If you're reading this article and planning a website redesign in 2014, congratulations; you understand how important your website is to meeting your marketing, sales and business goals. Whether you're overhauling your entire website or making iterative changes, this list is for you. Add these items to your to-do list before engaging with a partner to redesign your website.
Build Your Team
This is the most basic step. Take it from our friends at Paranet, your internal resources are actually vital to your project success. You’ll want to drum up support internally with key resources.
Your dream team should include the following people:
- Your company’s sales expert
- A content and target market expert - someone who understands the value and appeal of your products and services
- A legal team who can review content
- A budget owner
- Someone from IT who knows your system architecture and security features
- If you are planning for e-commerce, plan for accounting, fulfillment and any resources that enter content on a day-to-day basis
Write down who each of these people will be and figure out what roles and responsibilities you think each should have.
Once you assemble your team, you’re ready to discuss goals.
Draft Your Goals
Are you a little stuck on how to sell this internally? Ask your dream team for input on goals first. This is the best way to get them involved and invested. Ask them about what they want out of a new website and what will help them optimize their work.
This step will also involve a bit of fact finding. What is your current traffic like? What is your current leads funnel?
From meetings, comments in passing and emails, put together your list of goals. Where you can, put figures with your statements. Some examples of goals are:
- Increase site visitors by 20%
- Increase sales-ready leads 20% in the first 3 months
- Test positively in user testing after launch over our old website and competitor X
- Increase shareable content across all online platforms for more brand awareness
- Reduce workload of operations team by automating x, y and z functions
When writing your goals, also put in the back of your mind how your budget or timeline expectations might affect the quality of the product AND likelihood of reaching the goals.
In your discussion with your dream team, you likely walked away with a laundry list of features for the new website. Keep this list handy and keep it organized. The more information you bring to the table, the more likely you are to get what you want as an end product. Define your expectations early and often. Trust me, you'll be glad you did!
Obviously, if you are hiring outside to get a design and development partner they will help you build a solution that works.
This task will vary depending on what type of project you have. A couple tips to getting good specifications:
- How is this feature typically delivered on a website? Is there a reason I need a unique experience for this feature?
- Just keep asking yourself "how do I want that to work?" "What are the mandatory elements I need here?"
If you are hiring out for your 2014 website redesign, do your homework and get proposals. The project plans may vary, but make sure your inbound website redesign at a minimum covers:
- Regular meetings
- Discovery where you can have input on the website process
- SEO research and implementation at a page level
- Launch support
These basic steps should get you set up for success. Good luck on your 2014 website redesign! Let us know if we can help.
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