A business website is essential in effectively presenting your brand to your existing customers and possible new customers. A useful business website evolves continuously to adapt to the ever-changing online and offline world. Continuous growth and change can help your website to stay relevant, fresh, and present your business in the best possible way.
What should you consider for your website redesign?
An efficient website redesign should focus on improving the functionality of the website.
Follow this step by step complete business website redesign checklist to revamp your website.
1. Determine the right time to redesign your website
2. Before making any changes, study your current website carefully
3. Set your goals for the upcoming redesign
4. Create an effective plan to guide you through the redesign process
5. Make a sitemap
6. Assess the best business website design models in the global market
7. Start by updating the content of your website
8. Consider SEO optimization in every step
9. Improve the mobile experience of the customers - User Experience
10. Critically review the complete process and publish the redesigned site
10 essential steps to take during the website redesign process
1: Is it the right time to redesign your website?
Before getting started with your website redesign mission, evaluate if the time is right to carry out the process in the best way possible. A website redesign is a task that demands sufficient time, strategizing, and planning. It's not something you want to rush.
Careful preparation is needed to turn this project into a successful new website launch. Before making any changes, try to answer these questions:
If you have a 'yes' answer to any of these questions, then a website redesign will benefit your brand significantly.
Is the current design for the website no longer up-to-date? (missing info, last blog post dates way back, opening hours changes, company info not up to date,...)
Have the sales/leads gone down in the last year?
Are website visits declining?
Do you often get emails/calls from clients that are looking for information?
is your website looking outdated compared to the websites of direct competitors?
2: analyze the website and current market
Before updating anything on the website, analyze the performance of the current website. Also, ensure that the website can compete effectively in the global market. If the return is minimal and your website is not competitive, then you should redesign it.
First, examine the pages of the current website and determine what is working and what is not working. Seek the help of Google Analytics to inspect the website's data and activities. Determine which pages are the most popular and find out if the site visits are dropping for some sections on the website. Also, check on the call-to-action buttons that are mostly clicked on.
This guide on how to effectively use Google Analytics will show you how to make the best use of the website’s data.
What are your competitors doing?
Examine the performance of the websites of other related businesses or brands. Just Google them and see if you can find relevant information easier compared to the info on your website.
Is their page speed and overall performance better? Is the webdesign looking up to date? Can you easily find all information because of a better website navigation? Is their marketing strategy more focused on lead magnets like handy downloads and white papers? Do they have an updated blog? Links to social media channels? An extended FAQ? A chat so they can easily be contacted?
Do you understand your market?
To learn more about the taste and preferences of your audience, carry out market research and a SWOT analysis, to correctly determine your target audience. Do not use your past data when analyzing the target customer as user preferences are ever-changing. Conduct a fresh evaluation of the customers' needs before redesigning your website. By doing so, you will clearly understand what the customers like or dislike, and you can use this knowledge to improve the user experience design so you can create a better-performing website.
3: Plan and Set achievable goals
It is good to create a list of do's, and dont's when redesigning the website. A good plan will help you coordinate website redesign activities to ensure that all the goals are accomplished. Is your intention to increase sales? To drive more traffic on the website? Raise awareness of a new or already existing brand? Is it to encourage email marketing? Tailor the plan to your determined goals. And specify the procedure for achieving each of your set goals.
After defining your needs, write down the envisioned website design changes into an actionable plan. For instance, if your objective is to increase sales, you might want to consider engaging pop-up lightboxes that can offer loyalty bonuses and exclusive discounts. Then, determine the most convenient time to incorporate these changes into your website. You don't have to implement all new features at once. Make sure your timeline is feasible for you and your team.
You may also want to consider working with a design agency to generate more creative ideas. If you are working with a group, assign a different role to each member, as the team leader, ensure that you keep everyone in check. Make the team a vital element of the website redesign process. Also, remember to encourage team motivation throughout the process and foster a spirit of togetherness.
4: Determine the website’s visual communication
Many people that need to choose between competing businesses or brands are making a choice based on visual appeal. Don't forget that this is not only limited to B2C customers. All B2B buyers are also consumers and they fall for the same tricks.
So, take your time and decide on the best fitting look and feel for your website. This should be your first step before making other major changes to the site. Also, ensure that the look of the website is matching with your brand identity, business tone, as well as the core values of your brand.
To get the best ideas on the most effective redesign strategies, I recommend you do some research on website redesign inspiration and the latest web design trends.
Also, collect all the essential web redesign assets. Such assets comprise of a professional logo, a website color scheme, and the exact color codes of your brand colors. So you can keep the new website as consistent as possible.
5: Make a sitemap
A sitemap is a list that illustrates all the pages on your business website. A sitemap also shows you visually how all webpages are connected to one another. Your sitemap will give you an insight of how people will navigate through your content pages and it is essential to enhance the website's User Experience (UX). Users need to have a smooth, comfortable, and engaging experience when navigating through the site.
For example, you could draw a tree or a flow chart diagram on a piece of paper of the various webpages on the current website.
Remember to indicate how the users will benefit from each page as well as how they will navigate from one page to the other. Easy website navigation is really important, for instance, linking the business logo in the header to the homepage, so users can jump back to the homepage from all pages of the website. Also make sure that all your website content is just a few clicks away. You shouldn't hide pages to deep. We suggest a maximum of 4 clicks to access all the information on your website. This will make sure that customers are getting to all information as fast as possible.
Also make a list of the absolute must-haves webpages. Each website should have a welcoming homepage, a contact section, an About Us page, FAQ section, product info and a services section. Finally, determine which other pages can be a benefit for your customers. An online store, a designated landing page, or a blog can be essential in creating traffic and conversions.
