When clients contact web development agencies in the UK for a redesign, one of the most common reasons they state for updating their website is because they want it to look better. Now, let’s begin by stating that that’s a perfectly valid reason for wanting to overhaul your existing site. Consumers certainly prefer using beautiful sites with inspiring images and clearly displayed, easy to read text. The issue is that a graphical overhaul alone could be a really wasted opportunity. In this article we’re going to examine the various elements that go into a contemporary website, which are the most important, and which are the most often overlooked, etc. Our primary lens will be focused on generating more site traffic and converting more sales – so let’s begin!
Clearly establish your goals and ambitions
Firstly, have a think about what your current site does well, and what it does not do so well – Are there features that it lacks, are elements that don’t work as they should?
Come up with a list of key points that you want to address with your next site update. Example questions to examine might include:
- Are you happy with the current user experience being offered?
- Are you looking to rebrand at the same time?
- Has your product / service offering changed?
- What is your current conversion rate?
- What are your best performing pages?
- What is your current bounce rate?
- What current keywords are you targeting?
Once you’ve asked the above questions you’ll have a clear idea of what your objectives need to be. It’ll more than likely become abundantly clear upon first examination of these answers, that a mere facelift isn’t going to be enough for your site to do what you want it to do.
Here you can also call up your current customer database. If you have established relationships with longstanding clients, don’t be afraid to approach them and ask their opinion on what you do well, what they think could be improved etc. It’s a free resource that’ll also benefit them because they’ll feel valued and that you are seeking to address their needs.
What are others doing in your space?
It’s at this stage that it can be very helpful to have a look at your competitors’ sites. Have a look at what they do right and what you think they do wrong. Try to evaluate them from a customer’s perspective, rather than an industry insider’s. Its also helpful to give links for sites you like to your web development team in the UK, and they can then let you know how easy and expensive it’ll be to do something similar.
Whilst it is incredibly helpful to have a look at what else is out there, it’s just as important to have your own voice and be your own entity. If all you’re doing is copying what already exists, then you aren’t offering anything unique and you aren’t giving anyone a reason to choose you specifically. It’s actually easier to forge your own path when it comes to branding, than to throw endless resources at trying to match the pace of everyone else out there, particularly if you have to start from a static position.
Planning makes perfect
Once you’ve chatted through your ambitions and objectives with your web development agency in the UK. Then it’s time to plan the project. You can begin here with a site outline and structure. This can be a simple exercise done on paper, or you can work together with a web development team in the UK on a wireframe using specialist (but easy to use) software, such as InVision’s web-based tools. Your goal here is to map out the full site in a basic form, but it should cover all the fundamentals, including:
- Individual Pages
- Content outline (including rough placement of text & graphics)
- Locations of your CTAs (call to actions)
- Details of advanced functionality & tools
With this exercise complete, you now know what you’re trying to achieve and how you’re going to go about it. Your web developers should be able to give you an accurate prediction of how long the work will take to complete, plus the cost. There’s usually a bit of room for maneuver here, so if the estimate is a little high, talk through your options and see where any potential savings can be made. Don’t forget that you’ll probably need to put aside some funds for some marketing too, to co-coincide with the relaunch of your site.
Testing, testing, testing……
With your new site complete, it’s time to start examining the performance data. If you’ve followed the advice previously you’ll have existing data from your previous site on conversion rates, bounce-rates and page visits. You can then split test (A/B test) your previous performance against your current performance and analyse your results to see in a real-world sense how your changes have been received.
It’s tempting (and somewhat understandable) to expect large gains quite quickly, but here we must advise against doing so. It will likely take time for your changes to filter through to extra sales, a better conversion and a lower bounce-rate. Remember that the search engines rank historically too, so again it’ll take them some time to fully appreciate the changes made to your site and for your ranking with them to adjust accordingly.
So, give it some time and don’t be afraid to experiment a little here and there with your search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts. You can try different keywords, perhaps ones that are less competitive, or target specific products and keywords that you offer.
Here’s where, once again, your friendly web development team can really help. With their industry experience and knowledge of the very latest google algorithms and best SEO practices, they should be able to help point you in the right direction.
One such web development agency in the UK is Web Design Choice. Web Choice is a full service web design, SEO and web development provider who have extensive experience working for high profile clients around the world. Their team is on hand whenever you need them and can be relied upon for honest advice and guidance. Check them out now at – www.webdesignchoice.co.uk