There are always times, like the start of a new year, when you decide a site has got to change. Sometimes a redesign can be out of necessity if conversions or lead generation is down; other times its easy to get your eye turned by other sites that look shinier, happier, more successful and you decide to redesign just because you, well, can.
In this week’s show I look briefly at some of the key places I think you need to start.
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Always Audit Before Your Begin
1. Identify Your Goals
It’s essential you identify what you’re trying to achieve with your site and its goals before you talk to a designer. It should be clear in your head exactly what you want to do. Otherwise, you risk giving a fudged to this question when you talk to the designer, assuming she or he actually bother to ask.
Being conscious of the specific goal(s) you have, you’ll also be able to assess and analyse the data you’ve collected both before you redesign and going forward.
2) Review your current data
I am sure you’re making the most of Google Analytics to gather important data on your online marketing efforts. Now’s the time to thoroughly examine the data you’ve collated and realign this with your business and site goals. Hard data will enable you to illustrate exactly what you’re looking for your designer to achieve and will also give them a point of reference as they strive to help you achieve them.
Review Your Goals
3) Go back to your present site again and review it: what goals did you have when you started this site ? What are the goals you have for the new site? What goals might you have if the site is really successful? By thinking like this you give yourself another chance to make sure you’re focused on getting a site that will both deliver on your present needs as well as challenging your goals by envisaging what they could be in the past.
4) Create Brand Personas
Brand personas are instrumental in helping us focus as they can make us feel like we’re talking to a particular customer, not customers in general. If you understand exactly who your target customer is – what their unique needs are and how you can align your services or products with them – you can tailor your site redesign and other marketing to speaks directly to them.
5) Identify the key call-to-actions for your site
Before you talk to your designer or developer you need to know yourself what key call-to-actions the site will need whether it’s product sales, contact inquries, list-building, etc. Unless you know what kind of call-to-action the site needs, you’re at risk that your designer will not understand the significance of it.
Every Section of the Site
Finally, having audited your goals and site performance, it’s time to think through every component that your site will need. Will it need a blog, portfolio, landing pages for specific products, etc? It will help your designer if you know exactly which element you’re looking for. Be open to changes, of course, and be prepared to take advice. But by knowing what works and what needs to work, you’re in a good position to start the challenge of beginning to talk to a design agency.
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