10 critical steps for your business website redesign checklist
Considering a website redesign? Check out our comprehensive website redesign checklist.
December 18 · 6 min read
Having a professional website has never been more critical. Today’s customers can research and compare companies in nanoseconds. Your website is the first place they’ll size you up.
Today’s customers expect high-quality web design from businesses. 75% of their judgments about your company’s credibility are based on website design alone! They want to smoothly navigate a beautiful website and find the information they’re looking for with ease. If your current site is falling short, it’s time to consider a redesign.
Do you need a website redesign?
Here are a few indicators that a website redesign is in your business’ best interest.
Your website is outlandishly outdated
- You’d be surprised how many credible businesses still have outdated websites. You know the ones. They have spammy visuals, cluttered design, and reduced functionality. An outdated website hurts your business reputation by making it look out of touch and less credible.
Your business goals have changed notably
- Your website should be strategically designed to advance your business goals. If these goals change, so should your web design. Whether you’re rebranding or targeting a new market, your website should evolve in response.
Your website has mediocre functionality
- If your site has technical issues, it’s putting off your visitors. Online consumers have a very low tolerance for slow page speeds, confusing navigation, or frustrating glitches. A website redesign gives you a chance to address these issues once and for all.
10 steps for your website redesign checklist
Once you’ve determined that a redesign is necessary, you may be wondering how to go about such an undertaking. Don’t worry, we’re here to break it down for you.
1. Establish specific goals for your website redesign.
The first step is to get clear on your purpose for this redesign project. What do you want to achieve? Whether your goal is to increase conversions, or improve your brand reputation, get specific. Allow these goals to guide all your future design decisions.
2. Make use of current website data.
Before you jump into the redesign, analyze data from your current site. If you have Google Analytics or heat-mapping data, use it. If not, send out a brief questionnaire to your website visitors to get their input. Allow this data to serve as a compass for your design changes.
This step is important because you probably don’t need to overhaul everything about your current site. Some elements might be working just fine. You want to concentrate your efforts on the areas that need the most improvement.
Some notable metrics to analyze:
- Page speed - Your website’s loading time has a significant impact on whether visitors stick around to explore it. Address any pages that have a slow page speed.
- Bounce rate - When a visitor “bounces,” it means they had no interaction with your webpage. It’s safe to assume they didn’t like the webpage or didn’t find what they were looking for. Thus, pages with high bounce rates require special attention.
- **Exit rate **- The exit rate shows how many visitors left your site from a specific page. While some pages will naturally have a higher rate due to their content, others shouldn’t. If you notice an unusually high exit rate, look into it.
- Conversion rate - Anything you can do to increase your conversion rate will be worth the time and effort. Track how this rate fluctuates in response to your design changes.
- Average time on page - Ideally, you want your website to be engaging. Get creative on how you can increase the time a visitor spends exploring a page by adding more dynamic content.
Once you’ve culled through this data, you’re ready to make some strategic design decisions.
3. Be deliberate when choosing your color scheme.
Your website’s color palette sets the tone for your visitors’ experience. Deliberately choose your colors to bolster your brand. To guide your decision, take advantage of color psychology.
Color psychology suggests that these colors carry the following associations:
- Red - urgency, excitement, passion
- Orange - enthusiasm, adventure, creativity
- Yellow - happiness, optimism, youthfulness
- Green - health, wealth, tranquility
- Blue - trust, security, stability, peacefulness
- Purple - royalty, creativity, fantasy
- Pink - sweetness, romance, innocence, femininity
- Grey - simplicity, futuristic, logical
- Black - power, luxury, elegance
Align your color choices with these associations. For example, if you run a law firm, consider using black to communicate your prowess in the industry. On the other hand, if you have a wellness coaching business, green is a more suitable choice.
4. Invest in your visuals.
Once you’ve chosen your color palette, it’s time to add interest with visuals. Choose beautiful, high-quality images. You can either opt for free stock photos or invest in custom photography. Whichever you choose, make sure your images look polished. According to Adobe, 38% of visitors will leave if they deem your website unattractive.
For some examples of websites with gorgeous visuals, check out B12’s website gallery.
5. Craft content that serves your visitors.
A redesign is the perfect opportunity to improve your content. First and foremost, make sure you have a minimum of 300 words per web page.
