Whether you are tackling a website redesign on your own or hiring a professional agency, there are quite a few things you need to consider before setting out on this adventure. By knowing the answers to these things, you will be able to clearly communicate your goals and desires for your new website.
What to Consider Before You Redesign Your Website
To avoid miscommunication and misinterpretation down the road, it’s best to establish a solid answer to these questions and share them with anyone involved in the redesign process.
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Current Website Status
1. Likes and Dislikes
Chances are that if you are investing in a website redesign, there are a few things you dislike about your current site. Clearly document those things so that they don’t reappear on your new site.
Also make note of the components you do like on your current site, so that those carry over on your redesign.
2. Missing Components
What components are missing on your current site that you hope your new site will have? Some examples are ecommerce capabilities, lead-generation capabilities, marketing automation, event calendars, etc.
3. Most Viewed Content
It’s essential to look over your website analytics before you launch your new site. By taking this into consideration, you are ensuring that the content your website visitors visit most frequently will still be available.
4. Primary Website Goal
You will need to define the main purpose of your website before diving into a redesign. By doing this, your sitemap, design, and other aspects will all tie back to your overall goal.
That being said, you can have more than one goal, but make sure you prioritize them in case your budget doesn’t account for making all of them happen.
Examples of website goals include:
- Increasing the number of leads your site generates
- Making it easier for users to find information on your site
- Increasing the number of products sold on your website
5. Complementary Website Goals
Like we said before, it’s normal to have more than one goal for your new website. Be sure to lay those out and make sure they line up with your overall goal.
You should also be okay with these goals not being met on the first phase of your website. Sometimes, time and budget constraints don’t let you incorporate everything into your initial launch. This doesn’t always happen, but just be sure to consider it just in case.
This may seem obvious, but we’re just here to reinforce that you need to have a solid budget going into the redesign process. If not, you may find yourself making unwanted compromises down the road and ultimately disappointed in the final result.
Does your budget mean that you will need to create this new website in-house using DIY tools or can you afford to bring on a professional agency? Decide who will have the job of redesigning your website based on your budget.
8. Your Brand
Prior to creating your new website's content, you need to define what your business’ unique value proposition is. You want to be very clear about your branding and messaging so that it’s consistent across your site.
9. Messaging Changes
A new website visitor should immediately understand what your brand does, how it relates to them, and why they should browse your site. If your current copy doesn’t convey these things, then craft new messaging that meets that criteria.
It’s important to know what your new messaging is before you get too far into your redesign so that there is no miscommunication for whoever is doing your content.
10. First Impression
Establish what you want the first impression to be when your target audience lands on your new site. What content do you want to wow them and keep them on the site? Be sure your designer knows this so they can implement it into the new design!
11. Buyer Persona
Do you have a buyer persona profile that describes your ideal target audience? If not, consider making one before you start the redoing your website.
It can help keep your whole team on track because you’ll know exactly who you are targeting and can target the design and content to meet their exact needs.
12. New Audiences
Is one of your new website goals to target a new audience? It's crucial to know every persona you are targeting so that your design, copy, and branding can appeal to each one. So if you are trying to reach a new audience with this redesign, be sure you make note of it.
13. Current Branding
After you define your audience(s), reevaluate your current branding. Make sure it aligns with these audiences. If it doesn't, decide what needs to change in order for it to appeal to your buyer personas.
14. Top Competitors
Identify other brands who are targeting a similar audience as you. We certainly don't recommend obsessing over your competitors, but is important to understand how you compare.
15. Favorite Sites
You'll need to honestly judge your competitors website, meaning that you take into account things you like and dislike. Be sure you pay attention to the kind of content they share, so that you can get a feel for what your website might need. By doing this research, you can plan for your website to do better than the competition.
Take the time to do keyword research for your industry. Define the top 3 most competitive keywords and be strategic about which ones you want your new site to rank for. Taking a look at which keywords perform well for your current site is helpful too so be sure to use these 3 analytics tools.
17. Technical Capabilities
You need to consider how your website will be maintained post-launch. Who on your team has the technical capabilities to manage your site? If you don't have any team members capable of doing this, will you need to allocate some room in your budget to hire an external agency to manage it?
In order for your new website to be as successful as possible, you and your team will need to consider these 17 things before beginning the redesign process. If you need a place to keep track of all of this information, be sure to download our free website planning template!