How to determine your goals for a website redesign
A website redesign project can be a complete overhaul or a clear-cut design update or any variation in between. Before you start hunting for the right website design firm, it’s to your benefit to determine what the goals or objectives are for your company’s website redesign. By having a clear idea of your goals, you can determine what is essential for the new website. It will also make the process of choosing the web designer or firm more efficient.
When I chat with a potential client about starting a B2B web design project, I ask 4 specific questions to determine what the goals are for the project and to determine if our agency is a good fit. Before you start on the path of searching for web design firms or scheduling consultations, answer these 4 questions.
What Is Your Budget?
This question seems pre-emptive, but can determine whether you can get a responsive web design with 60 new pages or a mobile friendly version of your website that uses existing copy. It’s important to have realistic expectations of what you can get for your budget.
As a marketer, you want to get the best value for your budget. For many marketing departments, the budget is set by another individual. By having a clear idea of your budget for a new B2B website or a budget range for the website, you can set realistic expectations for your internal management team.
I always advise clients to be wary of “too good to be true” pricing for a website, since a lower price with the same amount of bells and whistles can indicate the design professional is either inexperienced, over-committing, or outsources all the work. The phrase, “you get what you pay for” is absolutely true when it comes to professional web design.
What Do You Want Your Website to Do?
Before you commit to a website redesign, it’s a good idea to have an idea of what you want the website to do for your firm. It will also help you find a web designer that is experienced and up to the task. Websites can do a number of things, including:
- Act as an online brochure
- Educate potential clients
- Increase brand awareness
- Establish a company as an industry leader
- Act as a portal for clients
- Drive new client leads
- Retain or upsell existing clients
- Sell products
When you look at this list, don’t answer “all of the above.” Select 2-3 main functions for the website or create a priority list. Typically, a B2B website functions as a credibility piece and as a lead generation tool. Limiting the scope of the website allows it to be focused and effective. A website that tries to do many things often does all of them poorly.
What Do You Like About Your Current Website?
Now, if your website was launched in the early 2000s, it likely doesn’t have much appeal. However, it doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch. Before we start designing and building a new website, we ask a client what they like and don’t like about their current website. Nine times out of ten, a client says, “Everything can go, except (BLANK).” The (BLANK) is often very informative.
Identifying what you like (or hate) about your current site helps a web designer come up with concepts that work for your branding and messaging. Things you may like about an existing website are specific images, the overall messaging, certain pages of copy, the rough layout, etc.
Take a good look at your existing website and see if there are any images, ideas, or messages that are relevant to your brand and need to be carried through to the new website. Also, make a list of things that clearly are off-brand or no longer are accurate (logos, mission statements, services, etc.). The list doesn’t need to be extensive, but the more information you provide at the beginning of a project contributes to the success of the final design.
What Does Your Current Website Lack?
Once you have a clear idea of your budget, what your website should do, and what works/doesn’t work on your existing website, you need to determine what is lacking on your current website. Many of our projects include adding brand new features or content pieces to further accomplish the company’s overall marketing goals.
The easiest way to determine what your website lacks is by looking at competitor websites or industry-specific websites. Side-by-side comparisons can be the best way to determine what your website doesn’t have, but needs. Pay special attention to things like:
- Clear calls-to-action
- Case studies
- A blog feature
- Information about services
- Pricing sheets
- Contact forms
Before you finalize what your current website lacks, think about your audience. For example, while a section for how-to videos looks great, will your potential clients be interested? A blog feature is also a great feature, but if you don’t have the resources to update it regularly, does it add any value?
In the B2B marketing space, potential clients have very specific needs and preferences. By only adding features that benefit your audience, you can fully maximize the performance of your new website and provide a wonderful user experience that doesn’t have unnecessary distractions.
These four simple questions often produce a wealth of information about a company’s objectives for a website redesign and are the foundation for scope and timing for a website redesign project. You don’t need to have an in-depth answer to each of these questions before you start interviewing web designers or design firms, but you should have a clear answer to each of these questions to ensure you get the best website for your business.