Thinking of freshening up your website for your busy season? You may want to use this website redesign checklist as you go through the process to ensure your new site is functioning properly and designed with today’s best practices in mind.
Here are the top nine things you should check-off as you redesign your website:
1. Set a goal
Identify why you’re redesigning your website and what you hope to get out of it. Is your site using an old design or outdated optimization practices? And are you hoping to increase your conversion rate? Have specific goals or ideas of what you want to improve on your site before launching a new one.
2. Set benchmarks
Review your analytics to understand your current successes and opportunities so you can set performance benchmarks that you can use to track your goals against. You should make note of your site’s conversion rate, bounce rate, percentage of new sessions, pages per session, and average session duration. Understanding how your current site performs can help you see if your new design is meeting your goals or even improving your current performance.
3. Survey your users
Now that you know how your current site is doing, it’s time to see where improvements can be made and why not ask your target audience directly? Identify your current users and survey them to find ways your site’s redesign could better meet their needs. Perhaps you need a new feature, filter, or new pages your site doesn’t currently have.
With your users’ needs in hand, it’s time to design your site. Start with a map to identify specific pages you need and the structure your site will follow. This could also detail your site’s navigation and how you want users to move through your website. The design phase will also lay out the color scheme, graphics, and content layout as well as incorporate usability components. Bring any specific ideas you have to your designer, perhaps you’ve seen a feature or look on another site that you’d like to emulate.
5. Build design
Your designer will get to work on developing your site with the road map you’ve developed. You should be working with a designer that’s keeping you in the loop and having you be a part of the build.
6. Optimize content
As your designer builds your site, you’ll want to work on optimizing or updating the optimization on your content. This could include making sure you’re targeting the right keywords on the right pages, using links in your content, not using an old SEO techniques, and that your content is written and laid out in the best format for your audience. Send over your optimized content to be added to the new design.
Your designer will send back a test environment of your site as a little preview of what it’ll look like when it takes over your current site. This step is very important as you’ll want to test the site’s usability and mobile-friendliness aspect, spell check your content and double check links, ensure your Calls to Action are working and placed strategically on the page, and understand any pages that need 301 redirects or to alert your designer if you hit a 404.
Time to launch your site! Be sure to add your Google Analytics annotation on your go live date and continue to test your site for any errors that should be addressed as soon as possible.
9. Analyze and tweak as necessary
After your site is live, it’s time to look at some data to see if your site is meeting your goals or if any adjustments are needed on the design and usability or content. Your website is a living thing and will need constant updates to adhere to the search engine’s ever changing algorithms.