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Any website relaunch can be a challenge, no matter the size or type of your company. The considerations that go into a website relaunch span from audience research, content, design, technical requirements, SEO, mobile compatibility … the list goes on.

Believe it or not, digital marketing agencies follow the same challenges when “remodeling” a website. iAcquire, a New York- and Phoenix-based digital marketing firm, recently re-launched their agency website. Follow their journey and learn some key tips from iAcquire’s personal story.

1. Research Fuels Strategy

A website should be constructed though a well-defined strategy. In order to create a strategy, you need to define your audience, online buying behaviors, need states, and effective conversion tactics. Persona research should fuel your redesign. For example, when iAcquire was in the planning stages of the website relaunch, they made a dedicated effort to understanding who their audience is and how to resonate with them. iAcquire defined four key audience personas and built a content strategy that centered around them. The agency also created an extensive creative brief that included technical, on-page SEO, content, social, and “brand tone” requisites that were all tied to a handful of goals. No matter what size your organization is, create a plan based in research and execute off of that “blueprint.”

2.  Content Is King

“A snazzy looking site is good and all, but if your content isn’t worth a damn, neither is your site,” notes Robb Dorr, the Creative Director at iAcquire. “And it’s not just about well-written prose — content has to be planned out.”

Make sure the new site has well-planned content and plenty of it. The content overall should speak to your key audience personas, while also representing your overall brand promise and voice. It should be to-the-point, jargon-free, and broken up into digestible “pieces” for the reader.

3. Are You Going Mobile?

When relaunching a website, keep mobile devices in mind as well. A recent study revealed that 40 percent of people will choose another result if it is not mobile friendly. People know they have multiple options at their fingertips, so they are more inclined to leave a site that can’t provide them a seamless user experience while they are on their mobile device.

iAcquire used a bootstrap front-end framework, made by @mdo and @fat, and it does the bulk of the lifting on the responsive side of things. There are some pages though that are still having their mobile layout enhanced.

4. Transfer Your Analytics

Marketing ROI can always be found in the numbers. Make sure that your organization’s new website is migrated. Especially during a relaunch, new campaign, or product launch, it is crucial to see what is happening on your website, so you can gauge how users react to the changes, if the bounce rate increases and if you still get enough people through the important and correct sources.

5. Keep Intelligent Design in Mind

Robb Dorr said it best: “Intelligent design means a design that seamlessly integrates form with function. It should effectively accomplish its goal or objective without adding too much fluff and glitter that can confuse the user. It should make the most complex task simple and intuitive for the end user, even when it’s their first time using the site or application.”

Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 1.58.41 PM

A good example: iAcquire implemented a easy-to-use timeline to visually showcase the agency’s milestones. 

6. Who’s Your Host?

Consider where you are going to host your site. Is it going to sit on a private server that you maintain or on a dedicated server with a hosting company? Will your server be able to handle the traffic you anticipate? How will you manage you site’s content? Who will manage your site’s content? Consider what frameworks you will use on the front end, what Javascript libraries you will use; MooTools or jQuery? Php, .Net, or Rails? WordPress or Drupal? All of these things need to be considered.

7. Understand the Commitment

Understand the time and energy that will go into relaunching your website. A good website takes thought-through content strategy, design, development, SEO, and project lead. If you feel that you can’t dedicate the time to these areas, consider outsourcing.

About Allie Gray Freeland

Allie Gray Freeland is a freelance Marketing Consultant based in Kansas City, KS. She specializes in content marketing, public relations, and digital strategy. Allie is a graduate of the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and has a decade of experience. She contributes to various business, marketing, and tech publications. Follow her at @AllieGrayFree.

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