Redesign a Website for a Purpose

I wrote this article to challenge common misconceptions about website design processes that hinder data-driven approaches. What makes me “the expert”? Like other experts, I’ve made and corrected mistakes over a decade.

“Call a meeting; let’s redesign our website so we don’t feel guilty about not addressing what we should be looking at.”

John Smith shows up first because he dislikes how the navigation bar “navigates” (I’ll get to him later).

With this article, I speak on behalf of all data nerds in marketing. We see you!

Everyone has an opinion about the colors, messaging, and navigation for the new “design” that will save the business. Data? Overrated! Let’s just redesign and hope things get better!

People: Your visitors, most likely, are not on your website for entertainment or to see beautiful colors and images. If you are a business for profit, you design FOR PROFIT. Next time you’re asked to redesign your company’s website or a landing page, ask this simple question: “Why?”

You will hear things like “not enough leads,” “not enough conversions,” “SEO traffic is low,” “not enough engagement,” “site is too slow.” I promise you won’t hear anything else.

Define your goals before deciding to redesign. Identifying goals can be as simple as aiming for “conversions.” Why do you have a website? To capture leads for nurturing through emails and calls to close deals? To sell products online? To encourage visitors to try your demo? Perhaps all of the above?

When redesigning a website or changing value propositions, funnels must start by identifying specific problems to solve, each requiring different data sets.

Remember, without enough website visitors, you have no data to make decisions about a website redesign.

Not Enough Conversions:

Are there not enough total conversions or percentages of conversions? Let’s say you need 400 conversions a day but convert 12 a day, and your site gets 100 unique views daily. 12% conversion rate? Instead of redesigning the site, you should give the medal of honor to the current designer. In this case, solve your traffic problem rather than a “design problem.”

If you have enough visits (assuming they are from the right location), do grown-up analytics. Analyze the user journey, exit points, and abandonment rates, then manipulate your messaging and design to drive the traffic where it converts.

SEO Traffic is Low:

This one is my favorite because, as the laziest on earth, I have to do minimal work to identify if the design is why my rankings are low. Use tools like SEMRush, Ahrefs, or free options like Google Search Console. If your web pages are:

  • Indexable
  • Acceptably mobile-friendly (GSC refers to them as ‘URLs needing improvement’)
  • Not misleading users with click-baits or hidden text

Then, your SEO problem essentially has nothing to do with your design.

P.S.: You can improve your rankings with a user-friendly design, but this is not how search engines evaluate your website entirely. Rethink your content in this case.

Not enough “engagement”:

Website analytics are often misunderstood. Most marketers, often unknowingly, rely on inductive reasoning by collecting data from their existing websites to make decisions. Data is usually an unprocessed version of information; do not consume it raw. Consider bounce rates, for example. They are meaningless without context. A high bounce rate doesn’t necessarily indicate poor engagement. Suppose your website’s marketing goal is lead capture, with forms on every page. If your conversion rates are satisfactory, a high bounce rate is acceptable. Simply knowing your bounce rate is insufficient to gauge your website’s engagement quality.

In short, no matter how accurate the data you collect for your website, if it’s not initially designed to deliver your ultimate business goals (conversions), you are just “rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic.”

Site is too slow:

I assure you, it’s not the red button or the stock image causing this. Check your PageSpeed Insights. Your site’s slowness could stem from unoptimized images or, worse, your INP (Interaction to Next Paint) failure. You might not need a complete redesign to fix these issues.

Image optimization: Cloudflare APO, NitroPack, Imagify
High INP: Check your field data (your developer will understand).

Relying on data means that, in the worst-case scenario, the time spent is an investment as you gather usable information. Without data, you risk wasting 100% of your efforts. Decision-makers demand that John provides data for every issue he identifies, not just opinions.

I kept the number of examples and tool names brief to enhance article precision. Updates will follow.

So, how do you redesign your website?

First and foremost:

Identify your business model. You didn’t build your business to attach it to a website; the other way around, your website should be the best representation of your business model and overall value proposition.

Solution provider? Selling products? Both or something else? A beautiful design that is not relevant to the company’s business model is not really useful, is it?

The business model dictates the site structure, and the site structure dictates the main navigation. Most companies make the mistake of treating their main page to serve end conversion (down the funnel, such as buy now, capture emails, etc). The main page of a website, generally speaking, should serve the following purposes:

  1. GPS for your business and other pages
  2. Prospect-level value proposition delivery
  3. Identify your business for search engines (it’s unlikely that you would optimize your main page for SEO and paid marketing to generate leads).

First, identify an approach that aligns with your business model and reflects it on your website, especially the site navigation.

Solution-focused model: You categorize and structure your offerings based on what you solve and not who needs them (my favorite).
Personal-focused model: You categorize and structure your offerings based on the business (small business, enterprise, or consumer, etc).

In my experience, website visitors do not identify themselves as “personal,” “small business,” or “enterprise.” Companies do, but not the individuals who work for them. Additionally, a personal-based approach adds an unnecessary step to the thought process of your prospects. Here is an example:

I am a CMO looking for an email marketing solution. Since I am searching for such a solution, I already have some ideas of what features I am looking for. I am ready to be exposed to the details of packages, and I shouldn’t have to look for an “enterprise” button to see my package version. I don’t mind seeing all packages on the “Email marketing platform” page because I have already self-identified and am looking for the package that fits my needs.

Deductive reasoning is one of my favorite methods before redesigning a website. It involves using general principles about user experience to guide the creation of specific design elements and funnels. If the underlying principles are sound, the resulting website design will effectively meet the needs of your total addressable market.

The end goal will provide a clear path to streamline your website for optimal business output.

Categories: Blog

Ugur Gulaydin

Visionary Chief Marketing Officer with a profound quantitative background excels in leading transformative marketing strategies across competitive B2B sectors like cybersecurity, managed IT services, home automation, and cloud security. Specializes in assembling and guiding elite teams to pioneer performance marketing techniques, focusing on measurable, scalable outcomes. Follow me on LinkedIn


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