I bet many of you have found themselves in a situation where current website is not meeting the goals. I guess it happens even if it meets the goals because you designed it in 2000., or you have a new branding, new marketing direction or new products. The thing is, websites are like living organisms, they grow, change, get old. This blog post is an effort to see what are the necessary steps to redesign your website and meet your goals.
Usual reasons to redesign your website:
- Better user experience
- New branding and/or design
- Better conversion optimization
- New products or features
- New markets or marketing strategy
1. Who is your audience?
This is the most important question. Who is using your website (or buying your product)? For whom are you making it?
- Business people
- Sports fans
- Movie geeks
- Cat lovers & geeks
2. What makes their heart go Wild?
Circle back to question one!
You know the answer right? If not, ask them, brainstorm ideas, make a list, you will need it in the next step!
A good way to ask your customers is by using KissInsights.
3. Is your Website talking to them (Design, Information architecture)
Hire a designer, but check the references (did he / she do similar websites, how they look & feel)
See if the information architecture of your site is addressing their questions
4. What are your main goals?
Is it to sell? Is it to educate?
Well, educate to sell! Tell them a story about your company, product, service.
If you gather leads, make your forms easy to use and intuitive!
A great read about how to setup your goals and analytics is this post by Avinash Kaushik.
5. What parts of the website are they using the most?
Use your analytics software to see what part of your site are they using the most. Focus on these pages!
6. Where are the conversions happening?
As always, conversion happens only in one place - it's their brain!
Use AIDA (attention, interest, desire, action) to quickly shape user flow.
Your conversion happens in "D" - desire - after that, create conversion process that is easy to use. Don't ask unnecessary questions (like your mothers' maiden name, shoe number (unless you sell shoes) and so on).
7. Information Architecture
Now you have the information you need. Sketch the sitemap and the most important pages on your website.
8. Drawing Board (Mockups)
Use a mockup tool to quickly draft your website look and feel
It will help your designer, but you will also have a better picture what you want to achieve
9. Don't waste your time on homepage
It may be the most visited page on your website, but it is not the most important.
When you want to add "just one more thing" on the homepage - remove two.
See the most important touchpoints between your visitors and your website. Separate traffic sources and send the traffic to appropriate landing pages.
Review the design your designer has sent you, but give him his creativity.
Unless you are a designer, don't mess around with him. Give him clear guidelines, but let him do his job.
Write concise, clear messages to your audience. If you need help, hire a professional copywriter, but give him a clear goal.
As with designer, don't mess with his job!
12. Test before launch
Test your website, show it to your friends, family or test group.
Beware! Make small changes but don't follow every advice!
Launch. Enough said, fingers crossed.
14. Gather Data
Gather data on the most important touch points. Use analytics software to gather important insights.
Conversion is king!
Repeat steps 1-14 on a smaller scale, test against your data, conversion, user satisfaction.
The Tools That Can Help You
- Web Design 4 ROI
- Web Analytics: An hour a day
- Don't make me think
- Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?: Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing
- Neuro Web Design