Let’s get straight to the point.
Web design trends come and go, but the website redesign strategy most companies apply has remained the same.
Traditional web design agencies treat sites as if they are finished after a few months and require no further attention.
In reality, however, you should treat your online presence as an ongoing work in progress.
Think about it:
No professional marketer would create Facebook ads and expect the first ad image idea to be the best performing one.
You would test it against other ad creatives and keep optimizing your advertising strategy to achieve the best possible results.
Of course, a web design project is not as easy to set up as an online ad, but the concept is the same.
This article introduces the website redesign strategy that we call ‘Lean Web Design’ which we at Growmodo use for our client projects.
It not only changes the way we approach website redesigns but also how our clients pay us.
Why Do You Need a Website Redesign Strategy?
Ok, so you have decided your web design is outdated and it’s time for a complete redesign.
But hold on.
Before you go ahead and hire an agency or full-time web developer, you should first ask yourself three fundamental questions:
- Why do we need a website redesign?
- What do we want to achieve with the new design?
- How do we plan our website redesign to eliminate risks?
There are many reasons why companies redesign their website.
Most of them, however, do it for the wrong reasons.
Some business owners randomly decide when to update their website. Others update their website when it’s in the budget.
Unfortunately, the #1 answer to the question of why the marketing manager or CEO decided to redesign the company website is still:
“I just don’t like the design anymore.”
Not only, is this a risky way to run a business, it is also not customer-centric.
But this is not even the biggest issue with business websites.
It is your website redesign strategy.
The traditional approach to website redesign typically consists of
- waiting 2 to 3 years until it’s outdated,
- completely redesigning the site, then
- repeating the cycle.
Meanwhile, brands miss out on many opportunities.
Because your business doesn’t stand still for 2 years.
Your products, services, and customers are evolving.
Especially in digital marketing.
Marketers were reporting that marketing has changed more in the last 2 years, that in the past 50 years.
This was 2016.
I think you would agree that digital marketing trends haven’t slowed down.
Lean Web Design: The Only Website Redesign Strategy That Makes Sense in 2019
Fortunately, there’s a better way to approach a website redesign.
And it is not rocket science either.
In a nutshell:
Instead of trying to fix everything at once, you can continually update and improve your site over time.
Yes, you are right.
There is nothing groundbreaking or new about this concept.
Continuous updates and improvements are the foundation of the lean startup methodology.
It is also the secret behind famous growth stories like Dropbox, Wealthfront and many others.
These companies understand that everything in business (your product, marketing strategy, and even your business model) is a work in progress.
Ultimately, it will very likely change.
Your web design is no exception.
Just because your design agency finished the development phase and launched your new site, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to touch it anymore.
It only starts with one website redesign that serves as the starter page.
Once the starter page is complete, you’d then implement continuous website improvements based on user feedback and web analytics.
- Rewriting your landing page copy
- Changing the web page structure
- Adding new content sections
- Testing new pricing tables
- Fixing technical issues
- Optimizing SEO settings
- Creating new illustrations/graphics
The list goes on and on…
The ‘Lean Web Design’ process follows a specific order that helps you create the best possible website experience for your potential customer.
- Formulate an ideal customer profile
- Create engaging content that speaks directly to your customer
- Conceptualize a conversion-optimized web design
- Develop the approved design concept
- After launch, keep improving and optimizing the site
As a result, you can expect to generate more leads and sales for your business.
Read on to learn more about the five steps of the lean web design process and how to execute website redesigns with less risk and better results.
Step 1: Create an Ideal Customer Profile
Websites are for customers.
To be exact, they’re for your ideal customer.
Instead of starting the process by mimicking your competitor’s site, try to create something similar, but more customer focused.
This critical first step highlights the importance of understanding your customers.
If you don’t know your potential buyers, how can you meet their needs?
Your website redesign journey starts with building a customer profile.
A customer profile or buyer persona is a detailed overview of your ideal customer.
Rather than focusing your redesign on telling a brilliant story, your buyer persona enables you to make your customers the hero of the narrative.
By understanding your customers, you can develop the perfect product-market fit and work that theme into your website redesign.
Website Redesign Project Plan Template
Why You Need to Start With Your Customer In Mind
Your buyer persona will also help you to understand the best way to reach your consumers, whether it’s through social media, email, or your website.
More importantly, it will help you to discover how to match your goods or services with your customers wants and needs.
By understanding what your customer needs and their behavior, you can present your solution for their problem at the perfect time and place.
Unfortunately, most websites – especially B2B websites – speak to nobody.
Like this one:
They only talk about their offering using industry jargon that’s extremely vague and confusing.
Guess who responds to those kinds of sites.
That’s right – nobody.
The customer profile is essential because it helps you understand how to explain your offering in terms that your audience can understand and resonates with.
More importantly, you can define your brand in a way that makes potential customers care about your products and services.
Once you know how to speak to your customers, you need to develop a content strategy – using your new buyer persona, of course.
Step 2: Write Engaging Content That Speaks Directly to Your Ideal Customer
Content creates conversions, but only if you connect with your prospects on an emotional level, and then present them solutions to their problems.
Content includes any media that you use to relay your brand message, including text, video, and interactive objects.
Any content that you create for your website should provide value to your ideal customer.
