A website redesign is one of the most important aspects of an organizational rebrand. In fact, many organizations roll-out a redesigned website to launch their rebrand before making any physical brand adjustments. This is an efficient move, because it allows companies to share their rebrand with the widest audience, and it gives them the opportunity to take feedback and answer customer questions.
Regardless of the order in which you undertake a rebrand, your website redesign should be at the core of the project. Exploring the considerations below can help ensure that your rebrand provides a seamless customer experience through every channel.
Just like with any new project, the first step of a rebrand should be goal setting. What are the intended outcomes of this project, and how will you measure the results? In addition to your overall rebrand goals, it’s important to set specific goals for your website redesign. Here are some of the goals we regularly encounter when taking on a new web design project, internally or externally:
- Enhance security
- Improve navigation
- Increase traffic and conversions
Knowing what you want can help guide every decision you make throughout the rest of the project.
Before making any branding decisions, consider how each ingredient will translate on the website. Broadly, the key “ingredients” for a rebrand include:
- Color scheme
- Brand guidelines and examples
Before beginning your site redesign, ensure that all these elements have been approved. This can maximize efficiency by reducing the amount of unnecessary rework the web designers and developers will have to complete.
Digital Style Guide
Preparing a digital style guide is the best way to ensure seamless digital translation. In addition to your agency’s general brand guidelines, a digital style guide provides more detail about how to apply your new brand to the website.
This guide should outline the non-negotiable features of your rebrand and include things like:
- Digital logo files
- Page templates
- Web fonts
- Color codes
- Graphics and imagery
When creating your digital style guide, and throughout the rest of your site redesign, ensure that you only use images, fonts, graphics, etc. that you have the legal right to. It’s a great idea to document your source for each individual feature in case there’s ever any dispute on your rights to use anything. There are a lot of great websites that provide freely usable resources. For photos, try Unsplash, Pixabay, or Pexels. For fonts, check out Google Fonts.
A rebrand and revamp of your social media strategy goes hand-in-hand with a website launch. As another digital channel, it’s vital that your brand style and personality be consistent across your website and all social media platforms. Incorporate social icons so visitors can “Like” or follow your social accounts straight from your website, add share buttons to your blog posts so users can share articles with their followers, and use your social posts to direct users back to your website. When crafting your digital style guide or new web content, take note of which items can be repurposed for social posts.
Another thing to keep in mind throughout the creation of your digital style guide and site redesign is ADA compliance. For example, ensure that the colors in your scheme comply with current contrast ratio standards laid out in Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
Before you get into the details, create a sitemap that includes every page of your website and the hierarchy of those pages. Determine the objective of each page and the purpose of each area on those pages. Decide how your menu and sub-menus will be organized, which links remain available in the header and footer, what type of Call-to-Actions you will employ, and what should be featured on the homepage. Consider your goals as well as ease of navigation when making these decisions, and work to minimize the amount of clicks it will take users to get anywhere on your site. Determining your users’ paths throughout your website using heat maps and Google Analytics can help you make these decisions.
Over 50% of web traffic comes from mobile devices, and 53% of visitors will leave a website that doesn’t load quickly and properly on mobile. Therefore, every aspect of your new website should be optimized for mobile usage.
If your old site didn’t have an SSL certificate giving it an HTTPS URL, this needs to be a non-negotiable priority for your new website.
User Interface is how the human interacts with the machine. You want this to be as simple, intuitive, and as smooth as possible. No matter how great a website looks, if users can’t intuitively operate it, they’ll abandon it.
A website redesign is an optimal opportunity to launch a fresh content strategy that represents your new brand and personality. Additionally, this is a great time to rework and reorganize existing content to make it easier for users to find what they’re looking for. Study your most visited pages on Google Analytics to find out what type of content your users are most interested in.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Now is a great time to revamp your SEO strategy. SEO should permeate your development efforts as well as your updated content strategy. Incorporate organic keywords into your new copy and back-end features like URLs, alt-text, and title tags.
This point is actually a sub-point of every other point, but we’re repeating it with emphasis because it’s so important. Ensure every aspect of your new website, from the imagery to the copy, aligns with your new brand and represents your brand personality through and through.
Will you launch a whole new website all at once or ease users into the new website with incremental changes? Do you plan to communicate your new website and brand via the homepage, an email blast, or a social media campaign? Will you support your launch with a new site tour or FAQ page?
No matter which way you go, a solid launch plan made in advance will help ensure a smooth transition for both your team and your customers.
Are you about to undertake a rebranding or redesign project? We’d love to partner with you or simply answer any questions you may have. Contact us via the form below to get started!