If your online presence drives revenue to your business, a simple redesign is only a piece to this important process. Everything from UX, analytics, conversion funnels, attribution channels, and more must be addressed to maximize your sites potential.
There’s one simple mistake many companies make when it comes to a website redesign: they focus solely on the website’s look and feel. This misstep can, and will, result in a site that doesn’t achieve the business’s goals, or is confusing and frustrating for consumers to navigate—both of which can result in a loss of revenue.
While the look and feel of the new site is important, what’s needed first and foremost is a strong digital strategy.
FIRST STEPS: DEFINING A DIGITAL STRATEGY
There are a few basic steps to focus on when it comes to creating a digital strategy for a website redesign. These include (but are not limited to):
Crafting User Personas
What’s appealing to one user may be completely off-putting to another. It’s important to identify your target audience and then separate them out into segments. From these segments you can create a set of reliable and realistic representations of the people who are in each segment—aka, a personas. If, for example, you find that a segment is mostly made up of moms between the ages of 25-35, then you’ll need to make a mock persona of someone in this demographic who represents the entire group. You can then create website elements that each persona will respond to based on your research.
Establishing Website Goals
Once the target audience has been identified, it’s time to determine how you’d like users to interact with the site. To do this, each web page needs to be given a goal. Do you want users to click on a call to action? Or would you rather they learn more about the product? Defining these goals upfront will steer the course of the content and the layout of the site.
Mapping the User Journey
How will users move through your website? Does the flow make sense? Will it encourage them to act? Your answers here will determine the user journey. By mapping out how users will navigate through the site, you’ll be able to uncover potential issues and/or see where further development may be needed.
Mocking Up Prototypes
Creating an experience prototype of a user’s journey will provide a snapshot of the proposed site. Prototypes can be created via a presentation or even clickable HTML versions of the current site mockup. According to 3 Top Ways to Build a Website Prototype, there are even apps that can help you build a mockup of your site. While usually rough, prototypes let stakeholders see which elements may or may not be working in the website redesign.
NEXT STEPS: USER EXPERIENCE (UX) AND REPORTING
After the above steps have been mapped out, it’s time to involve the product [J1] team. They can help bring the digital strategy to life and can assist with the following:
UX: Design and Content
In order to create a positive UX for your site, you must establish the following:
- Site map: A comprehensive list of all the pages within your site (typically organized by hierarchy).
- Wireframes: The skeletal framework of your site.
- Design style guide: A document that details all the design guidelines that must be adhered to throughout the site to maintain consistency.
Measurement: Reporting and Analysis
Once the design and implementation are finished, how will you be measuring the new site’s performance? Defining Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will enable you to see if the new site is meeting the business goals and objectives it was created to achieve. There are a number of things you may want to measure: the performance of a call to action button, daily traffic, the percentage of consumers who view the site from a mobile device, etc. Make sure each objective is well defined and that you have the tools in place to see if they’re being met.
A project is only as good as its strategy—and having a solid digital strategy in place will not only make life easier for a website redesign, but will make a myriad of other projects a cinch, too.