9 Questions to ask yourself before redesigning your website!

  1. What is the purpose of the website? Are you looking to increase your sales?  Perhaps you want to make your site more social by intertwining social networking sites and features such as twitter and facebook.  Are you looking to get customer feedback and make your site more interactive?  Are you planning on updating your site often or is this something that will stay the same for the most part.
  2. Is it time to change your branding? Has your product or company changed?  If so maybe it is time to not only update your website but also your logo, colors, and message.  A successful image is key to a successful company.  If your current branding is a little lacking then now could be the perfect time to give it a fresh look.  Make sure that whatever you do, you are creating the right impression to your customers.
  3. Has your business changed or grown? Maybe you are redesigning your website so that your business will grow, or perhaps it has already grown.  Make sure that you leave room to accommodate new growth.  Redesigning a website can be a lot of work and often when all is said and done most people are not eager to go through the process anytime soon.  Unfortunately websites don’t last forever and can be outdated quickly.  It may be a good idea to leave room for parts of your website to be updated easily without having to redo everything if your business should grow or change in the near future.
  4. What is currently working what needs a little help? Determining what your strengths are will help you keep the parts of your site that are working for you.  Chances are, your customers also come to rely on this aspect of your site and will look for it in the new redesign.  On the other hand, knowing what is not working for you will help you either redesign that feature or get rid of it all together.
  5. What do you want to stand out? Decide what the most important part of your site is.  Perhaps you want your contact information to stand out the most, or maybe it is a blog on what is current with your company.  You will want the new design to keep this in mind and in some way highlight this feature.
  6. Will the new site improve upon Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? It is important to keep search engine optimization in mind.  You are redesigning your website for a reason, and you want to make sure that when current or potential customers are searching for something that your website is on the top of the list.  There are many ways to improve SEO.  Keep your titles short but effective.  Make sure your title reflects the item of interest that you want your customers to look up.  In addition choose good keywords.  Keeping your keywords to short two to four word phrases is helpful.  In order to stay on top, your website needs to be current and fresh.  These are just a few things to keep in mind with search engine optimization.
  7. Is your site social media friendly? If your current site doesn’t take advantage of this and you would like it to, there are several things that you can do.  Consider adding a video to your site.  A video attracts people to your site and it keeps them there for a while.  You can post videos directly on your website, or you can use sites such as You Tube to post videos.  Consider adding a blog to your site and let users leave comments.  Blogs are a great way to show that your company is up to date and with the times.  Letting customers leave feedback shows that you care about what they say and it keeps it interactive.  Add a live cam if appropriate.  Live cameras let people see real life images of what is happening in your company.  Finally make sure that you are up to date with the popular social media sites such as Face book and Twitter.
  8. Does your website let customers know who you are and what you are about? There are different ways to accomplish this task.  Perhaps you are a builder and you want to emphasize the care and pride you take in designing your homes.  Then maybe a video with the company owner talking about his philosophy would be most appropriate, or customer testimonials.  If you are a photographer then you might only need to showcase your photographs to let your customers know what kind of work you do.  Maybe you are a online store.  It might be a good idea to have customers rate your products and leave comments on things such as customer service and shipping.  Whatever your company is about, make sure that your customers know it as soon as they enter your website.  Your website is the online face of your company, so it is important that it represents you in a good way.
  9. Will the new site be updated for Mobile devices? Nowadays there really is no predicting where visitors will be viewing your site. It could be a computer, but it also could be an iPhone or Blackberry. Make sure that your site is optimized for mobile devices. It’s another way to up your traffic and make sure you’re not losing visitors.

When planning a web design, there are many factors to consider in order to ensure your site comes out perfect.  It’s important to understand your end goals.  Knowing what you want your website to bring to the table will help you actually receive that end product. For example, is your site’s main purpose to make a sale or is it to provide information? Knowing the answer to this question will affect everything from design to layout to content. It is the overarching key to making a website redesign work.  Make sure that you do your homework.  You don’t want to jump into redesigning your site without finding out a little more about your target audience.  It might be a good idea to set up a online survey, focus group, or usability tests.

Kip Russell – ArtVersion