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Written by Caroline Cox on May 14 , 2021

Think it’s time for a company website redesign? Read this first. 

Here, you’ll find:

  • Common steps to a website redesign
  • Expert tips for revamping your site
  • What mistakes to avoid during the process
  • How to set up your site for success in the future

There are plenty of reasons why a business would want to invest in a site redesign. From new technology and sub-par sales to user complaints and updated branding, it’s always a good idea to make sure you’re putting your best “face” forward online.

But while a website redesign may be necessary, the prospect of such an undertaking can also be overwhelming. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be. With some planning, organization, goals, and the proper resources, you can conduct a site redesign that keeps you in the running against competitors and ensures you don’t lose any precious SEO in the process. 

Common steps of a website redesign

There’s no single way to complete a successful site redesign. However, the common steps to take include:

  • Planning
  • Wireframing
  • Designing
  • Creating and updating content
  • Testing pages and links on a staging site
  • Implementing any necessary tweaks
  • Pushing the new site live
wireframing website redesign in notebook

Knowing where your site currently stands will help you when you create a list of what you’re looking to accomplish with your new site. (Image via Unsplash)

Determine your goals 

So, you’ve decided that it’s time to revamp your website. From there, it’s a good idea to start by determining what goals you have for your new site. These goals could include things like:

  • Keeping visitors from bouncing off your pages so quickly
  • Making your library of downloadable content more accessible
  • Building more informative pages
  • Making your site more visually aligned with your brand
  • Improving navigation to average more pages per visit
  • Boosting on-site SEO

Once you figure out what your goals are, write them down so you can refer to them throughout the process and when making decisions about your redesign.

Audit your current site

Next, it’s time to audit your current website. What are your most popular pages? Is any information outdated? Are there any 404 errors, broken links, or images that are no longer loading? 

Knowing where your site currently stands will be helpful when you create a list of what you’re looking to accomplish with your new site. This is also a time when you can make a note of things like updating the team photo on your “About” page or making edits to outdated content. 

Pro tip: Check out the traffic data for your current site in Google Analytics. This will show you what pages are most popular, where people are bouncing from, and which blog content needs to be potentially built out or updated. 

Find inspiration

Visuals are a great way to bring ideas to life. That’s why images help when you’re trying to explain what you want your new site to look, feel, and operate like. Browse the sites of your competitors and those adjacent to your industry to glean inspiration for your own site.

You don’t have to stick to your specific niche when it comes to inspiration, of course. Maybe you like how your favorite online publication leverages color-blocking or implements lazy loading. Keep a folder of screenshots of sites and pages that appeal to you, then see what patterns emerge and if you can incorporate these elements into your new site.

Create a wishlist

Once you’ve completed your site audit and found some good inspiration, you can create a wishlist of things you want to see from your new website. Revamps can be quite an undertaking. For that reason, it may be a good idea to divide your list into “must haves” and “nice-to-haves.” This way, you can be mindful of your desired timeline and budget.

Depending on how granular you want to get, you can also have different tiers of wants based on things like your budget. For example, maybe you want new graphic icons throughout your site. The top-tier choice would be to have a designer create custom, exclusive icons, while the more budget-friendly choice would be to create them from existing graphics via a site like Canva.

website redesign plan

Avoid losing any of the SEO you’ve worked to gain by moving valuable content and implement redirects as well as meta tags. (Image via Unsplash)

Think about longevity

Because a site redesign is such a multifaceted project, keeping longevity in mind is key. While it likely won’t be the last redesign you conduct, you shouldn’t have to start from square one every year or so. 

Now’s the time to make sure the updates you’re making are conducive to future tweaks. For instance, creating templates of pages on your hosting platform (such as WordPress) will make it easy for you to add additional pages in the future without needing to enlist a developer. 

Leverage the pros

We like to throw around the phrase, “work smarter, not harder.” Enlisting the pros is one way to do that when it comes to your site redesign. After all, why would you waste valuable time trying to figure out how to code when you could just enlist a developer who can bring your vision to life in no time?

Whether you have an in-house dev team or partner with an agency to bring your new vision to life, we bet you’ll be much happier with the results than if you tried to pull off a total site redesign yourself for the first time. 

Avoid common redesign mistakes

Before you hit “publish” on your website redesign, make sure you haven’t fallen prey to any of these common missteps during the redesign process:

  • Copying what everyone else is doing
  • Getting carried away with cool or trendy elements
  • Not focusing on the user experience
  • Not using a staging site to test visuals and links
  • Eliminating content that’s driving traffic
  • Moving to a subdomain (getting a subdomain to rank can be more difficult)

Pro tip: Avoid losing any of the SEO you’ve worked to gain by moving valuable content and implementing redirects as well as meta tags. It’s also wise to ensure an XML sitemap is in place before going live and that tracking is set up correctly to continue to gauge SEO performance.

The takeaway

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, your site’s search engine results page (SERP) visibility may take a hit after a redesign. However, as long as you’ve taken a data-driven approach and implemented best practices during the process, things should return to normal in a few months. 

By promoting your revamped site, regularly adding new relevant content that makes you authoritative, and targeting terms you want to rank for, you can be confident that your site it set up for success.

Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox

Caroline is HawkSEM's content marketing manager. She uses her more than 10 years of professional writing and editing experience to create SEO-friendly articles, educational thought leadership pieces, and savvy social media content to help market leaders create successful digital marketing strategies. She's a fan of seltzer water, print magazines, and huskies.

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