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How To Plan A Successful Website Redesign Project

I want you to get the best from your website redesign. Let me help you evaluate your options and create a plan.

This comprehensive guide to planning a successful redesign project covers all aspects of planning, budgeting, and selecting a vendor. These are important considerations for making your website an effective tool for your business.

STRATEGIC PLANNING

Learn how to analyze your site and determine what you need.

WEBSITE BUDGETING

Learn how to build a realistic web design project budget that gets results.

VENDOR SELECTION

Use my tips to narrow down the list of website companies you are interested in working with.

1. Strategic planning

Every successful redesign starts with evaluation and preparation.

CONDUCT A SITE AUDIT
Where are you now?

Evaluating and planning are the keys to any website project’s success. Although redesigning and developing are important, the real work starts long before code is rewritten and layouts are changed.

To determine what is working and what isn’t, you need to evaluate your current website. Consider your company’s major goals and how an improved website can help you achieve them.

  • Is your website responsive? Are you able to provide a consistent experience on both mobile and desktop devices?
  • Is your website communicating the right message to your target audience? Make your audience your primary focus when designing your website.
  • Is your website modern and attractive? Is the content consistent with your brand’s culture and branding guidelines?
  • Is your website an online sales tool or client-nurturing engine?
  • Are you able to meet visitors’ expectations regarding the design and functionality of your website?
  • What are the gaps between your website’s current functionality and your ideal website? Do you want to increase leads? Attract your ideal customers? Shorten sales funnels?
  • Are there clear, compelling calls to action on every page?
  • Does it work if you have custom functionality?
  • How clear is the organization of content? Are users able to find the information they require easily?
  • Are your customers getting the most current information? Your business goals or objectives may have changed since the launch of your current website. 

It can be difficult and overwhelming to audit your website objectively. It is important to have a team that’s capable of evaluating and providing industry-specific feedback about site design and its impact on your company goals.

To understand how your customers will find, view, and use your website, you’ll need to analyze your content, visuals, and design functionality. Bring in your marketing team to analyze your website. Customers might offer additional insight into the performance of your website through feedback from your sales reps.

DEVELOP WEBSITE PERSONAS
What are your users looking for?

Your company’s success depends on you getting to know your customers. When it comes to digital marketing and website success, what matters most is appealing to the demands of your target audience. This factor must guide decision-making about your redesign.

This analysis of users and their needs is known among web designers as a website persona. Your personas will help you create a profitable conversion strategy, optimize content, and place strong calls to action. Next, you will customize your website layout to provide the best user experience possible for your target audience.

TAKE AN IN-DEPTH ANALYTICAL VIEW
What are the numbers saying?

Once you have created your website personas report you will want to get to the numbers. Analytics tracks actual statistics and individual web metrics. This data can be used to answer crucial questions such as:

  • Who uses your website? What are they looking for?
  • How much of your site’s traffic is SEO-driven? Are you ranking well for key terms? Are most of your visitors coming from your target audience?
  • Are your website visitors making the right decisions?
  • At what point do your visitors leave your site?
  • What are your current website usage trends and activities? What are your conversion rates per day, week, and month?
  • Which promotion strategies seem to work the best?
  • Are there any surprises in your website analytics?

Although your website may track some data, it might not have as many conversions or metrics as you would like. It’s okay. Keep track of where you started and create a list of additional information that you want to collect. You will be better equipped to fill in any gaps as you move forward with your website redesign.

DESCRIBE YOUR REDESIGN PROJECT’S PURPOSE
What is success and what does it look like to you?

You can use what you have learned to create a strategy for your redesign project. Review the information you’ve gained from the questions presented so far, and put together a master plan. Your strategy should answer these additional questions:

  • How important is your website in the overall marketing strategy of your company?
  • What are the results you will need to measure success or return of investment (ROI) after your website is launched?
  • What other factors could impact the success of your website?
  • Are your website goals realistic? What are your time frames?
  • How often do you report on success measures?
REVIEW CURRENT PARTNERSHIPS
Are your vendor relationships still functioning?

You should also evaluate your existing vendor relationships and technology tools, as part of your planning process. With a bird’s eye view of all the redesign elements, you’ll now be equipped to determine if your existing vendors and technology are suitable for and compatible with the performance design of your new website. These factors combined will help you to decide how to rebuild and maintain your website.

The following questions will help you determine which software, tools, resources, or partners are most suited to helping you achieve your goals.

