Undertaking a website redesign project is in no way a small task. The process of updating your website can often be long, complicated and a bit overwhelming, especially if you are running lean and already have a full workload. There are many steps involved in the process to complete a project of this magnitude, requiring both a commitment of time and financial resources and just as your customer’s dollars are best spent hiring you for your expertise, you should seriuosly consider investing your money as wisely as they do.
If redesigning your website requires such a large commitment, what are the advantages for a construction services company?
A new website will help:
Define your brand and give your company a voice
Communicate your unique value and set you apart from your competition
Outline the services you offer and how you can help customers reach their goals
Build trust with your customers by highlighting successful projects completed
Reach your overall business objectives by bringing in new leads and customers
Help your customers interact with you and their project before, during and after design and construction
Rest assured, while the project may take months to complete, a new website is good for business! The outline below will help guide you through the website redesign process and make the most of your time and resources.
Step 1: Define Your Business Objectives
As with any project, understanding the end goals and the impact it will have on the overall business is key to measuring success. Whether you are working to build new leads for a design/build company, sign up new customers for spring cleaning services, or sell more construction and design tools, your website should be redesigned with those specific objectives in mind.
Step 2: Benchmark
Take a look at your current website, your competitor’s websites and a variety of websites outside of your industry. Specifically look at the content, navigation, functionality, tools, colors and imagery of these sites. Make a list of the features that make each site easy to navigate, understand and trust. Use this list to guide the direction for your new website, building new features that will make it easier for your customers to accomplish their goals.
Step 3: Website Navigation & Sitemaps
Based on your benchmark review, determine what your current website is missing. How can new content, features and tools be incorporated into the structure and design of your new website? Your new website structure and navigation should be built with your customers in mind. Make it easy for them to find the content they need to make an informed decision and take the next step in the buying process.
Step 4: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
An often overlooked step in the website redesign process, but so crucial to gaining visibility in the search engines after your new website launches. Determine your priority keywords – the terms your customers are searching for – and work these keywords into the structure of your site, including navigation, URLs and website copy. Your website redesign will be more successful at bringing in new, qualified leads if your site is optimized for both your customers and the search engines.
Step 5: Refresh Your Website Copy and Images
The copy and images on your website are crucial to communicating who you are and the services you offer to potential customers. Write your new copy to address your customer’s needs and concerns and present solutions on how your company can help. Choose high quality imagery that reinforces your copy and best represents what services you provide. Speak more to your customer’s needs so they can see you as a viable and trustworthy solution. Use your priority keywords as a guide to content topics and incorporate those keywords into your new copy.
Step 6: Development
A lot of work goes into the development of a new website. Typically, at this stage of the process a temporary website will be created for additional review and testing. Work with your website developers to iron out the functionality, look and feel of your new website.
Step 7: Review
Once a temporary website has been developed, it’s time to review – with a fine tooth comb. During your review, focus on functionality, navigation, layout, design, branding, copy and imagery. As you know, there are a lot of moving parts to a website, take the time you need to get it right BEFORE you launch.
Step 8: Launch!
It’s been a long road, but you have finally made it! Once your new website has launched, take some time to review every aspect of your live website- from contact forms to content downloads – to ensure all of the moving parts are working properly and your customers will have a good experience.
Ongoing Analysis & Online Marketing
Your website, much like your business, is not a set it and forget it thing. You need to budget for the ongoing maintenance and marketing that is needed to improve results. Use analytics tools, such as the free Google Analytics, to learn how your customers are using your new website, how they found you and the content they read most. Use this information to develop your ongoing marketing strategy. Based on the results you are seeing, develop a plan to help increase visibility, engagement and results from your new website and make your investment work for you.