the same. What should you change if you want to change it? These changes should be kept in mind as you redesign your site.
As you develop your messaging, use clear, concise language. Avoid using industry jargon, which can alienate some of your audience. It will make you sound more like an automated business person than a human.
As you create your company branding consider which visual elements of your website should be changed and what aspects can remain the same. Are you currently working on a logo, style guide, or color scheme? These should be applied to your website in order to keep it consistent with your brand’s other elements.
4. Define your buyer persona.
Your website is more than you. It’s not about your website. Your visitors arrive at your site asking, “What’s the point?” What could I gain from this website? Your buyer personas will help you communicate with your visitors in your language.
If you are a marketing manager looking to bring in new customers at a hotel, you might target five buyer types: an independent business traveler and a corporate travel manager. An event planner, a family traveling with their children, and a couple who is planning their wedding reception.
You must clearly identify your buyer personas in order to design your website redesign strategy around those who matter most to you.
Are your target audiences changing with the redesign of your website? Are your branding and content in line with this audience These are the questions you should answer when you plan your website redesign.
5. You can protect your search-engine-optimized pages.
Your website’s metrics can also be improved by being found online. How can you increase leads, sales, and conversions if no one is able to find your website? These are some suggestions for designing your website with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind.
Your most valuable pages are the ones you should document.
Your marketing analytics will help you determine which pages are receiving the most traffic, and inbound links, convert the most leads and ultimately cover the most influential topics in your industry. You must make the appropriate 301 redirects if you intend to move these pages.
Create a 301 redirect strategy.
These 301 redirects are crucial for maintaining the page’s traffic and link value. To map your 301 redirects (old URLs and new URLs), create a spreadsheet. For proper implementation, you should give this document to someone technical.
Do your keyword research.
Each page of your new website should be numbered to house one keyword/topic that each page will be focused on. After determining the keyword(s), you can use on-page SEO best practices for optimizing your website pages.
Furthermore, Consider adding pages and content to your website that address specific keywords or topics that are not covered on your existing site.
6. Analyze your competition.
Although we don’t advocate obsessing about your competitors, it can help you to see how they compare. To get a report card on how your website is performing, first, run it through HubSpot’s Website Grader. This diagnostic tool can also be used to assess the websites of your competitors so that you are aware of their strengths and weaknesses.
Next, look at the websites of your competitors and note what you like and what you don’t. This is how you can improve your website. After you have completed your competitor analysis, you will be able to create a list with action items that highlight areas where you can improve and how you can stand out from your competition.
7. Take inventory of your high-performing content.
A website redesign can be a great way for your website to perform better, but there are many ways it could hurt you. You likely have many highly-performing content assets on your website. A redesign could cause them to lose their effectiveness, which can seriously impact your marketing results.
These assets could include, for example, your:
- Most-viewed or shared content
- High traffic pages
- The best performing and highest-ranking keywords, as well as the pages that are associated with them
- Number of inbound links to individual pages
If you remove a page on your site that has accumulated high numbers of inbound links, it could result in you losing a lot of SEO credits, making it more difficult to be found on search engine result pages (SERPs).
This step is often overlooked by web designers who are not SEO experts or marketers. Do not hesitate to remind them of this and offer your assistance by auditing your website and giving them a list of pages that need to be maintained or updated.
8. Select the right software.
The last, but not least, step in the website design process is to choose the right software to create and host your website. It’s commonly known as content management software (CMS) and is used to create, design, and publish your site for the entire world to see.
CMS software has many benefits. A CMS software can help you create beautiful, functional websites, no matter if you are a beginner digital marketer or an experienced web developer. The best CMS for your business depends on what CMSs you are familiar with, and what features your website redesign needs.
There are many CMSs available, including CMS hub — which is the only combination of CMS and CRM. To learn more about your options, you can also review the top CMS platforms.
Conclusion – Start Your Website Redesign
Whew! You are now ready to design, plan, build, optimize and launch your new website. These seven steps will help you redesign a website that is more appealing to consumers, attracts more people, and converts more customers.