How To Avoid Failure With Your Website Redesign

Written by Ryan Cormier

Redesigning your website is often exciting, but the process is stressful, labor-intensive and costly. Plus, after your initial investment, a failed website redesign may cost you significantly more in missed sales.

Read on to learn the 3 most costly website redesign mistakes, as well as what you can do to help ensure your new website delights visitors — and your bottom line

growth driven website design graph

The Broken Website Redesign Model

The traditional methodology used to overhaul many business’ websites is broken. Here’s a quick overview of this flawed process:

  • Company X notices the “Copyright 2 years ago” text in their website’s footer, or a friendly web design company reaches out to bring it to their attention.
  • Company X issues an RFP for a new website, and they select a web design company based solely on a 30-minute phone consultation and the contents of a hastily written (copy/pasted) proposal. Price weighs heavily on the decision.
  • Company X and their partner engage in a 3- to 12-month game of responsibility ping-pong, shredding every fiber of their initial enthusiasm in the process.
  • Company X and their partner launch the new website, celebrate by curling up in a bottle of Jack Daniels and pray they never have to speak to one another again.
  • Company X’s shiny new website goes unchanged for approximately 2 more years, at which time they begin the process once again.

Sound familiar?

It may seem like an exaggeration, but in all likelihood hundreds, if not thousands, of reputable businesses are currently overhauling their existing websites using this broken methodology.

How you can avoid a website redesign failure

The best way to help ensure your website redesign doesn’t end in complete failure is to be mindful of the flaws in the traditional site overhaul process.

To help with this, we put together a Website Redesign Questionnaire that will help you and your team through the process. This brief guide will make you think critically about not only your needs, but — more importantly — those of your customers.

Click the link below to get your FREE copy now:

download our free website redesign questionnaire

In addition, we've created a list of the 3 most costly mistakes companies make when redeveloping their website:

The 3 Most Costly Website Redesign Mistakes

1 - Viewing your new website as a one-time investment

The challenge:

The job of virtually every marketing manager is to generate the greatest results for the smallest investment. This requires them to find creative ways to maximize their budget. As a result, a new company website is forced to compete for dollars with other digital marketing tactics like SEO, paid search, social media, display and more.

However, how much value will those tactics yield if they drive large volumes of prospective customers to a flawed website? It’s likely that your new site and marketing campaign will produce a measurable uptick in traffic and sales / leads, but it’s equally likely that you’ll miss out on a large number of sales / leads in the process.

The solution:

Rather than budgeting for a one-time website redesign, consider investing in Growth-Driven Design. Growth-Driven Design is a revolutionary new approach to web design that helps companies launch their new website in less time — with less stress.

growth driven design methodology

Growth-Driven Design uses ongoing data analysis and user testing to continually improve that website over time. And while the ongoing investment of Growth-Driven Design may seem excessive, it often results in faster, more substantial ROI than traditional, project-based redesign projects.

Additionally, websites that evolve over time don’t require redevelopment every 2 years, which can save tens of thousands in future costs — not to mention countless work hours, migraines and panic attacks.

2 - Prioritizing your needs over those of prospective customers

The challenge:

You don’t realize how many people within your organization rely on the company website until it’s time to overhaul it. Suddenly everyone from marketing and sales to HR and finance has an opinion, and the process quickly becomes about satisfying internal needs — this is 100% wrong.

The solution:

Rather than focusing on your company’s needs and desires, your primary objective should be to design your new website solely to satisfy the needs of your prospective customers. They’re the ones who will ultimately use the site, and they’re quick to tune out noisy sales content.

Think about it — who are you more likely to do business with:

  1. A salesperson who only talks about how great his company is, how awesome their services are and how lucky you are to have the opportunity to do business with them, or
  2. A salesperson who anticipates your needs, asks questions so he can better understand your goals and seeks to earn your trust at a comfortable pace?

Unless you’re a glutton for punishment, you chose #2.Using that very same logic, which salesperson would you rather have representing your business?

That’s the mindset you need to adopt when redesigning your company’s website — your website is your 24/7 salesperson! To ensure your content speaks directly to the different customers you serve, you first need to develop detailed personas.

buyer personas

Understanding key characteristics — company size, title / role, pains (challenges), motivators, indicators of success, personality traits, etc. — will be invaluable to you as you develop your website’s design, content, calls-to-action and conversion paths.

3 - Valuing flash over substance

The challenge:

One of the biggest mistakes a company can make when redesigning its website is to allow other websites to heavily influence its design and content. Modeling your new website after your top competitor’s site, or a beautiful site you found on a trendy web design blog, doesn’t guarantee a successful outcome.

In fact, doing so is far more likely to hinder your success.

That’s not to say you can’t glean inspiration from other websites’ design, content and functionality. After all, a thorough review of your top competitors’ websites, as well as other relevant sites, is an integral part of the website redesign process. Just don’t allow flashy design trends or the desire to one-up your competitors prohibit you from creating a unique, highly impactful website of your own.

The solution:

Going back to point #2, knowing your customers will help ensure your new website is designed to meet their needs. This is true for design, content and functionality.

For example, imagine your ideal target customer is:

  • A financially conscious business owner with 5 employees
  • Her company’s manager, CFO, CMO, IT department and HR director
  • An avid researcher who makes purchase decisions based on proven results
  • Willing to invest in products and services that will help her grow her business

To win this customer’s business, you’ll want to avoid flashy HTML5 graphics, long paragraphs of philosophical content that read more like Shakespeare than a modern business, large header images that force text below the fold and aggressive calls-to-action. You’re far more likely to earn her trust with a simple, organized website that clearly communicates how your services help small businesses grow efficiently, and prominently showcases your pricing and case studies.

From there, you’re just an offer and call-to-action away from a hot new sales lead!

Great websites start with great strategy

Is your company's website due for a refresh? If so, we put together a useful Website Redesign Questionnaire that will help you and your team through the process.

In 10 questions, this resource will make you think critically about not only your needs, but — more importantly — those of your current and prospective customers.

Click the link below to get your FREE copy now:

download our free website redesign questionnaire