If you’ve been thinking about a website redesign, we’ll let you in on a little secret…the website redesign process doesn’t start with talking about what you want the site to look like.
In our ultra-online society, website credibility judgments are 75% based on aesthetics. That means the design and functionality of your website are crucial.
The first step in a website redesign involves strategic planning. Here’s everything you need to know to tackle your web redesign like a pro.
Why is Strategic Planning Necessary?
It is natural to want to jump into web design and functionality when you are itching for a new look for your website. But website analysis will ensure your redesign achieves your strategic goals.
Without this important step, your redesigned site might end up costing you more for last-minute additions. Or worse, it could solve the wrong problems and disrupt what was working well.
What you hate about the current layout may not be an issue for the majority of your visitors. The bottom line is that the website needs to serve 2 purposes. It needs to be true to your brand and values and it also needs to fulfill the customer’s needs.
Here’s how you ensure that both are equally considered.
Gather Data About your Current Site
The first thing you need to do in the website redesign process is to gather data about how your site is performing now.
Data doesn’t lie. Collecting data about your website will lead your redesign in the right direction. The data can support your beliefs about what needs to change. Then again, it could show the opposite.
When you look at your current performance here are some things you can find out:
- The number of website visitors you have each month.
- The countries or cities where most of your website visitors come from.
- The devices users mostly use to access your site. This will indicate how important responsive design will be in the new site.
- Bounce rate. This means how many people “bounce” off your site after landing on just one page.
- Which sites bring in the most visitors to your site. (Such as social media sites or partner websites)
- The number of new subscribers or leads (if applicable).
- How many sales occur on your website each month.
- Your monthly revenue.
- Your website’s conversion rates. This means the percentage of visitors that become paying customers or subscribers.
You don’t have to collect all of this data. Choose the information that you really need to know. These statistics will be useful in determining what needs to change and what should stay the same.
In addition, this data will also allow you to see how effective your redesign is. Ideally, you want your refreshed website to give you better statistics. After all, that’s the point of the redesign in the first place.
At the very least, the new site should result in similar stats as the original site.
It’s also a good idea to collect feedback directly from the users. If you have launched a redesign in the past, try to find what comments you received back then.
It’s worthwhile to look through previous customer emails or reviews on your website or social media pages. You may find positive or negative comments about your site that can be valuable as you move into a new redesign.
It’s critical to consider usability when you are website planning. How easy it is for someone to interact with your site determines whether they become customers or click off your page.
How to Collect Data
Now you are wondering how much data you need to collect.
If possible you want to give the design company at least a month’s worth of data. Preferably, you will give three months to rule out any anomalies. This way you can have solid averages.
You might feel overwhelmed at all the research you need to do before you can even talk about website redesign. Don’t worry. This crucial homework will result in a website redesign that exceeds your expectations.
There are several ways to gather the data you need. There are free tools that are excellent at tracking user behavior.
A great option is Hotjar. This free heat-mapping tool will show you exactly where your users are clicking and how far they scroll. It will also track a visitor’s mouse movements.
You will need a plugin or know how to install a tracking code to collect this data.
Set Your Design Goals
Hooray! Now that you have some great intel, you can set your design goals. Think about where you want your business to be in 6 months or 2 years.
These goals will dictate the new direction for your site. You don’t want to have to do a redesign in the near future. So it is important that your site will be able to keep up with your growth in the coming years.
Once you have clearly identified your business goals, brainstorm how your new website can help you accomplish them.
For example, let’s say your goal is to get more sales on your site. Your web redesign will need to have multiple points of access where visitors have the opportunity to buy.
Check out how to optimize your mobile checkout to increase conversion.
If you are hiring a web design company to work on the redesign, now is a good time to rope them into this conversation. They might have some ideas on the best design and functionality techniques that will help you accomplish your goals.
Make sure to write down the goals for your new site. Keep these prominently displayed and refer to them often. Each time you have a design meeting, make sure you are always asking how that will support your set goals.
We hope you now feel ready to tackle your website redesign. Remember, a design must provide solutions to problems. That’s why it’s crucial to first gather data to get the facts on where the problems lie.
Schedule a 15-minute discovery call today to discuss your next project with us.