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24 Nov 21

Things to Expect From a Website Redesign Project

Alice Khau | Web Design

Website redesign questions for small businesses

A new website is often the key in accelerating business growth, reviving your brand identity and better connecting with your customers. There’s a lot involved and comparing website redesigning services can be overwhelming. How do you know it’s time? What do you need to prepare for? Here are some questions that will help guide if it’s time to pull the trigger.

  • Does the design look outdated or have you had a branding refresh?
  • Have my conversions/sales decreasing? 
  • Have I received complaints about user experience or design-related issues? 
  • Have our business goals changed since we last launched our site? 

80% of consumers say the experience your company provides is as important as the products or services you sell (Source)

 

Website specialists for a redesign project

It’s crucial that you take a strategic approach to your website redesign. Good execution depends on the team players. When redesigning the website, it is best to trust in specialists with different expertise. One-stop shops and generalist agencies can be high-risk and stretched thin as the process of a new website overhaul can be very involved. Depending on the priorities of your new website, these are the kinds of specialists you may become familiar with.

  • Branding agencies and photographers
  • UX digital designers & developers
  • Content and copywriting teams 
  • SEO specialists

 

6 Steps In A Successful Website Redesign Process

Redesigning a website can take anywhere between a few weeks to a few months depending on the scale of your website transformation. Awareness of all the steps and preparation is key to a successful website redesign that will stay as close to your timelines and within your budget.

 

1. Assess your current performance metrics

A preliminary audit will give you clear guidance to what you need to work on, rather than guesswork. We recommend building a sitemap of your current website and then reviewing the analytics of each page to see any noticeable user trends. Assess the sitemap, the content of each page, and the user journey for a thorough understanding. These numbers will shape the UX side of things, such as restructuring your content, wireframing and simplifying your enquiry form or checkout process.

There are tools like “Hotjar”, “Full Story” and “Crazy Egg” to analyse your current user experience. User recordings and features that present heatmaps, scroll depth and rage clicks will show you how your website is currently doing and the potential pain points that you need to solve on your new website.

List of key Google Analytics website metrics to review

  • Average time on website
  • Number of visits, visitors, and unique visitors
  • Bounce rates on different pages
  • Top-performing keywords
  • Total new leads and form submissions
  • Total pages that receive traffic

 

2. Determine your website redesign goals.

With all the data from the first step, you can now refine what your website priorities are and focus on those.

What are the goals for my new website?

  • Keeping visitors from bouncing off your pages so quickly
  • To improve website performance (speed)
  • Convert more visitors into customers
  • Make your library of downloadable information more accessible with more informative pages
  • To mirror your new branding refresh
  • To improve navigation to average more pages per visit
  • Improve on-site SEO and organic traffic

 

3. Define your branding and messaging.

Your brand is what people think of when they hear your company’s name or see your logo. It’s what you represent and who you are as a company. This is the time to refresh it if it’s been looking outdated for a while.

If you’ve refreshed your branding or repositioned your company recently, it is important to reflect these onto your website to give your customers a consistent experience. There’s no point in spending money on marketing campaigns which look great, which bring a user to an old website. They might even think that they’re on the wrong page.

It is important to give your branding styleguide to your digital designer or web agency well in advance of them starting. This will ensure that their moodboards and design thinking is aligned to your brand message.

This is where you determine the UI (user interface) side of things

  • Branding elements (such as logo)
  • Typography 
  • Image treatments, illustrations & iconography
  • Colour palette
  • Content layout

 

4. Analyse the competition

Bring up your competitors websites and note down what they are doing well or poorly. It’s important to be aware, as your customers and clients are certainly comparing the competition on Google. Now that you’re aware of how your neighbours are doing business, you can rise above this benchmark and highlight your point of difference.

 

5. Choose the right CMS system

Choosing the right CMS depends on your business, such as what CMSs you’re already familiar with and what features your website redesign requires.

Regardless of the CMS you choose, it’s important to trust this process with a professional web development team. The backend of your website is like the engine of a car. Things might not look out of place to you or the untrained eye but can have serious ramifications for your website.

A seasoned web developer will be able to

  • Integrate third-party plugins well and ensure it doesn’t clash with the code
  • Build a website with a structure following updated industry standards 
  • Ensure its structure is optimised for future SEO work and strategies
  • Implement strong security measures to protect against hackers and malware

 

6. Post development QA

This is the last step, and unfortunately too often a rushed or neglected step. When design and development are finished, many small businesses are excited to launch straight away and don’t want to look beneath the surface of their pretty new website.

Please do not skip or rush this step. The final hurdle of the website redesign process is to thoroughly test the newly developed website. When you throw it live onto Google and for the masses, you want to be confident that it is fully functional with no bugs or broken links. You want to be sure that it will work seamlessly across different devices and browsers.

Create a 301 redirect strategy.Speaking of 301 redirects, these are extremely important in terms of retaining the traffic and link value associated with a given page. Create a spreadsheet to record and map out your 301 redirects (old URLs vs. new URLs). Then hand this document over to someone technical for proper implementation.

 

Common Website Redesigning Pitfalls To Look Out For Before Launch

  • Ensure your website is meets Google’s Core Web Vitals standards (if SEO and organic traffic is important)
  • Design and experience fully responsive (ask for true responsive design)
  • Imagery and videography is web-optimised and not slowing down your loading speed
  • There isn’t too much content and information on your pages 
  • You have a 301 redirect strategy so that you don’t lose any SEO points from your existing website
  • Google Analytics is set up from day 1 of launch, so you are ready to track your website’s performance

 

What to do post-launch?

A website redesign is never really done. It is an ever-evolving piece that should grow alongside your business. Now that you’ve brought your website up to speed, it would be a shame to leave it languishing on the internet for another few years before you pay attention to it again.

As your strongest lead generation tool and salesperson, you will harness the most conversion power from it, by keeping it at the forefront of your marketing and SEO efforts.

You can use the same behaviour analytics and feedback tools you used in the first step, to continue to test and optimise your website. You just need preparation and patience, to follow these 6 steps, look out for the common pitfalls and you are ready to embark on your website redesign adventure. As professionals in this space, we love guiding our clients through this process. Please reach out to one of our specialists on 03 9912 6403 if you decide it’s time for a digital transformation.

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