The Website Redesign Conversation You Should Be Having With Your Clients
When clients seek a website redesign, they don’t always know what they want. They know they want a different look, new structure or revised copy, but they may have trouble pinpointing their specific needs. By asking clients some basic questions about their motivations and goals for the redesign before creating a proposal, you’ll enhance communication and understanding so you can develop a clear picture of what the individual truly wants.
Website Redesign Questions to Ask
Tell me about your organization in a few sentences. This request gives you a snapshot of what the organization does.
What would happen if your current site stays the same? This question helps a client pinpoint the items on the site that do not work. For example, the website may not be easy to use on mobile browsers.
What sets your organization (or background) apart from your competitors? Why would new customers seek you? This inquiry helps create a focus for the website redesign and ensures the new site will enhance the client’s professional credibility. Instead of declaring that the organization offers the “best service in the area,” which is too general, the redesign can emphasize the client’s years of experience in the industry or excellent customer retention rates.
What problems does your organization solve? In today’s marketing world, consumers aren’t interested in simply hearing about how great a company is. They focus on the solutions and experiences a company offers.
Why do you think website visitors should do business with you and not your competitor? When a search engine’s results yield multiple pages of competitors offering the same services or products, it’s important to have a website that highlights what makes the organization memorable.
Who is your target customer? Who do you hope to attract with your website redesign? Please offer details about your target’s geographic location, age, gender, interests, income, family status and so on. This question helps you gain a better understanding of the client’s expectations. Keep in mind that the redesign should be geared toward attracting the target customer – not necessarily the client.
What is your budget? This inquiry tells you a lot about a prospective client. Good clients are individuals who are willing to pay the price for good work. If a client doesn’t know how to answer this question, he or she maybe hasn’t thought about it or just doesn’t really know what a redesign realistically costs.
Are you the decision-maker for this project? How quickly do you plan to make decisions? Hopefully you’re already dealing with a decision-maker who will be able to get back to you within a day or two regarding decisions. Otherwise, long turnaround times can drag out the project. This is also a good time to ask if you’ll be working with other staff members.
What is your expected deadline? The answer to this question can give you a picture of the scope of the project. Follow up by asking if the client has a specific reason for the target deadline, such as a re-branding, trade show or other publicity event.
List three to five sites you like, and tell me why you like them. The websites listed will indicate the client’s preferences with regard to looks, organization and copy.
Have you checked out your competitors’ websites? What do you like or dislike about them? A competitor’s site is a great place to learn trade secrets and find great ideas.
What things do you not want in a redesign? Asking this question in advance can help save time.
Who is writing the web copy? Is the copy ready for the redesign? If you aren’t providing the web copy, you’ll need to coordinate with the person who is.
Do you plan to sell items online? If so, what are the items, how many do you plan to sell and what forms of payment will you accept? This question will help you determine if your client needs an e-commerce strategy for the site.
What technologies do you want to integrate into the redesign? Find out whether the client expects to use any third-party tools such as a loan application, client login area or secure document shelf. This is the time to catch any potential opportunities for adding functionality.
What five keywords are most important for your site? This question will help you develop appropriate SEO-related codes and tags.
How do you want to encourage repeat website visitors and referrals? When a client answers this question, you’ll learn whether he or she plans to use social media, a blog, whitepapers, referral incentives or e-newsletters.
Use the completed questionnaire and work with the client to analyze the information provided and come up with a set of goals for the site’s redesign. To help the client define his or her goals, you may need to conduct an analysis of comparable websites and a traffic analysis of the current site, as well as define customer personas and conduct customer interviews.
Once the client defines the goals, create a comprehensive plan that shows how you intend to achieve them. While long questionnaires and analyses seem time-consuming, the information you glean will help you communicate better with your client so you can make his or her website redesign wishes come to fruition.
About the Author:
This post is courtesy of Cameron Madill, CEO of PixelSpoke, a Portland, Oregon based agency specializing in website redesigns and digital marketing strategies.
Published May 30th, 2013 by Steven Snell