  • What software and third-party tools are being used to power your site? Are you required to use them all? Are they still the most effective tools to meet your needs? Are these tools hosted, managed, or owned by you, or set up by third parties? What are the terms of each contract?
  • Are you satisfied with the work of your current digital marketing agency and web design company? Do you enjoy working with them? 
  • Are you at a point in your growth where you are looking for new partners? Are you looking to hire an outside web design firm for the first time in your company’s life? Do you need to replace an old partnership?
  •  Do you have multiple partners that can help with marketing?

A strategy is essential for any website redesign project. It will help you to reduce timelines, increase results, and stay within your budget.

A strategic approach to your website redesign project from the beginning will help extend its life by making it an ongoing part of your marketing plan.

2. Website budgeting

How do you create a budget for web design that is realistic and still delivers results?

CREATE A WEBSITE BUDGET
What should the cost of a new website be?

How can you transform your website into something that is both beautiful and functional without spending a fortune? (Depends on what you consider a fortune, I guess.) Companies often do some of the work internally but are shocked to discover that the costs of employees’ time are much higher. It’s often cheaper to hire an outside company to redesign your company’s website.

When you are calculating the cost of a website redesign, think of the project as an investment. Consider the ROI and value a website will bring to your business. Estimate the cost of your redesign so you can budget accordingly. Form your view strategically and think about marketing in the bigger picture.

How much do you spend on decorating your lobby? Many companies consider decorating and maintaining a lobby a worthwhile investment because it creates the first impression. Your website should be treated in the same way. Your website could be your first chance to grab customers’ attention in today’s market. If your website and key landing page don’t grab their attention, customers won’t notice your “interior design.”

Your website should be able to function as part of your sales team. Do you want to make the long-term salary and benefits of an employee a line item that is only for one year or amortize it over the years the employee is employed by your company? The cost of your website redesign should be included in your marketing budget for a period of time, usually 3-4 years.

In light of your overall marketing plan, consider a budget for web design projects. A website redesign should include marketing, copywriting, and search engine optimization (SEO). It also requires technical skills, analytical ability, and good writing. These areas have an impact on much more than how your website looks. These areas of know-how provide functionality that transforms your website into an effective marketing tool.

Iterative web design will make your website more efficient and last longer. It is cheaper to update and enhance functionality, SEO, or content in stages. This helps extend the life of your site.

Your website should be a key component of your business plan. It should work as an integrated tool or as a digital sales rep. Your website is a 24/7 engine that helps you achieve your business goals.

88% of consumers research product information before making a purchase online or in-store.

46% of respondents cited website design as the most important factor in determining the credibility of a company.

70% of website visitors will abandon a site if it is confusing or unattractive.

COMPARE WEBSITE REDESIGN ESTIMATES
Why are vendor prices different?

There are many options when it comes to website redesign costs. You have several options when it comes to the cost of a website redesign. You can either work within your company, use a template, or request a complete solution. All of these options are possible, but depending on how big the job is, your goals, your staff’s expertise, and your project timeline, some might be more effective than others.

It is possible to find significant pricing differences among estimates. Many web design companies offer packages A, B, and C. Other firms might only offer a single solution. Due to all the variables involved in the web design process, such as the number of pages, builder options, and the level of the features you want, the cost difference is similar to what you might see when purchasing a house.

Variations in website estimations could be due to page count, application development functions, and other details like design quality, interactivity, and SEO.

When comparing quotes, make sure to verify that the price includes strategy work. For example, you might hire an architect for your home design, but other specialists are necessary for homemaking beyond the design. Similarly, to make your website stand out, you may need professional assistance in creating a content strategy. Copywriters provide content, while the web developer handles interactivity, for example. Each of these strategic skills is paramount for organizing the information on your site in such a way that pages rank well in search engines.

It is important to compare estimates and get an overview of what services price ranges cover. Also, understand what your team will be responsible for managing or creating.

CONSIDER A PHASED APPROACH
Is it really beneficial to do everything at once?

It’s easy to create a wishlist and then get disappointed (or even surprised) when your budget or timeline makes it seem impossible to achieve your dream website. We recommend prioritizing work in your feature lists. It is smart to budget for the features you need at launch and those you can do at a later time.

Your “must-have” items should correspond to the features that will allow you to achieve your goals. This exercise can be extremely useful when starting a complex project. It is especially helpful if there are multiple opinions about what should be prioritized.

