Daniel Burstein

MarketingSherpa Podcast #5: Ten things you should think about before you do your next website redesign

April 25th, 2019
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Education is the ability to use other people’s experiences (mistakes) to avoid making your own mistakes.

In that spirit, we prep you for avoiding some serious potholes on your journey while taking on that biggest of digital marketing projects — a website redesign. You can listen to this episode in whichever way is most convenient for you — or click the orange “Subscribe” button to get every episode. And scroll down to read more about website redesigns.

This article was originally published in the MarketingSherpa email newsletter.

 

 

 

More About Episode #5 — Website redesign

“The point is: You get to capitalize on a fellow human being’s misfortune. That’s the basis of real estate.”

The above quote is from “The Money Pit,” the 1986 comedic movie where Tom Hanks and Shelley Long attempt to renovate a recently purchased home to comedic effect. Or tragic effect, depending on your point of view. After all, as Mark Twain said, “Humor is tragedy plus time.”

If you’ve ever been in charge of a web redesign project, you might think that “The Money Pit” was just a prescient allegory for a web redesign project.

After all, your company’s website is its most prime real estate. And if your site is old or large, once you start diving into a redesign project you never know quite what surprises you will unearth.

To help you avoid pitfalls with your own web redesign (both tragic and comic), Austin McCraw and I delved into 10 considerations you should keep in mind for your web redesign projects (while providing a few light house-remodeling tips as well).

We’re giving you this advice from the marketer’s point of view — not the (website or real estate) developers’ point of view. So before you create a web redesign project plan, watch out for these things (time stamps included if you would like to jump around):

1:35 – “Now I’m [living in] the house and I can see every little — uh, learning I’ll say — associated with fixing up the house.”

3:50 – What is the redesign’s value prop. Why are you doing this? There are several good reasons, just make sure it is clear why you are going to invest the significant resources in a web redesign. For example, you might want to replatform and update the technology, your company may be rebranding, you might want to freshen up the site because it looks dated, your company may desire new functionality like mobile-friendliness or a video-driven site; there may have been a merger or acquisition, you may have a new strategy, or you may simply be trying to increase conversion.

8:19 – How can you make a website that puts the customer first? How can you leverage the customer to build the right website? How are you going to pre-test the site? What does success look like? How can you learn from customers and data? How are you going to leverage this site launch to drive engagement? What markets is this for? International (translation services in local languages)? U.S. only? Specific products or brands? How are customers going to engage with the site?

9:05 – Who is going to use the site? That is important on the frontend — what customers? Age? Preferences? How do they use it? What do they expect? But it is important on the backend as well, making sure you have a CMS (content management system) or other easy-to-change, user-friendly interface that doesn’t force you to go to (internal or external) developers every time you want to put new content on the site or update a landing page.

10:57 – What do you have to work with? What platforms are you on now? What programs is your company using? What is the back end and front end? What integrations are currently set up? How is your analytics and tracking set up? How does the website relate to an app? Are you going to use homegrown or off-the-shelf technology?

13:24 – Who are you working with? Who is responsible? Accountable? Consulted? Informed? (known as RACI) How can you avoid inter-department warfare between marketing and tech or a CMO vs CTO? Do you have internal vs external resources? And what value prop can you communicate to each key stakeholder, so they are not only on board but passionate about the project?

13:58 – The Landing Page Optimization on-demand certification course from MECLABS Institute (parent research organization of MarketingSherpa) is designed to help teach you the science of landing page optimization without the cost of hiring an expensive consultant and can help ensure your web redesign is conversion focused.

18:44 – What resources do you have? Budget? Time? Team? How much of that team is internal and how much is external? If it’s an external vendor, how will they be selected (vendor selection is a major process)? How will they be managed? (They will need internal support.) How will you be able to service and update the website after it’s launched? Are the expectations clear on what the technology team is expected to deliver (that gets into scoping, which we’ll talk about at the end)?

20:16 – What type of site do you have? Is it a content site? A brochure site? An online store? Something else?

22:42 – How is your SEO going to be affected by a website redesign? How good is your SEO right now? How much traffic are you getting from organic search? Are you making major structural changes, like to the navigation? Are you going to have to do redirects (make sure you do them properly)?

27:27 – How does the website express your value prop? Its messaging but also functionality. For example, for a travel site, the most prominent feature might be a search widget. For a content or publishing site, the most prominent feature is constantly updated content on the homepage.

29:21 – Make sure you thoroughly scope out the project. You won’t be perfect, you’ll discover things along the way. But you need to ask, what’s a must have? What’s a nice to have? Should you launch the site in phases? What is a showstopper at each phase? How do you keep the project on track? What does success look like?

Related resources

Website Redesign Leads to 34% Increase in Revenue

Website Marketing: Complete website redesign increases conversion 470%

Website Redesign From Hell – Lessons Learned, ROI Tips & Practical Advice

Daniel Burstein

About Daniel Burstein

Daniel Burstein, Senior Director of Editorial Content, MECLABS. Daniel oversees all content and marketing coming from the MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa brands while helping to shape the editorial direction for MECLABS – digging for actionable information while serving as an advocate for the audience. Daniel is also a speaker and moderator at live events and on webinars. Previously, he was the main writer powering MarketingExperiments publishing engine – from Web clinics to Research Journals to the blog. Prior to joining the team, Daniel was Vice President of MindPulse Communications – a boutique communications consultancy specializing in IT clients such as IBM, VMware, and BEA Systems. Daniel has 18 years of experience in copywriting, editing, internal communications, sales enablement and field marketing communications.

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