Prepping for a Website Makeover
Feb 4, 2019
Prepping for a website makeover is the company equivalent of cleaning out the garage: intimidating in scope, time-consuming and accompanied by the fear of getting only halfway through before your attention is required elsewhere. But starting with a plan can save you money, time, and alleviate delays.
What materials can you prep in advance? Where are the risks? We asked our team of experts for some advice.
Ross Feldman, Web Designer
We always suggest clients:
- Make sure your Brand Strategy is current, including your mission statement, organizational strategy and brand expressions like logos, etc.
- Identify your audiences, prioritize them, and determine goals and objectives for each.
- Develop an Information Architecture to support the brand strategy and audience objectives.
- Consider how the site will be used on desktop, tablet, and smartphone platforms.
You've probably seen articles preaching mobile-first design, and there is some merit to this idea. However, we prefer to let the specific project drive this, rather than some general practice.
Dori Eldridge, SEO Specialist
Redesigning the website is the perfect time to revamp the SEO! You can:
- Fix/improve coding issues, CSS issues, navigation and UX issues
- Consider mobile friendly and responsive
- Make sure deep content is surfaced on key pages to promote more clicks and more time on site.
Do some SEO keyword research before you change your content so that the new site best captures your targeted audience.
Also consider how to keep your website from tanking on the search results DURING a redesign. This article has good advice on that.
Kathleen Hannon, Content
Conduct a content inventory in advance of the actual redesign. Start with your artwork. What do you have, and what will you need to represent new products or services? Arranging a photographer, building an interactive map/graph, or simply retrieving a copy of an image from a third party all takes time.
Also consider your marketing materials. Your website is your shopfront when it comes to marketing, but unless you’re planning on also re-doing all your print, trade show materials, etc. you will likely want to ensure your new online look and messaging is cohesive with existing materials.
Gather Data. Successful metrics bolster consumer confidence on a website. Slice and dice company metrics for the most impressive stats you can support. Start with customer service stats, delivery times, or whether your clients save money compared to the competition.
Gather all media for your web designer. Press releases, new industry certifications, awards, news and trade articles can all help to validate your company success.
Got video? According to Forbes a full 59% of senior executives say they will opt to watch a video rather than read a website. If you don’t have any company videos, a website redo is a great time to start!