A website redesign project plan can be overwhelming.
A website redesign project plan is the difference between a successful launch and a wrong one. So be careful. Be careful not to lose traffic from all your past hard work.
How lost web traffic, lost keywords, and lost web leads. This can cripple a company and I’ve seen it more than once.
Planning A Website Redesign in 2020? When your existing website is ready for a redesign, do you have a plan?
A website redesign project plan done right can boost your website traffic and increase lead conversions if done right. You can follow the steps to help you create a great website redesign project plan [TEMPLATE INCLUDED].51% of B2B marketers prioritize creating visual assets as part of their content marketing strategy. Click To Tweet
You’ve probably heard of the digital success of Edible Arrangements – the company that delivers high-quality fruits and chocolates in the shape of floral bouquets. However, their success didn’t happen overnight, and it wasn’t by accident.
Let’s start with a review.
What is a website redesign?
A website redesign is typically triggered by rebranding, poor web traffic, or poor conversions. The website is not, which allows you to enhance the functionality of a website. A complete website redesign project is a complete overhaul, which may involve the migration to a new CMS, incorporation of new modules and extensions, and UI redesign.
What is a website redesign project plan?
Eight Easy Steps to Managing Your Website Development
- Define Goals and Objectives.
- Stakeholder Analysis.
- Define Deliverables.
- Website Redesign Project Planning.
- Communication Planning.
- Project Tracking.
- Change Management.
- Risk Management.
Let’s see what Matrix Marketing Group has been up to with the website redesign and SEO. Notice the keyword and then the longtail keyword.
Are you using Google Search Console and Google Collerate to improve your user experience and search performance? Why not?
Matrix Marketing Group’s website is updated weekly. Google made over 3,000 updates in the past year. You don’t think that’s impacting your rankings, for better or worse?
How much web traffic are you getting? What is your conversion ratio?
Let review a few examples I’ve been working on over the years. Most likely you are here because you typed in a search term into Google and review our Meta description and clicked on our link.
Here where we rank out of 22,500,000 results. The first page of Google. Be sure that you have your list of head and long-tail keywords to wrap words around them in content. DO you have a content marketing plan? Are you using schema markup?
Schema markup is microdata that you can use to help search engines parse and understand your website’s information more effectively. You can see an example of this in the third highlighted box in the image below.
It required careful planning and strategic testing of website elements. Would you be surprised if I told you a simple positioning change in their sales
When you think about small changes – like call-to-action placement – producing drastic results, you start to get the picture that optimizing your website is an important process.
You can’t go into a website redesign with a run and gun attitude. Documenting processes may seem tedious and time-consuming, but it’s the only way you’ll find the same success that Edible Arrangements did.
Are you planning a website redesign?
We have included a website strategy template to help you jump start your website redesign project.
If you are still with me from part one: website redesign strategy, then you know I’ve already done my convincing that creating a strategy for your redesign means much more than following the latest design trends.
If you haven’t taken a look at part one yet, I’d highly suggest backtracking for a quick read.
Making your site looks pretty is only a small fraction of the battle. Elements like URL architecture, SEO practices, user experience, messaging, and buying process all need to come together to create a relatable encounter for many different visitors. One does not simply treat it as a weekend project to fill their spare time.Would you be surprised if I told you a simple positioning change in their sales offers resulted in an 8% increase in sales… in a single day? Learn how. Click To Tweet
Lord of the Rings jokes aside, dealing with all these puzzle pieces can get tricky. That doesn’t mean your marketing and web teams need to break down in tears when they see the project coming down the tracks. The tried and true process we use has helped dozens of businesses build their new site and get results.
We break the process down into these seven categories:
- Strategy and Brand Building
- A Website Redesign Project Plan (You’re Here)
- Design and Mockups
- The Buildout
- Optimize Content
- Launch First Iteration
- Analyze Results
If you need help documenting the upcoming steps you can download our free templates and follow along. Let’s jump into how to start the second step of your site revamp. Want the
Website Redesign Project Plan
When designing your project plan, it’s a wise decision
Preferably these questions will be answered from different sources throughout your company as each department has a unique viewpoint of what’s valuable to your customers.
Before you dig into your plan start with creating a demand waterfall to determine what traffic you need to meet your marketing leads goals. It’s not too hard and here is what it looks like.
What do you like and dislike about your website design?
Dig around and see what’s broken. For example, you might be generating loads of traffic, but are lacking in conversions. Or you don’t have enough web traffic to generate enough leads.
The average conversion rate varies from industry to industry, but most likely you can count on between 1 – 5% of all visitors taking some action on your site.
If you aren’t up to par with your industry’s average, then you should document the need for a change.
Is there something missing from your current website?
It can be a unique selling point derived from your messaging and positioning exercise, or it can be a new site architecture that mimics the buying behavior of your target audience.