A phased approach to website redesign can make it easier to manage costs. This will allow you to add other marketing on top of your website redesign project, so you can see ROI faster.

COMPARE YOUR SITE BUDGET TO INDUSTRY NORMS
What do other people pay for their websites?

Is it possible to find out how much your company spends on digital marketing? Check out this list of statistics that might surprise you.

The Wall Street Journal reports that digital marketing spending varies depending on the industry. The average company spends 11% of its budget on digital marketing, with costs ranging from 4 to 24 percent. Consider how your company can spread the costs of your website redesign across its budget. [source]

Forbes defines small businesses as those that have less than $5 million annually in revenue. They typically spend between 7- 9% on marketing. [source]

According to the Small Business Administration, businesses with a minimum of 10-12% margin should consider investing 7-12% of their total revenue in marketing. [source]

Entrepreneur estimates that businesses between 1 to 5 years old spend 12-20% on marketing. 6-12% may be sufficient for older companies that have more brand equity. [source]

Why does responsive design matter?

You may be amazed at how fast things have changed if it has been more than a decade since your last website design. Mobile browsing has made the biggest impact over the last five years.

Did you know that mobile devices are more popular than desktop computers for web searches? It’s critical to have a responsive website that is easy to use in this mobile-first world. It’s more demanding than ever to code a website that is functional and effective for all screen sizes.

This means that all web development companies must create code in a new way to “respond” to different sizes and devices. We must create templates that allow for standard shifting of primary device sizes.

We can create individual viewports to suit specific sizes for more complex sites and designs. This is often done after we have set basic shifting and assessed the popularity and importance of particular pages. Analytics can also help you decide if it is worth spending more time on mobile views.

Although responsive design preparation can be time-consuming, it is imperative and always worthwhile.

  • 62% of businesses with mobile-friendly websites see an increase in sales.
  • 40% of searchers will choose another result if the first site is not mobile-friendly.
  • 48% of users believe that if a website doesn’t work well on their mobile devices, it is an indication that the business doesn’t care.

3. Vendor selection

It can be difficult to choose the right website design company because of all the options available.

You need a strategic partner to help you build a website that converts an ROI. These are some of the factors you should consider when looking for a partner to build a website and how to assess your top choices.

RETHINK SENDING OUT A REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP)
Are you really going to need an RFP?

When you are looking for a partner for your redesign, you may have heard that you must send out an RFP. However, many companies find this process cuts them off from strategic input.

Don’t limit yourself. It’s not like you would take your own treatment plan to an orthopedist. You would call the best orthopedist and tell them that your knee hurts and let them provide you remedy.

If you are looking to upgrade your website, choose a web design firm that suits your needs. You can also ask the company for recommendations. These outside experts can often help you to think differently about your project and present options that will make it efficient, timely, and result-driven.

START TALKING TO WEB DESIGN COMPANIES
Which person has the best solution? Who asks the right questions?

After narrowing down your list of top vendors for your design project, it’s time for you to start talking. Have interviews with each company to see how they would approach your project. After these conversations, you will find that one or two companies rise to the top. It could be because of personality, process styles, or their portfolio.

You can also look for inspiration. Who can offer the best solution to your problem? Who is able to ask good questions and challenge your thinking? Who can be your partner in achieving your goals?

Partnering with a web design company for a long time will help you bring your ideas to life. Website companies create websites every day. So, you wouldn’t expect or accept less.

4. Recap

This guide will help you select the right partner for your website redesign and ensure that you are successful online.

Your company’s website success depends on a strategic plan that addresses users’ needs. Ideally, plan your project within an appropriate budget that includes sufficient resources.

Your company should not make a website redesign project a secondary priority. Your website should function as your top-performing salesperson and ambassador to the marketplace. So ask yourself: Would you make a long-term employee’s salary and benefits a line item for one year only?

Take the time to assess your site’s current performance, evaluate current and prospective partners and technologies, and create a sustainable budget. A well-thought-out strategy will reduce timeframes, keep costs low and improve results, and when done properly, will be a game-changer for your business.

No matter what your goals are, if you follow this plan, and consider some of the suggestions, you’ll be staring at a new project that yields a return on investment as well as creating something your audience will appreciate.

PLANNING A WEBSITE REDESIGN FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

Book a free Zoom call to discuss how I can help you build a company website that will yield you a Return On Investment (ROI).

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