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An In-depth Website Redesign Guide With Actionable Insights

By designs.codes December 28, 2018
Website Redesign

The intention behind website redesign is to enhance the number of visitors and generate more leads. To implement the process of website redesign effectively, you need to reflect on the existing design and formulate your plans accordingly. However, first let us classify the process of website design, which can have four broad categories. They are:

  1. Research & Planning
  2. UX Design
  3. Content and Copy Writing
  4. SEO & Social Friendliness

But since the sole purpose of redesigning a website is not just about getting a new face, let us first understand why exactly do we need a website redesign.

Website Redesign: Why?

  • Because you cannot get a website wrong. You simply cannot afford it. A website is your first and last opportunity of creating an exceptional impression on the mind of a potential lead.
  • Because security cannot take a back seat. It is an inclusive and all-pervading move that attempts to render your website even more flexible and secure than it has always been.
  • Because you cannot strike the wrong chord again. Well, to start with, poor planning and execution were a hindrance to the creation of an effective website. Would you like to repeat it? I don’t think so.
  • Because you need to survive and make it worth it. A brilliant website is a window to a highly dynamic and competitive market. So, what you need is a website which can resonate with the level of zest and perfection that is required to sustain amidst such an unpredictable business environment.
  • Because last but never the least… we rarely find our website the way we would like it to be.

More often than not, we are finding faults in our website and striving to make it more than perfect (if that is attainable). More often than not, we think of redesigning our website altogether but back out of it at the last moment. This is because website redesign is a hectic process. Or is it? Is website redesign really all that difficult? Perhaps not, if you know how to go about it.

UX design

A website redesign needs to be done right but you do not need to worry as long as designs.codes is here to guide you through it all.

Research & Planning

The intention behind a website redesign is to enhance the number of visitors and generate more leads. Extensive research and strategic planning are the predominant measures that determine how successful your website redesign is going to be.

But how do we go about it as effectively as possible?

A Prospective Approach (With A Retrospective Touch): Just take a step back and examine your existing website with sheer scrutiny. Try to identify the current bottlenecks that you would like to rectify.

Usually, there is more than just one flaw. For instance, maybe your website is unable to attract enough traffic, or perhaps your marketing strategies do not reflect your goals. Maybe the content on your website is not as competent as you would like it to be, or maybe the entire design of your website is somewhat misplaced.

There might be supplementary features that would enhance the quality of your website if added. A website redesign does not refer to refurbishing the look of your entire website without an improvement in its content or user experience.

Before laying down your plans for the website redesign, conducting substantial research into the same is quite important. Research helps you discover the inessential components that you really need to dispel from your website and also the elements that are crucial for the website and need to be retained and improved upon.

Individual Measurable Goals: In order to implement website redesign effectively, you need to set individual goals that would improve the productivity of your website from all sides. The new goals and objectives should focus on creating a new and better experience for the users as they surf through your website. This can be brought about by the development of strategic content with an appropriately alluring design to go with it.

web design

During a website redesign, try to make your goals as specific and measurable as possible. This will help you to realize if you are being successful in meeting all your objectives and on time. In addition to being tangible and measurable, your set goals for the website should also be reasonable enough to be able to be accomplished within a given time-frame.

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Understand Your Customer: Furthermore, the key to redesigning a website effectively is to be able to enter the mind of your user. That is right. Unless you are able to ascertain what exactly your visitor is looking for, you will not be able to build a good website, let alone redesign it.

For a proper website redesign, what you require is immense knowledge about your core customers, i.e., the potential leads who visit your website. Focus on the pages in your website which hold the attention of your potential leads for a greater time than any other page. Also, figure out which keywords are fetching the highest number of visitors to your site.

Your visitors will keep coming back only if you can ensure that they are able to relate to the website content.

Collective Endeavour: A website redesign is a product of the combined efforts of the copywriter, the designer, the marketer, and the other department heads. Without distinct and powerful planning, it becomes difficult to smoothly coordinate the activities of the different departments.

The very nature of the business determines which function is to be performed first in order to efficiently carry out the redesigning process.

For instance, on a blogging site, content is the most relevant component of the entire picture. As a result, content will be the first thing to be created followed by design, advertisement, and so on. On the other hand, if it is an e-commerce website, then the design and presentation of the platform will be the most important aspect.

