Setting Business Goals for a Website Redesign
If you’ve successfully made the case for a website redesign, now there are a million things you could do to get it up to date. So where do you start? How do you act based on what is most important to your business or institution? It all starts with goals.
Setting goals is a critical part of building any successful organization. You do this at the strategic and mission level, at the department or team level, and at the individual level. As a tool responsible for business and revenue growth, your website deserves the same level of focus and attention.
Choosing the Right Goals for Your Website
There are a variety of business goals for most websites that you use. Typical goals for a website might include focusing on:
Demand or lead generation
Content flow requirements
Sharing product information
Employee retention and satisfaction
Customer portals (for example, banking or financial services)
Although you can have multiple business goals for your website, prioritizing a limited number will help focus the redesign process on achieving your desired outcomes.
Stop chasing so many rabbits
There’s an old proverb about chasing two rabbits at a time, and catching neither. A similar rule applies to your goals. In general, leading with the goals that drive new and recurring revenue should be your first concern. Everything else is secondary, and should ultimately support the main goals.
It’s also important to remember that even an outstanding website redesign is not a magic bullet, nor the best strategy for meeting all your goals. A bold design, clear calls to action, and strong communication of product benefits, company culture, and engaging, valuable content seem like nobrainers to add to the redesign project list. Attracting new customers and talent can benefit from a similar approach on the web, but that approach is not sufficient every for audience.
To see which goals should be your top priority, answer these three questions:
1. What business are you in?
2. What are the main business and strategic goals for your organization?
3. What does your website need to do to support your business?
This should help you articulate your highest priorities, and focus on no more than three big ones to address with the project.
Ultimately, being able to connect a redesign or any undertaking to your business goals is the best way to justify the investment and get your leadership team on board.
Building Your Websites Budget
The good news about budgeting for a website redesign is that there is a solution for every budget size. The bad news about budgeting for a website redesign is that there is a solution for every budget size.
You know you could get a new website for $500,000 or for $50,000, or your boss’s nephew who’s in college could do it for $500. Deciding how much to spend depends on available capital, expectations of the outcome, and many other factors.
There’s a design project truism you might be familiar with: fast, good, and cheap—pick two. Depending on your timeline, goals, and available resources, the right size budget will differ. To simplify this complex part of the process, it helps to get a better understanding of what could be included in the project price tag, and all the items that carry their own costs.
This will include a thorough review of your website, its goals, primary audience, and a comparison against your competition, as well as websites you might want to emulate. This only goes as far as visuals and doesn’t always include coding.
2. Image Library
Don’t take for granted that your design firm will supply the imagery you will use throughout your website. If you have a lot of product photography that needs to be showcased on your site, consider how those images will be collected, organized, and prepared to be featured
Development is the portion of the project where a web developer actually writes the code for your website to properly render in a web browser. Depending on the skill set you have in house, or how much you want to control project costs, development can be executed by agency staff or members of your team. When making this decision, bear in mind how much time you can afford from your in-house developer’s daily tasks in order to write code for new pages.
The implementation of your designs is the process of converting the developed code to templates within your content management system that any content contributor can use to create and update pages without being able to alter the design.
Your team will need the ability to manage and update website content on an ongoing basis, long after the site launches. A web CMS is the best way to make that easy. Content management systems are usually proprietary software with their own license costs. Some open source solutions have no immediate price tag, but will require additional custom development and implementation from a design partner, and that means incurring more cost. The latter often means the initial cost of redesigning and launching a site is lower, but the ongoing cost is much higher. Do your research to understand your options.
A website needs somewhere to live, as does the CMS it runs on. That place is a server. Some businesses have the resources to do their own hosting, but there are many hosting and cloud solutions than can manage servers and software for you. These could carry additional costs and should figure into the project budget.
7. Content creation and editing
Without content, your website is not worth much. Just as a bad design can make great content irrelevant, poorly written and organized content can undermine the power of a great design. This is another part of the project you can take on with your inhouse team, with the understanding that it will consume a lot of time, or decide to outsource at least in part.
If you’re ready to make a major investment in your website by redesigning it, there’s no better time to engage the services of an SEO firm, but this of course introduces added cost. Read the search engine optimization section in the Pre-Launch chapter to decide whether to include SEO in your project budget.
The redesign project might be complete once your website is live, but the website itself is never really “finished.” You will continue to update content, modify design, test performance, and optimize for conversions. Whether you can take on these functions internally or want to outsource them to a third party is going to affect the ongoing cost of keeping it running.