The Evolutionary Site Redesign Approach: A Safe and Effective Alternative to a Complete Website Redesign
What is Evolutionary Site Redesign?
Evolutionary website redesign (ESR) is a type of agile approach for making design changes throughout a website's life cycle that includes an ongoing process of testing what works and what doesn't. Unlike a total website redesign, evolutionary web design updates the look and feel, and also introduces new functionality, little by little, so that your site quite literally “evolves” into the best site it can be.
Why is Evolutionary Site Redesign effective?
As opposed to a total redesign, which can sometimes impact your search visibility for a bit of time, (which is to be expected when you’re restructuring everything at once), ESR literally takes an agile approach to evolve your website, thus minimizing the negative impact of search visibility, while also helping to increase conversions through scheduled testing.
ESR gives continuous results improvement.
There are two major differences between ESR and the traditional “radical” site redesign approach:
1. Evolutionary Site Redesign may be seen as ‘slower’ but can produce results faster.
After a traditional website redesign, you may feel like you need to spend months scrambling to fix the conversion rate drop with your entirely new site. ESR, in contrast, creates a system of continuous improvement so your website maintains, and then steadily increases conversion rates.
2. ESR sets your site up for success.
Traditional redesign is based on the reliance of best practices. With even the most highly acclaimed, talented development teams (shameless plug to our amazing devs at CommonPlaces), we know that the reality is: No one is 100% perfect with execution of a total website redesign 100% of the time. When ESR is executed properly, your website will continuously keep up with, and even surpass the success of your competition by utilizing conversion rate optimization principles.
How ESR Helps Eliminate Redesign Conversion Drop
The dreaded drop in conversions and search visibility – No one likes to talk about it, but it is a reality. By adopting the evolutionary site redesign approach you can essentially be proactive against radical website redesign risks while ALSO improving your website step-by-step.
With evolutionary site redesign, your website analytics have the potential to continuously show an upward trend. Once you’ve defined your website’s goals clearly, you can continuously optimize content to improve on these goals.
ESR works on a method of continuous testing, which will occur throughout your entire website – as well as your marketing campaigns. Rather than relying on research alone and ‘what you think you know’ about your audience, you see the facts on how your viewers are interacting with your site so you can make informed decisions on your next steps.
Ten Great Reasons to work with CommonPlaces for Your Evolutionary Site Redesign:
- You will benefit from a new site “look and feel”, while increasing your conversions at the same time... But (keep reading).
- You will maintain your development team’s focus on the most important business metrics FIRST, rather than just how the site looks.
- You avoid the conversion rate and search visibility risks of a “radical” site redesign.
- You will literally see the ‘evolution’ in your analytics dashboard as well as in the visual aspects of your site – with the added benefit of zero downtime.
- ‘Baby steps’ are actually able to increase conversions (and subsequently, PROFITS) more quickly because there is no ‘catch-up’ time post redesign.
- Your website testing can be leveraged to evolve all of your brand positioning, design, and messaging, based on actual customer behavior.
- You will learn which of your new elements actually improve conversion results, and which could use improvement.
- Your users will experience a seamless transition, which means that your customers will not be subjected to a radically changed site overnight.
- See nearly instant results by addressing problem areas like conversion rate drops, bounce rate, etc., with necessary changes to fix issues as they appear. Continuous improvement for the win!
- You get excellent budget control. With ESR, your site is something you’ll always budget for in small increments. This is very different from radical site redesign, which places site design as a periodic capital expense, and sometimes a large one. The overall cost will average out to about the same in the big picture, but it’s definitely a perk to NOT have a lump sum expense.
Evolutionary Site Redesign is not for everyone.
There will always be cases for a total redesign.
Basically, if your website completely sucks (yes I said it – sometimes there is no denying it), you are better off doing a radical redesign. Of course, ONLY after thorough research into your demographic, and listening to your audience.
ABSOLUTELY Consider a total redesign if:
- Your site hasn’t been updated for 3+ years
- Your site is “broken” as far as most functionality goes
- There’s barely any lead generation happening
- Your site is no longer on-brand with your company
- The conversion objectives of your site are not well defined, so there is no good place to begin improvements besides an entire overhaul
- You have customer feedback that your site is too confusing, and there is no way to address that with evolution
Whatever you do, if your site is already performing well, I highly recommend you DON’T consider a total radical redesign if you:
- “Feel like it could look better”
- Have no actual conversion goals set. How will you know if the new site will be successful or not if you haven’t set conversion goals?
If you ARE in need of a radical redesign, keep in mind that this will be the first step – followed by a schedule of evolutionary redesign to continually improve.
ESR, In Conclusion
As the name implies, evolutionary site redesign is an approach for continuous improvement. You won’t be stuck every few years with one radical design that changed a bunch of elements, and you’ll be on a consistent schedule of testing and improving, which can include anything from your clickthrough rate – to leads – to your actual conversions.
Alrighty – now you’re armed with information! Need advice on which approach is the best recipe for your website redesign success? Let CommonPlaces assess your site and make recommendations as to which will be the most valuable solution to your business. Let’s get cookin’.