When it’s time to redesign a website, most people are thinking about the visual design of the site. The look of a site is extremely important. But here’s a question–there are at least a thousand different ways to make a site look (just do a search on website design templates). How do you know what will be best for your site?
The design of your site should reflect
- Who you are as a company or an organization. How do you see yourself? How does your market see you? Your competitors? The important “influencers” in your sector? How do you want to be seen?
- Your business strategy. Are you looking for prospects? New customers? Repeat customers? What, if any, customer service functions do you want your site to provide? Are you looking to raise awareness? Sell or collect donations directly on the site? What’s the average transaction amount you’re looking for? Are you looking for investors, partners, suppliers and other non-customer relationships?
- A path for creating and sustaining relationships, up-selling and cross-selling customers, connecting with key influencers such as experts in your industry or field, establishing credibility in the eyes of opinion-makers, prospects, potential investors and other important audiences.
Last but not least, your site design must reflect what people are looking for, providing navigation links that make it easy for them to reach that content within one or two clicks.
Base your website redesign on measurable, achievable goals. Here are 7 questions to guide your thinking:
- How many leads do you want to generate for your business pipeline?
- How many do you want to convert to customers or donors?
- How will you use your site to do that?
- What are your revenue goals?
- What products or services do you want to sell more of?
- If you’re driving people to your site via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or other social media, how many do you want to attract? What conversion rate do you expect?
- How will you measure results? By the level of new sales? The number of new subscribers to your blog or newsletter? The number of donations from a particular category of donors? The number of page views that Google Analytics shows? Quantifiable results enable you to track, benchmark and evaluate the return on your investment, so you can adjust your approach when necessary.
To sum it all up…
Set quantifiable website goals. Provide easy navigation, quality content, reader engagement, and make it easy for users to sign up for a newsletter, order products, make donations and interact with you in a variety of ways.
Then measure, evaluate and tweak your strategy as needed.
Here’s a link to a long list of great questions from Seth Godin that can help you map out your website goals.