As a business owner or entrepreneur, your website is still one of the single-most powerful weapons you have at your disposal. It’s your piece of virtual real estate – your own little slice of the internet. A compelling website clearly communicates a consistent message to your target audience, while an average or ineffective website serves as nothing more than a vague boilerplate message or a poorly branded placeholder.
If your website is lacking, or if you’re going through a rebrand, a website redesign might be precisely what you need to elevate your business and commandeer a stronger presence in the digital age. But where do you start?
5 Website Redesign Considerations
Website redesigns can be trickier than designing a website from scratch. There’s noise, clutter, pre-existing content assets, and questions over what to scrap versus what to recycle. In fact, it’s these complicated factors and confusion that often keep businesses from fully investing in the very thing they need the most.
If your gut is telling you that you need a redesign, or someone with experience and insights has suggested as much, listen! Fight through the distractions, understand that there will be friction, and dive in headfirst.
As you dive in, take the following into consideration:
1. What’s the Goal?
Any good website redesign project begins with goals in mind. What’s the purpose of yours? The answer will dictate how you proceed.
For example, a website redesign looks totally different based on these two goals:
- Goal #1: To generate more organic search traffic for specific target keywords and drive them to product pages A, B, and C where we want an average conversion rate of 5 percent.
- Goal #2: To educate paid traffic from social media and persuade them to opt into our email list where we can nurture them via a 14-day email sequence that’s focused on selling product A.
On the surface, both of these goals seem to be sales-oriented, but how the sale is achieved differs dramatically. Goal #1 caters to organic search traffic and direct sales, while Goal #2 fields paid traffic and is more focused on building an email list (with a long-term objective of driving sales).
2. Create a Realistic Timeline
After setting goals, you’ll need to think through your timeline. Depending on the size of your site and your specific goals, you can expect this process to take at least two to five months. For larger websites with thousands of pages, six months to a year is more realistic.
“When deciding on a deadline, It’s important to consider when you’ll need your new website by,” marketing expert Vin Gaeta writes. “Are there any events coming up? Tradeshows? If there is something pressing, get started as early as possible so you’ll have adequate time to get the quality website you desire. Time constraints are the enemy of quality.”
3. Who is Your Target Visitor?
According to one Long Island web design company, the target visitor is the primary emphasis of any website redesign. Every content, design, or layout choice needs to be filtered through the visitor. It’s not about you – it’s about them.
So, that begs the question: Do you know who your target visitor is? Now’s the time to clarify so that you can make smarter decisions moving forward.
4. Refine Your Content
There’s nothing wrong with keeping a lot of the existing content from your current website design, but it needs to be carefully filtered on a word by word basis. Is the content about you, or is it centered on the customer?
“Many companies fall into the age old trap of creating ‘brochureware’ websites that only talk about themselves and drone on for endless paragraphs,” Gaeta notes. “Your users don’t care about ‘you’ – they care about how you’re going to solve their problems.”
Strip out anything that doesn’t move the needle on solving a customer’s problem and replace it with something that’s user centric. Website content doesn’t need to be long and chunky. Powerful and punchy is a much better combo.
5. Keep it Simple and Sleek
Have you noticed that we haven’t really touched on actual web design yet? That’s intentional.
Aesthetics certainly matter, but this is the easy part. Once you’ve set the right goals, clarified your message, refined your target audience, etc., the design naturally falls into place.
We will leave you with this note, though: loud and clunky websites die a quick death. Simple and sleek websites with few distractions, ample whitespace, and original, high-resolution graphics thrive. Do with that information what you may.
Redesign With Peace of Mind
Done well, a website redesign isn’t a gamble. It’s actually a pretty safe bet.
The key words here are “done well.”
As you redesign your site, take the aforementioned principles into account and ensure your priorities are in the right place. Leverage the strengths of your team and then outsource the rest of the tasks to people with superior skills and noteworthy areas of expertise.
If you follow this plan, you’ll end up with a website that’s consistent with your brand, tailored to your audience, and primed for conversions. And though a website is just one piece in the larger puzzle, you’ll rest easy at night knowing your little slice of the web is working for you.