If you are tossing up whether you need a website redesign or not, I have some good news for you – you probably don’t. In my experience, redesigning a website from scratch is an expensive and time consuming exercise. A good web design firm will spend at least 3 months from start to finish for all design, development and quality control requirements – and it won’t be cheap.
However, in some cases, a redesign can be just what your online business needs. You just have to ensure that the benefits outweigh the costs. Not sure how to do that? Then read on for some simple guidelines that will help you to make a decision.
The wrong reasons to redesign your website
- You have not consulted your web analytics and are making your decision based on emotion, not data
- The people in marketing want it redone
- You’re trying to impress your boss
- You are just plain bored of your website design
The biggest mistake is redesigning a website because you feel bored of it. It is important to remember that you do look at your website almost on a daily basis – the vast majority of your customers do not. Your customers will not see your silver coloured website and think that they would prefer it to be red, or care how much gloss you add to your call to actions. What they will be focusing on is your product and service and how it will help them get what they want.
The right reasons to redesign your website
- To generate more leads that can turn into customers
- To improve your website for search engines
- To make it easier for your visitors to find what they need
- For branding (only if it helps the above)
- To hit business goals
If your reasons aren’t listed above, stop right now if you are getting quotes from designers. On the other hand, if you do have reasons like these, the next step to read and complete the exercises below. A few minutes now will save you a lot of time and money in the months to come.
Let’s Redesign the Right Way
Before anything else, you need to clarify what you want to achieve and how you will achieve it. This must be clearly documented so you and your chosen design firm are on the exact same page about the outcomes of your redesign project.
When I guide my clients through a website redesign, I sit down with them and ask them to write down answers to the following questions.
Step 1. Clarify what you want to achieve
Write down the number one objective of your business website and then follow it by the second most important objective, and then the third, fourth, fifth and so on until you cannot think of anything else.
Your list may look like this:
- More phone calls
- More enquiry form submissions
- Newsletter subscriptions
- Download eBook
- Visits to Facebook page
Step 2. Find out who you are up against
Look at your competitors, and see what they are doing well/not so well. You should be asking yourself:
- What are their unique selling propositions and can I do better?
- How am I ten times better than them right now?
- How do I want to be ten times better than them in the future?
- What do they have in place that improves the user experience that I can learn from and apply?
- What is the character and feel that comes across from looking at their website? Is it professional or personal?
If you are going to put in $10,000+ into a decent website, you want to make sure that your website is better than your competitors’. It important to not focus on wanting to looking better – that is only one of the factors. The most important factor is focusing on presenting your product and service offering in a way that sticks in your visitors’ minds.
Step 3. Find someone who does it well
“Modelling Excellence” one of the methods that many entrepreneurs including Brad Sugars, T Harv Eker and Anthony Robbins swear by. It is something that is so easy to do – find someone who you want to be and copy them until you reach the point where you can exceed them.
You can apply the same concept to your new website. I highly recommend that you spend some time looking at several websites (the more the better) which have the elements, functions or styles which complement your business goals. Web designers are visually oriented people, so taking screenshots with notes will not only help them help you, it will reduce the risk of miscommunication and frustration.
Some web design firms will offer to do this research part for you – however, it is a good idea for you or your team to do this prior to meeting with them. If you skip this research process, you risk having a website design created based on assumptions.
So there you have it – 3 simple but critical steps that you need to take prior to getting a website redesign. Having an attractive, well-functioning website is one thing, and your web design firm will take care of that. Ensuring it gets an effective ROI is something that you as a business owner need to take ownership of. Put the two together and you have the makings of an online sales machine!