As the owner of a marketing agency, we often receive calls from SMBs asking us if we can redesign their company website. While the simple answer to the question is yes, a website redesign entails more than layout and graphics. Websites are a marketing tactic, and several questions need to be considered to ensure that a website redesign is worthwhile.
It happens all the time; SMB’s get their website redesigned, they spend the money and then wonder why the website is not bringing them the results they were expecting. In my experience, 99% of the time it is not the website that is the problem, or even the website’s design. The problem is that the website is not tied to a marketing strategy that outlines the company’s value proposition and brand.
Below I have outlined a few questions to help you determine if creating a new site is the right solution for you, or if there might be other key areas that need your attention before investing the time and money into changing this tactic.
- Need for Change. What has prompted your need to redesign your website? Are your sales down and you feel your site can help bolster sales, or have you received feedback from customers that have said that your site is ineffective? Be specific here and really determine what exactly it is that has prompted your need for change.
- Site Analytics. Do you know what is happening on your website in terms of tracking the behaviours of your visitors? Delve into your website’s analytics for bounce rates, specific pages, links, downloads, videos, referral sites and other useful statistics. Get a good sense of what your visitors are doing when they come to your website. That way, you’ll be able to determine if they are doing what you want them to do when they visit your site.
- Your competitors. Within your field of business, what are your competitors doing? Make a list of the top websites in your field and study the different information and features on their website against your website’s features. Gauge the technology used to serve their content (e.g. multimedia, flash, video, etc.). Read through their content. What does it say about their service offering? How are they different from you?
I hope that these questions help you determine if it’s your website design, content and navigation that needs to be changed, or if you need a clear marketing strategy, branding and value proposition. The bottom line is that no marketing tactic will provide long-term benefits for your company if it is not tied to a marketing strategy.
I am always interested in hearing from you. Are you looking at changing your website? If so, what has prompted this change? Do you think having a strategy in place first makes sense or would you only consider this step after the redesign? Let me know in the comments below.