Sketch a Wireframe of all your pages to create a high level approach to the structure, layout, elements of the page (such as website menu and buttons) and the general navigation of each webpage. You can create the wireframe structure with simple lines and boxes to help visualize the customer's flow during a visit to your website.
6: Use top-quality redesign methods
We already covered the high level and technical approach, so now you are ready for the design stage of the website redesign process. When you start to think about your new visual design, remember to maintain your brand identity. Also check out our overview of the main principles of the design you should keep in mind.
The following topics are essential in the visual redesign process.
Text hierarchy:: Make sure that the hierarchy in your website copy is recognizable. A H1 header should look different from a H2 header. Make it easy for your audience to read the text on your website. Pay attention to the use of fonts and the size and weight of letters.
Proper contrast: Contrast is essential to let the website visitors distinguish the various parts of the website. Elements that look alike will blend together, elements that are more contrasting will stand out more. Contrast can be achieved through texture (such as plain versus patterned), brightness (light versus dark) and, the most common one - color.
Create balance: All webpages should look well-balanced. A good way to understand balance is to think of your webpage as a scale, with elements distributed equally on both sides. There are many ways to achieve an even distribution of elements as balance can be symmetrical, asymmetrical, or radial. Whichever you choose, the resulting look should always feel cohesive, leaving nothing out of place.
Enhance Visual Appeal: Use high quality images to enhance the visual appeal of the website. Try to implement videos, and other media features to explain more about your brand, business and products to your audience. Quality icons and vector illustrations can be essential to explain things in a slightly different way, making your message crystal clear in the blink of an eye.
Nice Typography: Typography is the art of arranging text relating to everything on the page from the choice of the font to the letter size and weight. Typography is typically seen as an art form. The idea is to pick one to three fonts and use them consistently throughout the website redesign process. The title can be more decorative, but the paragraph text should be easy to read. You can also use unique touches like cursive and old-style serif to highlight the subheadings. Our typography guide will give you more insights on achieving a look that complements your website copy.
7: Update the website's details
Begin with updating your existing website content. It’s so important to make sure that your choice of words provides real value to your readers. Keeping your target audience in mind will help you craft text that is less about you and your product (which can come off as too much of a sales pitch), and more about your users and their needs. Use written copy to provide an answer to all their common questions.
Additionally, keep your text short and sweet. Sentences that are concise and to-the-point are especially effective. The attention span of the online audience is decreasing, so you need to use all the tricks in the book to keep them longer on your website
Consistent Tone: Your text's tone of voice should be consistent and in line with your brand guidelines. Write in a way you would want your brand to be perceived. The tone needs to be personal, persuasive, conversational, and friendly. Avoid formal, authoritative, and professional tone because you are talking a person. Put yourself in the shoes of the reader and assess if the content has a personal and charming touch.
Use Microcopy: This term refers to the short bits of text on anything from your call-to-action buttons (CTAs) to your online forms. Ensure that the microcopy is conversational and has a friendly tone. Users want to feel a personal effect in the microcopy and not just lines of words. For instance, a signup button can do better than the simple 'OK'. Instead choose something more compelling like "Sign Me Up!" or "Let's Go!".
8: Enhance your SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) helps to enhance your site’s visibility on the organic Google search results. It's crucial in boosting the website’s traffic. Try to optimize the website’s SEO in the redesign process as it enhances its discoverability to users searching for similar products and services.
There are various ways to help your business be found on Google. Try to apply the following strategies:
Use quality Keywords: Before writing an article for the redesigned website, conduct keyword research. Select two to three words that adequately describe your business. Consider the short phrases that people typically type into the Google search engine when looking for products similar to the ones that you are offering. These keywords and phrases should be used strategically throughout the website. Make sure that the keywords fit seamlessly into the applied context. This is because recent Google algorithm updates are paying close attention to the meaning and the context of the keywords in your copy.
Incorporate Alt-text: including alt-text for images on your website enhances the SEO and web accessibility. Alt-texts are a few words that are used to describe the pictures on the site. The alt-text is not visible to the site users, but it is very crucial for enhancing SEO as Google bots, and assistive technologies can identify them more easily.
Integrate Meta tags: Make sure that you create a meta tag for each page. Use your main keywords when writing fitting title tags and descriptions. This information is essential in assisting Google bots in understanding the content of your website. Besides, Google bots and assistive technologies will display the info better on Google search.
Valid Domain names: Keep your domain name consistent to assist the users in recognizing your brand. Only consider changing your domain name when you have changed the brand or business name. Also, if you have reduced or expanded the scope of your business, you can change the domain name to reflect the new activity.
9: Enhance the mobile experience
Ensure that when your site is experienced on-the-go it works and navigates just as smoothly by creating a mobile website version that’s equally intuitive. Declutter the screen and remove unnecessary elements so that only the most essential content remains.
Apart from enhancing a customer's experience, improving the mobile version is essential in improving your ranking in the organic Google search results. Google has now a big focus on the mobile version of your website.
10: Review the website and share it everywhere
After completing all the mentioned steps such as planning, site mapping, designing, updating, and SEO optimization, etc. Make sure you also take the time to thoroughly review the redesigned website. Proofread and edit all the articles and check the flow of the navigation throughout the site. Ensure that all links are working correctly.
Don't overlook smaller details such as the favicon. Ensure that everything that you've put on your checklist is incorporated into the site. You could also ask a close friend or the team members to do another inspection. If everything is alright you should use all available marketing channels to spread the news. Share the new website with friends on social media and boost its accessibility through a promotional ad. You could also use a newsletter as another way to drive traffic to your site.
We hope that these 10 essential steps to take during the website redesign process will help you in your online journey. Do not hesitate to contact our team if you have any questions.