Website Redesign Strategy That Will Not Hurt Your Business

By Christina

Feb 12, 2013

A redesign of your website can be a success or failure.  The successful redesigns tend to be driven by understanding the failures of the existing website.

Below you will find the stages you need to consider when redesigning a website:

  • Strategy
  • Plan
  • Design
  • Build
  • Optimisation
  • Launch
  • Analysis
  • Below you will find a few tips helping you form a strategy:

    Step 1: Know Your Current Websites Performance

    Review and document the metrics you use to judge the performance of your website.  The following areas are always a good place to start:
    • Number of visits, total visitors and unique visitors
    • Bounce rate
    • Time on site
    • Top performing keywords (rank, traffic, lead generation)
    • Number of inbound linking domains
    • Total number of new leads/form submissions
    • Total amount of sales generated
    • Total number of pages indexed
    • Total number of pages that receive traffic
    If you don't already have a way of monitoring these metrics, you can use Google Analytics for free.

    Step 2: Determine Your Website Redesign Goals

    Have a good reason to change your website; it should be based around how your website works and not just about how it looks.  Be clear about why you are redesigning your website and make sure you communicate this to all the people involved in the redesign. 

    To know if your redesign works, you want to see the following happening to your metrics.

    • Increasing number of visits/visitors
    • Reducing bounce rate
    • Increasing time on site
    • Improving domain authority
    • Increasing number of new leads/form submissions
    • Increasing total amount of sales generated
    • Enhancing current SEO rankings for important keywords

    Step 3: Getting Your Message Across

    A new visitor to your website should immediately understand what you do, how it helps them, and why they should stick around and not go elsewhere.
    Ask yourself:
    • Does your branding need to change
      • What needs to be changed
  • How much industry jargon is used
  • Is your message clear and concise - does a visitor to the site understand within minutes what you do
  • Does your website help the visitor achieve their goal

Step 4: Who is Your Customer(s)

As much as you want your website to tell everybody all about yourself and what you do, your visitor is more interested in themselves and what they are going to get from visiting your website.
  • Work out who your customer is
    • Gender
    • Age group
    • Personality
    • Level of education
  • What stage of the buying process are they in
    • Require information
    • Comparing
    • Ready to buy/make contact
  • Once you understand who your customer is you can present them with a website that speaks to them on their level.

    Step 5: Protect Your Best Performing Pages

    When redesigning your new website you do not want to lose pages which are currently working really well and are a valuable asset to your business.
    • Record the pages bringing in the most visitors
    • Record which pages have the most inbound links
    • Record which pages create leads
    If you plan to remove any of these it is best to place a 301 redirect from the original pages to your new ones.  That way you will not lose the value of the original pages.  Once you have documented which pages need a 301 code, give this to your designer/developer who will be able to implement this for you.
    • Do keyword research
    This is the best time to do some keyword research.  Settle on a keyword which best describes each page, use SEO best practices to create content for your new site.  Create new content for areas your existing website didn't address.

    Step 6: Review Your Competitor's Website

    It doesn't hurt to take a look at your competitor's website.  You are only looking at their website to find out what you can do better.  Create an action plan which highlights areas for improvement and ways you can be different.

    Step 7: Don't Lose High Performing Assets

    Often business owners forget the content of their website is an asset of their business, and often throw away all the hard work put into creating that content, thus losing the rewards it brought the business.  You can significantly reduce the negative impact a redesign can have when you know the answer to the following questions:
    • Most shared or viewed content
    • High visitor pages
    • Best performing/ranking keywords and associated pages
    • Inbound links to individual pages
    You can lose a lot of SEO credit when removing pages with high inbound links.  Communicate to your designer which pages are still important and need to remain.

    We hope you can see why the strategy stage of redesigning your website is a vital part of the design process.

    Good luck with your redesign, if it sounds like too big a job for you to carry out yourself, we can do all the above for you and produce a great website which will work from the start.

    Website redesign

    DRA Digital help businesses of all sizes attract new customers, with strategically designed and managed websites.

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