Your Website: Reimagined
When you’re undertaking a website redesign, it can be tempting to rush in with the excitement of new possibilities. However, it’s essential to consider the critical aspects of a redesign, both aesthetically and from a business perspective. For the process to be successful, these two must be aligned if the new website is to provide a high return on investment.
Undertaking a thorough review of your existing website is essential, along with evaluating your content, analytics, and calls to action to see how well each is currently performing. If you haven’t re-designed in some time, the online social landscape has changed dramatically, and if you want your business to thrive, you need to embrace both social media and technology to deliver your product or service to a broad audience efficiently.
Once upon re-design completion, don’t leave it to gather dust. Aim for constant measurement and enhancement. Analyzing your redesign efforts with these four key areas will help you develop a cohesive plan and ensure your redesign is a success.
If your website content isn’t making it immediately clear what you do and offer, and why your visitors should care, then your site may never meet your business expectations. If you’re planning a website redesign, then your content should be one of your first considerations. Preparing a content analysis is an excellent place to start, which means taking stock of current assets such as all web pages and their content. It’s also essential to analyze which pages most visitors are landing on, and ensuring that these are updated to convert and drive revenue. This can be achieved through the Landing Page report in Google Analytics.
The primary purpose of your website is to deliver valuable content, so while aesthetics are important, taking a clear call to actions, to turn visitors into customers, is one of the most critical undertakings when redesigning and developing your new website.
Customer Driven Interface & Content
Visitors often judge how a website looks before evaluating its content. If they immediately don’t like your design or are confused by it, they will leave, so design plays a massive role in people’s perception of your business, and it’s credibility. For your redesign to be successful, you first need to look at your current site and investigate thoroughly what’s working, what isn’t, what goals it’s fulfilling and where significant improvements can be made. Clearly defining your audience will also help you make grounded design decisions. A redesign is a chance to involve customers and get feedback from users, finding out what is most important to them. Learning your customers' expectations can help manage expectations as to what to expect from the new design. During the design phase, you can incorporate some of the original elements you’re planning into your existing site, and this can be incredibly valuable in seeing what effect it has on existing traffic, testing small changes can validate your future design decisions.
Design For All Devices
With mobile device usage continuing to rise, it is more important than ever to optimize your website for all platforms, to attract the most significant number of visitors possible. If you make it a pain for your visitors to browse your site on their mobile devices, then you are losing customers. Responsive design means a website is built to ensure it’s content and structure scale well on all devices, providing better user experience. Taking a responsive approach to your redesign has benefits, as it negates the need for a separate mobile site, and makes managing content quicker and easier.
Google has a clear stance on responsive design, recommending the use of CSS3 media queries, so all devices are served using the same URL and HTML across devices. This method enables Google’s algorithms to assign the indexing properties to crawl your content. Using responsive front-end frameworks that are designed and built with responsive design from the start could speed up your development time.
Social Media Elements
Incorporating social media into the very core of your website will allow you to reach potential customers and increase the reach of your brand. Your website and social media platforms should work seamlessly together, providing consumers with fresh, relevant, and consistent updates. Make it easy for your users to connect from your website to all your social media platforms, providing social share and like buttons on your landing pages, blog posts and product and service pages, along with installing plugins for the major platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Google+. Highlight user-generated content on your website, as sharing images, videos, and reviews from your customers will create trust, and encourage engagement. Showcasing user-generated content creates a more personal buying experience, allowing potential customers to feel connected to your brand.
A redesign means brand new code, possibly a new platform, and an opportunity to implement a structure that will provide flexibility as you grow. Instead of merely shoehorning in tools, assets, and plugins from your existing website, investigate new solutions in a bid to serve a more streamlined experience to your users.
A Repost From Mashable®