How To Make Sure Your Small Business Website Redesign Project Is A Success
Suppose your small business website is three or more years old. In that case, it is time to start looking at having that all-important communication tool redesigned and updated.
Among the reasons why it's time for a website redo are:
Your existing small business website needs to use current and more reliable technologies that provide users with a consistent experience when visiting your website using various devices.
You've grown, your business may have changed direction, or you now offer different products or services than you did the last time someone built your website. Now is the time to showcase those changes.
You may have been holding off on a website designed to be responsive because you feel you don't need it. But you must recognize how many people use phones and tablets to access the web and make important purchasing decisions. A new website is the time to correct that.
While a professional website and graphic design firmmay be able to design the perfect website for you with little to no information from you, it will be closer to the site you envision if you bring some of your own ideas to the table.
Clients often ask us where they can get those ideas. The easiest place is to start making a list of websites you've visited that you like, and more specifically, keep a list of what you like and do not like about these sites.
The website can be from industries related to yours, but in reality, they can represent almost any type of business.
Also, you have to ensure your new website will be responsive and built using a content management system like Joomla or WordPress. Both allow you to easily update your small business website's content and add fresh articles, photos and links only once, maintaining a professional look on various devices.
On the subject of responsive websites. Keep anyone from talking you into having two separate websites, one for desktop and another for mobile. It's a waste of money and will affect your digital marketing efforts negatively in the future.
Next, compile a list of things that need to be changed. Do you have new staff or a new location? Are you offering new products or services? Have you dropped or want to de-emphasize certain products or services? Now's the time to do it.
Also, has your social media presence changed? Do you have a Facebook page you haven't used before? You may still be using Twitter or have developed a presence on LinkedIn. You might also be using a YouTube channel now, and you want to feature that to your site visitors.
After you have all that information, now is the time to start looking at your competitors. Are there features and design elements they use that you think your new website should also have? These could include contact forms, photo slideshows, and many other components and features.
Another thing to do is look for elements in their website that you thought were a good idea. Now that you've seen those features on a live website, are you considering adding them to your new site?
That happens. Sometimes we think adding something trendy to your site is a good idea. Still, after seeing that feature on another small business website, you realize it's not a good idea.
Lastly, what do your current clients have to say? Have any of them ever commented about areas of your existing website that they liked or disliked? Do they have difficulty finding information on your site? Are they finding information that is out of date? This issue is something a CMS like Joomla or WordPress can help you with by allowing you to update content quickly and remove out-of-date information.
If you have yet to get any feedback, consider emailing select clients explaining that you're having your website redesigned and asking them directly if there are areas they feel need improvement. Be warned, though. You might get more responses than you're looking for, and not all will be useful.
But the useful ones will stand out and will be worth the effort.
Once you have all this information, contact the website design and digital marketing firm you are working with and share that information with them. They'll be happy to have it as this gives them an excellent place to start work.
Don't be shy to send them links to websites you like, even if those sites are not in your industry and provide a list of things you like and don't like about them. It will help them include features you don't like, want or need in your new site.
We've worked on hundreds of sites since 2003, and well over half have been small business website redesigns. The most successful projects have been the ones where the clients provided us with information like this.
This Small Business Website Design Article was created by the experienced small business website design, development and digital marketing Team @ ORP.ca
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