You've taken stock of your online presence, and you realize that you need a total website overhaul. In this blog post, we're going to go over a complete website redesign checklist -- and some of the many questions we'll be attempting to answer about your website redesign project plan include, but are certainly not limited to, the following: when is it time to hire a professional to redesign your website? Do you need to optimize your website for SEO? And what are some of the best practices, tips, and tricks for website redesign...and what do you need to avoid?
When is it time to get a professional website redesign?
One of the biggest myths in the online world is that you need to redesign your website periodically, or that a redesign will automatically bring in new customers.
But a redesign of a website without a proper strategy in place can actually have the opposite effect -- it can drive people away from your site!
Studies show that people have a natural aversion to change, especially in the online world -- and the most important thing to remember about your website is that no matter how pretty your website design is, people won't come to your site if your content isn't up to par.
So, before you redesign your website, you need to ask yourself: is my company's content up to par? Is this a website that people would want to visit regardless of its aesthetic appeal or lack thereof?
When Should You Redesign Your Website?
So let's say that you've done an objective review of your website and you decide that your content is where it should be, but you're not getting the results you want from your online efforts. How do you know that it's time to redesign your website? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you know if your website is not getting any results? If so, how can you be sure? Sometimes, companies don't have any metric measurements in place to determine that the website is indeed unsuccessful...they're just making an educated guess. If you don't have any metric measurements in place, it's time to redesign your website.
- Is your website mobile-friendly? More and more people are moving away from desktop and laptop devices, and more towards their smartphone and tablet devices, to look at websites. Therefore, your site needs to be mobile-friendly, or it needs to be redesigned to be as such.
- Is your website optimized for SEO? One of the most important things that you can do for your website is make it rich with SEO keywords so that your site will rank higher. If your website isn't optimized for SEO, it's time for a redesign.
Website Redesign: A Checklist
Now that you've determined that it's definitely time to redesign your website, the following is a comprehensive checklist to follow as you implement different parts of the redesign:
- Keep what you love, and take away what you hate. A redesign of your website doesn't mean you have to trash the whole thing -- just keep the parts that work and get rid of what doesn't.
- Make a note of what your competition is doing, but don't make it the sole basis of your redesign. Remember -- what works for them won't necessarily work for you.
- Define your audience -- ask your current clients what they like about the website, and what they would change if given the chance. That will give you a good idea of what to build on!
- Consider what would make your website more functional, and how you can implement such tracking metrics as Google Analytics, in order to fully optimize the redesign. This will give you a quantitative measurement of your redesign success and/or failure.
- Finally, but certainly no less importantly, don't forget to test out each redesign thoroughly before implementation. All of the professional redesign in the world will be for naught if it turns out that, upon implementation, it doesn't work properly.