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Website Redesign: A Comprehensive Guide & Checklist for 2020

Website Redesign: A Comprehensive Guide & Checklist for 2020

When business owners decide to spend their time and money on website redesign, appearance and facelift are seldom the only reasons behind it.

In all probabilities, there is a list of pain points that you’ve identified (or worse, your customers have pointed out) within your current site.

Your website may be outdated and not in sync with your brand’s latest goals, or maybe it’s not generating enough leads. You could be looking at adding some new features or considering SEO (search engine optimization) for your main pages.

The idea is to be strategic and goal-oriented when planning to go for a site rebuilding process. User research, competitor analysis, informational content, along with a touch of latest technology is the need of the hour.

Rebuilding a site is a very crucial marketing project, irrespective of the size of your organization and the nature of your business. It is therefore important to understand the purpose behind a website redesign and why you need it, along with the steps involved in the process.

Remember who you’re doing it for: Your customers!

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The process is only labeled a “success” if your customers are satisfied with what it offers them.

The article walks you through some important questions like- when to consider a website redesign, the benefits that you get, how to prepare a proposal,  the key strategies to remember, etc.

What do you mean by “website redesign”? 

The term is self-explanatory. Or so, it seems. A “website redesign” is defined as the process of revamping your site. However, the process may be different for various sites, depending on the need.

While some websites may simply need an update on the design and visual aesthetics (adjusting fonts, imageries, etc), others could need more detailed work on the content and SEO components.

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For needs that are limited to appearance, you could just be updating the CSS whereas others might involve changing the entire URL structure of the site.

Coming down to the next key question:

What are the benefits to redesign your site?

A website is your strongest marketing tool. It represents your organization to a generation that’s hooked on to their smartphones or laptops. This is where your customers first meet you.

A worn-out website will not just push away your potential customers but will perhaps cost you money. And that’s exactly why redesigning your site is important.

Revamping your site helps you get closer to your online marketing objectives. It could be through updated content, search engine optimization, a fresh blog design, better appearance, landing pages, and functionality.

Consider the following benefits of re-designing your online space:

1. Your website represents your company

It is important to keep an awesome online presence for your business in order to maximize your brand’s potential. After all, a better and easy to navigate webspace means more visitors. And that means more conversions.

2. Helps generate more leads

The ultimate objective of revamping your web design and content is to generate more leads, get more sales and a stronger business reach.

3. Helps strengthen your brand

Websites should have a strong message that speaks for the brand. When you’re redesigning with a set of business objectives in mind, it is important to weigh every decision keeping the brand image in mind. Think about portraying your organization in a way to boost your marketing efforts.

4. Helps to engage the visitors

Capturing the user’s attention is one of the most important benefits of revamping a site. As a business owner or a marketing manager, you know how important those first impressions are.

A website with updated information helps in engaging customers consistently. A non-performing or unattractive site will push your visitors to a competitor’s site, resulting in loss of business.

Updates like graphic appearance, content, SEO, usability,  and functionality of a site can shape your online presence.

5. Shows your professional side

A website that is not optimized to and not aligned to the needs of a business will never generate high conversion rates. Web redesigning helps you adhere to your business goals and show your professional face to the world.

For more detailed information, check out our article on 11 Critical Reasons Why You Need A Website Redesign for SEO

Coming down to the next critical question.

When should you redesign your site?

While there are no rules that define the timeline for redesigning a site, getting a revamp every couple of years is a good idea. It also depends on the industry that you serve. Niches like technology, education, product-based businesses, etc change every 1-2 years as compared to sectors like finance and industry.

Since your website works as a virtual marketing manager for your organization, keeping it updated every time the need arises is an absolute must.

“Time” should not always be the deciding factor for considering a makeover for your webspace. If your present site has only recently been revamped, but still fails to meet the desired objectives (in terms of traffic, lead generation and conversions), it is time to redesign. 

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Consider the following questions before taking up a redesigning project:

  • Is your site easy to navigate?
  • Do your visitors find the information they need easily?
  • Is your content meaningful, informative and SEO optimized?
  • Is your site ranking for targeted keywords?
  • Are all the pages on your site indexed by Google?
  • Do you need to work on broken links/ bad backlinks?
  • Is it aligned to your business goals?
  • Are your regular visitors converting to sales?
  • Can you easily track the visitors that come and go from your site?
  • Is there a significant percentage of visitors who bounce off your homepage?
  • Are your visits being converted to sales (what percentage)?

And finally

  • Are your competitor sites more updated in terms of technology, content, and responsiveness? (Yes, this one’s important too)

How to redesign an existing site?

When working on a website redesign proposal, start by creating a strategy that meets your objectives.