Review your newly set goals. Where do you currently stand?
Ask a handful of people involved in the project and see if they think your current goals are obtainable. If they say no, it’s important to understand why they feel that way. The same goes for the other side of the coin, are your goals too easily achieved? Are they even the right goals to be tracking?
What impression are you trying to give visitors?
Is its trustworthiness? Did industry think leadership? Authenticity? Visitors’ first impressions will affect their entire buying process, so it’s on your shoulders to make their perception a reality.
What are the main points you want to convey to your audience when they first hit your new website?
Don’t let your communication convey “me me me.” Review your messaging to make sure it is relatable, targets the concerns of your audience, and moves buyers to an endpoint.
Does it need to be a complete website revamp or can little pieces be changed?
Maybe you need to target the content of your pages, or the content works fine, and your design is outdated. Pinpointing what needs a performance increase and what doesn’t can go a long way. Take the time to review what needs to be changed at the start of your redesign to save time later.
Fast and Painless – Website Redesign
The Result? A beautiful, fast, SEO tuned and mobile friendly website.
Are you changing the domain name?
Finding the right domain name is hard. When you first purchased your domain, the perfect name might have already been taken, and you couldn’t afford to buy it. Now’s the chance to see if a better option has expired or is more affordable.The average human attention span has declined from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to 8 seconds now. This is much shorter than the attention span of a goldfish (at 9 seconds). Click To Tweet
What CMS should you use for your website redesign project plan?
There are hundreds of options on the market, each striving to fit the specific needs of different industries and objectives. This is a significant piece to the puzzle, so I’ll expand on it later in this post.
What’s your project timeline?
Define the date and stick to it. Address major milestones and identify possible roadblocks that have the potential to keep you from achieving them on time.
What’s the website budget for your web redesign?
There are plenty of nooks and crannies where your spending can start adding up: stock images, custom modules, plugins, tech, and the list goes on. These marketing budget templates are a helpful place to start tracking expenses, so you’re not surprised with ballooning costs at the end of your redesign.
Is all the work going to be done in-house or will you need to hire an agency?
There are benefits to both scenarios. An in-house team will come out swinging, as they are the most comfortable with your brand. On the other hand, a strategic partner may not be as familiar with your brand.
But may have more technical skills since they practice these activities on a daily basis and understand the process. Outsourcing marketing initiatives before and after the project are complete can help improve the final results.Value-based exit intent pop-ups increase conversions, even if you think users hate them. Click To Tweet
Deciding on a CMS Platform
Realistically you won’t be checking out all the technology options to host your website; there’s far too many to make it a reasonable task. You can go with a giant on the market like WordPress who tries to match the priorities of many markets, or you can pick a contender that fits niche specifications.
I’d suggest lining up three to five options that could potentially fit your requirements and start analyzing. G2 Crowd does an excellent job with side-by-side comparisons of the most significant competitors.
They compile top-ranking features based on both industry reviews and user feedback. You can choose and add up to four software options to each comparison table.
Take a look at whether the platform has an exceptional reputation with its users. If people have had a negative experience, dive into the ‘why?’ and see if the invalidating aspects they were experiencing apply to your scenario.
Another point to keep an eye out for is hosting speed and uptime. With Google placing a growing emphasis on site speed as a gauge for search engine ranking, it’s crucial for site owners to take note.
Any load time over two seconds will negatively affect user experience and technical SEO guidelines.
Speaking of SEO and Your Website Redesign Project P
Are the content management platforms you’re viewing SEO friendly? HubSpot’s COS has a built-in SEO grader, and Yoast is an adequate WordPress plugin that accomplishes the same goal.
However, there are many platforms out there that don’t have a community focused on constantly changing SEO best practices.
Here’s what Matrix Marketing Group has achieved with a focused content marketing approach.
If you meticulously follow these steps to redesign a website without focusing on SEO, one of the most significant marketing channels to drive visitors to your site, your results will likely be disappointing. Your new site needs eyeballs looking at it to pay off, so make sure you optimize along the way.
Cataloging Content Inventory for Your Web Redesign
Benchmark. Benchmark. Benchmark. So far in this stage, everything has been based on getting your house in order around the objectives you formulated in step one. That trend will remain the same as you start a full-blown content audit and catalog.
Many website hosts have an export option that allows you to pull down each of your web pages into an excel or CSV file. If your current system doesn’t, ScreamingFrog has a free version of its page crawler tool that will get the job done just fine.
That spreadsheet is the baseline of your content catalog. You’ll have to dig into Google Analytics to fill in the rest.
Start by identifying which pieces of content are your most popular resources and highest converting landing pages.
Then, a list of which pages get the most traffic and which keywords they are ranking for within the top ten positions of the search engine results page (SERP).
Make notes of broken links, redirect chains, broken image files, duplicate content, and lack of SEO elements. Don’t let a mistake made on your original site follow through onto your new one.
