If you are an online business that has not had a website refresh in a while (anywhere between 18 and 24-months), it’s time to consult your web design agency NOW While you have been using the same tired old site, your competitors have gradually been wooing your customers with shiny, new, refreshed websites.
It’s high time to work with a professional web designer and fight back with a website refresh of your own
Top-down web site design
Like all aspects of your business, it’s important that you take the revival and refreshing of your website seriously right from the start. Often, a website design project begins with gusto, but business leaders and managers get side-tracked, and the project gets derailed. You just can’t afford that when it comes to web designing.
And here’s why:
Today’s websites are your calling card. If you don’t give proper attention to how they’re designed, your clients and visitors won’t be thrilled with the results
Managing a website refresh is like producing a batch of chocolate. If you don’t provide inputs to your web site designer right from the beginning, the entire end product will have to be rejected. Give your web designing team all the time they need if you wish to succeed
Just as new business concepts often (though not always) flow from the top, so too great web site refresh ideas can come from you – the business owner or leader. To give your web designer the leads they need, its important that you provide the vision and inspiration at every stage
As business managers and leaders, it’s your job to select the right web designing agency to work on your web site refresh project. However, it’s equally important for you to lay out the vision for the refresh, so that your web designer can work towards building that vision.
Principled web site design refreshes
To help you define your web site refresh vision, we’ve put together a set of four guiding principles that you must follow. Once you’ve made your web design team aware of these principles, it will be much easier for you to manage the refresh initiative.
- Messaging: No one knows your business better than you, and that’s why you need to take charge of the messaging aspect of your refresh. Make sure your web design service develops a message that’s squarely aimed at your audience, speaks in their language, and makes them hear what they want to hear:
- Keep it simple and authentic
- Go easy on buzz-words and clichés
- Pair your backgrounds, images and content to match your message
- Be consistent with messaging across the site
- Content: One of the reasons (there may be others too) that you embark on a website redesign is because of stale content on your existing website. When you engage web design services for your refresh project, ensure they use your messaging guidelines to create content that revolves around it.
Get your website designing agency to use the following 3E-principle of content creation to guide their content producing efforts:
- Engage your audience with articles, blogs and news items
- Entertain them with videos, graphics and images
- Educate them on what your website is all about, and what you can do for them
- Ease of use: It goes without saying that a website that’s hard to use won’t attract traffic. However, before you start the project, make sure your website designer understands that basic principle. It might even be worth your while viewing competitor sites to demonstrate some of the ease-of-use functionality you are looking for:
- Minimize the number of clicks a user has to perform to get to any specific content
- Ensure the site is equally accessible across multiple devices
- Be mindful of the types of images and graphics your web designer chooses – especially if most of your visitors use mobile devices. Graphics-heavy sites can be a drag on smartphones and tablets
- Call to action: Most website designing projects fail because they don’t provide visitors a powerful call to action. You may have a compelling message, great content and exceptional ease of use, but it’s the last mile that really matters. Work with your website refresh team to make your call to action as powerful and compelling as possible
- Appeal to your visitor’s sense of reason, not fear, when calling them to action
- Make sure your web site designer is specific about what action to take. Vague or generic calls are rarely acted upon
- Encourage your web design team to place calls to action strategically across the site – not just at the “Contact Us” page
Pulling it off
Website refresh projects are extremely important initiatives and, if handled incorrectly, could have a lasting impact on the business. One way of pulling it off flawlessly is by choosing the right web designing agency to partner with you. But your responsibility doesn’t end there
It’s important for business owners and senior managers to work closely with the refresh team to guide them through every step of the project. Make sure your web designer has a clear picture of your vision, and ensure that he/she uses the four guiding principles discussed above to deliver a high-quality and impactful website.