It’s a common misconception that redesigning your business’s website is a finite project with a beginning, middle, and end.
If you use your website for lead generation or e-commerce, a web redesign project never ends.
Instead of a beginning, middle, and end, a website redesign project usually goes more like this: your team identifies what is and isn’t effective on the current site, gets a giant budget, works through various iterations and combinations of solutions, realizes that their initial assumptions were wrong, then tries a new set of solutions, gets stuck at unexpected roadblocks, and eventually launches an overdue, under-performing website.
Most companies repeat the process every two or three years: choosing fonts and color schemes, redrafting content, re-organizing content into new pages.
During this haphazard and politically sensitive process, it’s easy to lose focus on the redesign’s original intention: generating better conversions or more customers.
Sound exhausting and unproductive? That’s because it is. Many companies that take on a web redesign project find their new website in limbo for months, sometimes even longer, all because they think their website is a linear project without thinking about the risks and rewards associated with each redesign decision. Businesses that treat web redesign like a one-time or once-in-awhile agenda item are more likely to experience the kinds of problems we’ve outlined.
Luckily, a messy and costly website redesign is completely avoidable—but first, you need to reframe your understanding of a website redesign project first.
How to Reframe Website Redesign Projects
Instead of a one-time project, a web design should be an iterative and on-going process. At Macon Raine, we call our process Agile Website Redesign.
A site with high conversion rates and user engagement doesn’t happen overnight. That is why massive, flashy design changes in a traditional design process often come with massive cuts in conversion rates precisely because these changes were not rigorously and iteratively tested for effectiveness. That’s not to say that the Agile Website Redesign method is unable to handle big changes. In fact, it’s the exact opposite: Agile Website Redesign is better equipped to test big changes in site redesign so businesses can rest assured that the risk is worth the reward.
Though adaptable, Macon Raine’s Agile Website Redesign process mostly deals in incremental, granular changes in site design. Any other approach is wont to bulldoze over the hard work that previous redesigns have already put in. The last redesign might not have been tested as rigorously, but it’s still fruitful to gauge what features are on the right path.
Agile Website Redesign allows businesses to separate what their website does successfully, what needs a little tweaking, and what needs to be completely overhauled. Because of the deliberate nature of Agile Website Redesign, the work for your business’s site redesign is smarter, not harder.
Do Agile Website Redesign – Work Smarter, Not Harder
Traditional redesign projects tend to lurch towards their due date. They stop and go, with results delivered at a similar pace. Agile Website Redesign is a smoother process. Continuous conceptualizing and testing means that results are also achieved continuously. Each deliberate change to a site’s design reaps new benefits, keeping your site performing as it morphs into a new user experience.
Agile Website Redesign owes its acuity and responsiveness to it’s testing methods. Instead of relying on “gut feeling” or past successes, Agile Website Redesign is committed to A/B split testing to ensure that each decision is the right one before it is officially launched.
Comparative data on user interactions is key to building a healthy, conversion-driving website, and everything should be split tested: overarching design styles, landing pages and content, lead generation, third-party integration, copywriting, CTAs, etc. Strategically split testing each of a website’s facets is certainly an undertaking, but it is quantifiably more effective than blindly embarking on a redesign with no supporting data on how each change will perform.
TOOLS WE LOVE
- ZEST: Zest bills itself as a high fidelity marketing content stream that is cultivated and curated by a tribe of informed marketers. Zest makes sure you’re only receiving high-quality marketing content and kills the information overload that’s wasting your time.
- GROWTHHACKERS: GrowthHackers started as a discussion forum for conversion optimization and evolved into a community and software for managing conversion rate optimization projects.
- UBERSUGGEST (Neil Patel): Ubersuggest is an amazing tool from Neil Patel. Use Ubersuggest to find more keyword ideas – from head terms to long-tail phrases you’ll get hundreds of suggestions from our free keyword tool. You’ll also see the volume, competition, and seasonal trends for each keyword.
- SEMRUSH: SEMrush is used by marketers as a search engine optimization tool. It helps with keyword research, competitor analysis, SEO audits, identification of back-link opportunities, social media monitoring, and so much more.
- CRAZYEGG: Use Crazy Egg’s visual reports and session recordings to understand your website visitors. Learn where they’re coming from, where they navigate to, and where they’re getting stuck. Inform yourself with visual data so you can make design changes with confidence.
- INSPECTLET: Google Analytics can tell you what your visitors want, Inspectlet can tell you why. Watch visitors use your site as if you’re looking over their shoulder. Inspectlet records videos of your visitors allowing you to see everything they do. See every mouse movement, scroll, click, and keypress on your site.
- UNBOUNCE: Unbounce is a simple way to build and test custom mobile responsive landing pages, website popups and sticky bars. You can improve your post-click conversion rates easily without the need for web developers.
- OPTIMIZELY: Optimizely allows you to optimize your digital experiences across all devices for every customer at every touchpoint. You can replace digital guesswork and opinions with evidence-based optimization that helps you drive conversions.
- There are two versions of Google Optimize. Optimize is a free product that allows you to get started with experimentation. Optimize 360 is a premium split testing, multivariate testing and personalization tool for the enterprise that is part of the Google Analytics 360 Suite.
- The free version of Google Optimize gives you the ability to ramp the percentage of visitors seeing the new website so you can scale as you gain confidence. You can start with, say, 10% of your total visitors on the new pages then throttle up each day as bugs or issues are resolved. We recommend you use this approach for two reasons:
- Check that the site actually works as designed and
- Protect critical metrics (such as sales conversion).
- GOOGLE ANALYTICS: Google Analytics gives you the analytics tools you need to analyze data from all touchpoints in one place, for a deep understanding of your customer’s experience.
- BRIGHTEDGE: BrightEdge‘s SEO platform is powered by a sophisticated AI and machine learning engine. It crawls the web and collects first-party data. It is the only company capable of web-wide, real-time measurement of digital content engagement across all digital channels, including search, social, and mobile.
WHAT DOES CONTENT MARKETING COST?
How much does content marketing cost? Well…the short answer is…it depends. A small to mid-sized company that outsources content marketing, a good ballpark is anywhere from $4000 to $30,000+/month. For the long answer, we explore content marketing costs in a recent post.