When you spend time and money in giving your website that much-needed overhaul, you want to be sure your investment is worth your while. A simple website facelift may impress your visitors, but ultimately does little to increase your long-term success. A comprehensive redesign, on the other hand, offers significant return on investment and helps your business succeed for years to come. To get to that point, here are 4 keys to optimizing your website redesign.
1) Consider Search Engines
Considering just how important search engines like Google have become in our everyday browsing behavior, it's crucial for you to design your new website with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind. The first time many of your customers find you is via a search engine query, and you want to be sure that when they seek to solve their need with a Google search, your website pops up in the results.
SEO is a complex process, and will affect your redesign at every stage. The host of your website, your base code, your navigation, and the writing on your website all play a significant part in how credible and relevant search engines like Google determine your website to be, and how often you show up in related search results. That's why your entire redesign should be done with SEO in mind.
2) Know Your Audience
Another crucial consideration when redesigning your website is knowing the people who will frequent it once complete. Tools like Google Analytics allow you to see geographic locations of your current visitors, along with information on which device they use to frequent your site. In addition, you should know the profile of your average customer, from age and gender all the way to their interests.
Once you do, you can ensure that your new website matches their specifications. A predominantly mobile audience, for example, will be much more likely to visit and stay on a website that offers responsive design, touch-friendly navigation, and content that is easily readable on small screens.
3) Optimize Your Navigation
Speaking of navigation: a website redesign is the perfect time to evaluate just how visitors 'flow' through your pages. Often, building a website starts relatively simple, with just a few pages relaying core information about your business. But as your business grows and your website ages, pages get added that muddle the flow and increase the noise. Too often, the result is a website that is difficult to navigate.
Ideally, though, every step of your visitor's journey through your site should be natural, with relatively few clicks to get to every bit of information they need. That's why a thorough redesign should begin with a sitemap of your current site, an adjustment for the new site, and plenty of usability testing before the go-live date to ensure the navigation flows seamlessly and effectively on any device.
4) Get the Right Partner
As you can tell from the above points, a thorough redesign involves more than just a graphic facelift to bring your digital presence into the 21st century. So to make sure that you get the most out of the project, engaging with the right partner is the final key to success.
This partner can help you in each of the above areas, working with you to design a website that is optimized for search engines, appeals to your audience, and includes a seamlessly flowing navigation. Finding the right developer is crucial to your success, so you should always include a thorough vetting process of potential developers as early as possible in your project timeline.
And when you get to that step, we'd love to explore our potential mutual fit! If you are looking to get the most out of your website redesign, contact us.