Next, your content should be well written and concise. Your visitors don’t want to read a novel. They want to get precise information quickly that addresses their questions, concerns, and interests. Bullet points and brief paragraphs are easier on the eye than huge blocks of text.
You’d be surprised how many businesses out there currently have grammatical errors on their website. These types of mistakes lose trust with visitors. If you can’t even proofread your website content, what does that say about your quality of service?
6. Construct your navigation bar for clarity.
Don’t forget to examine your navigation bar. It can make or break whether your customers find what they’re looking for. To create an ideal navigation hierarchy, start by drawing out a sitemap. Make sure all your website information is located logically and is easily accessible.
Some standard menu items include:
- About Us
- Case Studies
- Contact Us
Make sure you stick to 7 menu items or less. You don’t want your navigation bar to be too long since this can cause issues on smaller screens.
7. Simplify your forms.
You’d be surprised how many beautiful websites underperform on lead generation. That’s why you need to focus on your forms. Your goal should be to make them as easy as possible for your visitors to fill out.
Start by simplifying your form fields. Each additional area increases friction for your visitors, reducing their chances of successfully submitting.
One study found that reducing a form from 11 form fields to 4 form fields increased submissions by 160%. This demonstrates how less is more. Thus, it’s in your best interest to keep your forms as short as you can, while still acquiring necessary information.
Some more form best practices include:
- Opting for single-column forms, rather than multi-column.
- Designing clear error messages to minimize user frustration.
- Using in-line form field validation to increase submission success rates.
- Automating answers whenever possible.
8. Customize your CTAs.
Calls-to-action (CTAs) prompt your visitors to take some sort of action. These actions can range from downloading an eBook, to getting in touch with a business representative, to signing up for a free trial.
CTAs are valuable because they increase conversions and help further your business goals. However, 70% of small businesses aren’t using CTAs on their websites. This is a significant missed opportunity.
Start by making sure that each of your web pages has at least one CTA. Each CTA should offer a compelling incentive to click. Personalize the messaging to your target audience. Keep your CTA between 90 and 150 characters and use a contrasting button color to draw the eye.
Some notable CTA statistics:
CreateDebate found that making CTAs look like buttons increased clicks by 45%!
Red CTAs increase conversion rates by 21%.
To help you get inspired, some useful CTA phrase ideas include:
- “Click here to learn more”
- “Start your free trial now”
- “Join today and get…”
- “Talk to an expert today”
- “For more details, call…”
- “Call this week to schedule an appointment”
9. Build SEO into the foundation of your redesign.
Since the purpose of your redesign is to target the right people and convert them to customers, SEO is an integral component. It will allow your refreshed website to garner targeted traffic quickly.
Do your keyword research early on. Include focus keywords in your sitemap plan. Optimize your images and videos before uploading them by including keywords in the file title. Next, review your meta descriptions and page titles carefully. Google Console data can provide insight into how effective they’ve been at getting searchers to click on your website.
A website redesign is a perfect time to tackle technical aspects of SEO that may have previously fallen through the cracks, such as:
- Increasing your page speed
- Compressing file sizes
- Addressing 404 redirects properly
- Optimizing your internal linking strategy
- Shifting to secure HTTPS
- Making sure you have an XML sitemap and robots.txt file
If you need help with these steps, reach out to the SEO experts at B12. With their extensive experience, you can rest assured knowing your SEO will be done correctly and efficiently. A solid foundation of SEO is guaranteed to make your website redesign more effective.
10. Optimize for mobile with responsive design.
Mobile optimization is a must for modern websites. In 2019, nearly half of all website traffic came from a mobile device, according to Statista. Thus, you want your website to render flawlessly on these devices, or it’s genuinely your loss. You can ensure mobile optimization by adopting responsive design.
Responsive websites seamlessly adjust to any size screen. Investing in responsive web development is one of the best choices you can make for the long term functionality of your website.
A properly mobile-optimized website will have:
- Finger-friendly navigation buttons
- Properly reformatted content
- Optimized image sizes
- Improved functionality
Get ready for your new, beautiful website.
As you can see, this web design checklist covers a lot of ground. There are many factors to keep in mind, both technically and visually. Making sure your company’s website is up to snuff is so essential if you want to be taken seriously in today’s market.
If you need help refreshing your business website, reach out to B12. We design stunning, professional websites at reasonable prices for a wide range of industries. Reach out to us today to see how we can transform your website.