UNAXYS - Smart Digital Solutions
Creating a reliable website plan will help you organize your efforts, collect the assets you need, and start off with an outline of your goals and a clear path for achieving them. The UNAXYS team develop custom crafted, business focused websites for businesses that want to succeed. We want to take you behind-the-scenes to reveal some important steps we’ve taken to approach web relaunches.
1. Competitive analysis: what are the others doing?
A relaunch makes sense if a website does not bring the desired benefits for the target group or the company. When the problems have been identified, an analysis of the competitors helps to orientate yourself. How do other competitors position themselves online? What do they communicate and how do they address their target groups? What does the design or redesign look like? Which keywords lead to the competitors?
An analysis of your (digital) competitors helps with your own positioning. A unique selling point that distinguishes your own services from others is of great advantage for the success of a website. Your (digital) competitors do not necessarily have to be companies from your own industry, but can also be companies that offer alternatives to your products - or that publish online about the same topic.
A car brand competitor can also be a car-sharing company, a bus company or anything that offers mobility. If you write about fitness topics, a corresponding fitness portal can also be a digital competitor.
2. Strategy: What do we want to achieve with the relaunch?
The success of a website means to achieve goals. These goals must first be defined. A relaunch needs a strategic and comprehensive concept that clearly formulates and coordinates the goals and action plans for the website.
3. Target groups: Who do we want to address and how?
At this stage of the website development cycle, the developer creates the data that allow a customer to judge how the entire site will look like. Based on the information that was gathered together in the previous phase, the sitemap is created. The sitemap should describe the relations between the main areas of your website. But it doesn’t contain any design elements such as colors, logos, etc. It only describes the elements that will be added to the page and their location based on sketches. The other important thing is select technology stack - programming language, frameworks, CMS etc. that you’re going to use.
4. Website concept and information architecture: How is the website structured?
Why is it called informational "architecture"? Because the concept for a website should be understood as a construction sketch for a house. Where's the bathroom, where's the kitchen, where can I rest? An information architect asks himself similar questions when considering how the content of a website is organized. Navigation and sitemap result from the considerations and determine the user's routes through the entire website (also known as the customer journey). The assignment follows from the point of view of the user who wants to move from side to side intuitively and according to logical principles.
The URL determination is also an important factor. Example: A user enters a certain keyword on Google based on a question. If the keyword is contained in a URL or in the website's meta tags, the user is taken directly to the detail page (or landing page), which in the best case answers his question. Therefore, it should be checked regularly which of your keywords perform in the Google ranking and how. The information architect creates structure - he paves the way for the user to go through the website after the relaunch.
5. Usability: What do users expect?
For the user, the offer must be understandable and intuitive to use; his expectation: he wants to achieve a result using known functions and elements with little effort. By the way: In the meantime, the user-friendliness and the resulting key figures (session duration, bounce rate, number of subpages visited) have become a primary criterion for the ranking of the website in search engines. Another competitor is just a click away!
6. Website Content planning: What did we want to say again?
Website content planning can become the supreme discipline of the relaunch. Because that is more and more important for the user and the provider. The content provides the user with answers to his questions and provides orientation.
Perhaps the old content is already so good that it can simply be adopted during the relaunch. A few questions in advance are still helpful: Does the content appeal to all target groups equally? Is the content really informative? Is it fun to read? It is worthwhile to carry out a content analysis before a relaunch.
Content is at the heart of every website, just as expertise is at the heart of a sales department. Relaunching your own website can do a lot: position your own brands better, generate leads, retain customers or inform your own employees.
7. Redesign: What should the new website look like?
User behavior is changing rapidly in the digital age. Contemporary web design is therefore a must: it makes the user curious and invites you to stay. Clean web design, for example, transports the page content at a glance and also plays a role in corporate identity. The design always depends on the content and structure of the website and not the other way around - a perfectly designed page without content does not bring a relaunch, as does thousands of content without an appealing design. The website not only has to look aesthetic, it also has to work: in 2019, 44.36% of all pageviews in the USA were made on a mobile device (Source Statista Inc. NY). Responsive design is required here: The website is optimally displayed on all end devices and browsers.
8. SEO: How is the new website found on the Internet?
A relaunch is of no use if nobody sees it. Already the second and third placement by Google is mostly "lost". Depending on the source, fewer or much less than 3% of all users click on this second search results page. If you want organic traffic, you must appear on the first search results page, in the digital slang: Search Engine Result Page (SERP).
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO has now become an independent business area of web agencies. The aim is that your website is displayed under the first search results. Google reads the content and structures of the websites offered according to known HTML standards and guidelines. In order for your site to be listed positively, it must adhere to these guidelines. In the case of a relaunch, SEO can affect technical components such as the internal link structure or tags. On the other hand, the content of a website can also be optimized: Relevant keywords make the content relevant to Google, the website is better ranked, the user finds it faster.
List them so that the most popular or most important content and detail pages can be found even more quickly after your relaunch. Create new pages for this content within your website structure and redirect the old addresses to them (301 redirect). So you don't have to start your Google ranking from scratch. The website becomes a strong sales portal - often better than cold acquisition or email marketing.
From May 2021, Google will set further ranking scores with the Core Web Vitals, with metrics such as loading time of elements, delays in JS and CSS etc. Then a look at the Google Search Console is then essential for the first analysis step.
9. Technical concept: does that work at all?
Before the relaunch starts, it must be clear whether the planned website is technically feasible. Can it be expanded if new content is added regularly? Which CMS meets the planned requirements? Can updates be added without problems? Does the layout adapt to technical changes? The digital product itself must be as dynamic as the digital age. A modular structure of the website, which can be continuously updated, makes sense (as is possible, for example, in Drupal). Those who plan the technical implementation of the relaunch right from the start avoid subsequent stress and additional effort.
10. The script: Didn't we forget anything?
The script records all the planned measures for the relaunch: the structural blueprint of the website, all content, design and technical aspects. It makes sense to define the individual project phases with all duties and expenses in order to keep track of problems. Because every observed (progress) step is documented, the script serves as an orientation for a successful relaunch.