How Should I Do a Website Redesign Project?
From make sure you talk to your customers to consider acccessibility, here are 14 answers to the question, “What’s One Thing to Include in a Website Redesign Project Plan?”
- It’s Important to Include Details About Redesign Goal.
- Take Time to Plan Your Site Architecture
- Make Sure You Talk to Your Customers
- The Homepage
- Timeline for the Project
- Important to Consider the Existing Sitemap
- Take Seo into Consideration
- Consider Acccessibility
- Communication Guidelines and Terms
- Conversion Rate Optimization (cro)
- Use Keyword Mapping from the Ground Up.
- Thorough Review of Existing Content
- Utilizing Behavioral Economics Principles
- The Most Important Component of a Project Plan
It’s Important to Include Details About Redesign Goal.
When creating a website redesign project plan, it’s important to include details about the goal of the redesign. By defining what you hope to achieve and how you measure success, your team will be able to focus their efforts on achieving those goals. It’s also helpful to outline the timeline for completion, as well as any key milestones that need to be met along the way. Last but not least, make sure to include a budget and any resources needed for the project, such as additional personnel or outside skill sets. With these elements in place, your website redesign is sure to be a success.
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Take Time to Plan Your Site Architecture
One critical error I’ve seen time and time again is a business getting caught up in the visual aspect of a redesign project and not taking the time to carefully plan site architecture. The problem here is that without taking the time to properly research what you should target for the business and build out the customer journey, you tend to leave quite a lot on the table. The worst case of this I’ve seen almost saw the site lose around 65% of its organic traffic due to this step being skipped.
Make Sure You Talk to Your Customers
Redesigning a website is a big investment of time and money. It isn’t something you do often, and it typically stays live for a number of years, so it is important to get it right! Your customers should be involved throughout the redesign process – the earlier the better. As the design process moves forward from concepts to prototypes and coded design, the number of design alternatives available to you decreases. At the same time, the cost of making any changes increases. Whether you choose to or not, you will be testing your design with customers. The only question is when. If you wait until the new website is live, you will be testing with your customers in full view of the world. If it doesn’t work, the design alternatives available to you will be minimal and the cost of change enormous. If you involve customers at the prototype stage or earlier, your choices are vast and the cost of change low. If you want a high-performing website that attracts and retains customers, involve them.
It’s important to determine how the home page will change. Will it have one layout, or will it change based on the programs that are launching at the time? This is the first page the consumer will come across, so it’s essential in any redesign project plan and should be a main focus as the site develops over time.
Timeline for the Project
When creating a website redesign project plan, it is important to include a clearly defined timeline for the project. It should include the various stages of the project and the expected duration of each stage. For example, the timeline could include the initial planning and research phase, the design and development phase, the launch phase, and any post-launch maintenance or updates. Additionally, it is important to include a detailed budget for the project in the website redesign project plan. This budget should include a breakdown of all costs associated with the project, such as design and development fees, hosting fees, and any other fees associated with the project. Finally, the project plan should also include a detailed list of goals and objectives for the project. This should include a description of the desired user experience, the functionality, and any other objectives that the project should strive to achieve.
Important to Consider the Existing Sitemap
It’s super important to make a note/copy of the existing sitemap and all of the URLs in the site, even images and other assets. The reason is that many companies dive in and scrap their existing websites for something that looks better, in their opinion. They may be unaware that their existing site might have gathered links and mentions from other websites, thus earning the kudos that Google notices and uses to rank web pages in the Search results. Before discarding your old site, analyze the URLs and naming conventions. Keep anything that is good; it’s fine to replace poor URLs, but ensure you create 301 redirects to prevent your visitors from getting a 404 error when they visit via a link from an external site. It could be the difference between your new website raising you to new heights or going off a cliff. That way, you can avoid making the classic statement: “We used to rank for everything, but now we’re nowhere.” Don’t kill your website by neglecting the sitemap.
