Conversion is the ultimate goal of any website looking to sell a product or service. As a website and business, you want customers to navigate to your site, and doing so learn about what you are offering and convert them to a sale. The design of your website is one of the best ways to achieve this.
You can have quality information on your site, but if the presentation is not user friendly, does not get in front of a potential customer, they may never find it and not become a sale. A website redesign can help get you there. Let us take a look at some best practices to take a website redesign and approach it to improve conversion.
The answer to all of your problems in terms of web presence is not always a massive redesign of your website. The best web design companies will tell you it is always better to evolve incrementally as a website, rather than starting from scratch multiple times over.
You need to be careful before you move forward with a major redesign of your site. Going ahead with an overhaul can lead to lower conversion, rather than higher rates. Redesigns of web sites, when not done carefully, can be a black hole that takes far lengthier time than you expect.
You need to start by taking a look at what is working on your site and what is not. There are a variety of areas of your site that likely lead to positive conversion. Seek out data that helps to raise visibility. When you get this data, look at what works and where users are getting lost on the site, leaving your content.
An approach that proves to be successful for many sites is the optimization of the current website space. Users on your site are familiar with how things work, where information lives. The more you do a major overhaul, the bigger the learning curve will be for new users. This can lead to them leaving the space due to an unfamiliarity with where content is.
Once you have the data in knowing what works and what does not with your current set-up, look for opportunities to plug the gaps. Where conversion is failing, pay attention to those areas to improve the layout on your site over time. Doing continuous website redesign, incremental improvements can help you measure the success of those changes and also keep users comfortable with your web presence.
It all comes down to data to help you with your redesign to improve conversion rates. The more data you have, the better you will be able to take that data and put it to use in a redesign in the future.
One of the best starting points is with an analysis of each page of your site. Take it page by page and do the analysis to look at how clear the page is, what the value of the page provides. Are there any distractions on the page that take users away from what should be the key page’s focus? You need to do this as a company but also pull in a focus group or independent folks to give an option as well.
You can also garner a lot of research in the qualitative space in the form of customer surveys. As you are thinking about a website redesign, put some surveys up on your site and see what you get. Take a peek at chat transcripts between customers and your live support representatives. Interviews with customers, discussions with sales folks can all help to uncover gaps.
The key to any positive website redesign is to do prototyping along the way. You never want to come up with an idea on a whim and start the redesign process. What if that idea was not necessarily the best? Did you test it with any potential customers before the development got going?
Work with prototyping to come up with a few different versions of what your revisions could look like on the website. Once you do this, go with user testing to see how folks react to it. Recruit individuals that would be ideal customers. Let them play with each of the prototypes and talk you through what they are doing and why. It is amazing to see how someone reacts to a site versus how you think they would react. When you are the one doing the redesigning, you already have a feeling of comfort since it is your creation. You need to see how users respond to the unknown.
With the prototyping, go beyond talking to users. See where their mouse goes from screen to screen. Recording these interactions through your testing can see where individuals naturally go on the site and then allow you to iterate on that prototype to improve it.
You could manage a redesign effort of your site beautifully, but the job is not done on the release date. Chances are the initial adoption of the redesign will be slow. Individuals need to be more familiar with what you have on the site and the learning curve will exist, no matter how much research and planning are done.
Once you get beyond the first few weeks or months, though, you should start to see the positive results of your efforts. As you see this, you never want to stop the optimization. Continue to take a look at the redesign and assess what works and what still needs further refinement. As you do this, you will continue to do miniature redesigns along the way, changing things piece by piece to further optimize, get the results you seek.
A website redesign is a slow process that requires you to be methodical, to plan, due, check, and act along the way. Plan out your redesign with a basis on data and information from customers. Start the work on the redesign, but try to keep it far from radical. As you do this, see what works and what does not work upon deployment. Your job managing a redesign is never done. Once the release happens, continue to look at data and further optimize each step of the way. In the end, you should have a website that is prime for your target market and leading to a higher conversion rate over time.
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