Is it time for a new website? Are you ready to revamp your existing website to improve the user experience and generate more leads? Before you pull the trigger on a website redesign, do these five key things to ensure you are ready to embark upon an effective website redesign.
Audit your existing website
Before engaging a web design firm to help build your new site, cull through your existing website to identify what improvements are critical for your new website. For example, do you hear from clients that it is difficult to find the resources they need on your current website? Are prospective clients often confused about the relationship between the company as a whole and its sub-brands? Having these insights in tow will help you to more clearly articulate what you are looking to achieve by redesigning your website.
Spy on the competition
How are your competitors positioning their products and services online? What is your first impression when you visit their websites? Knowing how you want your web presence to differ from the competition is an important part of briefing your web partner on the goals and objectives for your web redesign. If being mistaken for competitors is a problem your business often faces, this is an exceptionally critical component of the pre-design process.
Assess what other marketing assets need to be updated
Maintaining brand consistency across all marketing and communications channels is vitally important. You want who you are and what you do to be crystal clear whether someone is looking at the homepage of your website or picking up a rack card about your firm. Part of the pre-design planning process is identifying what other marketing assets need to be revamped to ensure consistency with your new website design. This will ensure the timing is well-planned and that all parties are on the same page from project planning through execution.
Identify third-party systems that need to be integrated and any custom functionality that needs to be built
When providing a scope of work for a web redesign, your web partner will need to know what systems are being integrated into the website and what, if any, custom functionality needs to be built. This list may entail CRM systems into which any data capture forms (contact us, download our e-book, etc.) will feed and tools that will be used to collect payments and donations. If you have a client portal that is hosted by a third-party, that information is important for your web design partner to know at the onset.
Review your photography and videography
Authentic photography vs. stock photography – which should you use? While the direction you choose will impact the overall cost of your website design, this is also a key consideration when determining the overall aesthetic of your website. If you are using authentic photography, the production time to shoot and edit those images also needs to be built into the production schedule for your website build.
It is also important to consider whether video will be a core component of your new website. While some companies invest in profile videos to live on their homepage, others feature short product demo videos on interior pages of their website. If you have an existing video that you want to use on your website or desire to have a new video produced, be up-front with your web design agency about your needs and have an open conversation about how this will impact the overall product timeline.
As your firm’s 24/7 marketing hub – and the one that often makes that all-important first-impression – a visually-compelling, content-rich website is an important part of your company’s marketing program. When embarking upon a website redesign, take the time to compile a list of the pain points with your current website and what new information must be incorporated into a new website to deliver an optimal user experience.
Wondering what it takes to build a great website? Download our free web essentials guide for insights on the “can’t miss” components of an effective website.