Website redesign strategies

  1. Create a plan

This includes:

  • Identifying the goals of the project
  • Setting a budget
  • Competitor analysis
  • Customer analysis
  • Analysis of the current situation- traffic, conversions, etc.
  • Fixing a timeline for the relaunch
  1. Hiring a partner web designing SEO agency
  2. Create a sitemap
  3. Get your content in place
  4. Get your homepage redesigned. Ensure easy navigation and user-friendliness.
  5. LAUNCH your new website. Use Social media, email channels, press releases, etc to announce your new look.

Website redesign checklist

Time to dive in a little deeper and prepare a quick checklist of “things to do” when considering a site revamp.

1. Review where you stand.

Auditing and reviewing your current website should always be the first point in the checklist. Review the issues, the most visited pages, and the aspects where you need to repurpose your site.

Check your user trends through analytics and mark out the pages that are performing well/not well in terms of traffic. This will give you a clear picture of what users like/ not like about your pages. An interesting campaign, great content, or live interactions could be generating the traffic to these pages.

Similarly, the absence of these could be the reason for dropping visitor numbers!

It is hence important to understand your weak points. You will obviously want your strong pages to be kept intact (or perhaps optimized further) and redesign the others for generating traffic.

2. Analyze your competitors

Next to your site audits, analyzing the competitor’s sites and web designs is very crucial. See what works for them. Understand the designs and imageries that work best in your niche.

Critically analyze your competitor’s websites (at least the top 5) in view of the best practices followed in the industry to see the common threads that attract visitors and create conversions. It could be their pricing menu, visuals, imageries, testimonials, videos, interactive chats, marketing campaigns,  deals, etc that’s interest the audience.

This also gives you an idea of what your competitors are missing.

Bookmark their strengths and weaknesses and get inspiration for your own redesigning project.

3. Do you need to update your brand style?

Outdated brand styles that do not gel with modern technology and user preferences are a big turnoff.

Review your brand style for critical questions like:

  • Is it modern and updated?
  • Is it readable/scannable?
  • Does it depict your brand’s strength?
  • Does it make your brand stand out?
  • Are the fonts, text, button styles, images and colors coordinated with your brand style?
  • Does the logo need a revamp?

Ensure that your web design is consistent across other media like print, social channels, etc.

4. Set your goals and set them high

The process of rebuilding a site requires a considerable amount of money and effort. Needless to say, you’ll be eyeing for success the day it gets relaunched.

Set strong goals but ensure that they are realistic. Go back to the analysis report from your current site to see what went wrong. Your new goals need to overcome your previous shortcomings.

For example, if your current pages get a fair amount of traffic but not enough conversions, the figures on your sales book could be your measure for success.

Ensure that your organization and marketing goals are well aligned with the redesign proposal and are communicated to those working on the revamp.

5. What is your budget?

Consider the following factors when evaluating your budget limitations for a website redesign project:

  • What do you want from the project? It could range from a completely new platform, new look (images), logo changes, content, or complete SEO.
  • Is your current content reusable or do you need to create a completely new version?
  • What level of support do you need? It could range from design and layout, content and blog management, SEO, content marketing.

Our advice here would be to focus on quality rather than the numbers.

6. Timelines & milestones

Understand the difference between “being good” and “being the best”. Creating a top-ranking web page takes time.

Start by creating realistic timelines.

Website redesign needs strategic planning, research, and content development before you even get to the design part.

The timeline for a project is dependent on the number of pages, the most important pages (based on user journey data) and the overall marketing goals.

Additionally, it may also be worthwhile to carefully set your timelines based on other factors like upcoming events, festive season, etc.

7. Get to know your users

Understanding and supporting the user journey is one of the most important aspects of website redesigning.

Your current page audits in addition to competitor analysis and market trends should be able to tell you what the users are looking for. Understand what they want and how they look it up online. MAKE IT CONVENIENT FOR THE USERS. 

Other techniques used by marketers to understand user needs are interviews, questioning them on their experience, feedback, checking on the content pages and of its helping the users to make converting decisions, etc.

Focusing on the user journey and redesigning your website to make it super smooth for them will help you generate real results. And real fast too!

8. Content, content, content

Yup. Content comes first!

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Without great content, a website is as good as a photo album that’s good to look at but does not solve any purpose.

Meaningful, informative and optimized content is the most important aspect of a website.

Ensure that your content is well researched, serves important information and is user-focused.

When developing content, remember- it is all about the searcher’s intent.

Focus on your users and ensure that your write-ups (blogs, landing pages, etc) deliver real value to the visitors.

9. Select the team to do the job

Internal design team:

Work with your design team and create page layouts, designs, texts, and imageries. Ensure that the data you’ve collected  (from your existing website, competitor analysis, market trends, users) is efficiently utilized when creating the designs and layouts.

