Website Redesign Checklist

August 29, 2018

Website Redesign Checklist

Has your company decided to open a new channel of business, launch a new product or just go in a fresh direction with brand identity and awareness? If so, chances are one of the first to-do items on the list is a website redesign. As we all know, your company’s website is the billboard for its brand, and often the first impression made on a prospective customer. That being said, it is important that website redesign projects are taken seriously, thoroughly planned and thoughtfully executed. This means everything from figuring out how to select the best content management system to developing an SEO strategy.

Don’t be intimidated! We know it’s a huge undertaking to overhaul a website and turn out something representative of your vision that aligns with your sales and marketing goals. Luckily, we’ve put together a website redesign checklist to help get you started.

1. Analyze Your Current Website Experience

As with any other part of an omnichannel marketing strategy, your website should work in tandem with every individual part of the customer journey. This means that from the moment someone sets “foot” on your site, they should be    immersed in a digital experience that is both practical and palatable. When you’re about to embark upon a website redesign journey, you must first analyze the current state of your website’s digital experience, including the design, visual    elements (such as photos and videos), performance and usability. In order to know what needs to be fixed in the next iteration of your site, you need to have a full understanding of what is   or isn’t working and why. Once you have these elements outlined, you can prioritize and plan for what to include in the   project.

2. Set Goals

At the end of the day, every project in a marketer’s roadmap should have a goal it is looking to accomplish. This includes redesigning a website – it is a major undertaking, and you wouldn’t want any time or resources wasted on poor return-on-investment (ROI). So, what is it that you’re trying to accomplish with a newly-designed website?- Do you want to increase conversions?- Are you trying to outrank your competitors on Google and on SERPs?- Does your Sales pipeline need you to generate more leads?

Whatever the case may be, by first defining a set list of goals, you can then work backwards to put together a plan for how to reach those goals. This also keeps your project focused and minimizes room for other projects or priorities getting in the way or distracting your team from the overall strategy.

3. Learn more about your target audience/website users

Before you start building a new website, you need to understand who will be visiting it. Think about it this way – if you visit a shoe stores’ website expecting to shop for a new pair of sneakers, how likely are you to buy from that same store if their sneaker selection is hidden away in a secondary menu? Pretty unlikely!

Once you understand the who and why behind your website visitors, you can create a user experience that delivers the content that your audience needs, at the right time they need it.

4. Do competitive research

When you’re putting together any sort of strategy or planning a project, it’s always a good idea to look at how others in your industry are accomplishing the same goals. This gives you a chance to see what is working for them – and how you can use it to your advantage.

Check out the websites of your competitors and take note of why it may or may not be successful. What about their site do you want to emulate? What would need to change to better convey a message? Treat the evaluation process in part as if you’re a consumer/your own target audience.

5. Develop a comprehensive content strategy

When was the last time you updated your content strategy? Probably longer ago than you would like to admit. Redesigning your website is a great opportunity to analyze your existing content strategy and give it a thorough refresh. Does your blog date back a few years? Grab some older posts and update them with new sources or rewrite the content with current trends in mind. Not seeing the engagement you’d like to see? Readjust your posting schedule to reflect when your website visitors are accessing your content. Is some content standing out as more successful than others? Use them to creates templates or outlines for future endeavors.

6. Make SEO a priority

Why spend all the time and resources to build a new website if you’re not going to develop an SEO strategy to boost its visibility? It’s always easier to incorporate SEO as you go, rather than revisit it once the site launches. This also gives you an opportunity to make minor tweaks to page titles, meta descriptions and keywords, as well as check website loading times to make sure the user experience is seamless. You also need to make sure your website is mobile-friendly – Google places a lot of weight on mobile-first websites when it comes to search result rankings, so you should, too.

7. Employ responsive design

While we’re on the topic of mobile-friendliness, making sure your website’s design is responsive. This means that it is still easily a pleasantly viewed on any device, regardless of what the screen’s size is. How your website displays on a tablet may be completely different than how it looks on your desktop, but both should make the user experience effortless.

8. Use a top-of-the-line CMS

Anyone know that a successful department has a full marketing tech stack that includes all the tools they need to make sure their strategies come to fruition. If you’re building a website, one technology that needs to be considered and/or reevaluated is your content management system (CMS). Every content management system needs to check off a certain number of boxes before your company decides to invest in it to be the foundation of your new website.  Look for things like out-of-the-box templates, WYSIWIG editors, intuitive user interfaces, and professional services to help you get the most out of your investment. If you’re ready to start evaluating a new software, check out the Top 10 Content Management Systems to figure out the best CMS for your website redesign.