Don’t Ignore The Competition: An important part of the planning process, keeping a track of your rivals will help you discern your actual position in a highly competitive market. Your goals and plans should be directed toward placing yourself ahead of your competitors by ascertaining the little differences between your websites.

During a website redesign, you can weigh the quality and popularity of your own content by comparing it to the blogs and texts on the websites of your competitors. You can try and ascertain if there is any similarity in the way your websites perform and how you can diversify your content accordingly. You could also look out for live chat support in the websites of your competitors and see if you could implement the same in yours.

This way, you would have an idea about what sells and where exactly were you lagging behind.

UX Design

Once you have mapped out the entire plan for your website redesign with proper achievable targets, you are free to focus on the rest of the process. You may start next with the design and development of the website if that agrees with the nature of your business. This is because one of the most defining aspects of a website redesign is the display and presentation of all the elements on the website.

Start With The Skeleton: While you redesign your website, the very first step is to create a site-map and wire-frame to envelop the entire design structure. This leads to the development of a user interface that integrates the information architecture with visual design.

You don’t usually emphasize the visual component until the end. When you redesign the user interface, it creates a new identity for your brand. A frequent change in the visual design brought about at the time of redesigning a website can very aptly represent the present trends in web design.

Since a website is more of an extension of your very brand, make sure the visual appeal stays on par with your brand identity. Chuck the big fonts and trending colors if they did not work for your website the first time. Dynamic colors and material design should be used in such a way during the website redesign that they improve the appeal and popularity of your brand.

Amend The Bottlenecks: For the effective execution of a website redesign, you need to be quite thorough with your existing flaws and the strategic measures to overcome them. At the same time, you had also better discover what is so great about your website and try to upgrade it further along the same lines.

The logo of the website deserves some special attention so that it can be ensured that it is modern enough to resonate with the current market trend. Also, the graphics of your website should not be old and redundant. When you go in for website redesign, make sure you replace the old graphics with new ones that would represent the essence of your business.

Try to recognize which parts of the website garner more response and improve accordingly. Through website redesign, you can run a trial-and-error experiment with various color schemes and finally settle with one which would be really unique and different than before.

Moreover, the design of your website should be compatible with every desktop and mobile device, irrespective of the model and screen size. Website redesign is an effective way to make sure that your website is easily readable across a variety of platforms.

Use Enticing Headlines: You must ensure that the website redesign is doing justice to your headlines since that is what allures the viewer to proceed with the rest of the page.

catchy headlines

The headings and subheadings should be captivating with bigger and brighter fonts. Also, it is better to keep the headings crisp and precise so that the users do not lose their patience while reading them through. If the headline is too lengthy, the viewer might as well skip the keyword by mistake despite its presence in the very phrase.

Furthermore, a special focus should be spared for the manner in which the content is designed, positioned, and presented on the page. What you can make sure during a website redesign is how the important content is highlighted in distinct points and different colors.

That way, even if the user crosses the main content and scrolls down to the highlighted points, he might revisit the content above in search of relevant points that he might have missed.

Strike A Balance: While you go in for a website redesign, make sure the new look complements with the content of your website and the usability of the visitors.

However, determining the right design for your website is not a cakewalk. The first time you designed your website, you had something unique on your mind. Well, this time, it needs to be even more unusual.

The users who visit your site would like to see something soothing and relatable. Usually, an array of texts and numbers does not do the trick. To keep the user engaged and enticed to your page, you need to design a website with a responsive and user-friendly domain.

This will keep the viewer interested in what you have got to say and nudge them to turn one page after the next.

User Experience To Prevail: The design of your website should be solely targeted at helping a user complete his tasks and achieve his objectives thereof. A website redesign should make it easier for the user to make a purchase in a few simple steps, be notified about significant offers and events, and be updated with all the necessary information from time to time.

It is very important to make sure that your website gets rid of all the inessential elements that could distract the user from the actual content. You should be able to redesign your website in such a way that the user is able to lay their eyes on the most relevant elements of the page the moment they land on it.

As a result, before you go in for a website redesign, make sure the user experience takes a front seat and not the user interface.

It’s all about the first impression…

User experience

It is always advisable to keep in mind that the design of a website creates a huge impression on the customer.

In fact, Missouri University of Science and Technology had concluded in one of their research reports that 94 percent of web users allow the design of a website to create an irreparable first impression of the business. Another research by Stanford University revealed that around 75 percent of web users would determine the excellence of an entire organization on the basis of nothing but their web design.

