Diary of a Website Overhaul – Week 2 : Strategy


Diary of a Website Overhaul – Week 2 : Strategy

With some big changes happening behind the scenes this year, a website overhaul is on the cards. So this is my little Saturday project for the coming weeks and I am going to document the process.

Last time I spoke about what was not working with the existing website and identified the things I wanted to change with my website and why. Today I will be talking about how to I am going to fix those issues.

So from our previous post I came up with my Website Goals:-

  • Marketing Tool for Potential Clients
  • Information source for Existing Clients

During the past few weeks I’ve had time to think more about things that need to be addressed. I really recommend taking time to do this, just so you don’t get the work done and realise ‘OH we should have done that too!’.

One thing is our availability, I have a lot of people contact me wanting websites within 2 weeks, and unless someone invents a time machine or a cloning device it’s just not possible.  I’ve also thought about how I am addressing my secondary goal of information source for existing clients, I think I need to add an Email Marketing campaign subscription – and practice what I preach.

So here is my final (for now) list of things that I’ve identified that need to be changed:-

  • New Design
  • Replace the home page slideshow with something that wont appear outdated
  • Streamline the pricing section of the site
  • Expand the portfolio pages
  • integrate more social media
  •  Availability *new*
  • Newsletter sign up *new*

So let’s talk about the strategy…

How we are going to do it!

This section is quite specific to my requirements, so if you’re following along at home look at your list of things you want to change in terms of function and expand on HOW you are going to change them. Look at your analytics, talk and listen to your users and don’t forget to keep your website goals in mind.

Design..

If a new design is on the cards for you, think about the styles you like, theme, inspiration, elements you would like to include.

Not much I can really expand on here but as a general idea I’ve decided to go for an organic look, with a mix of artistic elements including illustrations & water colours. I also want to put in place some infographics about the various processes. Maybe a little ambitious but that is a plan of attack for now. I am going to spend some time looking for some inspiration and come up with my mood board (stay tuned for next week’s post!).

Home Page Slideshow 

Adios mi Amigo! We’re getting rid of Mr Slideshow and replacing with some of our most recent work or featured work – as that is what we update most often. This will keep the home page fresh and keep Mr Google happy too.

Pricing 

After looking at my analytics I’ve noticed that my most popular page hit  is ‘our work’,  closely followed by ‘what we do’ and ‘pricing’. My original idea was to amalgamate these pages entirely but I’ve decided to share the content across them so there are different entry points but display relatively similar information. So looking at the pricing page key points I want to address:-

  • Pricing Pages to list the most popular examples of types of work- e-Commerce, CMS, Blog, Basic Websites, Email Marketing etc.
  • Each category contains a small introduction with ball park pricing
  • Display 3 examples per category with a link to view more (our work)
  • Link to get a quote.

Our Work …

With the design I will overhaul these pages, but some function is to be added.

I am relatively happy with the grid layout, but I want to include and streamline the filters in the right hand menu. I was considering adding case studies with more information about each project, but then I came back to my time poor existence – so that is getting put on the backburner for now.  I was also considering using lightbox (click to view larger) functionality instead of linking to individual pages but decided that might make me take a hit in the google stakes, so again another thing on the backburner.

I need to add a ‘Call to Action’ in this section so will direct link to the pricing for the type of job on each filter.

The individual pages for the portfolio.. where do I start…. Remove the cropped image at the top of each page and provide a full size images. I also want to make this as easy as possible to update so I am adding some checkboxes as to features.

Also provide another call to action with a direct link to the pricing section.

Social Media …

Really only a couple of things I want to do here – add a link to our facebook page as it’s no where to be found on the website and use facebook connect so people can instantly comment on our blog with their facebook account.

Availability …

I have to do some investigative work on how this will actually work, but this will be added to the pricing page – I will integrate our schedule into a google calendar. I wont display actual details but more of an estimated start date for your project if you book today. It needs to be super easy to update and streamlined with our existing scheduling systems.

Newsletter …

A signup form needs to be added! We’ll deal with the content and design at a later date, but the key thing is for it to be in a prominent position for us to start collecting email addresses!

Summing up

So I can just pretty much copy and paste this and I have the good starting of  a website brief. So if you’re following along at home your home work is to take your list of issues – make them headings and then write out what how you are going to fix those issues – solutions! If you haven’t done last weeks home work you can find it here

Next week I’ll be looking at creating a mood board for the design component.

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