What to Consider When Planning a Website Redesign
As businesses evolve with new technology, redesigning their websites is a common occurrence. It’s important to recognize the difference between an aesthetic lift and a necessary update to the site’s backend platform and design to best support your client and to help drive consistent revenue.
As the direct to consumer market rapidly expands, your client’s site is ultimately the best and most effective tool their audience has to learn who they are as a company, and plays a significant role in deciding whether users will commit to purchasing their product.
Below, we break down specific points to consider when redesigning a website to help support your client’s long-term growth goals. This breakdown includes when a client should redesign their website, and how to plan the most effective website upgrade. Let’s dive in.
When to redesign a website
One question that comes up regularly with clients is when they should redesign their site. The obvious answer is to do so when the technology is so outdated that support is no longer provided for the framework it was built on. However, you can help your client before they get to that point.
Something to consider each year when reviewing business goals with your client is to ask, “Is the site helping you achieve your goals?” You will need to understand how your client's site is impacting revenue and sales.
For example, consider site speed. According to a recent study done by Unbounce, nearly 70 percent of consumers say page speed impacts whether they buy from an online store. Site speed can have a drastic impact on sales and revenue, since customers expect a site to load quickly.
How to plan a website redesign
In this section, we’ll look at every aspect of your client’s site you should consider for possible improvement.
To help you during this initial analysis, consider the critical parts of your client’s site. Take the time to identify the various marketing channels you will use to drive sales, how they all play a role in your client’s business, and how a website redesign could provide an opportunity to improve on them. Some of these potential improvements include:
1. Advanced site search features
Consumers are using site search to navigate to the products they are most interested in. According to Comprend, 59 percent of web visitors use the internal search engine to navigate a web page, and 15 percent would rather use the search feature instead of the hierarchical menu set in place.
2. Smart forms
You can improve user experience on your client’s site by installing a service that allows previous customer information to pre-populate in forms.
3. Consumer reviews
Believe it or not, nearly 95 percent of buyers will read online reviews about your client’s product before they make a purchase. Social proof is a critical step in the buying funnel. Help your clients by ensuring they have a way to generate reviews for their products, and have those readily available through Google search or on their webpage.
If your client’s site is on Shopify, there are several affordable plugins that can assist with review generation and publication.
4. Wishlist and favorites
Make it easier for your client’s customers to save what they love or mark the type of products they are most interested in, so they have a reference point to come back to when they are ready to buy. In a webinar presented by Brendan Witcher on Forrester, it’s shown that wishlists can drive open rates as high as 80 percent and can have five to 10 times higher return to purchase. Ecommerce sites that do not have a wishlist function are leaving revenue on the table, so consider if adding a wishlist function will help increase your client’s bottom line.
5. Related items
Pique customer interest by displaying a curated “You Might Like This” section. A related items feature can have a desirable stickiness effect that can help upsell consumers once they look at products on your client’s site.
6. FAQ page
Consumers love to know they are purchasing something high quality, and one way to instill this trust is by having an in-depth frequently asked questions page. Additional information establishes trust, credibility, and knowledge that what they are getting is what they expect.
7. Social Content
Integrate your client’s social media and outreach efforts in their site to help build an emotional appeal to their brand. Consumers want to hear your client’s brand story. The content from your client’s social media channels is perfect to be added to visually share the client’s brand.
Help your clients strengthen their brand by linking their social profiles and all user generated content to their site—this will help create a more authentic appeal through their social media efforts.
8. Customizable checkout process
To help improve the user experience on your client’s store, consider ways to make their checkout process as simple and efficient as possible, such as a single page checkout.
9. Loyalty or rewards program
Encourage clients to create an enticing and rewarding loyalty program. Businesses can plan to implement a loyalty program that provides a wealth of data, practical insight, gifts, exclusives, and points for redemption.
Once you add the critical features to the website, you have to look at specific technical features that could impact your client’s marketing strategies and sales.