Tips for restyling your website
Your website is an important part of your marketing strategy. There is a lot to consider when building a modern website that is appealing and functional. Every 4 years you should take a critical look at your existing website. In this article I listed some recommendations.
1. Web Research
Analyse what and how competitors communicate. Especially larger players in the field with larger marketing budgets. They have done their homework thoroughly and can give your web project direction. Also take a good look at the latest web trends so that your website is future-proof. Furthermore you can get inspiration from websites that may not be directly in your field. Document all the positive things you find in an organized way. Make screen dumps of elements that you would like to see again.
2. Wishlist / TOR
Create a document with all the the basic functionalities your website must contain. Remember to include a detailed site map. The document is often referred to as a T.O.R. (Terms of Reference). The content is very important when requesting quotations.
3. Drastic vs Evolutionary Approaches
Choose between a complete redesign or adjustments in phases. The second option has its advantages. . This option is faster online and more cost-efficient in general. Now your team can concentrate on detailed smaller projects.
4. Homepage Layout
The homepage is your most important webpage. So be sure to spend enough time on thinking out how to present what you offer. First impressions and catchy slogans are of great importance here. Work with levels of communication. Start with a more direct, bold graphical approach and work deeper in layers to content by telling more and more.
5. Brand Strategy
Analyze what changes are going on within your company in terms of branding. Try to follow the style and content that is expressed in other media by your brand as much as possible. A consistent message in terms of communication style always has a positive effect. This inspires confidence, communicates your message well and comes across professionally.
6. Content Rewriting
Carefully analyse all text on old pages. In time certain content will become outdated. So cleaning up and renewing is an essential part of your website relaunch. Also look at what was always missing on your site. This is a great chance to further expand your content.
7. Mobile Interface Design
Be sure that the experience of your new website has the same impact for mobile users as desktop users. A lot of adjustments have to be made to also present a great website for smaller devices. Remember that nowadays almost 50% of visitors use a mobile phone to see your site.
8. Social Media Integration
Integrating social media links into your website can help people spread your message. Place as much share and visit buttons on your website as possible, so that with a simple click interaction is possible. Social media are places on the internet where interaction in many forms is stimulated. From likes to sending messages. The power of these media is enormous.
Checkout the regulations that are of importance when interacting via your website. Many countries have legislation on cookie and private policies. As companies collect more and more data from visitors to their website, these rules have been drawn up to protect the public. European GDPR compliance regulations are extensive. You can get fined when you’re not in compliance.
10. Web Accessibility
Access to your physical company by the disabled should be easy. There is also a similar trend on the internet. Of course, this is even more important for companies within the medical sector or that focus on this group. There are many factors involved in setting up a Disability-Friendly website.
11. Hosting Choices
The hosting options are many these days. The tendency is to purchase hosting from professional organizations that specialize in this service. The prices for cloud hosting have dropped significantly in recent years. Points in this respect are the speed of the hosting, the space for storage, but especially the quality of the support from the hosting.
12. Search Results
Take SEO into account as much as possible when setting up the website. Aspects that matter are writing texts with keywords in mind, correctly organizing the website and frequent technical and content updates. A website that is not found on the internet is not working for you.
13. Update Strategies
Analyze and makes clear choices in terms of content management systems. The number of providers of applications and services is increasing rapidly. Once you have made a choice for certain systems and have started building the website it becomes more difficult to switch programs. The process of switching can involve a lot of time and wasted resources. So make wise choices.
14. Match Webdeveloper
Check to see if your current web developer is the best to continue with. Every company in the field of web development has its own set of applications and skills, and the costs of investing in expertise can also vary considerably. You want to enter into relationships that can last longer for cost-effectiveness and continuity. The company that initially builds your website knows the structure and codes of your website. Their method of working and programming can be so specific to them that others are reluctant to “take-over” the project.
15. Testing and Adjusting
Let some outsiders navigate through your website. Give them some search assignments. Do they easily find the information they are looking for? If not you should further improve the layout and structure of your content. Refinement of how visitors navigate trough your website is something you cannot spend enough time on.
16. Page Redirects
Remember that when your new website goes live, old links may be lost. This old content has been given a certain importance by search engines. So don’t forget to redirect to new pages.
17. Team Effort
Involve the IT and marketing department in your team, but also completely different people from the organization. The sales department can provide important information too, they often immediately know what questions potential customers have. But also listen to the experts, experienced webdevelopers. The fact that the average person views hundreds of websites per year does not make them an expert in webdesign in terms of construction.
All modern businesses have websites, but not all sites are that well thought out. Because your website is of vital importance for connecting with clients, it is essential that you make the right decisions during the production process. It makes sense to acquire expert advice when starting your next project. We at Greenline can support your restyling process.
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About the author
Derek Durgaram is an entrepreneur with a background in business consultancy. He is the brains behind Green Media, a media production company based in Curacao. GreenLine Communication is a spin off of his company, a service that offers insights and project management within the digital media domain.