There’s nothing like a website redesign to bring out the inner art director in almost everyone in an organization.
If you’re in a marketing team leading a site design, you’ll already have heard lots of opinions. Some of the most common criticisms and suggestions will be along the lines of:
This last one is probably the easiest to refute. Those who use marketing automation tools like Marketing Cloud, for instance, can easily demonstrate the value of a web site by showing how the traffic generates leads for the sales team, reduces strain on customer service teams by offering DIY troubleshooting and other benefits.
While many areas of a website redesign can seem somewhat subjective, keeping those marketing automation results in mind can actually help guide the journey your online visitors might take to boost your team’s performance even further.
Before developers will do any actual coding, for instance, they will usually work with the marketing team to develop a sort of sketch or “wireframe” that shows where all the major elements of the site will go. This will include standard things like the logo and the “About Us” and “Contact Us” sections, of course, but there is lots more to consider.
Due to the rise of smartphones, most mobile-first website redesigns take into account that users will most likely explore by scrolling down further and further through the home page. What follows is just one way to plot out a wireframe for a business site’s homepage, but as you read on, imagine you’re scrolling and seeing each of these sections in sequence.
There was a time when almost every business website would have started with a brief description of what it does, how long it has been in operation, how large it is and other details. Today, most of that information can be put under the “About Us” page and, more than likely, on the front of an organization’s “Company page” on social networking sites like LinkedIn.
Instead, try this: think of what your sales team promises a customer will have accomplished once they’ve formed a relationship and purchased your products and services. Summarize this in one short sentence.
“Learn What Customers Want And What To Do Next,” for instance, might work for a company offering some kind of analytics tool, or a consulting service. If the products and services are aimed at a specific industry, you would obviously put that before the word “customers” in the headline. Another example could be, “Build Trust With The Most Secure Environment,” which could speak to a business that focuses on protecting data from cybercriminals, or protecting the physical security of stores and offices.
In just one paragraph below, give a bit more context about the headline. This is where you could mention your company’s name in passing, along with any key products.
If you have a video tutorial or tour of your organization, put a button under this paragraph. You could also have a button that says “Talk to an expert” that takes them to a chatbot or the contact details of a sales team member.
You don’t have to use the term “use cases” for this section if you’re working outside of certain industries like technology, but this is really just a way to spell out the sorts of scenarios where your customers are most likely to come to you for help. Aim for at least five if you can. Even if your main product or service only does one thing, have details on:
These use cases can be simple one or two-sentence descriptions that link to more comprehensive assets like white papers and case studies that go into depth about each one. And speaking of case studies . . .
Testimonials from those who’ve already worked with you are some of your best resources, so don’t bury them in a back page somewhere. If you don’t have fully-fleshed out case studies yet, at least look at getting some representative names and, ideally, logos to showcase the track record you’ve established so far.
At this point in their journey, customers will be ready for one of two things: to take the plunge and have a conversation about making a purchase, or to learn more and make the case internally to their team.
Just in case they’re ready to become a customer, put the larger area with the tutorial or tour video in a section here, maybe with a screen shot to illustrate it. Even if you had it higher up the page already, it’s okay to have it again here because the whole point of the website redesign is to guide visitors towards action.
If you don’t have a video asset to use here, maybe show a diagram or illustration of how your products and services work in practice, linking to a form to request a call or to send a quote.
Don’t assume website visitors are already up to speed on your value proposition. Companies can be growing at many different stages, and are learning on the job just like you are. Showcase some of your best assets here, such as market research that validates the need for what you offer, videos with subject matter experts and customers, or online calculators that show what customers could save or generate in revenue by working with you.
These sections have been on websites for a long time, but they were rarely featured on home pages. The way buyers operate today, however, shows how important is to get access to detailed backgrounders more fluidly than ever before. It may sound obvious, but think about what will convert tire-kickers to buyers when you choose the three to five things you feature here. They might be your most recent assets. They could be your most popular assets. Or they could be the assets that will help drive interest in products that aren’t selling as well as they should.
Once you’ve got this kind of wireframe established, the rest of the website redesign -- the details on the footer, the menu buttons at the top -- can fall into place. Let everyone else argue about how pretty it should look. No matter what happens next, you not only have a design plan but a strategic customer journey that Marketing Cloud will help you execute.