You’re ready for a new website! You are totally on board, but you don’t know where to start. There’s a lot of moving parts with a redesign. Fortunately, we’ve done enough of them that we can anticipate the hurdles. In this article you’ll find some resources and tips to help you get all of the pieces together for your website so your designer has all the materials needed to put together the best website for your business.
1. Make sure your team is on the same page.
One vision, one voice.
We see this time and time again. You know your business needs a website, but not everyone is on the same page with the business goals and the messaging. The way we tackle this is to have the team meet and discuss their vision, but have one person execute it. This person should be organized, communicates well with everyone, and is comfortable being the voice of the business. Essentially, they will be your quarterback.
If no one steps up to the plate, we help you find a copywriter who can work directly with your team to get all the messaging just right.
2. Stick to the sitemap and use a content planner.
Most websites have a formula that displays the information in a clear and concise way. Sticking to your sitemap will help with the overall organization of the site. If you don’t know where to put content, your audience won’t know how to find it. If you find yourself going sideways you can take a step back and re-evaluate your sitemap and website goals. Next, take your sitemap and break it out into multiple pages. You can do this using content gathering software like Content Snare, or you can just use some google docs. It’s important to keep your team members involved so they can make suggestions if needed.
3. Repurpose the good content and get rid of the bad.
Take a look at your old site and see what worked and what didn’t. Better yet, take a look at your analytics and see what pages were popular and what content captured your viewer’s attention. There’s a lot we can learn from our old website and a redesign is a good time to take the opportunity to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.
4. Look at your competitors
As hard as it is to admit, your competitors might be doing something right. It’s important to take some time to see what’s working within your industry. Important things to note for content is often the messaging but also what medium they are using to push the information (video, photos/infographics). Your job is to find out what resonates best with your clientele and focus on it. I recommend taking having 4 sites that you can refer to throughout your process. Remember it’s safe to look and critique and learn from, but don’t steal anything.
10. Let your designer take the reigns
Your designer knows best when it comes to design. This includes content placement as well as deciding how it should be displayed. Use their experience to your advantage. Trust them and give them some freedom because that’s what you are hiring them for.