Let’s be honest, no marketing director looks forward to the dreaded process of scoping out a web site redesign RFP. The process of building out an RFP can be a drain, even before you get the flood of proposals to review. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to get out of the web site redesign RFP cycle. By having a site in constant improvement, you’ll never have to rebuild it again. As a result, you’ll save significant money in the long run and maintain a highly effective web presence.
Here are some steps to get you there…
1. Test updates to your site. It’s always helpful to have a user base that serves as beta testers on your site. This can be a devoted market segment, or even your existing clients, but make sure that they represent the people you’re selling to. Show them what you’re up to, and their feedback will be priceless. Bringing them behind the curtain also communicates to them how much you value their opinion.
2. Understand that one site can’t do everything. Pinpoint exactly what your site should be doing, and manage your site – and your expectations – by simply asking, “what is my website’s job?”. If trying to answer that question exhausts you, just image what your attempts are doing to your visitors. This post should help.
3. Treat your site as a living document. It can be easy to neglect a web site’s need for updates and maintenance. It doesn’t cry or complain. However, its relevance, effectiveness and search visibility can start to wither away if not given the proper attention. When sites get to this point, it can be tempting to scrap the whole thing and start over, which is completely unnecessary (not to mention expensive). So it’s important that you’re placing content updates and strategy as a scheduled priority for your site. You’ll see traffic and conversions increase, and won’t need to reconsider the entire project as a whole.
4. Use a CMS so big changes aren’t a big deal. We’re not going to turn a blind eye to the fact that tastes change, and unpredictable events like new technology (mobile, for instance) can mandate a major shift in the design and presentation of your site. Fortunately, if your site is built on a content management system like WordPress, you won’t have to start from the beginning. Your content, navigation structure and enhanced functionality won’t need to be touched in most cases, leaving you far less to change, and the relief of avoiding a total redesign.
What are you doing to prolong the life of your website?