Vital Things To Note When Re-Designing Your Website
A website proves to be one of the most powerful tools when it comes to effectively marketing to today’s modern-day, discerning consumers. Internet shopping is still growing in popularity as more and more consumers turn to the internet for those hard to find items that the local stores no longer carry, or possibly never did. As the focus on the digital stage continues to increase the task of redesigning and old, outdated and possibly obsolete web presence becomes more and more daunting. Before you commit to a new, useful and professional website desiign, here are some vital things that you must keep in mind.
Know Your Goals
Are you redesigning your site because the content is outdated and you need space and a new design to reflect changes to your products and business structure? Are you redesigning your website to change or update your branding in some way? Are you simply looking to increase your presence on the internet to draw interest from consumers? Each of these goals may have specific steps that you need to take in order to effectively optimize your results. You need to be aware of your goals before you commit to any strategy regarding a redesign.
Websites are the face of your presence on the internet and one factor to keep in mind is whether a complete redesign will confuse or alienate your customers. Demographics such as age and industry have an impact on how a redesign for any reason will be taken by visitors. So, do well to carefully consider different aspects of your consumer demographics before you commit to re-designing your site.
Research, Research, Research
Before committing to an overhaul of your digital presence do your research. You can never be too prepared for a potentially business impacting move and how, and when, to redesign a site are just a few of the things you should know before you begin the process. Focusing on not only independent research but team brainstorming and sometimes even soliciting feedback from consumers who regularly visit your site can help you develop an informed opinion about what works on your website and what doesn’t.
Another area that requires some research before you commit to a redesign: inspiration. Surf the web, look for design elements you love and the ones you love to hate. Once the business decision of a redesign has been committed to it helps to know how you feel about the design elements that are currently hot on the digital stage.
A blog published on Designhill suggests you to take steps to understand your website visitors’ behaviors, before you commit to redesign your website. It pays to understand the website metrics to analyze the expectations of your visitors’ from your website.
Know Your Site
This seems like a no-brainer, but knowing your website might not be as intuitive as you think. Many companies do not regularly browse their own sites, more concerned with back-end management, product and advertisement decisions or development. You may have webmasters and content creators in the company, so why should you browse your website if you’re just going to redesign it in the end?
If you aren’t intimately familiar with the workings of your website it’s possible that during the redesign, if you aren’t heedful of the content that’s already present, you will unwittingly destroy a lot of the search engine optimization content that garners your website significant views through search results on the web. Your website might be quite popular before a redesign because you have this content in place, properly redirecting to your site, and stripping it down to overhaul can break those search engine directs, causing your exposure to drop off at an alarming rate.
You can avoid this pit-fall through knowing what’s already on your site. You should look at the domain, any subdomains and links to and from the site to see where traffic is coming from and being funneled to. If you have content that is misdirecting customers away from the areas you want them to focus on, you’ll see that here too and it’s worth taking this extra time to make sure you don’t destroy your visitor count. In an article published on Forbes, writer Cheryl Conner suggests you to take note of appropriate title tags, URL chains, H1 tags, and H2 tags.
Needs versus Wants
You’re almost there now, ready to start that redesign that will help modernize or redirect your image, pull your brand identity together or present new content to your consumers. Now you need to know what you need in a design versus what you want it to accomplish.
This step is important for a number of reasons. Why include a lot of unnecessary trappings on your new site that might make it different to access or browse? And furthermore, why would you spend the money to have those trappings designed around your brand identity if they don’t actually promote your brand or drive sales? If you’re the type of person that wants instant results, this might be difficult step to come to terms with, but understand that web design is ever-evolving. When you premiere your new site it doesn’t have to be finished with no future work to be done. Yes you want it polished and yes it should be complete but that doesn’t mean updates, improvements and new features can’t be rolled out regularly in the future, limiting the impact to your budget without overwhelming it completely.
If your motive behind redesigning your website is to stay ahead of your competition, do well to research about the web design trends of tomorrow, before committing to redesign your website. Inkbot design recently published an article about the up and coming web design trends for the year 2015. Make sure you get acquainted to the major web design trends in order to ensure that your website doesn’t look outdated in the years to come.
Design or Hire
The Internet simply swarms with a host of resources if you’re looking to try your hand at re-designing your website. This will work best if you’re not a fan of hefty website designing fees. So, if you’ve some time in hand and have an aptitude for web designing, then go on re-design your website.
But, if you don’t have an eye for design, it will be a better idea if you hire a website designer to get the job done. But what if you don’t have the shekels to bear the huge charges of experienced designers? No worries. Try crowdsourcing your website re-design needs. A host of online crowdsourcing design sites such as Designhill put you in touch with a network of designers, illustrators and graphic artists who are ready to jump into action and creatively re-design your website at a fraction of what most design agencies charge.
These four areas of focus aren’t the end all be all of website redesign. There’s choosing a professional web designers, the process, testing and countless details, but these four aspects of a redesign are important and will help make the process of a website redesign, whether you’re rebranding, updating or pushing out new products, safer for your company’s bottom line and a lot less frustrating and alarming.
Jyoti Bhandari holds advanced degrees in both graphic designing and marketing. Working as a ghost writer, blogger and designer with designhill.com, Jyoti Bhandari has authored and edited several articles, blog posts, columns and editorials on business marketing and branding strategies, graphic design, e-commerce and start-ups.