So: You’re ready to find your dream web design agency for your brand’s website redesign and you want to know where to start. In order to create a website that aligns with your brand and speaks to the right (target) audience, consider preparing these important items in order to get the best outcome for your new website design. When you’re aware of your audience, and you have a solid idea of your brand, the collaboration and process will be faster and smoother. At Solid Digital, the first step of our website redesign projects is the Learn & Discover phase, during which our team conducts research and collects as much information as possible about your brand. Over the years, we’ve found that when certain items are already prepared by our clients, we’re ready to jump into action.
#1: Brand Guidelines
Websites aren’t just there to look good, they represent your company as a whole. When you align your website with your brand, that’s when the magic happens. As it relates to preparing for a website redesign, there are three ideas:
- Brand strategy: This is the long-term blueprint and articulation of who you are, why you exist, and how you engage with your customers and prospects. It should align with your mission.
- Brand guidelines: These are the visual elements such as your logo, color palette, fonts, graphic treatments, and all guidelines concerning aesthetics. It should flow naturally from your brand strategy and mission.
- Branding: This is the entire process, application, and management of your brand strategy and brand identity. It’s the output or the actions you take to apply your personality and visuals. It should be what people think of when they think of your company.
Documenting your brand strategy and identity is extremely helpful for both your organization and the partners (say, a web design agency or digital marketing partner) with whom you work. It helps your team convey key aspects about your brand using the same verbal and visual language and ideas, and it also allows you to save time when translating your brand’s “essence” into a website redesign.
#2: Buyer Personas
Who is your ideal customer or audience? Who can benefit from your product or solution? What are the different types of customers you have now? Have you already determined their wants, needs, desires, problems, and more? Not sure where to start? Try using Hubspot’s buyer persona research as a starting point when you’re preparing for your website overhaul.
Solid Digital creates websites using UX design, basing our layouts, architecture, and more on the user journey. Your goal is to attract the right audience, fully engage them, and finally: convert them. When you know your buyer persona, you understand their pain points and their desires. (When you know their problems, you can offer them the solution.) With the right information on your buyer personas, your agency can create content for your website that speaks to the unique benefits of your brand’s products and/or services
#3 Access to Marketing Tools
Perhaps you’re already tracking what’s working and what’s not on your website, so that your redesign can take all of that into account. Great! Now we’d like to see it, too. Access to your Google Analytics or heat mapping tools will help your agency see and analyze what you’re seeing and put that knowledge to good use. After seeing what users are currently doing (channels they’re coming from, pages they land on or view the most), we are able to ask better questions about changes in patterns, or lack thereof. If something is working, we want to keep that SEO equity or any other process or pathway that’s functioning well, so we can replicate that during the website redesign strategy plan.
#4 Top Keywords and Keyword Research
Did you make a 2022 resolution to improve your SEO strategy for your website redesign? It wouldn’t be a bad idea–and with the right web design agency, it’s a resolution you can keep. What keywords are you focused on right now for your website? What keywords do you want to focus on in the future? Better yet: do you have top keywords? There are so many questions that cut to the heart of your SEO strategy–not so that your website can start from complete scratch, but rather: to build on what’s been working and avoid what hasn’t been working. Keep your top keywords top of mind and do some keyword research. This will help cut to the chase when it comes to creating your SEO strategy with a website design company.
#5 Potential Interviewees
During the learning and discovery phase of website redesigns, we at Solid Digital want to get the big picture. To that end, we interview both stakeholders and customers of the brands we work with. This helps solidify the strategy, understand how others see your brand, and it helps us make sure that all stakeholders are heard, with the opportunity to contribute. Make the list and check it twice–it can take a long time to interview everyone necessary, so be sure to mention the interview process to your stakeholders and clients so they can make time in their schedule for this vital part of the process.
Final Notes on Website Redesign Prep
If you don’t have every part of this list squared away–you’re not alone. Not every marketing team we work with has everything checked off and ready to go. Your agency should guide you through the process, from wherever you’re starting. When you do check things off the list, have them handy–accessible and shareable, so you and your partner agency can hit the ground running when it comes time to redesign your website. When you spend time laying the groundwork, you’ll save time and money for the future. Knowing your brand forward and backward before partnering up with a web design agency will give you a good baseline in order to create a website that will serve your ideal customer well and pave the way for your business’s growth.