This happens because we believe what we see. At least, initially. As a result, if the users cannot trust what they see on your website, they will not be ready to invest their time and money in you.

Content & Copy Writing

Content is king. An effective website redesign cannot be brought about without proper modifications in your content and copywriting strategies.

But what is copywriting?

Copywriting is an essential part of search engine organization that focuses on attracting more and more traffic to your website. You need to strategize your copywriting ideas in order to enhance the visibility of your content and earn a higher rank in the search results.

Want your website to work? Then treat your content right.

Content-First Approach: Usually, the nature of your business decides which department should you proceed with once you are done with all the planning, but a popular approach is to always put your content a step ahead of everything else.

A content-first approach is one of the most fruitful web design strategies that you could go for. According to this approach, before you craft your web design, you emphasize the information that you are going to put out on the screen for every section.

high quality content

As a result, content redesign automatically becomes a predominant aspect of website redesign as a whole. Not only does this save you a lot of time, but also makes a way for you to consistently follow the correct hierarchy and presentation in every segment of the website.

Moreover, according to a survey, blogs play a very important role in enhancing website traffic. The survey revealed that the blogs would increase the traffic of the companies by 55 percent, inbound links by 97 percent, and indexed pages by 434 percent respectively.

Content-Oriented Information Architecture: A content-oriented information architecture is more likely to add a natural flow to your website which in turn enhances its flexibility and user-friendliness. A website redesign enables you to rectify your mistakes which you can do by allowing your visitors to avail personalized content on the basis of their interests and preferences. This is an effective way to generate leads by getting more traffic to your website.

Based on the user research that you have conducted in the first stage of the website redesign process, determine how you can effectually develop your information architecture. A good website redesign strategy will focus on striking a balance between your business requirements and customer satisfaction. This can be accelerated by employing a stringent information infrastructure with the help of scroll depth tracking, Google Analytics data, heatmaps, and so on.

A proper information infrastructure helps you establish a simple and reasonable relationship between the different elements present in your website. If bound by the right content, all the elements will be positioned and represented in a manner that would enhance the comprehensibility of the website.

Strategize Your CTA: You ask why? Because that is the entire point of having a website and a business! The CTA elements should be one of a kind. It should have a unique visual appeal to grab the user’s attention.

Simultaneously, the content of the CTA should clarify its purpose, i.e., it should be direct and precise about what it would like the user to do. For instance, instead of “About Us” or “Information”, the CTA should contain more specific and informative texts, such as “Get A Quote” or “Download the Song”.

Strategic content is always directed at creating an emotion of emergency and alluring the user into finding out more.

The CTA should be a piece of entire information in itself. If your CTA is so vague that the user is compelled to read the remaining content around it, then you need a redesign right away.

For instance, avoid these –

More
Info
Click Here
Next
Apply

And implement these:

Call Us At
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Never Lose Another Update
Hire Us
Inbox Us

The following are some more tips that you should remember:

  • Make sure your CTA looks different from your headlines.
  • There should be some text or image between the heading and the CTA so that they don’t overlap.
  • The CTA buttons for two unrelated actions should be placed further apart to avoid confusion.
  • Avoid visual overload while redesigning your CTA.

Eye-Catching Content: Through website redesign, refresh and redo the content of your website by keeping an eye on the shifting popularity of the content. Some content might work while some might become obsolete.

Try to learn what kind of content seems to work for your users and figure out ways to reuse your old or existing content. The website redesign should put emphasis on how the content can be made more accessible to your potential leads.

A Smooth User Journey: Your content should ensure a smooth journey for the user who visits your site. It is neither possible nor reasonable for a user to get the main task over in a single step. For instance, to make a purchase, a user has to first select the product, add it to the cart, choose a payment method, and then make the payment.

This journey of the user from the first step to the last creates a definitive flow that is complemented by the content of your website. If the content of each and every segment is not entirely correct and comprehensible, then the user will find it difficult to understand where they are supposed to go next to carry out the desired effect. Once you review your customer journey, you will come to know of certain issues the removal of which can improve the functionality of your website drastically.

Evade Conflicting Content: Search your website for conflicting content that might confuse the users and prevent them from completing the required action. Content is the most important component of any page since it defines the purpose of all the other elements. So, while redesigning the website, make sure the right content is at the right place and within the reach of the user.

