A large proportion of our clientele definitely DO need a redesign when they come through our doors. This isn’t because only a few things are keeping their site from converting. It is often because their site was never built to attract, retain, and convert visitors to leads or sales in the first place. Those are the kinds of sites that you want to blow up, so you can start over. Even then, few clients have the types of budgets to do every spectacular thing on the planet when they do redesign. Once a site is launched, you can never stop there, because just redesigning is not all there is.
Give me 2 years and $1,000,000 and I can make a redesign solve all your problems in one fell swoop…
The redesign solves a large number of problems, but without proper analysis and testing of your visitor’s behavior on your new site, you really have no idea if it solved them all. Trust me. It never has solved them all. Solving them all in a single redesign would take 2 years and about a 1 million dollar budget. If you have that kind of budget, step right on over and let us know.
No matter where you are coming from (pre- or post-redesign), a thoughtful approach is necessary for continuous improvement. We all cultivate an atmosphere of continuous improvement in our businesses, right? Why not concerning our websites?
…or you can test, test, test before & after.
You don’t want to have a nasty surprise at the end of a super fancy (and expensive) redesign, when you find out that 20 years of loyal customers have become lost on your new site and are just bouncing off like flies on bug repellant. It doesn’t matter how pretty your new site is. It only matters if the site is usable. Even computer scientists are surprised by what they see in analytical data, no matter how long they have been at it. Experts can certainly get closer than business owners, or recently graduated website designers. But the difference is that scientists know to test, test, test, and your cheap designer down the road only knows how to make something look pretty.
How to Get Started
As the business owner you probably understand your customers in a longitudinal and industry-wise basis. That’s where you have one over on your designer. So, the first step is to create a list of hypotheses as a starting point for experiment.
Secondly, a designer of usable sites should also be able to throw in their two cents, because after all, if they are worth a plugged nickel, they should have looked at a lot of analytics from their website builds and have a couple of theories on what often works.
Lastly, everyone should be prepared for surprises.
How to Test and Tweak
Watch Brian Massey, the Conversion Scientist, in his webinar below to get an even clearer picture of where you can start on your redesign project.
Action Item: Do some of your own research then come up with some small changes you can make and measure the effects of.
NOTE: a good test always isolates a single variable as much as possible so that you know which change made all the difference.
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