Can A Website Redesign Help Your Business?
You are the marketing director or CMO at a business that just pulled the trigger on a website redesign. You’re halfway through the project, realizing that you have totally rethought your sales process, the business model, and are thinking of hiring people you didn’t even know you needed before you started this project.
Why? What about redesigning a website makes it inherently necessary to rethink your business or organization?
Here are 8 reasons I’m not surprised you are wondering this:
- Because you have no choice but to identify your audience
Websites are designed for people who both know about or don’t know about your services. So that’s not enough to identify who they are and what calls them to action. When you design a site, it’s essential to figure out who you are targeting. For an older audience, the design may not be so cool and sexy. For a younger, hipper audience, mobile may be more important. This is a critical question to ask and it will make you think deeply about who you are trying to reach with not just your website, but your business as well.
- Because you need to be clear about what you serve
Humans go to websites to find out what a business sells. Think of a restaurant website you’ve visited recently. Imagine if you got there and the menu wasn’t available for you to see? You’d be disappointed. As a business, you have no choice but to display, talk about and position your products or services for your audience. This makes you actually think about what it is you sell, how it’s changed from what’s on your current website and how to communicate it properly to your audience.
- Because you better figure out what differentiates you from your competition
Every project we’ve ever done has caused us to look through a handful, if not more, of competitors in the space, and a question we always ask is “what makes you better”? The unique selling proposition of your business is critical to get a visitor from “I trust you” to “I need you”. This means you have to think about it deeply and do the homework on your market position, which is a business question more so than a web design question.
- Because you must write GOOD content… what are you going to say?
Every hear the phrase “Content is king”? Of course you have. Everyone says it. And they are right. Deciding what to say means you have to think about what not to say, which can be a sensitive topic for many internal stakeholders. These discussions make you think deeply about what you commit to in your marketing, and how it relates to what you really do for your clients. You have to be crafty about what you say, how you say it, your tone of voice, and where it goes on the site. Speaking of that…
- Because your content needs to go somewhere
The information architecture, the navigation, menu, sitemap, whatever you want to call it, is one of the most critical pieces of the website. Your menu items are like doors to rooms of your business, and without the right doors, some rooms may be closed to visitors that need to see them. This makes you, as a Marketing Director or CMO, think very carefully about what rooms you want visitors to step into, what to call them, and which rooms you will decide to leave closed off to the public. And, leaving off a room could piss off a boss or key stakeholder, which leads me to my next point…
- Because of the need to satisfy key stakeholders
Most organizations have a chain of command and, very often, the people at the top of the chain have needs, wants and hopes for the new marketing for which they’re paying. Each one has something they feel is essential to say on the website, and that balancing act sparks conversations about the value of each division inside a company, the priority it gets in the marketing and the overall politics of the project. The end product, your website, will ALWAYS be better if you focus on your user first, and keep the politics on the backburner. And, it’s always smart to start with discovery to make sure you get all of the goals of the project aligned before you invest that pretty penny in a shiny new site.
- Because technology is awesome, ever changing, and wasn’t the same the last time you designed your website
I would bet you a conversion that if you redesign your website, you will find or be introduced to a new piece of technology that could fundamentally change the way you operate. Be it as simple a change as WordPress Blogging, answering questions on Zendesk forums, taking reviews through Yatpo Reviews, or as complex as running courses on a Learning Management System (like Litmos), you will be presented with a new way to do something that you already do now, probably less efficiently. This will cause you to rethink the way you do it, and whether or not you should change it because new technology exists.
- Because you are already rethinking your business… that’s why you’re updating your website
Duh! Sometimes the chicken comes before the egg and you are already thinking of the new eggs you will hatch, paving the way with a new website. In this case, you may already be thinking “I am changing the way I do business, and my website needs to reflect that”. Good for you.
Redesign Your Strategy
Embrace the change. It’s all good. Going through our process should help you to think differently about your website. You’ll realize that it should evolve and change with your business. Redesigns, while sometimes a challenge, are important to build a foundation, that can adapt as your audience, goals, products and overall business strategy does. What’s most important is to find a team that can strategically guide you through these changes and keep your digital marketing ahead of the curve.