8 signs your website redesign will end in tears
by Sam Dunning
The time has come, your website has finally kicked the bucket and you and your marketing team cannot wait to get stuck into collaborating with a Web Development Company for the new and exciting website build for your business.
The initial steps towards making it happen begin….as you and your team begin to create a plan and attempt to make all of your new website features and ideas into a reality.
However, with so many stories flying around about various scams, agencies ripping people off and projects going way beyond deadlines. The whole project has now become an immensely daunting one and you are unsure where to begin.
Below are 8 warning signs that your website redesign is not on the right tracks and what you can do to ensure a successful website redesign for your business:
1/ You have a poor strategy in place
Much like the design and development of a house or building, if you get the blueprints and plans wrong, the end result is very likely to be compromised. The most worrying part is that you may not find out anything is wrong until the Web Development agency have completed the project and are out of the picture. To ensure your website adds real value, it must be designed around your business goals and objectives.
Usually the key objective given to Web Development Companies is that the redesign must ‘bring in more business’. In reality though, if this is the only plan you have provided to your agency, you could finish the project with a website that looks visually stunning but does not contribute in any way towards your business goals.
The best first step is not to make a list of all the new shiny features that you think the new website needs. Instead of this, your key business goals should be at the forefront of your plan.
The new website design should be heavily geared towards these key business goals. A brilliant idea for this is to craft a list of your wants and link them in a way that aligns with your key business goals, your visitors needs and your website SEO. Doing all of this will ensure that your website is actively marketing your brand and driving new business your way, rather than acting as a beautiful brochure.
Asking your team why each item is on your website redesign plan is a great idea, as it will re-enforce the business needs and allow you to remove any items that will not add value. Put in place a firm dead-line for the project completion, ensuring that key members from your marketing team are available to liaise with your Web Development agency whenever feedback is required during project milestones.
2/ You have little or no understanding of how websites are built
In most cases a web agency will be involved in the website creation. They are there to ensure the User Experience is fantastic, the designs are beautiful and that all features of the front and back-end of the website work seamlessly. When these qualities are not understood it can lead to a poor end product.
You should consider a Results Focused, Full-Service Web Development Company for the delivery of Project Started. This ensures you have professional assistance for the design and development of your new website. Your agency should also be able to guide you in terms of when further consideration is required for the design, functionality and budget.
3/ No clear Scope of Work (SOW) in place
Avoiding have a formal contract or confirmed agreement in place may seem like a big win in the sense of having as many design revisions as you see fit and endless extension to the website functionality. In reality, this is disastrous, as each side can have a different view of how the outcome should be, meaning disappointment is inevitable.
Any agency worth its soul will put together a clear proposal and agreement. This will nail down the new website specifications, allow for a set amount of creativity and revisions during the process, detail all key time-frames, have a clear costing summary and have practises in place for any project scope creep (e.g. any new requirements outside of the agreement to be charged at an hourly rate). This gives both parties knowledge of the who is delivering what and full confidence before project kick-off.
4/ You haven’t reviewed data from your current website before starting the new one
Many users are not familiar with the process of reviewing the analytics and performance of their website. Abandoning your old site before checking out this kind of data could cause similar problems for your new website.
Assign a Web Development Company that can guide you on how to use tools such as Google Analytics. From looking at this data, you will be able to find out details such as:
- How many visitors come to your website each day/month
- Bounce Rates (how many users leave the website after viewing just one page)
- Details of how long users stay on the site
- Main pages users visit
- Information of new and repeat visitors
Reviewing your existing website performance will allow you to know what problems need to be addressed to maximise the success of your new website.
5/ You haven’t thought who will be involved in the web design process
Having just one person from your business involved in the website design process can lead to a disappointing end, however, as with the old saying “too many cooks can spoil the broth” having too many people can also be detrimental. Getting the right balance of people involved in the design and development decision making is crucial.
Whilst it is important that your business is happy with the new website design, you must remember that the most important aspect of the website is that it meets the needs of your target audience and it encourages them to do business with you. A trusted Web Development agency will point you in the right direction and guide you if they believe your requested design revisions are steering away from your ideal customers wants and needs.
6/ You are not planning to use a CMS
Relying on your web agency to carry out each and every addition to your website such as adding content, new pages, new products or services etc. means that updates will not be able to go live instantly and will also get very costly.
A CMS (Content Management System) allows you to login to the back-end or admin side of your website to make these kind of content and page updates and in most cases can be used by someone without any knowledge of programming.
Your Web Development Company should recommend a CMS in the early stages of discussions, before project kick-off, that suits your business needs and allows your team to make the website changes/updates needed on a daily basis without having to pay for each small update.
7/ You have little or no focus on SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the practise of organically getting your website on page 1 of search engines such as Google for specific keywords searched for in your business sector.
Ensure that you are regularly updating your new website with fresh content, posting frequent blogs and active on social media (linking back into your website). These are just a few simple things your business can do to help with SEO.
A professional web agency will ensure that your website is designed and developed in an SEO friendly manner and will transfer any current Google Ranking from your old site to your new site using practises such as 301 redirects. They will also offer optional Digital Marketing plans to target page one of Google and other major search engines for your business’ main keywords.
8/ You have no measurable lead generation strategy in place
Unfortunately for many websites, the approach is to design and develop a great looking site and then hope for the leads to come rushing in.
Nowadays, a common practise is to build a website that acts an inbound marketing tool for your business. Each page must be designed for a particular purpose with a clear CTA (Call To Action) e.g. ‘Request a Quote’, ‘Buy Now’, or ‘Get a Free Proposal’ etc. that guides users through a buying journey. Website pages should all be focused to work in a set conversion focused manor, to bring in new sales / qualified leads. This process must be both fully measurable as well as scale-able, meaning it can be adjusted to improve the return on investment.
To ensure your new website is nothing short of an inbound marketing powerhouse, carefully follow the above 8 points and you will be well on the way to a highly successful online presence.
Thinking about redesigning the website for your business? Get in touch today for a free consultation and proposal!