Jun 11, 2015

Escape The Ineffective Website Redesign

By: Josh Dougherty

Web Design

Most business owners know their website needs a makeover. But, they don't know where to start. The options can be overwhelming. Here are a few:

  • Design shops promise a beautiful new site.
  • Former phone book companies offer to build a site for $99 (read the fine print, you won't spend just $99).
  • Your brother's son can set up a Wordpress site at almost no cost.

No matter what option you choose, one fact is true for any small business. Your redesigned site must help you drive increased revenue.

4 Questions To Escape The Ineffective Redesign

Goals help you make sure a newly redesigned site will actually grow your business. Goals give you the information you need to choose between content marketing, blogging, an online store, or any other en vogue website tactic. They'll empower you to build a site that's just right for you.

Ready to dive in? Here are the 4 questions we like to ask.

Question 1: What is the specific goal of your business?

Let's take a look at an example: a Seattle seafood restaurant. This restaurant, from a philosophical perspective, is all about providing an exceptional dining experience. But when it comes to business, they need to sell meals (and probably a good amount of wine) to be successful. So, when they redesign their site, the site goals should support these overall business goals.

Question 2: Can my website impact my bottom line directly?

If the answer to this question is yes, you should probably focus on online sales.

Unfortunately, our seafood restaurant can't sell digital meals. As a result, they likely won't focus on financial transactions as a site goal, unless they sell gift cards or the chef's cookbooks.

Question 3: How can my site indirectly grow my business?

If you can't direct revenue on your site, think through specific ways to get users to take actions that will eventually lead to a sale. We recommend leading potential customers through a process that builds interest and trust before asking people to buy.

Our seafood restaurant should probably focus on three different goals:

  • Enhancing their brand by explaining their commitment to local and organic, talking about the chef's vision, and showcasing their unique menu. This content will get foodies like me in the mood for a visit.
  • Gathering emails so they can update potential customers about special events
  • Capturing online reservations

Once you have a list of goals, prioritize them. Everything can't be the most important.

Question 4: Does My Content Support My Goals?

The next step is to evaluate whether your content supports your goals

Now, I'm not saying that our seafood restaurant should remove all content but the reservation system if that's their top goal. Instead, they need to think of all of the supporting content (photos, text, and video) that will excite people to the point that they want to make a reservation.

Once you have your list of changes, prioritize them from most to least important. Then tackle them, one item at a time.

In the end, you may discover that you do need a complete redesign, or maybe the changes required will be beyond your technical skills. But at least you'll be able to call in an expert with confidence...knowing that its the right investment to make.

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