By Rhett Doolittle

It’s Here: Bluume’s Tips for Website Redesign

It’s here! Bluume’s next era of helping businesses achieve ROI through website redesign.

To begin the evolution of our new website and achieve ROI, we fought hard to find the perfect mix of storytelling and visuals to communicate who we are and what we do. Bluume.com is where this story gets its sneak peak of our website redesign tips.

On our Facebook live stream today, Bluume CEO Rhett Doolittle talked through the process Bluume went through to achieve our first round of updates, the questions that need to be asked, and focus areas to dominate the planning process. All with the goal to achieve ROI with a website redesign.

Here’s what we wished we would have known before redesigning our own website:

HAVE GOALS!

Without goals, you can’t define success! Creating SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) objectives for your website sets the foundation for what you want your site to be able to accomplish and achieve ROI for your business.

A great starting point is to determine why you want a redesign of your site. Depending on the scope of changes that need to be made and the level of development involved, your “why” will determine the difference between simply designing a new look/feel (typically accomplished in a shorter timeframe) and gearing up for a complete overhaul (generally indicates advanced development work, more time and more budget).

Many companies take the effort to design their website one time, spend a lot of money making it look great…and then never touch it again. As your brand evolves and your company scales, your website should reflect that growth.

Make minor updates to your website at least once per quarter. Focus on making sure the information about your offerings are accurate, the About Me and contact information is up to date, and check to make sure nothing looks “off”.

For larger updates that require the implementation of new features, functionalities or layout/flow changes, we recommend blocking out time with your team once or twice a year.

It may seem tedious, but it will make a huge difference in delivering a better user experience and keeping your site fresh.

WHAT DOES YOUR SITE NEED TO ACHIEVE THOSE GOALS?

Web sites are more powerful than we give them credit for. They can be living, breathing, revenue generators when partnered with the right imagery, content, tools, and traffic. Those elements are extremely important to achieve ROI, but there are a few technical areas you can’t skip over when evaluating your site requirements.

  • Consider all integrations you have on the current version of your site or identify any platform integrations/features you want implemented.
    Integrations can be as simple as any of the forms embedded on your current site – maybe it’s a newsletter sign up, or a Contact Us area. The most important aspect: where does that information go when a user hits “SUBMIT?”
  • In a perfect world, their information will flow securely into your Customer Relationship Management system, where their submission triggers an automated email and the follow-up campaign you’ve built… but perfect doesn’t always happen! Without an integration strategy, you risk delivering a potentially negative user experience through insufficient follow-up.
  • When in doubt, always optimize for SEO! Let’s face it – we navigate our real world first through digital search engine result pages and complementary applications to help us get there.
  • SEO is how you build your credibility in the online word. It delivers your content to people organically searching for a product or service that match all the keywords on your site!
  • Get up-to-date on SEO best practices, content and keyword strategies, link building tools and frequent SEO checks.

TWO IS BETTER THAN ONE: PAIR AMAZING CONTENT WITH INCREDIBLE IMAGERY

How can you make sure the content you write for your website delivers the most impact and you are able to achieve ROI? You pair it with a stunning visual that brings your words to life.

If you’ve provided your audience with incredible imagery that complements your copy, creates a visual of your brand, and makes your website visitor feel something, it means you’ve made a connection. Getting your end user to feel excitement, happiness, or even fear, means you’ve been effective.

Need another reason to enhance your content imagery strategy? When people hear or read information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later. Keep your business at the top of their mind!

 DON’T LOSE YOURSELF IN DIGITAL TRENDS

Staying up-to-date on new website design best practices, your competitor’s website and getting inspiration from other great brands is awesome for evolving your own knowledge – and it’s a smart business practice Tony Robbins calls “modeling.”

While we always encourage keeping that student mentality, there is one thing you know better than anyone else in the world: your business. Follow your gut when it comes to shaping your site’s content, building your visuals and establishing your brand’s overall vibe.

Your website is more than information; it’s your digital “first impression.”  It’s where your new customers find you, determines how they perceive you and gives them an initial feeling about your brand.

Make sure your site looks like your brand, sounds like your brand, and creates an experience true to your brand. Digital trends are dynamic and it’s great to explore what’s hot right now – but keep your voice and mission constant.

ESTABLISH A BASELINE

How will you know your redesign was “worth it?” Can you speak to why your new site is better? How and by how much does it outperform your previous version? Which of the changes you implemented made a positive impact on your company’s overall growth?

Tough questions if you’re not prepared. Good news – incredible tech and reporting tools can make navigating technical conversations like this much easier. By utilizing the reporting tools available, you can generate results of your website’s performance from any specified timeframe.

Why is this important? You have to establish benchmarks or baselines of how your site performed prior to the new changes you’re making. Without those averages, you lose the opportunity to identify what changes worked – we love to celebrate these types of wins! Alternately, if numbers are down due to a change you made, you may not even know it if you ignore the numbers.

FUNCTIONALITY

In order for you to be able to achieve ROI and measure up to your SMART goals, it needs the tools to be able to perform!

Evaluate the current functionalities on your site and consider what you need to implement to see success. Ultimately, ask yourself: what do you need your site to accomplish and how are you going to get a visitor to produce the result you want?

If one of your objectives is to increase visitor engagement on your blog posts month over month, you’ll want to make sure your website allows for users to comment on your site’s content. If you sell your product through your site via an eCommerce platform, your redesign needs to be built to convert people from viewers or “window shoppers” to buyers. A website built for sales conversion is much different than a business that has a goal to get people to visit them in person.

If you only implement one functionality or take one piece of advice from us, please choose this! IMPLEMENT GOOGLE ANALYTICS AND HEAT MAPPING ON YOUR SITE! Even if you think that your traffic volume is low, or you just don’t like reporting, every business can benefit from the insights Google provides on visit behavior, audience demographics and overall site performance.

Now that you’ve answered these key questions, you’re ready to come in hot with a strategy to redesign your company’s site!

Have any feedback on our new site? Comment below – we want to hear it straight from you.