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The Website Redesign: Getting Better Results the Second Time Around (Part 1)

This is the first of three articles that will cover nearly every aspect of how to prepare for and redesign your website from a business perspective. The second and third installments are also available.

Achieve Better Results

A redesigned website will help your company achieve better results by giving you an opportunity to fine-tune your content, remove features that aren’t producing results, while highlighting the ones that do. This article assumes that you’ve already hired someone to redesign your site. And someone within your firm has been designated to manage the project.

Complete Overhaul vs. Esthetic Changes

In our industry, there are generally two main types of website redesigns. There is the complete overhaul which normally involves producing a brand new site from scratch using content from the current one as a basis for the new design.

Then there’s the type that involves mostly esthetic changes. This kind of redesign often includes new and updated graphics, product pictures and new content to reflect additional product or service offerings. Other types of website redesigns involve a mixture of the two. However, no matter which method you choose, following a simple plan can help your company achieve even better results.

Goals and Objectives

Most business people are already familiar with the exercise of determining goals and objectives. In the case of a website redesign the process is very similar. Except this time you have some key advantages such as statistics about people who've visited your site in the past.

For those of you who need a friendly reminder, some things you may want to consider are:

  1. The products and services you intend to sell or otherwise educate customers about.
  2. Determine your audience: what demographic group are you trying to reach?
  3. Purpose: ultimately, what do you want the website to accomplish?
Determine Your Audience

Deciding what demographic group you are trying to reach will involve a little research. If your firm primarily targets the business-to-business (B2B) market then you need to consider some of the following factors:
  1. Geography: in what region do most of your customers operate?
  2. Industry: what industries or markets does your firm currently supply products and services to (e.g. healthcare, construction, manufacturing or retail, etc.)
  3. Business size: how many individuals does your typical customer employ, and what is
    the average annual sales revenue?
  4. Decision-maker: who decides what and when to purchase your product or service? Is
    it someone in senior management? What is his or her position within the company?
If your company sells products and services to the business-to-consumer (B2C) market then you need to consider the following:

Profile Your Existing Customer Base

There are many other factors to consider when determining audience demographics. As a rule of thumb create a profile of your existing customer base to help determine them. Also consider the website itself; will it need to provide any special services such as information in languages other than English?

What's Next?

The next two installments in this three part series will cover how to capitalize on customer data(Website Redesign Part 2.) Then how to plan, collect and organize your content and put it all together (Website Redesign Part 3

Copyright ©2005, Jeff Nolan & Nolan Interactive, Ltd. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 License.