Often, we website developers learn from web development blogs written by web developers who build web app or run development agencies … and it can get kind of boring.
We’re all sharing the similar content, so it becomes hard to find things one didn’t already know. It’s hard to stay inspired, too.
There is one type of content that can help us get out of this hurricane of “known knowledge”: Client Experience. Narrating their experience from some of the most amazing web development project they had, client can navigate through every corner of the web development topic in an easy-to-understand and inspiring way.
So to help one break out of their typical approach and learn something new to make themselves better at their job, I’ve compiled experience of one of our favorite client. And if you’re itching to discuss more, you can drop an email.
For Website RE-Designing, our favorite client once hired a freelancer web developer to re-design his website, to make the fine adjustments in look and feel. The assignment which was scheduled for 2 weeks ended in consuming 3 months. And worst part, after 06 months, he had no clue what difference redesigning had made to his business. He Lost $3500 on that assignment with no outcome. That’s sad! Client now have realized that it could have been prevented, if he and his developer had few things outlined for the redesigning assignment. Below I have summarized few of the suggestions out from his experience, which one as a development team can utilize to avoid from getting into such situations and stay client-centric to deliver a successful project.
1. Create the task-list
Before initiating any revamping project, always prepare the list of changes/updates one’s client wants to make into the website. It will be brilliant if one can prepare a Scope of Work or BRDs and get it signed off from the client. Remember, if client keeps on adding the requirements, it will be hard to get the clear view of the final outcome and will definitely jeopardize the deadline. So, it is better to freeze the requirements once the projects get initiated. After that, if any changes are requested by the client, that can be processed through Change Control Board (CCB). This will make life easier for both parties.
2. Set the benchmark early in planning stage
Second most important step is to have a benchmark set. It is very important to measure the success of re-design. For that, one should benchmark client’s current website performance. I would suggest getting the following data of current website before redesigning the website:
- Current ranking using tools available for measuring website credibility such as Alexa Ranking, WOT, SEMrush, SimilarWeb etc.
- Average sessions over the particular duration e.g. for last 6 months or 12 months
- Average users over the particular duration e.g. for last 6 months or 12 months
- Average CTR on Conversion Rate over the particular duration e.g. for last 6 months or 12 months
- Average bounce rate over the particular duration e.g. for last 6 months or 12 months
- Average order value over the particular duration for last 6 months or 12 months in case of E-commerce website
- Average revenue over the particular duration e.g. for last 6 months or 12 months in case of E-commerce website
- Current search visibility score on SERP using any of the tools such as Rank Checker, SearchMetrics, Moz Analytics etc.
- Current number of followers on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. This is not that important as website landing page experience may or may not affect the followers. However, it will be helpful to analyze the trend after the redesigned website is live.
Once re-designed website is launched, client can compare its figures with the above mentioned data for the particular period. This benchmark comparison will give them the idea of redesigned website performance.
3. Take informed decisions on removing sections off the website
Moving forward with the project, Project Manager or Business Consultant should always ask client to check the organic traffic any section is bringing to the website. Client can view how much traffic they could potentially lose by looking in Google Analytics: Behaviour > Site Content > Landing Pages
With the above data, client and the project team can take the informed decisions on sections removal. Only remove the pages while redesigning, if the loss can be compensated in a quick time.
4. Make proper redirects to the new pages
Booking tickets to New Jersey from NYC would not take one to L.A. Same way, page visitors cannot reach the desired page if one don’t redirect properly. Project team should avoid redirecting all new pages to the homepage. Redirect the old website pages to its relevant new pages. This will ensure passing the previous page rank & rankings more effectively to the new pages. One of the best ways to do this is to map the links out in an excel sheet as shown below:
5. Perform keyword optimization on redesigned pages
Do you remember Harry Potter movie? They have magical words and phrases to do things. Likewise website pages have keywords to let user get to it through search engine searches.
While redesigning a website all the previous keyword optimization on the various tags such as title, alt tags etc., and meta descriptions are lost. If one is providing SEO service to the client, then need to re-do all the keyword optimization on redesigned pages. Make sure to have a clear keyword mapping strategy in place when re-launching. One should know which pages need to target for which keywords.
One can use Google Trends tool to compare different words and phrases to identify the best keyword for the page. See the example below. As per the chart, people have searched “snow jacket” keyword more as compare to “winter jacket”. It also shows the timeline of these keywords searched.
With this information, one can select more appropriate keywords for keyword optimization on website pages. (If one is not entitled to perform SEO, make sure to inform the client to get it done through an SEO Analyst)
6. Use same Google Analytics code
To provide the ability to clients to compare the performance of redesigned website with the previous website, update the URL address in existing Google Analytics account, by going to: Admin > Property Settings > Default URL.
Do not create new Google Analytics profile.
7. Do not ignore the importance of mobile users
Nowadays, the number of mobile users is very high and is further expected to grow. Probably, mobile website visitors can account for majority of visits to client website. To make their experience similar to the desktop visitors, make sure to have a responsive website.
One can test the responsiveness of the website using Website Responsive Test tool while redesigning.
In Website Responsive Test tool shown above, one just needs to enter the website URL (Step 1), and then can view how the website looks and perform on mobile devices by scrolling the various pages in the tool (Step 2).
To Sum up, for delivering a successful web development project and make client happy, one need to think beyond conventional delivery artifacts. Help client with every aspects of website by using knowledge and skills. Above listed parameters will help to deliver a better redesigned website, with the outcome that can be measurable.
Which parameters you feel are the most important to you in redesigning the website? Do you have any other parameters not already on this list?
(2017, April 06). Vertical Response. Retrieved July 21, 2017, from 6-free-seo-tools-to-boost-your-search-engine-rankings: http://www.verticalresponse.com/blog/6-free-seo-tools-to-boost-your-search-engine-rankings/
Davies, R. (2016, August 16). Search Engine Watch. Retrieved July 21, 2017, from Five common website redesign and rebranding mistakes to avoid: https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/08/16/five-common-website-redesign-and-rebranding-mistakes-to-avoid/
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