Quick answer: Include the right people from the start.
Time and time again we’ve worked with companies in Nashville and beyond who are just finishing or have recently relaunched their websites. And this is always exciting until we have to break the news that there are a litany of items about their new website which must be changed to make the site a revenue-generating tool. Strategy, data, and marketing were afterthoughts, at best.
Problem: the right people and perspectives were not included from the beginning of the process.
Please hear me: I’m NOT saying website companies are shortchanging clients! Not at all.
In nearly every case the agencies or solo designers simply didn’t have the experience sets necessary to make the website into a business tool. Their job was to make the site “prettier” or more “user friendly,” or offer new and necessary technology around mobile devices.
Rarely have we seen designs that looked at data to determine crucial aspects of the redesign. Rarely have we met designers who sought to understand the client’s market or what kinds of content should be integrated into their designs. Rarely have we seen developers who understood the importance of their code structure in how it affects search engine optimization.
But even more seldom have we met the business owners who asked, “How do you foresee this redesign improving my business?”
This is why website redesigns require extra eyes and expertise.
And these eyes need to be involved from the very beginning: from discovery questions to strategy to launch. They will challenge the assumptions and ask the questions that are difficult to answer, while also providing a more thorough perspective on “Why” and “How” the redesign should be handled.
Nashville Website Redesign Roles
Here are some of the roles that your next website team needs to have on board to make your site an asset instead of a straight capital expense:
Competitive Analyst: Considers not just your site’s look, but its revenue potential in relation to your competitors.
Data Analyst: Plows through your various website and business data sets to understand what aspects of your current site are actually working well and if that information offers insights for the redesign.
Content Strategist (not a copywriter): Looks at your site’s content assets--including downloads, videos, images, and page copy--to determine what’s valuable and what’s missing, then makes a plan to fill the gaps and repurpose or reuse what’s already available, if possible.
Online Marketer (SEO, PPC): Works with the analysts and content strategists to determine how best to position the content, page hierarchy, and site structure, and guides marketing channel decisions. Generally they work with all of the above people or teams to help glue all the information together, especially where design and customer actions meet.
Truth be told, you will not be able to find one person to fit all of the above roles. But depending on the size of the project, you ought to be able to find a few people who can successfully bridge the gaps to keep your costs lower. Regardless, every website redesign should consider these elements.
Don’t just make a website that looks better.
Build a website that matters, a website that is a necessary tool in the growth of your business.