URL and Site Architecture
What was once an afterthought is now one of the most critical factors of a high performing website.
You can’t throw together page links like you’re creating Frankenstein. Users will notice, and they won’t convert into leads. Crawl bots will notice and search engines won’t rank your site.
No traffic and no sales. That’s a dead end.
Search engines have forced websites to adapt or fall through the cracks. A functional site focuses on topical authority throughout their content, not just individual keywords.
Topical authority means merely creating consumable material that supports a central topic. It pinpoints you as a resource for visitors searching for answers.
Do You Know Your Score?
Your marketing ROI is critical. For you and your company
Measurement matters now more than ever. Use this marketing scorecard toolkit to bring structure and meaning to your numbers.
To start, create a map of your current site layout on a whiteboard or with sticky notes. Is the traffic flow following the path you want your prospects to head toward? Are you creating content around relevant topics that your clients want answers for?
If the answer to either one of those questions is no, then you need a new architecture.
Rework the site to follow a pillar-page model. An example of this is creating high-level web pages of your products or services and linking to similar pages that have more in-depth knowledge on the same subject. You’ll start providing answers to viewers before they even ask them, and crawl bots will identify you as a valuable resource.
Read this article for more on reorganizing website architecture to follow a topic cluster model.
Planning URL Changes
Your site is changing which inevitably means some of your URLs will too. When you pull down your sitemap add an extra column to note which URLs need to be updated.
URLs have their own set of best practices and can greatly impact the click-through to your site. Keep in mind practices like:
Whether you are merging pages, altering the site structure, or updating for SEO purposes, remember these essential factors.
Any pages that are being thrown away need to have a 301 redirect applied to the updated version or users will get the dreaded 404 pages not found an error. Talk about a quick way to lose viewers.
Hosting and Security with Website Project
Paying for the right to rent a domain name and hosting it on a server are two very different things that people often get mixed up. Find out if the CMS platform you chose also provides hosting services.
Don’t skimp on a hosting plan as it can negatively affect your speed rates. If they don’t offer hosting services, there are plenty of options on the market.
Digging further into hosting issues, Google Chrome recently announced that any web page that has a form and doesn’t have an SSL certificate will be marked as insecure. That means if your domain looks like this http:// and not https:// your viewers will get this error:
Yikes. That doesn’t build your trustworthiness.
SSL certificates give your website extra protection and are undeniably a requirement with Google’s stance on security. Typically your hosting platform will offer SSL options.
Determine Where Content Will Take You with Your Website Redesign Project Plan
Content: the backbone of organic search traffic. Poor content can kill your efforts, and great content can bring in more leads than you know what to do with. With that in mind, you shouldn’t necessarily convert all of your current content over to your refinished site.
If an article or resource is severely outdated and can’t be salvaged, then don’t try to save it. Make a list and discard any items that are dragging you down.
Of course, there will be some pieces that just need a tuneup, so keep them on a separate list and label what needs to change.
Don’t forget that with your stylistic changes, call-to-actions and visual banners will need to be changed as well. As you begin the design process, keep in mind which content assets you have and how they will be displayed throughout the new site.
As a recap you should track and outline:
Wrap Up about Website Redesign Project Plan
The website redesign project plan feels like a lot of tedious work, right? That’s okay – it’ll all be worth it in the end.
Your project plan will help you benchmark your current standing against your SMART goals to determine the tactical requirements of the project. It is the intersection of strategy and execution.
Fast and Painless – Website Redesign
The Result? A beautiful, fast, SEO tuned and mobile friendly website.
Don’t let the dryness of it get to you. If you’ve planned correctly, you’ll hit all the milestones and come out of your website redesign project plan looking like a champion.
Because of the many steps included in this preparation stage, our free workbook and templates are just the resource you need to save time organizing your efforts. Click the link or image below to get your copy.
Next week I’ll be writing about starting the design process. It’ll include points about wireframes, layout, branding guides, and visual assets. Don’t miss it, subscribe to our email list to stay updated.
We’re listening about the website redesign project plan.
SaaS Marketing Case Study
TrackVia also saw the potential inbound marketing offered to attract visitors, convert leads, and close more deals.
What is a website redesign project plan?
A website redesign project plan can boost your website traffic and increase lead conversions if done right. Follow these steps to help you create a great website redesign project plan for success.
How often should I redesign my website?
It depends. But for most industries, you should do a full redesign of your website every 18 months to three years to stay modern.
What should I budget for a website redesign project?
It depends. There are plenty of nooks and crannies where your spending can start adding up: stock images, custom modules, plug-ins, tech, and the list goes on. These marketing budget templates are a helpful place to start tracking expenses, so you’re not surprised with ballooning costs at the end of your redesign. Website design project range from $5,000 to over $75,000.