How to Develop a Successful Website Redesign Project Plan
You might find that a poor user interface is preventing customers from working their way through your conversion pipeline. Or perhaps your content is outdated now that your product or customers’ needs have changed. You might even be in the middle of a rebranding initiative, and want to show visitors why you’re the number one choice.
Whatever the case, it sounds like you’re ready for a website redesign.
This process involves updating the content, structure, navigation, and visuals of your website to improve your business performance. By creating a strong first impression and giving visitors a good reason to buy from you, you can increase conversions and raise your search engine ranking.
By following these seven steps, you can develop a successful website redesign project plan that reels in your target audience.
Seven steps to a develop a successful website redesign project plan
1) Analyze your current performance metrics
The approach you take to your website redesign can differ greatly depending on what you’re looking to improve. Using your chosen performance tracking software (or Google Analytics if you don’t have one) analyze your website’s:
- Volume of traffic
- Bounce rate
- Average time on website
- Top-performing keywords
- Number of inbound linking domains
- Total pages that receive traffic
- Total new leads and form submissions
- Total pages indexed
- Total sales generated
These metrics will help you build a broader view of your website’s performance and identify areas for improvement. You can also compare these with your metrics in the months following the redesign to evaluate your success and make further optimizations.
2) Analyze your competition
Tracking your performance metrics is an excellent way to measure the growth of your business. But to understand how you’re performing within your industry, those metrics need context.
Identify five other businesses that you consider to be your direct competitors based on the size and scope of your operation. Then, use a diagnostic tool such as Semrush or Ahrefs to analyze their performance metrics as well.
Your results will produce some general benchmarks for gauging the performance of your business. If you’re falling short in certain areas, use this knowledge to define the goal of your website redesign, and direct your actions moving forward.
3) Set a specific website redesign goal
Let’s say that your performance and competitor analyses showed that your website is low on backlinks. You might feel that “earn more backlinks” is an appropriate goal.
But setting a non-specific goal makes it difficult to measure the ongoing success of your website redesign. A single backlink would technically fulfill your goal, but it won’t impact your performance.
With a specific goal like “earn 10 backlinks each month”, you can regularly check your progress and make adjustments to reach it. Once you’re earning 10 backlinks each month, set a new goal of 15 for continued improvement. Whatever you choose, your website redesign plan should be built with this goal in mind.
4) Define your brand, messaging, and value proposition
When a potential customer lands on your website, they should quickly discover who you are, what you sell, and why they should buy from you. If they can’t, chances are they’ll turn to your competitors.
Take some time to define the characteristics you want your brand to be associated with, the message you want visitors to receive, and your value proposition. Then, consider how well your current website reflects these in its content and design.
The harder your audience has to work to understand your business, the less likely they are to support you. So use clear, concise, jargon-free language to communicate your message, and consider investing in a new logo, design scheme, or structure that strikes the right tone.
5) Write buyer personas
No matter what you do, your product will never appeal to everyone. To maximize your website’s performance, it’s better to design your website around your most prominent customer groups.
To better understand your audience, create a customer persona for each type of person who typically buys from you. This should include their:
- Stage of life
- Spending power
Most importantly, your buyer personas should clearly outline the main problem that group is facing, and how your product solves it. With this, you can develop a successful website redesign plan that gives customers a great reason to buy from you.
To maximize the value of your customer personas, speak to them in their own language and write content that shows you understand and support them. Make sure that, as soon as your visitors land on your website, they know they’ve come to the right place.
6) Identify and protect your highest-performing content
While a website redesign can hugely improve your business performance, it’s not without risks. Changing your structure or navigation, or removing the wrong pages can seriously harm your search engine optimization and user experience. That can make it difficult for users to find your site on search engines, and encourages a higher bounce rate when they do.
Before you start making changes, record which of your pages have the:
- Most views
- Most shares
- Highest traffic
- Best-performing keywords
- Most inbound links
If you’re moving these pages, create a 301 redirect strategy that lets you continue reaping their benefits. Put them into a spreadsheet along with their new URLs, and give this to your team or agency for implementation.
7) Optimize your pages for search engines
At this point, your performance tracking, competitor analysis, and content protection will have revealed what kinds of content your target audience finds most valuable. Using this information, perform SEO keyword research to find other high-ranking terms that your website doesn’t currently target.
As you create new pages or rewrite old ones, choose one primary keyword and two secondary keywords to target on each page. This will help your website appeal to search engine algorithms, increasing your chances of appearing in search results pages. The more traffic you receive, and the more closely your content aligns with their needs, the higher your potential for conversions.
Completing your website redesign plan
By following these seven steps, you’ll have a clear idea of:
- Your website’s strengths and weaknesses
- How you can improve it
- What you want to express
- What your customers need
- How to protect and improve your content
By communicating this to your team, they can direct their website redesign efforts more effectively. After their work is done, continue tracking your performance metrics and comparing them to your original data set. That way, you can evaluate your ongoing success, and continue optimizing your site in the future.