Adding new pages like clients that have worked with you, testimonials, etc can be considered. Further, make sure that the updated brand guidelines and industry best practices are incorporated into the new design.

Selecting the right agencies for a website redesign

If you don’t have a functional design and SEO team, it is best to trust an external agency to work on your project.

Remember, designers and developers alone do not comprise a balanced redesign team. It should be well integrated with content creators, copywriters, SEO experts, and marketing teams.

The agency that you select should be able to help out on all these aspects. Finally, your budget and timelines are an important consideration in selecting a suitable agency.

Consider your website redesign agency in light of what it brings to your organization. Think about the support that you can get in terms of keyword research, SEO, strategy, branding, content development, and marketing.

10. Test with Real-time user data

With your redesign layouts ready, it’s time to go back to your previous users and test them out. Work out some interactive sessions with your users to understand how they feel about the new website. Tools like InVision can help in understanding user experience.

Look out for important factors like easy navigation, clicks, etc.

Ask for user feedback and integrate them into your final designs.

11. Develop the website and launch

This is the final stage of your project. Make sure that you dedicate the reasonable time and resources for coding, SEO, and testing before you relaunch your website.

Make sure that your users get a consistent experience, irrespective of the browser used. Finally, since a good percentage of users prefer navigating websites on their mobile phones, ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. Get your website display tested on various popular devices.

And finally, RELAUNCH YOUR WEBSITE IN STYLE!

However, remember that work does not stop here. Get on to a fresh journey of collecting and analyzing your user data. Keep working with the design teams on the aforementioned steps, with a determination to improve the user journey.

Keep your focus on the most important pages on the website first. Keep setting new targets and hit your goals with fresh redesigning strategies.

What should you include in your website?

Content, images, landing pages, links, videos, and interaction channels are an integral part of the website. However, to make sure that your website reaches out to the users, the way you intend it to do, Search Engine Optimisation needs to be considered.

Following are some good practices to ensure that your site revamp project turns out a success:

1. Focus on user experience

Remember that enhancing User experience (UX) is the ultimate purpose of the project.

2. Make sure your site has a fast loading speed.

Faster site speed ensures that Google indexes more of your web pages in a lesser time frame.

3. Add internal links to your web pages whenever possible.

Google prefers pages with links pointing to them. External and internal links pointing to your page will help you increase your crawl budget.

4. Have a flat and simple website architecture.

A flat website architecture ensures that all your web pages are easy to navigate to. Make sure that important pages are not several clicks away from your home page.

5. Avoid the use of orphan pages.

Orphan pages are pages that have no internal or external links pointing to them. This makes it hard for Google to find and index your orphan page.

Make sure all the content you want Google to find and index have links from other pages that point to it.

6. Avoid pages with duplicate content.

You don’t want to waste precious crawl budget by making Google index pages with similar content. Always make sure your pages have unique and high-quality content. Additionally, Google can always lay a penalty on keyword cannibalization and duplicate content.

7. Add visuals

Visual elements like pictures, videos, and infographics help in engaging the audience.

Website redesign with SEO

As mentioned earlier, SEO should be an integral component of revamping your website. SEO during a website revamp project is primarily targeted towards improving your traffic, leads, and conversions.

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Ensure that you select the right keywords which are indexed by Google and appear relevant in the search results. Integrate the keywords meaningfully within the content on your site.

Website redesign along with SEO works as a powerful tool to help your site appear in relevant search results, thereby generating traffic and driving conversions.

What does website redesigning cost?

The actual cost of a site rebuilding project is more than just the dollars. It is the time and effort required to do the background work.

While redesigning a website on your own is economical and can be accomplished in a few hundred dollars, it may not always solve the purpose.

The estimated cost of these projects can be anywhere between $3000 to $50,000. However, when you choose to partner with a reliable website redesign SEO agency, you get what you pay for.

Remember: aesthetics are not really the most important part of web design. Google algorithms work by evaluating the content. As a brand, you need to focus on informational content, enhancing the user experience, interactions, conversion rate optimization, and everything else that your visitors want.

Final words

Redesigning a website involves a lot of work. And if you’ve gone through the article, you know why.

However, proper preparation is the key to the desired outcomes. Choosing the right agency to partner with can simplify your journey and make it hassle-free.

Customers in the present times are not too easy to satisfy. They expect high functionality, regular updates, new information, mobile-friendliness, and interactive features to be able to link to your brand.

Remember that your website will be one of the biggest contributors to the growth of your organization. 

Thinking of taking a “second chance” at creating that “first impression” on your clients with a website redesign? Don’t think twice. Just get it done. 

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