For instance, it is never advisable to cram the landing page of an e-commerce website with all kinds of information about the business, its incorporation, its services, and so on. All it should carry are the images and description of the products that they are willing to sell and the latest offers and discounts related thereto.

Redesign your website in such a way that the content is able to advocate your new goals. Review your current content by evaluating the experience of your customers on the website.

SEO & Social Friendliness

An effective website redesign process strives to ensure that the content of the website is strategically optimized with all the keywords and abide by all the other requisite search engine optimization guidelines.

But why?

Because you can design and redesign your website as many times as you want, but it will only be useful as long as you are visible in the search results.

  • A properly optimized website makes you easy to be spotted by search engines and helps you get a higher rank in the search results.
  • You need to be able to redesign your website without compromising with the search engine optimization requirements.

SEO requirements

But you must have thought the same way while designing your website for the first time as well. As a consequence, the content of your website must already be optimized for the web.

In that case, you definitely wouldn’t want to let all that hard work go to waste. You need to figure out a solution that can help you efficiently redesign your website without dispelling its current SEO.

So, how to retain your existing SEO after a website redesign?

  • Assess and evaluate the Meta tags on your website. This will help you to discern your present ranking in the search results.
  • Then go on to analyze the keywords used by your rivals and how it has helped in upgrading their search result rankings. This will help you figure out if there are some keywords or phrases you are missing out on which could otherwise enhance your website traffic.
  • Now, craft a list with the set of keywords, short tail as well as the long tail, that are very commonly used in the market by your target audience.

Since these keywords and phrases are entered as queries by the users, including them in your content can give your website a significant boost.

  • For effective website redesign, you should augment your pages with meta tags and page titles.
  • Try to identify in each search console the links, sitemaps, and problems associated with crawl stats.
  • The blocked content can be checked with the help of Robots.txt and 404 errors.
  • In order to make a redirect plan, you can create a list of internal and external links in the pages of your website.
  • Now try to identify the content that the search engines have indexed.
  • After you are done with the identification, take a backup of everything on your website.

Some more points to keep in mind

  • To implement your website redesign procedures effectively, you can update the URLs on your new website and prioritize your pages accordingly.
  • To save your time and the efforts that you had put in to optimize your existing content, you can apply 301 redirects from the existing links to your new links.
  • An XML sitemap can be submitted to every search console.
  • You can index new links and pages before you check for errors in the search console related to crawl stats.
  • This is an uncomplicated website redesign checklist for search engine optimization with the help of which you can easily transfer your SEO to your new website without any additional efforts.

For a person who is not well-versed with information technology, implementing these steps can turn out to be quite a challenging task.

In that case, it is always a good idea to outsource the SEO services to an experienced team. This will ensure that you are still able to hold on to your search engine rankings at the time of transitioning to a new website.

How to fortify your SEO?

In order to improve your SEO effectively, you at first need to identify the constrictions in the existing system.

  • An effective website redesign process ensures that your website has a balanced approach towards graphics and alternative text.
  • The HTML tags should be proficiently applied along with significant keywords, preferably long tail. Otherwise, it becomes difficult for Google crawlers to find your website.
  • You can strengthen your SEO by generating a lot of backlinks every month and changing your website to HTTPS.
  • Moreover, your content should also be worthy of sharing across a variety of social media platforms. Different types of content work better on different platforms.

SEO services

For example, an article with more professional content will be more popular on LinkedIn than on Facebook. Similarly, an informative infographic may be better received on Instagram than on any other platform. Furthermore, not all kinds of content can be shared on Twitter or Tumblr.

Effective website redesign enables you to add open graph Meta tags which make it easy to share your content across a wide array of social media sites.

Final Thoughts…

The ultimate purpose of redesigning a website is to improve its performance. Your website should be built on what the user exactly wants and not simply on what looks good. To implement the process of website redesign effectively, you need to reflect on the existing design and formulate your plans accordingly. But if your website is still unable to get the response that you would like despite all the effort, then you should be able to keep repeating the process as long as you don’t strike the right chord with your potential leads. You can determine whether or not your redesigned website is working properly by checking if everything is going according to the plan and all the tracking scripts are in place. A proper backup should always be at your rescue in case another website redesign enters the picture.