What Comes After a Website Redesign & Brand Refresh? Time to Measure & Optimize
Congratulations! You’ve just completed a combined website redesign and brand refresh. It’s a great feeling of accomplishment, but we find that it’s nearly universally accompanied by a nagging underlying question for our clients: “Now what?”
After your team has a moment to catch their collective breath, you’ll want to turn your sights toward how to protect and grow your return on this sizable investment. Let’s take a look at how to benchmark your project’s results, optimize your new assets, and increase its reach through effective marketing and live insights.
Solving the “Now What?” Dilemma
We’ve broken down the post-launch plans for a combined website/brand refresh into 8 digestible steps:
First Things First: Celebrate!
A combined project of this magnitude is a big deal. You’re going to want to charge full steam ahead into releasing it into the world. Instead, take a beat to appreciate the moment — and all of the collaboration that went into getting your new site and branding across the finish line. Congratulate all team members who played a role and especially those who led the charge in making it happen.
Spread the Word
You’ll want to promote your new site and branding thoughtfully in a way that generates maximum buzz — but it often makes sense to schedule a “soft launch” with a set time period (a week or so) to work out any lingering bugs, followed by a proper full introduction across all social media, email, and other marketing channels.
This fresh start is a great opportunity to re-engage current users and get new audiences excited about working with you. Consider whether the timing of your launch may align with any major organizational milestones to provide the most impact. Take the opportunity to explain why you implemented the changes and what they mean to you and and to audiences as your organization moves into the future.
Take the Pulse
Find out what stakeholders and core users think of your new branding and website, but prioritize users (always!). Consider using on-site intercept surveys, email surveys, and post-launch testing to gather feedback and insights into their experiences.
Keep in mind that some of the responses you collect may surprise you and uncover insights that your team hasn’t considered before. Capture and synthesize the feedback and set a future date to collectively review the findings and determine whether they warrant a project Phase 2.
Monitor Performance & Pivot Accordingly
While basic Google Analytics should have been set up prior to your site launch, now is the time to get more granular about the results you want to measure and the goals you want to track over time. Identify which specific user actions matter most to your organization — and then use custom dashboards from multiple data sources, user testing, and other monitoring tools to help you follow and draw meaning from their actions. There are a variety of solutions on the market, such as Google Looker Studio, that can be configured to meet your specific needs.
IMPORTANT KPIs TO FOLLOW:
- Total traffic — How many users are showing up in a given day, week, or month
- Page views — What pages are they looking at most often?
- Acquisition — Where are users coming from when they land on your site? Is it another website or an organic search?
- Session behavior — What do visitors do when they reach your site? How long are they hanging out on specific pages and the site as a whole?
- Conversions/lead generation — How many users completed the actions you wanted them to take? Which pages were most and least successful at this, and why?
- Page speed and load time — How long does it take for your site to load? Are you losing users or SEO ranking because it takes too long?
Make sure to consider:
- What sources of data will provide the best insights for each KPI?
- What time interval should be set for measuring them?
- Who will handle these tasks?
Keep in mind that extracting these data points is just the first step: You need to know how to analyze them to understand how they translate into optimizing your user experiences, SEO, and conversion rates. And when you see metrics lagging in any of these areas, you need a plan to take corrective actions.
Consistency is key. Ensure that your content, messaging strategy, and visual assets are aligned with your updated brand positioning across all marketing channels. You don’t, for example, want someone engaging with your new site and branding and then clicking through to your LinkedIn account to find old versions of your copy assets, logo, or brand color palette. Their experience will feel disjointed at best, and unprofessional and unappealing at worst.
Stay Active & Engaged
While the famous line “If you build it, they will come” may apply to baseball stadiums in Iowa cornfields, it doesn’t translate here. You’ll need to continue content development and maintain an active online presence to engage regularly and meaningfully with audiences. Begin with creating an editorial plan and use e-mail, social media, and digital advertising to continually drive awareness of your brand, offerings, and differentiators from peers and competitors.
Make a Management Plan
It should come as no surprise that once your new site is launched, it takes ongoing attention across a variety of fronts to keep it running optimally long into the future. While website management spans an array of complex topics that fall outside the scope of this article, you’ll want to ensure you plan to address all of the following key tasks:
Read more about establishing a site management plan in Part 4 of our Digital Transformation Series: Enterprise Website Redesign: Strategies for Launch, Tracking & Ongoing Measurement.
Address Challenges & Valid Concerns
Inevitably, differing opinions will arise within your audiences regarding ongoing goals and decisions for your new site and branding. Create a plan to build alignment between objective user needs that are based on data versus individual stakeholder concerns that may be more skewed toward personal preferences and subjective opinions.
How Eastern Standard Can Help
Need a better understanding of how the strategies or concepts presented here apply to your unique needs? Reach out to start a conversation today.