Take Seo into Consideration
One of the most important aspects to include in a website redesign project plan is to take SEO into consideration. This means ensuring that the new website design will be optimized to meet the current search engine algorithms, and that it will be designed to maximize visibility and user experience. This can be accomplished by analyzing the existing website, researching the current SEO landscape, and incorporating the latest SEO trends into the website redesign. Additionally, it is important to consider how the website redesign will impact the existing website’s SEO performance, and to consider how the new website design can help to improve this.
Did you know that globally, at least 2.2 billion people have some form of visual impairment? (WHO, 2022) Considering the accessibility of your website is more important than you realize, and you could be alienating a huge portion of your audience who need a bit of extra help when looking at your website. Technology like screen readers are very common and ‘read out’ information on a screen, but to do that you need to give some idea of what’s in an image or link. Luckily, it’s not hard to make sure your website is a sight for sore eyes, and it’s especially easy when you’re doing it from scratch in a redesign. Basic checks like alt text for images, color contrast checks, and wording hyperlinks better can make a huge difference, and have the added benefit of improving SEO performance.
Communication Guidelines and Terms
It’s so important for both the client and the website designer to have clarity on how communication will take place throughout the project. Every service provider will have a different preference when it comes to the communication method. You can use e-mail, phone calls, Zoom meetings, project management systems, etc. It’s up to the website designer to set expectations and guide the client on how to navigate the project. In addition to the communication medium, the definition of the meeting frequency will help both parties to get on the same page. You’ll want to include these terms in your project agreement.
Conversion Rate Optimization (cro)
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is definitely an important aspect to include in a website redesign project plan. CRO is the process of improving the user experience on a website with the goal of increasing the percentage of visitors who take a desired action, such as making a purchase, filling out a form, or signing up for a newsletter. Incorporating CRO into a website redesign project plan is crucial as it helps to ensure that the new website design will be optimized for conversion and will provide the best possible user experience. This can include things like improving the navigation, making sure the call-to-actions are prominent, and ensuring the website is mobile-friendly, among others. By incorporating CRO into the redesign project plan, organizations can ensure that the new website will be user-friendly, visually appealing, and optimized for conversion, which can lead to increased website traffic, improved customer engagement, and higher conversion rates.
Use Keyword Mapping from the Ground Up.
When redesigning websites, we tend to overemphasize the aesthetics. Images, videos, headers, footers, color schemes, and other fun elements that make the website distinct from the original. However, without relevant traffic, you will be the only one to enjoy them. Keyword mapping is essential to ensuring a constant flow of relevant traffic, and its principles should be integrated throughout the entire website architecture. Each page has a specific purpose and should target relevant keywords to meet that objective. Without adequate keyword mapping, you are likely to experience a significant drop in traffic, defeating the purpose of the website redesign. Therefore, when outlining your redesign plans, consider keyword mapping from the outset to allow quality traffic to reach your beautiful new website.
Thorough Review of Existing Content
A website redesign project plan should include a thorough review of existing content. It’s important to understand what works and what doesn’t, and to identify areas where improvements can be made. This will help ensure that the redesign project is successful and that the new website is better able to serve the needs of the target audience.
Utilizing Behavioral Economics Principles
One key aspect to consider is the use of nudges, which are small design elements that encourage specific user behaviors. For example, incorporating social proof, such as showing the number of people who have taken a certain action, or loss aversion, by emphasizing the potential loss of an opportunity, can significantly increase the likelihood of users taking a desired action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. When redesigning a website, it’s important to use nudges ethically and transparently and to conduct user testing to validate their effectiveness. By considering the principles of behavioral economics, a website can not only look great but also effectively drive desired behaviors and outcomes.
The Most Important Component of a Project Plan
The most important component of a website redesign project plan is the discovery phase. This is where the team asks questions to determine the client’s goals for the new website and sets the foundation for the whole project. Based on the information gathered in the discovery phase, the project lead is able to create a task list and timeline of deliverables, including dependencies/considerations, due dates, and assignees. This gives the entire team (along with the client) a clearly defined road map of how to proceed with the project.
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