Fewer than one-third of businesses in operation today have a complete, business-focused website. Very small businesses may tend to rely on “Yellow Pages” listings for their businesses. On the other end of the spectrum, highly functional websites have become a standard marketing tool for large businesses. For those businesses in between, a website is indispensable. Consumers prefer to locate businesses, conduct product and price research and shop online. But if you already have a business website, how can you distinguish between the need for “design maintenance” and “website redesign?”
Website redesign: Using analytics to help you understand your website
The best websites are dynamic. It’s rare (maybe impossible) to find a popular website whose content is completely static. To draw new and returning visitors, a website must provide an ongoing reason to visit or return. In most cases, the draw of a website is the content. Another big attraction may be a set of very useful resources or services that repeatedly engage the user in unique and meaningful ways. But to provide a truly dynamic experience, things have to change. How can you provide your users with a consistently high quality web experience, while avoiding change for change’s sake?
Website redesign isn’t something to undertake lightly, so you really need to contemplate your changes carefully. Having enough information about who your visitors are and why they’re at your site can help you put your website redesign task in the proper perspective. If you don’t use website analytics to identify your visitors and determine whether most of them are returning or seeing your site for the first time, this is where you should start.
Website analytics can be indispensable in helping you determine which parts of your website work well, and which parts don’t sit quite right with your visitors. While measuring the characteristics of web traffic is one primary benefit of website analytics, this approach can also help test the relative success of changes, help your organization conduct market research, and quantify what related events are happening both on your particular website and on other websites that your organization doesn’t control.
With your website analytics in place, you can begin to see where your website redesign efforts should be concentrated. Avoid making major changes to the parts of your website that work well, and use the analytic results to identify those areas of your website that may cause visitors to stumble.
For example, you can use website analytics to test new navigation strategies before you deploy them in a major website redesign. If they don’t work in testing, they’re not going to help in your production environment, either. By eliminating likely failures early, you can save money and time in the website redesign process, and spend more development effort on identifying changes that will truly improve your website.
If you would like more information about website redesign, or incorporating website analytics into your website in advance of a website redesign project, please contact our Creative Director, Dave Ramsell or give Dave a call at (330) 243-0651 to set up a consultation.
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