How to Safely Redesign Your Website Without Destroying Your Business
By Zach Bulygo
Website redesigns are a scary thought for many marketers and executives. Propose a website redesign to your CEO and you may get a response like:
“Why do we need a redesign? What we have now works great for prospects and customers. Best not to fool around with it.”
“If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”
“Our conversions are through the roof right now. Why jeopardize that just for the sake of a refresh?”
Or perhaps, you’re the one saying that to the HiPPO (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion) who is eager to get a website refresh.
No matter which side of the table you’re on, your hair stands on the back of your neck when designing and launching a redesign. A few of your concerns may be:
- What about bugs?
- Will this work in all browsers?
- How will this affect page load speed?
- What’s the impact on conversions?
- How will this affect our SEO?
- What if conversions stay the same, but we send the wrong message and bring in the wrong leads?
Putting these worries aside, brands need to stay modern and relevant. Redesigns have to be done (imagine if Facebook didn’t change their design – would they still be as popular?) and they should be executed carefully.
Here’s a few steps to ensure your redesign goes smoothly:
- Know Your Audience – Who is your target market and who are your customers? Are they salespeople? C-Level executives? High schoolers? Figure that out and create a website for them. This is a lot of work. You have to know how these people work, what their lives are like, understand their culture, know what appeals to them, etc.
- Take Advantage of User Testing – Tools like UserTesting.com provide a lot of solid feedback. You’ll hear from someone outside your own company and they will not hold back on honest feedback. You can even get five minutes for free with Peek. Try it – there is no excuse.
- Post-launch Announcement – Your loyal visitors may come back after the redesign and wondered what happened. Let people know of the redesign and give a little backstory about why you did this. Make the story exciting, avoid being bland. “It was time for a redesign” is boring. Tell people what’s new with the design, any UX changes, and how it benefits them. When oDesk changed their name to UpWork, the CEO of the company wrote a blog post explaining everything and they even held a webinar where they explained the changes and answered any questions. You can use an Engagement to notify all users and link to your announcement.
- Gather Post-launch Feedback – Never stop gathering feedback. Use Qualaroo and UserTesting to gather feedback. Iterate (if necessary) on your new design. Make sure any future A/B tests don’t impact the consistency of the new design.
Today’s infographic comes from Neil Patel of Quick Sprout. It outlines how you can redesign a site without losing traffic or conversions. Let us know what you think.
About the Author: Zach Bulygo (Twitter) is the Blog Manager for Kissmetrics.