We often get asked about the proper steps to reorganizing and redesigning a website. This can be especially challenging when there are multiple people or organizations responsible for the site, if the site has been around a long time, or if the site has extensive content.
The biggest piece of advice we can offer is: IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU. Or your organization, or your department, etc. IT’S ABOUT YOUR VISITOR.
Things to consider when preparing a website strategy
- What are you trying to accomplish?
- How can the website be used to achieve objectives?
Keep the focus on your audience
- Why are people coming to your site?
- What are they expecting to find?
- How can the site be easier for them to use?
These questions will drive your homepage features, navigation, and content. Repeat: It’s not about you.
Create a website strategy
What measurable and specific goals are you trying to accomplish?
List and prioritize your site’s potential audiences. Primary audiences: focus here. Secondary audiences: be sure their needs are also met. Does it make sense to create personas? (mini bio example for each audience) Reality check: Are your objectives useful to your audiences/personas?
What content and functionality are your competitors using? If their approach is different, is it successful? Not everyone is the same – would a different approach work for you? Learn, do not copy.
Consider current and target sources of visitor traffic.
List the specific strategies to achieve each objective.
How will you know the site is a success?
Review your strategy on a regular basis to be sure it still applies. Make adjustments as needed.