Successful Website Redesign Step by Step
John needed a successful website redesign. John’s website was hopelessly out of date. Created over 15 years ago, it hadn’t changed hardly at all. Unfortunately everything else changed around it. The internet has changed enormously. Although John’s business really hasn’t change in any appreciable way and his business is still by anyone’s standards very successful, the world shifted from traditional marketing to digital marketing. Social Media came along, the Yellow Pages shriveled and all but died, web design standards and customer expectations changed dramatically, smartphones were born and time clearly took its toll on John’s website.
John started getting complaints about his website from customers and visitors alike that they couldn’t find what they were looking for. He even started getting phone calls from people wondering if he was still in business! It was clear that it was finally time to redesign and update his website.
Website Redesign: Before You Start.
But before you dive head first into a website redesign project, it’s helpful, and indeed prudent, to block out a couple of undisturbed hours, grab a cup of coffee, sit down with your marketing team (us, in this case), and quietly reflect on a few critical determining factors that can make or break a successful website redesign and relaunch. Trust me when I tell you that it pays to take your time and make sure you get the foundations right before you start to rebuild your website.
- Take a Close Look at Your Overall Brand Message. Does your website design reflect your current branding, focus and marketing goals? Did your business evolve and change? Did you refocus your marketing and products? What is the message you want to convey to existing customers and prospects when they come to your website? What about social media? Brand consistency, beginning with your website and extending to all your social media platforms, from LinkedIn to Facebook, to Twitter, Pinterest and beyond, is such a vital part of your company image. It pays to think broadly, since your website is the hub of your marketing ecosystem with everything else out there as the spokes leading to that hub.
- What about Search Engine Visibility. Have you suddenly (or not so suddenly) disappeared from search results? So if somebody is searching for flatbed trailers and they type in “lawnmowers,” that’s one thing. But your website should, at a minimum, be searchable for the top keywords and search phrases for the products or services you offer. If you’ve fallen off the map, it’s time to talk to your web design company and marketing team and map out a successful website redesign strategy to get back in the digital game. After all, there is a measurable, direct line between search engine visibility, sales leads, and money in the bank.
- Clear, Easy-to-Find Information and Website Navigation. Is your current website visually confusing and packed full of so much information that it’s visually overwhelming, turning off potential customers? Back in the day, web designers figured out that by cramming tons of content onto web pages and loading pages with a gazillion redundant search terms, they could get search engine visibility. The theory was that the more content you had and the more you loaded that content with search terms, the better. Today those practices will get you a stiff slap on the wrist from Google and render you virtually invisible in search. Today it’s about quality, relevant content that actually means something to a human being who is reading it. Powerful, easy to understand marketing is about helpful information your audience is actually looking for and can digest easily and quickly on their way to a buying decision.
- Mobile Friendly Web Design. In April, 2015, Google threw their search algorithm in a blender again and out came “Mobilegeddon.” The bottom line with this tsunami of a search engine change is that if your website isn’t mobile optimized (e.g. uses “responsive web design”) so that it displays in a pleasing and readable manner on a smartphone, Google will rank your website lower than your competitor’s website which has been mobile optimized. The stated goal is to offer visitors the best user experience possible, thereby making it a pleasure for potential customers to visit your website and more importantly return to your website when they are ready to exchange their “visitor” status for that of a “prospect.”
Getting all the details and variables of your successful website redesign right and communicating them with your Syracuse web design team before you start is the best formula there is for a successful website relaunch. After all, your website is the foundation upon which all the additional building blocks of social media, PPC, search engine marketing, SEO search engine optimization, and everything else is built.
At ATS, our web design team are digital marketers by trade. But we are also realists who consider it our mission to help you cut through the hype that far too often surrounds website design, search engine optimization and digital marketing in general. If you have a project and think we might be a good fit, give us a call and talk to our ATS Syracuse Web Design experts for an honest, straightforward website evaluation and to discuss your digital marketing strategy.