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Businesses invest in a website redesign for many reasons: increasing conversion rates in order to increase leads and sales, upgrading to take advantage of new technology such as making a website mobile friendly, improving the look and feel of the site or gaining greater control over managing and updating their website are just a handful of reasons. Whatever your reason, keep in mind the following website redesign best practices.
Any solid website redesign strategy starts with preserving your website assets. What is working for you now? What are your highest entry and conversion pages, what pages do you rank on the first page of Google for and for what keywords? How many inbound links do you have and what pages are they pointing to? These are important aspects of your website that you need to be aware of them. The last thing you want to do is redesign your website and eliminate pages that are valuable assets in your lead generation and customer acquisition efforts. If you aren’t already aware of these assets, you can get this data by integrating Google Analytics to your website pages.
The key to your website success and achieving your website goals is designing your website with your target user in mind. It’s extremely important to understand your user expectations and behaviors when they arrive on your website as well as the questions they need answers to. Most importantly, keep it simple by maintaining current design trends that users are familiar with, such as keeping the logo on left side of the page, simple and straightforward navigation and a design that’s familiar to your industry. A study conducted by Google shows that “users prefer website designs that look simple and familiar. Designs that contradict what users expect damage expectations.”
Maintaining brand consistency is a critical element of the website redesign process and attention must be paid to it. Brand consistency involves maintaining your core identity and message across all channels and marketing collateral so that your company is instantly recognizable across all marketing channels, be it social media, email, print, TV. A company who’s branding is consistent benefits from greater trust from their target audience, more loyal customers and stands out amongst competitors. Ensure that logos, color schemes, fonts and photography is consistent across all channels and the brand value is communicated.
Whether you are looking to rank on search engines for your keywords or not, it’s important to ensure that the technical aspects of your website are optimized. Ensuring that any URL that has been renamed has been redirected permanently to avoid broken links by using 301 redirects, and that meta data has been carried over or updated. Optimizing your website images to increase page speed and load times and making your website mobile friendly are some ways that you can optimize your website for a better user experience and higher search rankings.
Usability testing takes into account how easy it is for users to navigate and interact with your website; whether the content is legible enough for the average user to understand and interpret, as well as if the site is easy to access across browsers and devices. It evaluates everything from how quickly the site loads and whether the user experience is optimal, to whether all the internal and external links work properly. Testing your website prior to launch for both browser compatibility and device compatibility should be a top priority before your website redesign is launched.
Planning a website redesign? What are some of the reasons you are redesigning your website? Did you find these website redesign best practices helpful? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, and please share this post with your network.