5 Key Considerations when Redesigning a Website

 

If you’re considering redesigning your current website or creating a new one, there are important things to consider other than just how your website looks or functions. Here are 5 key considerations small businesses often overlook when beginning a new web project:

  1. Consider your users’ needs first

  2. Quantify the expected ROI

  3. Redesign with a purpose

  4. Connect the redesign with your business strategy

  5. Develop a rollout plan

Consider your users’ needs first

Whether your site is strictly informational or you’re selling a product or service, the main purpose of your website is to provide information for your users. When we say users, that’s anyone who lands on your website looking for something. You could also call them potential customers.

We often hear, “I want my website to look like Company X’s site.” It’s important to consider whether your users would actually benefit from a design like Company X’s site, or if your specific user base would respond better to a different design approach. When approaching a web project, we recommend creating a profile of 2-3 users within your target demographic (called personas).

Creating personas will help you better understand what a segment of your audience expects out of your site, how they may actually use it, and what information needs to be on the site to attract their attention and drive action.

It’s helpful to think of your website as a physical extension of your company, a virtual brick-and-mortal building. When a user walks into your virtual building, is the layout of your building, products, and information helping them achieve what they want to achieve?

Quantify the expected ROI

When we consult with a business that is looking to redesign their website, one of the first questions we ask is, “What do you want your website to accomplish for your business?” It’s a general question meant to help the business uncover the actual financial expectations they have for the site. For example, perhaps the company sells t-shirts and wants the website to increase sales by 30%.

Determining the actual Return on Investment (ROI) you expect from a redesign will help you focus on the key functions the website needs to include. This also helps you baseline what you can and should spend.

A good rule of thumb is to invest 20% of expected ROI into your website. Prices will vary based on specific functions the website needs to perform and any additional infrastructure that may be required, but 20% is a general baseline to have in mind.

Redesign with a purpose

We often consult with clients to help them put on paper what they actually want their website to achieve. This is perhaps the most important pre-planning activities you can do, as it helps ensure both you and your design firm always have your business’s goals in mind throughout the entire project.

Understanding the goals your website should achieve will also help you select a design firm you feel comfortable working with. You should feel confident that the firm you’ve chosen has the best interests of your company at heart and will not try and up-sell you at every turn.

Before jumping headfirst into a web project, we recommend asking these basic questions:

  • Will a redesign help my company achieve its goals?

  • Will a redesign bring financial benefit to my company? How much?

  • What goals do I want my website to achieve?

  • What are the critical functions my website should include?

  • What type of website or design will increase my company brand?

  • How will I measure the success of my new website?

  • What is my target demographic?

Having answers to these questions before meeting with a consultant or design firm will be beneficial for everyone involved and will help ensure the design firm delivers a product that actually meets your needs.

Connect the redesign with your business strategy

Your website is a key component of your business. Today, a company can run its entire business strictly through its website and online marketing. As a business, your website should be intimately tied to your overall business strategy, and your business strategy should inform the overall design and function of your website. Your website is therefore a critical component of any modern business strategy.

Whether considering a redesign project or creating a new website, your site should take into account your overall business strategy, and vice versa.

For example, you may be considering adding a new line of clothing to your inventory. Do you plan to sell this new line through your website, in-store only, or both? This will inform how the website needs to be designed and function (payment processing and point of sale system integration may be needed) in order to meet your business needs.

Again, this helps ensure both you and the design firm on on the same page throughout the project.

Develop a rollout plan

With a redesign, things on your website will probably changed or moved. Especially if you rely on your website for product sales, it’s important that you inform clients and users of these changes so they’re not totally confused when you unveil your new website design.

If you don’t already have a communications strategy for your business, we highly recommend creating one. Once you have a communications strategy in place, include your new website rollout in your communications plan. Effectively communicating changes to your website accomplishes two important things:

  • Helps inform your users of any big changes

  • Drives both current and potential clients to your website (provides a great marketing opportunity)

Communicating changes internally also helps ensure your staff is aware of changes to the site and can accurately answer customer questions. Having an employee say “I don’t know how to do that on our site” is not a good look for your business. Prepare internally, and you’ll benefit externally.


Need additional advice? We’re here to help!

If you’re thinking of redesigning your current website or want to create an entirely new one, we’re here to help. Whether you just need some advice or are looking for a full-service design firm, we’re here to help you achieve your business goals. Contact us to take your web presence to the next level.