First of all: why do you want to revamp your website? To be better indexed, to become even cooler than your closest competitors, to increase sales … All of these factors can be good reasons to target an update of your web platform. However, updating your site to can sometimes be disappointing and far from ideal if you skip over some essential steps. This is the ideal opportunity to propose seven things to prescribe before you tackle this ambitious project.
Ignoring your stats
Avoiding taking a look at immediate results may be costly in all respects. Having access to your analytical data says a lot about the health of your site. Which pages get the least traffic? Which sections are the worst performers? How many visitors come and how long do they stay? What is the conversion rate? It’s nothing short of a virtual x-ray to avoid the same mistakes as before the redesign, to make improvements and to make sure your investment in time and money will move towards the right place.
Better idea: Involve key players from different departments at this stage. From Denise the accountant to Richard the coordinator, all those involved will help to pinpoint the good aspects and the pain points. Diagnosing the strengths and weaknesses of the website of your company in a committee is really therapeutic and most importantly, it reinforces the alignment that you want to take and the commitment of the involved teams and parties.
Snubbing the competition
You did it when you started your business, don’t think of redoing it for your website. In a few mouse clicks, learn to see what you like about your competitors and what you can bring more of so that you can distinguish yourself from them. What are their web strategies? How do they communicate online? Market opportunities can lead you to differentiate and reveal your added values when united with your strengths. Studying your competition on the web to understand its behavior is needed if you want to bring your A game.
Better idea: Go for a walk and “physically” visit your competitors. Because the environment in which your online and offline business evolves diverges. It’s the same for them. If this is not possible because they are not well established, try to determine what have been their hits and misses. You’ll have a global portrait of your rivals and especially an idea of the mistakes not to repeat.
Ignoring what is being targeted
When you run, you may have in mind doing a 5 km? To increase the pace of your jogging at every occasion? It’s the same for a new site: it takes goals. Avoiding to clearly define the desired outcomes and goals of your project will generate a stalling effect when you should be focusing on the race ahead.
The desired outcomes will shape how the site will be established. They represent the “what”, the basis for a web project. These objectives can be quantitative or qualitative. For example, by targeting a given number of customers or sales each month, you determine the number of visits you want to reach on your site. The: “I want my site to be the best in the industry and the most indexed” just won’t cut it. This is an important step to detail and prioritize.
Better idea: Take advantage of thinking about your goals and look for the best methods. After the “what” comes the “how”. We can stop our direction on SEO strategies or content. In order to define them, return to the analysis of your previous needs and the conclusions that ensued after defining them.
Not properly planning
Yes, planning can be scary, but it makes it possible to set up the deliverables. To skip organizing and planning for the work is to move towards a series of hazardous missteps. Strategic web planning makes it possible to identify the concerned parties, to assign the role for each of the players involved and to set up a list of specifications.This is essentially a Bible that will serve as a base for the process of creating or redesigning the website. From the specifications come the seeds of the future site, the creation of the mock-ups’ (the visualization of the vision) from the previously used strategy.
In parallel with these steps comes the creation of content and its integration that will come to grace its pages. In addition to being relevant, it will serve to locate the right keywords for your business. Following the programming, the crucial phase of quality control is started later. We make sure that the website is perfect on all supported browsers and that all links are checked.
Better idea: It can be difficult to know where to begin planning. By asking what products and services you want to promote, what your current needs are and what is the budget you are willing to invest, you’ve already taken a big step. Without doing this exercise, even the black belts of the web will not be able to help you make the most out of your website.
Doing it yourself
Having a virtual storefront online nowadays is a must. Many possibilities can be proposed including that of creating one’s own website. But is it really a good idea? What if you lose a lot of time doing something that will ultimately not meet your expectations? Most of the proposed turnkey templates are not necessarily adapted to your content in addition to being very inefficient in terms of indexing. Therefore, it may be recommended to leave the upgrading and customization to a web master.
In any case, if you absolutely want to build your site from A to Z, go for a simple site creation solution. In the right corner: Squarespace which remains a good product quality / price wise, but is relatively limited in scope especially if you want a website with advanced features. In the left corner: Wix, a free solution for those who have no budget and want to do everything alone. This one is a little less appreciated and mostly, it does not bring the quality of Squarespace.
And finally, in the center, the leader of CMS (Content Manager System): WordPress. One of its advantages is its extensive library of plugins that can be added as you go, allowing your site to evolve as you wish. Plus, the bonus is that it’s a free tool. Moreover, if you do not master the computer tools needed, it may seem a little complicated. Hence the idea of leaving the work to a professional.
Better idea: By having your website done professionally, you ensure personalized advice, optimal indexing, responsive support and a maintenance after-sale service, which are not offered by prefab cookie cutter sites. Whatever you choose, take the time to weigh the options available to you in order to choose the one which suits you best.
Being opposed to change
Since your site will be in constant evolution, it’s important to anticipate the change and visualize which will be the next steps. They must be considered so that the structure of the architecture and navigation be factored in. We don’t want to go back to the drawing board every time. You have to know how to be flexible and comply with future customer requests and potential page additions without having to redesign the entire website every time. All this adds to good planning.
Better idea: Everything evolves so quickly nowadays that the life cycle of a website is getting shorter. That’s why, many experts agree that it is better to opt for a process of continuous improvement of a site so that it is always efficient rather than to opt for a complete overhaul every 5 years.
Doing it all at once
A virtual storefront is no longer enough to stand out. You can not do everything at once without analyzing and taking the time to adjust and possibly add new features. Plan to add a blog, a member’s only area, an e-commerce platform, or any other application that makes sense to you. By thinking in terms of “conversion” and “visibility”, you will be able to test different approaches to turn your visitors into customers. Experimenting with promotions, landing pages and a more attractive presentation of its products. It takes a site in constant evolution rather than a static project one, which will not have been achieved by saying that “you’re” good for the next decade.
Better idea: Whatever you may choose, keep in mind that the web just like your future website is in perpetual flux. As a result, it is useless to have as objective to create a perfect site. You would do better, with these tips in mind, to launch it online sooner than later, changing and modifying it as you go along.