Fortunately, once you know the information that your prospects need before making a buying decision, you can create content to solve their problems and present them in a language they understand.
It might be a bit hard to create the complete site content before you have seen the new web design, but you should at least start with the overall content structure.
Formatting is crucial. You must structure your content in a way that naturally leads potential buyers to your message.
The logic that consumers use during research about goods and services is called the buyer’s journey.
Content format is all about the logic used by your customers during the buyer’s journey – not your logic.
The buyer’s journey helps you understand the type of content that your potential buyers desire and when they need it.
Also, it helps you to know how your website visitors expect to find information.
Step 3: Develop Customer-Centric Web Design
The hard-sell is a dead art.
In the past, marketers would pummel potential customers with confusing jargon and exaggerated claims.
Today, the internet has laid the days of the hard-sell to rest.
Now, potential buyers can go online and research nearly any good or service.
Your website should show and prove how your products or services provide real value.
A website is almost useless if it doesn’t help you grow your business.
That’s why you need to design your website for higher conversions – not for beauty.
Find out more about customer-centric website design on our blog.
You Only Have a Few Seconds to Make a First Impression
Surprisingly, the biggest mistake businesses do on their website is a lack of clarity.
46% of potential buyers leave a website immediately because it doesn’t provide a clear message about what the company does.
Another 37% will leave your site if it’s poorly designed or difficult to navigate.
3 Winning Web Design Cheat Sheets
People don’t care about products or services.
They want solutions to their problems, and you need to show them immediately that you can fulfill their needs.
If you can show customers right away that you can resolve their pain points, you’ll win them over.
More importantly, you’ll boost your bottom line!
Resolving pain points is the main idea behind customer-centric design.
What this means is that you should redesign your website based on the behavior, needs, and wants of your ideal customers.
Of course, an attractive website is essential, but beauty is not what makes customers convert.
Customer-centric design is a shift in mindset from focusing on appearance to focusing on how to solve the problems of potential buyers.
Lean Web Design can help you pinpoint your customers wants and needs to create the content, features, and functions your customers crave.
By understanding your consumer desires, you can exceed their expectations and create the ideal UX for your customers.
Step 4: Develop Your Site on a Framework That Lets You Scale
Ideally, you’ll want to deliver the most value while using the fewest resources.
You should apply the same idea to your site.
It should be easy for you and your customers to use your website.
Ease of use is the foundation of lean web development that is permeating the internet.
As an example, WordPress is the most common content management system.
It does take some technical expertise to use WordPress.
However, it’s not as complicated as using more complex open-source Drupal and Joomla platforms.
In some instances, you can use similar, scalable utilities such as WordPress for your e-commerce needs, such as Shopify, or BigCommerce.
Yes. they all require some technical acumen, but you can make small changes on your own if needed.
You don’t want to depend on your developer to make minor content updates.
The wrong agency will charge a lot of money for extra website updates and typically need weeks to get back to you.
Also, you should always have control of your site.
If you’re serious about your business growth and want to execute your marketing ideas fast, you need to have a web designer and developer on hand to make website changes when you need them.
Note: Need help running your website? Check out Growmodo’s website management service.
Often, you can partner with an experienced service provider who can maintain your website for a fraction of what it will cost you to do it internally.
For example, you might use a website development company like Growmodo to manage and update your site on WordPress – especially for the first major redesign.
Step 5: Ongoing Design Updates and Conversion Improvements
Outdated website management practices were expensive and faulty.
In the past, many businesses redesigned their websites approximately every two years.
By conforming to the schedule, business owners could not react to market changes.
They had to wait until the next planned redesign – and that was if all went well.
Your website is your most important marketing tool, and you should keep it fresh and updated.
However, there’s no need to redesign your site entirely, for example, every month.
A monthly redesign would cost too much and confuse your customers.
However, business owners who use the lean web design method continue to make necessary changes each month.
By adjusting the customer feedback regularly, you can exceed your inbound marketing goals.
This website redesign strategy addresses the pitfalls of traditional site management.
Rather than investing a large amount of money at once into one major, randomly timed rebuild, you’d make monthly improvements.
Of course, you’d base your improvements on customer feedback.
By making changes to address customer concerns, you can quickly make improvements that provide the most value to your customers.
How Much Should You Invest in Your Website Redesign?
A full website redesign using traditional methods can also end up taking a lot of time. What’s worse is that it might not even generate more leads and sales.
The old way of redesigning websites involved using what worked in the past to make an educated guess about what might improve performance in the future.
It wasn’t uncommon for an expensive website redesign to fail.
On top of that, companies were stuck with a website that didn’t work until the next redesign.
2 Years later.
A Better Way to Manage Your Website Redesign
Your website is often your only chance to make a first impression on potential customers.
You can improve your chances of winning new business by using lean web development principles.
More importantly, you can deliver value to your customers month after month.
By using your customers’ real-time behavior and feedback to find opportunities for improvement, you can redesign your site to deliver the perfect user experience.
If you’re a company that wants to make a difference in your customer’s life, you should make this clear with your web design.
We love to help purpose-driven organizations connect with their ideal customer.
And we believe that lean web design is the best website redesign strategy to do precisely this.
Please let us know in the comments below your thoughts and feedback.
Also, if you think we could even develop the process further.
PS: Don’t forget to download your free website redesign project plan template below.