When it comes to a website redesign, a lot of time and dedication goes into the process. That’s why the beginning stages of your website redesign are so crucial to the success of your redesign and site long-term. Many teams might want to dive right into it, but strategy and goals need to be established first.
Here are some ways you can ensure you are taking all the important things into consideration, including long-term maintenance. Remember what Mark Greenfield said, the web is not a project!
1. Outline key reasons for the redesign
If you are asking yourself “Why are we doing a redesign?”, then you are already on the right track. Your website redesign should not be about implementing new design trends, but rather how your organization can leverage a new site to meet goals and objectives.Do you want more views, more leads, more interaction? How can you use the site to meet goals and how will you be able to keep track of how successful your site is at meeting these goals after launch? All of these are important considerations. With all the time and resources going into a website redesign, you need to have a solid business case first.
2. Evaluate and document current website performance utilizing web analytics
While we’ll argue that continuous evaluation of web analytics is important, if your team hasn’t had time to do so lately, now is the time to see how visitors are currently interacting with your site and what actions they are taking. While web analytics cannot necessarily tell you why users are doing something (this is an important part of a later phase – user testing), it can help you identify problem areas that should be addressed with the website redesign.
For example, if a page with an important form has an extremely high bounce rate, you need to understand why visitors are leaving the page. Is the content not descriptive enough? Are you missing a call-to-action (CTA)? Does the page take a long time to load? Is the form too long? Is the form accessible to all? Think about what matters to your organization and determine how you will address any outstanding issues on the current site.
3. Analyze competitors’ websites for functionality, features, and content
Researching and creating a competitive analysis is such an important aspect of planning your website redesign. It needs to be done, regardless of the potentially-long time commitment! This will allow your organization to understand strengths and weaknesses of competitors while identifying industry trends.
Even if you only compete with another organization on a small-scale – one product, one feature, one country – taking the time to evaluate their websites will help you determine some of your own requirements. You can assign team members different organizations and create a list of features to evaluate to get an overall comprehensive view of the competition.
4. Determine functional requirements
Functional and technical requirements are important when selecting a vendor to work with on the project and may help determine the goals, objectives, and strategy of your new website. Create a list from your team and any key stakeholders in the website redesign process.
What are must-have functions and what would be nice to have? Not everything is probable, but those most important to creating the best experience possible for your website visitors should be on your must-have list.
5. Create a website strategy
Strategy goes beyond goals, objectives, and desires. Creating a website strategy will give you a deep understanding of what your challenges are and how you will be able to solve challenges with your new site. A long-term website strategy will help ensure success over time. How will you maintain quality? Who will be in charge of updating information such as address changes, new employees, etc.? How often will you post new content?
For more information on creating a website strategy specific to website redesign, check out HubSpot’s blog post “How to Develop a Website Redesign Strategy That Guarantees Results.”
6. Identify value proposition for the new site
By now you know how important value proposition is for any marketing or website-related project, because without it you don’t know what direction to go. By identifying a value proposition, you can leverage the purpose of your new site and maintain a strong brand throughout the process that will speak to your target audience(s). A value proposition will help keep your visitors attention and make them want to stay on your website. Here are a few examples of websites with powerful value propositions that clearly communicate the organizations' benefits.
So there you go, if you tackle these points for planning a website redesign, you should be in good shape. Of course, there are many other ways you can plan and strategize for a website redesign. Here is a list of additional blog posts to help you get started:
- The Foundations of a Website Redesign
- Website Redesign Checklist
- Five Best Practices for a Website Redesign
And if you really want to dive into the topic, check out our free e-book, “How to Prepare for an Upcoming Website Redesign.”