Whether you call it the first impression of your brand or consider it to be an indispensable asset of your branding elements, your website is the most critical element of your digital strategy. Let’s look at what the data tells us:
Clearly, every business, regardless of its size and scope, should think about redesigning their website from time-to-time to help keep it fresh in the visitor’s mind and offer a unique perspective, every time they log onto the website.
As obvious as this suggestion might seem, not a lot of companies deep-dive into rethinking their website strategies, especially if they’re redesigning the website from scratch. After all, there’s little hope of deriving value from your website if your goals and objectives aren’t clearly stated. To get started, get thinking about the following questions.
What’s the end-goal of the website redesign?
– Is it to boost sales?
– Do you need to improve your search engine rankings?
– Do you need to enhance customer support?
– Or perhaps, do you need to get more leads?
Whatever be your end-goals, you can prioritize your website goals and engage in the redesigning process, strategically.
Tying back to the previous point, your website design should clearly address what’s in it for the visitors. To that end, here are some important questions you could brainstorm on:
The idea is to get into your customer’s heads and answer their pain-points and queries, simply and impactfully. One extremely useful way of doing this is by creating an in-depth constantly updated knowledge base such as a FAQ section (as shown below):
YouTube’s FAQ section empowers the user by providing all the answers they need in the form of commonly asked “help” topics and offers a minimalist and simple-to-use interface.
Once you’ve zeroed in on your website strategy, it’s time to get into the research mode and get insights into what’s working for your competitors. You could pick up on different elements from varying websites. For instance, some websites might have intuitive navigation, whereas others might look appealing, the idea is to pick up interesting elements and get inspired by what you see and of course, evaluate whether or not it fits your website redesign strategy.
Truth be told, any creative endeavor requires a collaborative and constructive approach from different pairs of eyes and ‘perspectives.’ From the employer and the employee to the customer and the developer, everyone will look at the website with a different mindset and can contribute their observations to the overall user experience.
Your website could sport the most beautiful design in the world, but if it’s not easy-to-use or if it takes too long to load, all those visual aesthetics won’t translate to business growth or new leads. This is where Airbnb’s website takes the cake. Not only is it visually appealing, but it also amazingly manages to forge a trustworthy connection between two absolute strangers:
Additionally, notice how the brand uses conversational and informal copy to reel the readers in and begin their journey of booking a stay:
Where the website plays a masterstroke is by only adding three required fields: selecting a destination where a visitor wishes to go, the stay duration, and finally, the number of guests. The website doesn’t add unnecessary filters until the next step. This makes the entire browsing experience streamlined, user-friendly, and easily comprehensible:
So, keeping a healthy and intuitive balance of the right features is paramount. If you integrate too many CTAs, features, images, the like; your website visitors will end up feeling lost and overwhelmed on the website, never to return again.
Did you know that using continuous scrolling on your website can reduce its bounce rate by 15%.
Let’s face it. People like to communicate with people, not inanimate brands – which is why it becomes even more important to highlight your brand’s real story:
– Who your team members are and what are their motivations?
– What does your brand’s growth story look like?
– What your organization’s culture encapsulates?
And so on.
The more you humanize your brand and demonstrate it on your website, the better it will connect with your customers. Take Zappos‘ website’s example, which has a dedicated “What we live by” section:
Another obvious but equally important strategy is considering the budgetary elements and costs involved in redesigning your website. Using a templatized design might work within your budget, but it won’t give you the right results. On the other hand, going overboard with your budget with respect to graphic designing might not seem to make financial sense. This is why you’ll need to plan ahead and make a budget that includes critical elements such as:
The more detailed your budget plan, the more appropriate your website outcome will be.
At the end of the day, every website should motivate users to take appropriate action–it could signing up, logging in, making a purchase, reading a blog and commenting on it, and so on. This can only happen if you have the right call-to-action buttons in strategically thought-out pages such as the payment page, landing page, FAQs page, product page, etc. In the following example, Evernote’s website has a CTA on the landing page that is distinct and clearly stands out:
One of the most common (and fatal) mistakes that brands end up making is that they tend to hide important CTA touchpoints such as Book Now, contact numbers, price lists, etc. Your end-user should find all this information upfront as easily and seamlessly as possible in order for your website to work.
Another blind spot for most entrepreneurs is forgetting about their existing clients when redesigning the website. If your website is going to go into maintenance and might be down for a couple of days, it pays heaps to keep your existing customers in the loop. No one wants to see an error or a 401 redirect, especially if they’re actively using your products/services and are regularly accessing your website.
Finally, when redesigning your website, think about how you can offer 24×7 customer support. This is where live chat software truly shines. It can help your brand to reach out to prospective as well as existing customers while they’re on the site and answer any questions they may have. Plus, the live chat software can capture contact details (think: email ID, phone number, etc.) of important leads – even outside of business hours and allow the team to follow up with them the following day. This ensures that no customer goes unheard.
“A staggering 88% of online consumers will choose not to return to a website after a poor experience.”
When it comes to websites, every visitor tends to ‘judge the book by its cover.’ Hence, it is important that you keep updating and redesigning your website so that your users want to keep coming back for more. To wrap up, keep the following pointers in mind to deliver a high-performing website:
One final hack: Ensure that your website is mobile-responsive and adheres to the strategies and hacks mentioned above. Are you pumped yet?