It’s a competitive world out there, and your brand needs to stand its ground – even when it means changing to evolve with the times and embracing new trends. More often than not, businesses are afraid of any major change that can affect their visibility or their audience's perception of them. However, it’s not the change that has the potential to disrupt your brand image. It’s your execution of the changes that you need to make.
So if your website is outdated, performing poorly according to several different parameters, and in need of redesign to match your evolving brand culture, you should keep in mind that such changes can mean incredible progress for your business.
What you need to do is make sure that the process of the actual redesign is completely under your control and that you’re going to preserve your brand’s voice throughout the transformation.
Steps to Redesign Your Website and Improve Your Brand
Not sure how to do it? Here’s a brief but effective guide to take you through the process.
1. Evaluate your current website
No business will ever decide to redesign their digital presence on a whim. You need to understand the basic driving force behind the redesign itself, so that you can make the most of your project.
To do that, you need to look at your current web presence and critically analyze your current web design. What’s already there that’s still in line with your brand values and that can be salvaged in the redesign process?
Use your analytics tools to dig a little deeper and to understand traffic patterns:
- Where do you lose the majority of your visitors?
- Is your checkout process too complicated or outdated?
- Is your content page too stagnant?
Check for visuals that might not be consistent with your brand image. Look through your visitors’ online behavior in order to understand where your web presence could use some changes and how you can maximize the existing design to stay true to your identity.
2. Pick your key metrics
A website redesign is not limited to appearance and visual appeal. It’s so much more than that. It’s about the purpose, functionality, and user-friendliness of your website. The design of your site can impact its selling potential, and it can help drive customers to the pages you’d like them to visit. Get as specific as possible in order to make the most of the project.
What would be the key website metrics you want to improve with your redesign? Perhaps you want to:
- Lower your bounce rate on a specific page,
- Increase conversion rates by 20%,
- Boost sales of particular products by 15%, or
- Increase email subscriptions by 10%.
All in all, your priorities should be aligned with your goals and your key metrics so you can move on and create a strategy that will implement all of the elements you need in your new site.
3. Prepare your launch strategy
After you’ve focused on the right goals and analyzed your current site to extract data that will guide your redesign process, you need to make sure that the actual project and the launch of your new site are also fully under your control. Create and rely on a website launch checklist so that you can track your progress and avoid any missteps. Although you can always tweak your new website as you go, it’s best to prevent any malfunctioning links, images that slow down your pages, or the residue of the old site’s design in your new look.
Making sure that your site is mobile-friendly, fast to load, informative, and that your content is spotless are all valuable steps to keep in mind so that your new design will indeed be the focus of your visitors’ interest. Test your new site and make sure that the final design is perfectly in line with your desired goals before you launch.
4. Gather data on your target audience
If it’s been a while since you last looked to your audience, this redesign project is a perfect opportunity for you to update your understanding and knowledge of your customer base. After all, in addition to your evolving brand identity, they are the next key reason to support a thorough redesign – to make their journey more pleasurable, easier to navigate, and memorable.
Just as your brand has evolved over time, chances are that your audience has changed, too. If one of the reasons you’ve redesigned your site is adding a new product selection, that means you might expand your customer base. If you’ve decided to target an entirely new generation, you might want to consider giving your site a look that the given generation appreciates – all of which will depend on researching your target audience.
5. Update your brand book
Finally, as you’re wrapping up your website redesign project and you’re getting ready to launch, you know that you still need to stay consistent and relevant in your brand presentation across all channels of communication to stay visible. To help your employees do just that, go back to the drawing board and recalibrate your brand guidelines.
That will help them ensure consistency across all platforms, communicate the same message effectively, and give the right information to their eager customers as they start pouring in to see your new site.
Redesigning your website is a wonderful opportunity to help your brand evolve and grow. Use this guide to simplify your redesign process and to make sure that all of your goals will be met. Ultimately, you’ll be able to retain your brand reputation, ensure consistency, and keep your customers happy!
Elaine Bennett is a marketing specialist and a blogger currently writing for Bizzmark Blog. Topics that she covers include marketing, branding, entrepreneurship, and SMBs. She’s especially interested in social media and technology. You can find her on Twitter @ElaineCBennet and @bizzmark_blog.