The average site gets a refresh every two to four years – but if you launched a poorly designed site yesterday, you are already due for a redesign. Whether your organization is large or small, making the case for a website redo can be tricky, especially if your website isn’t your main product. Make sure you’ve thought through these questions as you build your business case.
What specifically isn’t working?
Redesigning your site shouldn’t be something you do just because you feel like it. Even if you’re doing the development yourself, changes to your site should be done with a purpose. How does redoing your website align to your business goals? It’s not enough to say a new site will bring in more customers – how will it do that? Consider specific, measurable statements that follow the model of: evidence, action, outcome goal. Evidence:
Our Google Analytics show that 78% of our users are accessing using a mobile device. Action:
Create a responsive, mobile-optimized site that ensures easy access and a straightforward experience. Outcome Goal:
By optimizing our mobile view, sales from a mobile device will increase by 15%. It’s critical that these change statements align with the most important tasks you want users to complete on your site, so be specific and be strategic in the ones you choose, and make sure you have solid evidence to back them up. The last step to this is proof – don’t forget to go back and measure your success once your project is complete. Demonstrating a set plan that you measure and prove out makes the entire process much more transparent and trustworthy. Following through will ensure that the next time you bring a project forward, you have a solid track record to rely on.
What’s the risk of not changing?
A good business case should always consider what happens if you do nothing. Consider the impact to your business from as many angles as possible: from losing customers because they can’t find the information, to losing ground against your competitors, to the brand impact of being perceived as out of date. It should be noted, there are times when the risk of not changing isn't enough to justify the cost. However, if you're finding that is the case even though you truly believe in the project, consider how you might lower the implementation cost in order to balance the scales in your favour. For example, could you try a phased approach that focuses on your most impactful change? Know your boss’s goals? See if the risks of the status quo will undermine a goal, or if the upside of changing will help support it. Don't mistake me - this is not about tricking anyone into supporting your project. A web redesign is not a weekend affair; you will need informed support from your management to help execute it well.
Make It About Money
Even charities are in the business of money. Digital projects run the risk of being first on the budget chopping block if you don’t have a solid connection to the cash, both from a cost and ROI perspective. If you don’t already know your cost per customer acquisition, start there. What does a 15% increase in mobile sales translate to in dollars? Just like on Dragon's Den, you need to know your numbers and have put sufficient thought into your options and risks. This process can become all about education, especially if your boss is not digitally fluent. It is your job to translate the costs and benefits associated with a new build, so make sure you are as comfortable with the details as you can be. Consider teaming up with a colleague to cover off any aspects that aren't your area of strength.
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