The High Cost of Poor Digital Planning

The High Cost of Poor Digital Planning

You’ve got the green light from your marketing team, and you’re ready to start that long-awaited website redesign. So… what’s next?

Too many businesses make the mistake of going it alone or asking the wrong people. They “ask the new person” in I.T. to “put something together”, or the boss’s niece or nephew who “knows online stuff”. Maybe even worse, they outsource the project to someone who has no idea what the business goals are.

Approaching the process incorrectly will result in a variety of costly errors: the project estimate will almost certainly run over; there will be far too many rounds of revisions; and users will encounter a site that does not function the way they want it to, resulting in lost leads and missed sales.

The best place to start is with a business which specializes in website design. But even more than that, they need to have a process to approach website design or redesign properly. That means asking a lot of questions, doing their research, and taking a methodical approach to the project. The rights steps will yield success and lay the foundation for easier updates.

The right firm will ask important questions such as :
• What are your business goals for the site?
• What do you want users to accomplish?
• What are your site traffic and bounce rates?
• Who are your competitors, and what are they doing with their sites?

Working with an experienced partner means that your marketing team isn’t just creating a new design and pasting it over the old site. More importantly, it means that you will have a clear, well-conceived approach to getting your site done right.

Information is power. That’s why your design partner should take time to research your competitors and the marketplace in order to gauge where your business is in terms of succeeding in the online space. With that extensive information in hand, you can make better-informed decisions as to what your customers want and how the site can improve its potential to thrive in the digital space and your specific market.

After all this is done, you’ll have the basis for the next phases of your project, including design and coding. But neither of those can happen unless you have the information on which to build them.

If your budget is tight, it will pay to have even just this one phase completed. That way, if you cannot afford the full design or redesign, you at least have the market research to inform you when you’re ready.

Your website is your storefront online, even if it’s not e-commerce enabled. It’s what potential customers see first. Taking the right approach will ensure that it’s appealing to potential customers and a location which inspires confidence in return clients.

Don Lupo is a digital brand consultant and digital production veteran. His in-depth course on digital production can be found at Atheneum Collective.