As the central hub of your online presence, your company’s website is arguably your most important marketing tool. Search engines are giving more and more ranking weight to the relevance of your site and the quality of visitor experience, so it’s important to keep the design as well as the content up-to-date. For most businesses, a full redesign represents a massive undertaking that can seem insurmountable, but if you follow these steps, you can break the process down into manageable chunks.
1. Establish a goal-based strategy. It’s surprising how many websites are designed with no particular goal in mind other than to make it look nice, but if you’re trying to develop a successful business, you’ll need more than just visual impact. Whatever your website goals are, from sharing expertise to developing sales leads, you need to write down those specific targets and keep your redesign efforts focused accordingly. Don’t rush through this step – it really does make everything else easier.
2. Audit your existing site. A full website overhaul doesn’t mean you have to throw out everything from your current site. Analytics from the past twelve months or so can help you see which parts of your site are worth bringing forward into a new version, versus which parts need to be discarded or redesigned in order to align with your stated business goals.
3. Get your branding in order. Logo design and color schemes are just the surface elements of what makes a website cohesive and professional. You also need to establish a uniform language tone and a set of communication guidelines to ensure that your brand is easy to understand and conveys your company values consistently. It’s worth creating an actual style guide document to use going forward, especially if you have a team of people who all need to be on the same page when it comes to branding.
4. Create purposeful content. Every blog post, photo, video, and download on your site should contribute to the overall website goals. Make sure that every bit of content you upload is there for the benefit of your audience, and not just to fill space. Not only will this make your website more pleasant for visitors, but it’ll help your search engine rankings as well.
5. Bring in the development team. Of course you still need to attend to the aspects of your site that will grab the attention of search engines and potential customers, and this is where your development team comes in. SEO, cross-display functionality, and other page optimizations will help get your new website in the best shape to launch to the public. Of course, this is a dynamic process – it’s important to keep an eye on how the website is performing over time, and to use metrics relevant to your site goals to make further adjustments as you see what works and what doesn’t.
Effective website design is both an art and a science. If you’d like some pointers to get started on the right path, contact us for a free consultation, where we can assess your current site and give you personalized tips for planning a truly game-changing website redesign.
COGO Interactive is an award-winning digital marketing agency specializing in online marketing strategy, web design, SEO and social media marketing. We work with clients in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, DC and across the nation.