Jun 29

Steps to take before revamping your website

WebsiteDuring our few months of working from home, we’ve taken a bit of time to review our website and rethink how we want it to look

and feel. Often times, our days are spent actively serving our clients and leading communications projects, leaving our own to-do list on the backburner. Recently, we decided to put our heads together and prioritize the process of revamping our website.

In 2015, our friends at Mindutopia created our wonderful, user-friendly website that we still adore to this day, but we decided there are some ways we can make it even more engaging to our key stakeholders. They have been lending a helpful hand while we continue working on our new website.

Creating a new and improved website is exciting, but it’s not a project that can be rushed. You must take a step back and look at the big picture. Before giving your website a facelift, it’s important to follow steps that will make the process more strategic, smooth and as painless as possible. Following are a few steps to take before revamping your website.

Set your goals

Like other communications tactics, it’s critical to sit down and create a list of achievable goals before redoing your website. Your goals should influence every decision you make and serve as the driving force behind your project. Your website goals can be anything from sales leads and phone calls to email signups and document downloads. Once you solidify your goals, you can start creating content that will help you achieve them.

Say one of your goals is to gain more email signups. Take a look at your current website and note your email signup form’s visibility, location and call-to-action language. Brainstorm different page layouts and email signup best practices.

Draw inspiration from other websites

Another step to check off before revamping your website is drawing inspiration from other websites. Dedicate time to research competitors’ websites in and outside your market, noting what you like and dislike about them. It’s worthwhile visiting websites outside of your industry, too – you might find a snappy layout, embedded video or contact page that catches your eye.

Once you’ve visited a few websites you enjoy, create a Word document containing all the elements you want to include – and avoid – on your website. This is an efficient way to start the design process on the right foot.

Listen to feedback from stakeholders

It’s important to keep a list of positive and negative feedback you receive from stakeholders – they are the ones who use your website the most, after all. Spend time reviewing stakeholder feedback and document common themes, gripes and praise.

At SPR, we have a social contract that almost every interviewee mentions while going through our hiring process. We used this feedback to tweak the layout of our “About Us” page. For our new website, we decided to make the contract more prominent to attract more top-notch talent.

Decide what you want to keep

You don’t have to completely scrap every element of your website when remodeling. As the old verbiage goes: if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. It’s a common misconception that every word, image and layout has to change when redoing a website, but that’s not always the case. Don’t edit for the sake of editing – determine what is currently working and carry it over. Use analytics and stakeholder feedback when deciding what needs to be improved.

Stay on brand

As you develop your website plan, remember to keep your copy, colors and images on brand. You may want to make significant changes to your website, but it’s important they match your existing collateral. Keep your brand guidelines in mind as you go through the process.

It’s common for organizations to update brochures, letter heads and other collateral more frequently than their websites. Lay these pieces out on a table and pick out parts that you want to include on your new website.

I hope you keep these tips in mind next time you revamp your website. What are some of your favorite website makeovers?

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