In this episode our team members discuss the unexpected yet avoidable issues that businesses face during the relaunch of their website.
Why do companies decide to relaunch their website?
A website relaunch is most commonly used to improve the user experience, the efficiency and functionality of a site, and contributes to the general management of the brand. Some examples of reasons which can lead companies to make such a decision are inefficiency in the technical infrastructure, unclear subscription processes, poor organic ranking, or layouts that are simply not pleasing to the eye. In this Fireside Chat we discuss what the implications are, what factors are important to consider and how companies can make the most out of such a strategic move.
How do you know if a website relaunch is for you?
From our experience, companies occasionally face unexpected issues during and after their website relaunch. Indeed, time and energy are often underestimated, imperfections can arise which need fixing, and the impact on new and existing customers can be different than expected. The first step we encourage companies to take is to ask themselves certain questions. This can help teams figure out what underlying issues should be tackled and how. To avoid taking one step forward and ten steps back, consider the following:
→ What is the specific reason for wanting to relaunch?
→ Are there multiple reasons and if so how should you prioritise and separate them?
→ Are your customers’ needs being considered?
→ Are you considering it for existing customers or for new ones?
→ How do you separate the back end from the front end?
Ultimately, relaunching a website signifies figuring out a way to play around with imagery from the customers viewpoint in a way that is independent from the technical flow of everything that goes on behind the screen. These different areas are often not clearly defined or separated from each other. If there is clear separation, the corresponding work that is required can be clearly understood and carried out. Ultimately, the communication flows efficiently within the team and there is improvement in how customers’ needs are met. This allows for flexibility, which is important for the independent services to develop organically. Thus, the structure of a website must be designed in a way that allows smart growth, which sometimes requires a re-design of its foundations.
However, a website relaunch is not always necessary. Unfortunately, it is often used as a way to fix issues which could be dealt with on a much smaller scale. One example and common mistake is to relaunch a website in the hopes of improving the relationship with customers, when in actual fact there is a simple misunderstanding of what their needs are. It is important not to assume that a relaunch will provide clarity or answers. Instead, focus your time and effort on understanding what their expectations are and how those can be met and surpassed. From there you can re-design in the best way, if that is even necessary once this understanding has been reached.
What must you consider before taking this step?
Creating a ‘pain points’ list which all team members can contribute to is a way to keep track of issues that arise over time. Storing these in one shared place gives a team the opportunity to have a holistic approach when a website relaunch is planned, or to research and solve individual issues as they come up. Indeed, teams can discover solutions through networking, research and development, update of software, acquiring new staff members with different backgrounds and new knowledge. Ultimately, issues are not forgotten and goals can be clearly set if the decision of a relaunch is ever made.
In some instances, recurring issues can be symptoms of a problematic system. In this case a website requires a relaunch instead of one time ‘quick fixes’. On the other hand, certain issues can be solved without the need for an entire website relaunch. It is sometimes tricky to know which solution is the correct one.
To make the right decision, it is smart to consider different viewpoints. It is also an opportunity to talk to all the stakeholders who are involved. Giving individuals, departments, and all areas of a business a voice, who might not usually take part in such decision making, is not only empowering but also potentially enlightening as new ideas can be explored. Creating a sense of value in team members is important in all aspects of work. This does not only contribute to healthy and open-minded company culture but also makes sure there are no missed opportunities. When all players get the chance to share their ideas, the vision of the company and its trajectory can be built in a more holistic manner.
Building a website with strong and clear foundations is crucial for organic growth. If clearly defined areas are kept separate and can be worked on independently, then problem solving and long-term strategic planning is improved. If you are considering a website relaunch and want a sparring partner to discuss it with, or simply another pair of eyes to analyse the pros and cons, we’re happy to help: https://gandt.ch/#contact