Redesigning Your Website? 5 Crucial Questions to Ask Yourself Before Kicking off
Any business person is aware of the importance of having online presence.
A company or any type of business website is the quickest and the most effective way to convey your philosophy and vision online, and offer unique set of skills knowledge in particular field.
Everyone, who has already launched their website, knows how difficult is to build an online image of your business. But after a good couple of years you may start feeling that your website is not exactly up to date and you start considering redesigning it. The decision of updating your website can be triggered by seeing a competitor’s one or just influenced by changes in the web design trends.
Rushing into a quick redesign just because of the recent trends or be alike to a competitor’s website is not a good decision, especially if the website is performing well in terms of generating sales and leads, newsletter subscriptions and traffic.
To help you out with this hard decision, I am outlining 5 important questions to ask yourself before you start.
1. What is your goal?
If you got to the point of redesigning, you need to ask yourself a few questions that are related to the goal of your new website.
- Why do you need a redesign?
- What do you want to achieve?
- Do you need to sell more products?
- Do you need more newsletter subscribers?
Answering these questions will help you determine the overall design and content concept. It is a good idea to position yourself (or make somebody do it for you) as a user and design a map of the actions you want a visitor to take.
You need to have a clear picture of what do you want to achieve with your redesign.
2. What are the problem areas of your current site?
Before starting anything on you redesign, you need to determine the good and bad areas of your current website. What are the areas that perform well and what are the ones that are not doing so well?
Probably, it will be beneficial to create a survey to see if visitors are having any complaints in terms of interacting with your website. Checking Google Analytics (or any other tracking solution) for the user flow, time spent and content can answer some of the questions you may have regarding the problem areas…
For instance, if you are having pages with high bounce rate, you may want to revisit them and see what elements/content of the page are confusing your visitors and making them drop so quickly.
Digging deeply on the your current data will help you change your vision of certain pages.
After all, the website is created for the visitors and not for you. The difference is that you know the business by heart but your visitors don’t. It is more than crucial for you to present clear content and structure so even people who enter your website for the very first time, know what are you doing…
3. Competitors and you
Checking out the competition is a must. You are not doing business in a vacuum so you need to consider not only your visitors and potential clients but your competition as well. Have a look at their overall presence, how they brand themselves, how their products or services are positioned.
You might be better than your competitors and you have to figure out how to show it off. Do not plagiarize any content. Take your competition as a much needed inspiration. Analyze them and use them to become better.
4. Is your website responsive?
There are predictions that in 2016 the number of smartphone users will reach 2 billion in the global scale. These users are using their smartphones at home, work and on the go to search for information about services and products. Earlier this year, Google announced that the responsive websites will be ranked better than the ones that are not performing well one mobile devices such as tables and smartphone. If your website is still not responsive, you should strongly consider doing it.
Pay attention that users find it really annoying when the information they are looking for is not presented well. Imagine stretching and scrolling your website in order to find what they are looking for… Do it and Google will love your website as well as your visitors.
5. What about the design?
Web design is changing very fast and there are new trends emerging all the time. Do not be tempted to follow certain trends just for the look. Determine whether the trends will work for you, your business, your services or products. It is more than stupid to redesign a website just to include a couple of bells and whistles.
If you have a clear strategy, you won’t need any attractive accessories. You just need to know your visitors and give them what they need. The information design guru, Edward Tufte said that “The most common user action on a web site is to flee.”. The purpose of your redesign has to be to avoid losing users and create an audience, even a community. Know your audience, allow them to know your business and everyone will be happy.