Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” No one quite understands the truth of this saying more than today’s B2B manufacturers do. After all, they know all the work that goes into taking a product from concept to market.
In many ways, redesigning your website is similar to manufacturing a product. Just like Manufacturing Process Management (MPM), you also need to research, set goals, design, launch, and measure results to make sure your company’s website redesign is successful.
Do Your Research
In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” You wouldn’t start manufacturing a product without doing your research first, so don’t start redesigning your company’s website before doing your research. As Jon Ballard, CEO of Foremost Media points out, “Studying your current website analytics provides you with valuable insight into how your existing customers are using your website and how you can redesign your website to improve user engagement.”
An article by Forbes also suggests that your company should research other websites they like and put together a list of colors, fonts, logos, images, and other branding materials to provide web developers and graphic designers with an idea of the look and feel your company wants for their redesigned website.
Set Your Goals
SMART goals are:
To help your company create a set of SMART goals, you need to decide if you want your website to:
- Act as an online brochure.
- Educate potential customers about their products and services.
- Increase brand awareness.
- Retain or upsell existing customers.
- Generate qualified leads.
- Sell more products or services.
- Establish your company as an industry leader.
Chances are, your company will want their website to do all or most of the things on the above list, but try to pick the two or three objectives that are the most important and focus on redesigning the website to achieve those goals.
Design Your Website To Achieve Your Goals Our own Art Director, (a.k.a. “Creatorious Maximus”), Stephen Cardwell, states, “We have a saying in the design business, crap in, crap out.” Like the products your company manufactures and sells, your company’s website needs to function well in addition to looking good.
The goals for your new website may be set, but you still need to make sure the design of your company’s new website encourages your customers to do what you want them to do. If the primary goal of a website redesign is to generate qualified leads, the design of your new website should take users to the form they are supposed to fill out in no more than one or two clicks. If the goal of the website is educate potential customers about your company’s products and services, the design of your new website should include healthy amounts of quality, informative content that customers will find useful.
Launch Your Website
Many manufacturing companies still think that launching their website is as simple as pressing a stereotypically large, red launch button. But, there is actually a little more to it than that.
Prior to launching your company’s redesign website, you should test to make sure everything on the website looks and functions the way it is supposed to. You should also make sure that any Google Analytics or custom event tracking scripts are in place and tracking properly. If the page URLs on the new website are different than the page URLs on your old website, be sure that the old pages are 301 redirected to the new pages on the redesign website before launch as well.
Measure Your Results
Once your company’s redesigned website has been launched, it’s time to start measuring your results. The best way to determine whether or not your company’s website redesign was a success, is whether it is achieving the SMART goals you set, and the only way to do this is by analyzing your key performance indicators (KPIs). Your company’s KPIs indicate how effectively your redesigned website is achieving its key objectives. If your company’s SMART goal was to for the redesigned website to generate 15% more qualified leads by the end of the quarter, you need to monitor and analyze the website performance data and make adjustments accordingly to achieve your goal. If your company isn’t measuring its results, it cannot accurately determine its return-on-investment (ROI) from the website redesign.
For everything else you need to know to make sure that your company’s next website redesign is a success, download your free copy of the Manufacturer’s Ultimate Guide To Website Redesign.
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