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7th November 2012

Website redesign - steps to a successful makeover!

Website redesign can be difficult, you need to take some time to plan and prepare. Follow our step-by-step plan and you'll have yourself a successful site make-over!

Do you need a complete website redesign?

A complete redesign could spell certain disaster and confuse customers. Don't scare folk with too much change! A drop in SEO could happen after a website redesign so ask yourself if you really need it.

Fine-tuning your website is a much safer option. Fresh content and design will lure in more customers but keep some things the same. There are many ways to jazz up your site and get more traffic without knocking everything down and building from scratch. If your brand has changed then you can still maintain layout aspects of your site so that it doesn't completely throw the visitor. Try to keep vital elements the same such as the header and navigation structure.

Ask yourself what you really need on your site.

If your website dates back a bit, then chances are you need a complete redesign to bring you up to date with the latest and greatest. An old website runs the risk of turning away potential customers, so in this case you can change things on a larger scale compared to if things just need tweeking.

Did you know that: The highest growing trends on the Internet at the moment are: location-based services (27%), Time-shifted TV (27%), Internet Banking (19%).

What do people think about your current website?

Ask your current visitors what they think. Customer feedback is a great place to start and you will gain insight from a valuable perspective. Its a smart idea to tell users why you are changing things around and see how they feel about  it before launching into website redesign. A responsive community can be the most useful tool.

Did you know that: Social media users who receive great service tell an average of 42 people (compared to just 9 for social absentees)

Look at the competition

Know your competitors, type your keywords into Google and see who you are up against. What are they doing differently? Get some inspiration and see what works. Stay original, you don't have to copy but if you know your competition then you know how to beat them!

Always think 'what could I do better?'

Did you know that: There are more than 1 billion search queries per day on Google?

How is your website being used?

Have a look at your traffic statistics and site analytics. They will enable you to understand how visitors find your site and what they are up to once they get there. From this you can determine a number of things, for example how long are people staying on your website? 0-10 seconds? 61-180 seconds? If visitors are not engaged then you need to focus your attention on grabbing their attention?

Use Google Analytics to understand your website. Just create an account and you're good to go! Benefit from fancy tools which allow you to determine where your best visitors are located, learn what people are searching for on your site, discover your top content and be aware of the pages that are falling behind - to mention a few. It is highly recommended that you apply Google Analytics before you redesign your website.

Did you know that: The average time a visitor spends on the homepage is between 25 and 35 seconds

Be Clear

Don't bombard your customers with content. Remember less can be more. Keep your keywords, don't let your SEO ranking slip! Try to use visuals, your aim is to change the look not the feel. If you are re-writing content don't alienate customers by using advanced technical language.

A website stuffed with unnecessary content will be difficult to navigate. Keep a consistant voice and it will work wonders for your brand identity.

Did you know that:90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text

Optimize your site for search

Understand your keyword ranking. Keep in mind those search engines! Take a good hard look at your statistics and see if the keywords entered by your visitors match yours. If they don't then you need to include some new content.

If you have an e-commerce site then ensure that you make it easy for customers to do business with you by using the latest technologies and procedures.

Did you know that: The total time spent on the Internet worldwide breaks down into 22% on social networking, 42% viewing content and 36% for other such as email, commerce and search.

Create ongoing content

Incorporate fresh news, have a blog which you update regularly to show that you have an online presence.

Including PR is a great way to get more visitors to your new site but don't count on this alone.

Create web pages on your site where you can stay in touch with your customers and build content over time.

Did you know that: 60% of businesses have a business or company blog but 65% of those havn't updated their blog in one year or more!

Test your improved website

Let your customers test your improved site and evaluate their responses.

There is no shame in changing an aspect to your site again if the customer recommends it.

Get Feedback and it will show you what you are doing right and wrong.

Did you know that: 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site which has user reviews.

How can we help?

You don't have to do it alone! Get in touch with PS Website Design today for professional advice on what we can do for you no matter what your project. Don't be shy, we'd love to hear from you.

Remember that a successful website redesign occurs before the design itself, so be patient and do the research first. Thanks for reading guys!

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