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The value of a website redesign

Yes, the agency business is cyclical, but last year we noticed something strange. It seemed increasingly harder and harder to bring on new clients.

A few brave friends risked offending our online marketing pride by pointing out our website might need a refresh. At first we bristled, but then the logic became clear. We had outgrown the minimum viable product website that we used to launch Clever Zebo.

We took our time, spent days breaking down our strengths and key value proposition. Rather than let our accomplishments stay hidden or be communicated half-heartedly, we invested in developing great case studies and recording passionate testimonials. We started with paragraphs, trimmed them to bullet points where possible, iterated wireframes and went through a vigorous design and redesign process.

We knew the new site looked and communicated better, but would it really make a difference?

The results have been incredibly clear. Not only has our conversion rate skyrocketed, but the companies who connect with us tend to be remarkably aligned on values and mission.

From the beginning of Clever Zebo, we wanted to be more than just advice-givers but fearless hands-on marketers who practice what we preach.

If you think you may be due for a website redesign, here are a few pointers for setting yourself up for success:

1. A redesign is more than new fonts and colors. That’s just a/b testing the look. A redesign requires getting in touch with your customers and what they’re looking for. It requires clarifying your value proposition, how you organize information and what are the key actions do you want your customer to take.

2. Involve the key stakeholders. A website redesign isn’t just a marketing exercise; it’s an organizational one. Get feedback and input across your organization. Not only does it make people feel involved, but you’ll be amazed what you learn about your customer and value proposition.

3. Don’t rush the stages. I highly recommend splitting your process into three stages (wireframes with copy, design and coding), each of which should be complete before moving on to the next.

4. LOVE the design before you start coding. It’s relatively easy to change a design, but once you start writing code it’s a lot harder to make changes. Get the design 100% right first.

5. Be patient. Change isn’t easy and may take some time.