So, it has come to this: you're thinking about redesigning your website. Congratulations! You have taken the first step by deciding to make the change, now take a deep breath and acknowledge that you don't want to jump from a website full of problems into another, better-looking website full of problems.
Too often, website owners fail to diagnose the real problems with their website, which happens to be the most critical step before a redesign. With the right diagnostics and a website redesign checklist, you will not waste time, funds, or the creativity of your designer. If you’re going to give your website a makeover, do it the right way.
What is the Right Way?
Structure comes before colors, and that's the right way. Don’t get irritated if planning takes too long, it’s supposed to help you create a website that will serve you longer and produce quality leads and loyal customers. So, don’t ever start a website redesign without these:
Steel-Strong Sales Funnels
Sales funnels are processes that your visitors go through on your website. It’s the entire journey from the moment they enter your website (point A) to the moment they schedule a consultation (point B). A good sales funnel connects point A to point B, making sure your visitors reach the final stage of conversion.
Instead of shouting “PICK ME” on your homepage, build a smooth slide for your visitor. Talk about their problem, inform them of the available solutions, and then you can educate them on how your company specifically can solve their problem. Divide your content to address every stage of the funnel, bringing visitors from information search to signing up to an offer or service.
Long Live King Content
"Let’s talk about the homepage design first, content can always be written later." NO! Just a big fat NO!
You can work on specific phrases and language later, but the content structure should be determined before you start designing. If you disconnect these 2 processes, your website will lack logic and flow.
Designers and copywriters should work as a team to create a fantastic website structure that speaks to your buyer persona’s needs on every level. In fact, implementing a smart content marketing strategy will cost you less than an internet-wide advertising campaign.
Was your old website designed to attract visitors or convert visitors?
Take advantage of your redesign and use it as an opportunity to reorganize the structure of your website. Learn from the pages that convert best and identify the most common routes your visitors take.
If you’ve been generating leads that end up leading nowhere, craft offers that will finally convert those leads into prospects. Without this process, your marketing is not actually helping your business grow, it’s only making some noise.
It All Comes Down to SEO
Redesigning a website may actually backfire if you fail to consider SEO. There are more than 200 factors that affect your ranking (according to Google). This means, there are 200 ways you can improve your site’s visibility, authority, and trust, or 200 ways to make it worse.
Do you want your website to be stunning and pixel-perfect? Great, but what about your page load time? No visitor will wait to see your gorgeous website, they came to see what they searched for.
You don’t have to lose all your rankings and traffic with a website redesign (that would be starting everything from scratch), although that’s a serious possibility. Get your developers and technical SEO team on board to prepare the runway before your new, perfected website is given the all clear for takeoff!
Here's a more detailed checklist of things you'll need before redesigning your website. Find the free download below.