Expectations for a Website Redesign


Website Redesign

Website Redesign

What to Expect from a Website Redesign

Everything you read about increasing your customer base mentions content marketing, responsive website design, social media strategies and optimizing the mobile user’s experience. Your eyes glaze over like the donuts you sell, even though your business partner says you need an online marketing strategy.

You don’t need a website redesign. Aren’t the lifelike photos of your decadent dozen enough “content” for your website? The hot, gooey donuts loaded with frosting and oozing fillings of chocolate, hazelnut and caramel sell themselves.

Well, except for when customers want the caramel-filled, red velvet donuts that look so yummy on the page but you stopped making.  Or when you hear about someone who wanted to buy your donuts but it took so long for your “about us” page to load on their smartphone that instead of waiting for your address they found another nearby donut place. It’s not as tasty as yours, but it’s easier to find.

And so you finally agree to a website redesign. What should you expect?

Current Content

Redesigning your website includes updating the content. When your products or offerings change, so should your website. Now is the time to update the presentation of your information–your content must be engaging and in a format viewers are used to seeing across the web. For example, in addition to your mouth-watering photos, add an explainer video showing how your donuts are equally delicious at 2am on Saturday and 8am on Monday. Include a menu and the food review naming your donuts the best in town, or share a secret recipe with people who join your email list.

Ease of use on any device

Your website needs to load quickly on tablets, phones, computers and whatever the next new device is. Viewers need to fully experience your site no matter what device they use. Responsive design is no longer the way of the future—it’s what your website needs today.

Positive representation of your brand

When potential customers visit your website, everything they see and hear should be consistent with your business image. They should quickly grasp what you offer and why they should buy from you. If they’re not impressed in ten seconds, you may have lost them for good.

Achievement of your business goals

You have a website for a reason. Maybe it’s to let customers know where you are and what you sell. Maybe you want to expand your email list or ensure that people looking for plain donuts don’t waste their time visiting your shop because your most boring donut has two toppings and a filling.

A successful website redesign includes a review of your business goals for the site. Just as the look and content of the site must be consistent with your brand, the design must be consistent with your business goals.

Benefits of A/B Testing for Your Website

Benefits of A/B Testing for Your Website

Benefits of A/B Testing for Your Website

A/B Testing is the secret ingredient of successful websites. You may be thinking, “A/B testing is no secret–even presidential campaigns use it.”

The secret about A/B testing is that while “everybody” talks about it, most businesses don’t do it. This means that using A/B testing on your website gives you an advantage over your competitors.

A/B testing, also called split testing, studies customer behavior by testing hypotheses about how website visitors react to different versions of website content. For example, are potential customers more likely to click on a button that says “buy now for 20% off” or on a button that says “order now for free shipping”?

Results of A/B Testing

Numerous case studies show that when companies modify content based on A/B testing results, they experience

  • Reduced bounce rates
  • Increased conversion rates
  • Higher conversion value
  • More sales

Benefits of A/B Testing:

  • Improved content

The process of A/B testing leads to better website content because you must discuss which content is valuable and why. As you generate the variables to be tested, you create a list of potential content improvements.

  • More profitable companies

A/B testing can cause organizational shifts that increase profits. Organizations using A/B testing value data over opinions. Resources are spent on implementation, not debate. These companies are nimble–they quickly adapt to changes in the marketplace and changes in data. Decisions are made quickly and mid-course adjustments are expected.

  • Lower Risks

A/B testing reduces risks inherent in big decisions like pricing and strategy. Testing customer behavior before making decisions increases the likelihood of success. A/B testing helps companies target their resources for maximum results, increasing the ROI, whether the return on investment is defined in short-term success or long-term customer loyalty.

Why A/B Testing Works

A/B testing lets you see which content causes visitors to

  • Spend more time on your site
  • Click through to additional pages
  • Sign up for more information
  • Make purchases

A/B testing for websites lets you see which versions of content cause your target audience to take the actions you want them to take. If your goal is to have a visitor join your mailing list, you can test different call to action designs to see which one leads to the most sign-ups. Instead of trying to predict what visitors might want or do, you test your theories. You see what website users actually do when presented with different options.

How to Get the Best Website Design


How to Get the Best Website Design

How to Get the Best Website Design

It’s that time again—your company’s periodic website redesign. Website traffic has been declining along with your customer base. The last website overhaul was three years ago, a few updates have been made since then, and you realize your website is starting to look dated.

Senior management declares that a new website design will restock the customer pipeline. Somehow you get chosen to lead the website revamp team. The instructions are clear: hire the best website design firm within management’s budget to make your website better than any of your competitors’. The new site must increase traffic exponentially and have a higher conversation rate. In addition, the website needs to really “pop” and have a “modern vibe.”

Where do you start and how do you keep your sanity?

  1. Hire the right creative agency. Check out the best website design firms in your city. Look at your competitors’ websites and find out who built them. Don’t write an RFP; interview prospective creative agencies and study their portfolios. Make the business case to hire the best agency for your company, not necessarily the cheapest. Creating a dynamic custom website that evolves with the company is a better investment than building a new site every few years. Allocate resources to maintain the site and keep content current.
  2. Understand your role. Your team is the expert on your business. The creative agency is the expert on website design and the internet. You: describe your ideal client and why your product or service is unique; explain what you hope to gain from a new website design; provide details about what you do and do not like about your current website. Agency: translate that information into a visual representation; provide the concept and the elements to achieve the client’s goals.  Both: work together as a team; value the expertise each participant brings.
  3. Define your business problems, not the website design elements. You describe problems and your creative agency offers solutions. Listen when the agency explains which problems won’t be solved by a new website. Trust them.
  4. Set realistic expectations. Understand what a new website will and will not accomplish. For example, website conversation rates average less than 4% for retail and less than 10% for professional services. Set your performance metrics accordingly.
  5. Give constructive feedback by asking specific questions and providing specific comments. Instead of saying, “The fonts look weird to me,” asking “Why did you choose that title font for product descriptions?” may help you understand how the design elements work together to achieve your stated goals.  Instead of saying, “Those photos don’t work for us,” explaining “People in our field wear creative casual attire so photos of people wearing suits make us look out of touch with our industry,” lets the agency know what to change and why.

To help you apply these strategies, think of the services agreement between the creative agency and your team as a road map for working together. Don’t just fill in the blanks on a standard contract. Instead, describe each participant’s roles and how you will work together. Specify goals, deliverables, time frames, deadlines, number of revisions, frequency and manner of feedback. Use the agreement to guide the process.