Redesigning a website is a huge undertaking. It’s no surprise you’re thinking of outsourcing the work to a marketing agency, especially if you have limited resources in house.
While most marketing agencies will have the bandwidth to take on the project, not all are created equally in terms of skill, strategy, and even project management. You need more than just a great designer and a web developer. You need a comprehensive redesign strategy that will ensure your new website makes a real impact on your marketing and overall business results. Choosing the right agency with the right skills will make all the difference.
The wrong agency, on the other hand, might make common (yet detrimental) mistakes that will undermine your website redesign project.
Mistake #1: Not Defining the Scope or Having an Unrealistic Timeline
When it comes to a large project like a website design, planning matters—a lot. After all, you don’t want to end up paying far more than the estimate or having your launch date pushed back by weeks or months due to bad planning.
This is a common mistake that can be easily prevented by partnering with a full-service marketing agency that will provide you with a dedicated project manager who will manage the website redesign project from start to finish. This includes scoping out the entire project and then breaking it down into phases with deadlines, so you can trust that you’re getting a realistic price and timeline (and no surprises).
Mistake #2: Not Evaluating Your Existing Website for Strengths and Weaknesses
You might think your existing website really sucks. If you’re redesigning it, that’s to be expected! You might be really excited to get a brand-spanking-new website.
But that doesn’t mean that EVERYTHING on your existing website isn’t working.
Maybe you’re actually killing it with your blog traffic, or certain web pages are getting awesome conversion rates. You don’t want to get rid of pages that are helping you rank high on search engines, for example. You don’t want to lose out on the stuff that works.
Plus, if you’ve already tried some design elements, and your analytics are showing that they definitely don’t work, you want to know that, too, so you don’t repeat the same mistakes.
That’s why a marketing agency should take the time to create a comprehensive audit of your website to identify its strengths and weaknesses before getting started. This will ensure you keep doing what works and ditch what doesn’t (data-based decisions FTW).
Mistake #3: Not Having a Content Strategy
Contrary to popular belief, a website redesign shouldn’t be totally focused on design (really). The content matters too, which is why you need a content strategy before you even start the redesign process.
A content strategy will help you:
- Determine the goals of your new website (do you want to increase traffic from a certain audience group, boost the number of consultations you get, or sell products directly, for example?) Many agencies dive in without even taking the time to understand your goals and objectives for the new site. The right agency, on the other hand, will look at your goals and target audiences to design a site that meets your goals (e.g. create a site that will generate more leads or make it easier to serve customers and reduce support time).
- Determine which web pages you need to achieve your goals (e.g., do you need service pages, a blog, an ecommerce site?)
- Determine the calls to action that will help you achieve your goals (e.g., book a consultation, buy now, etc.)
- Determine the content you need to move visitors down the purchasing funnel (e.g., product pages, whitepapers, pricing sheets, FAQs, etc.)
- Solidify your new website’s messaging and ensure it fits into the design
- Identify your key audiences (Who should your website talk to?)
- Identify the tone and voice of your website content
- Implement the right keywords to improve your search rankings
Mistake #4: Choosing Aesthetics over Functionality
Any web designer will tell you aesthetics matter. There’s no debating that. You only have a few seconds to make an impression on new users, so your site should look good and make a great first impression. But aesthetics will actually mean nothing if you don’t balance it with functionality. It doesn’t matter how great your website looks if users find it frustrating to navigate. If they can’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll leave, no matter how great it is to look at.
Another important note when it comes to functionality: Digital accessibility matters. Many websites that look good are not built for users with disabilities. In the age of diversity and inclusion, it’s important to factor in those who are differently abled into your strategy. We’ve seen several creative and digital marketing agencies who don’t meet the minimum threshold of WC3 Level A conformance. You probably want your brand to stand for accessibility, right?
Mistake #5: Not Designing for Mobile, Too
Depending on the industry you’re in, you might actually get the majority of your website traffic from mobile. This is probably true for you if you’re in a B2C business and connecting directly to consumers.
Even if you’re selling to other businesses in B2B, it would be detrimental to ignore mobile. After all, more and more people are using their phones to access information quickly and on the go (even businesspeople). The right agency will make sure to include mobile optimization in their website redesign strategy, so you can reach and impress your audience, regardless of the device they’re using.
GreenLit Marketing is a full-service marketing agency that puts strategy first when it comes to website redesigns. From a comprehensive project scope to a thorough website audit and SEO strategy, we redesign websites with purpose. Book a consultation to learn more.