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In the ever-evolving digital landscape, keeping your website current and engaging is essential for success. If your online presence is starting to feel outdated, fear not—this guide will walk you through our website redesign strategy, resulting in an updated website which meets contemporary standards and exceeds customers’ expectations.

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1. Assess your current website

It is pivotal to establish a baseline before starting on improvements, so you can track your progress and assess whether your changes are having the impact you desire.

Assessment is by far the most important step. We use these tools on a daily basis in most projects, and even though setup can be quite technical, the invaluable metrics and insights they provide can be easily consumed.

Google Analytics

  • Analyse user behaviour, popular pages, and bounce rates.
  • Check where your visitors are coming from, and whether your website is receiving traffic from countries where you do business (if you’re based in the UK, but the bulk of your traffic is from another country, you may need to pivot).

Google Search Console

  • Review overall Google search performance with Search Console Insights.
  • Check search queries, and the number of impressions and clicks for each in the Performance section.
  • Check which pages are indexed and whether Google had any problems crawling your content in the Pages section. Content that is not indexed will provide information on why the content has not been indexed, to help you troubleshoot.
  • Check through the other sections to identify any issues that could be negatively impacting your SEO.

Google Page Speed Insights:

  • Check the user experience on desktop and mobile devices.
  • Get performance metrics of your Core Web Vitals (loading, interactivity, and visual stability), that impact SEO and user experience.

Chrome Lighthouse Extension

If you’re more technically minded, this Chrome extension gives you more technical reports with links on how to improve your website on mobile devices and desktop browsers for the following categories:

Technical audit with automated tools

Automated site audit tools help you find issues you may not find in a manual investigation. We recommend services like SEMRush, which offers many tools to assess your website’s performance. One of their free offerings that we find especially helpful is the Site Audit tool. They provide a thorough audit which checks for over 140 site health and SEO mistakes.

Whatever service you choose, find one that helps you identify issues that may be harming your SEO, including:

  • broken links that could be harming your customer experience,
  • incorrect content structure, that may impact SEO,
  • opportunities for improvement.

Manual review

Click through your website on a desktop browser and mobile device to see how your customers experience your content on multiple platforms. Look for:

  • outdated and incorrect content,
  • dated and poor quality images,
  • anything that looks bad or amateur,
  • long user journeys that requires more than 3 clicks to get to the destination

2. Define your goals and objectives

Clearly outline what you want to achieve with the website update. Whether it’s improving navigation, enhancing visual appeal, or optimising for mobile responsiveness, having specific goals will guide your redesign efforts.

Consider Google’s HEART framework, which is a user experience measurement system designed to assess the overall user satisfaction and effectiveness of a product. The acronym “HEART” stands for:

  • Happiness, with a focus on user satisfaction,
  • Engagement, which accounts for user activity and depth of engagement,
  • Adoption, which assesses growth and onboarding success,
  • Retention, which examines user engagement over time, and
  • Task Success, with a focus on efficiency and effectiveness of task performance.

Paired with Google’s GSM framework, this pair proves invaluable in establishing clear and measurable requirements, as well as where to get the metrics from. The acronym “GSM” stands for:

  • Goals, as broad aspirational statements, providing the team with direction and a common objective,
  • Signals that indicate success or failure, and
  • Metrics for measuring change.

For more detail and examples, view our in-depth article on Google’s HEART and GSM frameworks.

3. Update content, design elements and imagery

Refresh outdated content with up-to-date information and ensure that images and visuals align with your brand identity. High-quality, relevant imagery can significantly enhance the overall look and feel of your website:

  • Replace incorrect and out-of-date content.
  • Replace outdated product images with up-to-date, high quality ones.
  • Check dates for accuracy, e.g., the Copyright 202X in the footers.
  • Update statistical data that may have changed.

4. Optimise for mobile responsiveness

With a growing number of users accessing websites on mobile devices, it’s crucial to ensure that your site is mobile-friendly. Optimise layouts, fonts, and images to provide a seamless experience across various screen sizes.

  • Test the mobile responsiveness of your content, and
  • make alterations where necessary.
  • Ideally, you should use responsive design principles to create fluid and adaptive layouts that look great on both desktop and mobile devices.

5. Improve navigation and user experience

Simplify navigation to make it intuitive for visitors to find what they’re looking for.

  • Streamline menus,
  • create clear calls-to-actions, and
  • consider implementing user-friendly features like search bars.

For more information on improving your UX, read our insight on UX and Myers Briggs, which outlines several considerations for planning the UX of your website.

6. Enhance visual design

Update the visual design to reflect current design trends and your brand’s evolving identity. To create a modern and visually appealing website, pay attention to:

  • colour schemes,
  • fonts, and
  • overall aesthetics.

Review current industry trends (research competitors and identify where you want your business to be positioned), and use these insights to replace outdated:

  • fonts,
  • icons, and
  • design elements and photos (content separators, photos, graphics and formatted blocks).

7. Test and gather feedback

Before launching your updated website, conduct thorough testing to identify and fix any issues. Gather feedback from a diverse group of users to ensure that the redesign meets their expectations and provides an improved user experience.

Consider beta testing updates with a small group of users to uncover potential issues and gather valuable insights. You can give them specific challenges, and reward them for their feedback.

8. Launch and promote

Once you’re satisfied with the updates and have addressed any feedback, launch your revamped website. Promote the relaunch through various channels to draw attention to the improvements and encourage visitors to explore the new features. Announce the relaunch:

  • on social media,
  • through email newsletters, and
  • on your company blog to generate excitement and interest, and
  • on other available channels (advertisements, affiliates, radio, podcast, vlog, etc.).

Breathe new life in your site

By following these steps in our website redesign strategy guide, and incorporating even just some of the ideas, you can breathe new life into your outdated website, ensuring it remains a dynamic and effective tool for engaging with your audience in the digital age.

Last updated 14 May 2024

About the Author: Stephan

With 20 years of industry experience as a UX specialist, designer and developer, I enjoy teaching and sharing insights about UX, accessibility and best practices for e-commerce and the web.

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