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If I were you, I would NOT redesign my resort’s website this spring.

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GREGG
BLANCHARD
   

I’m going to say something that may be too late for some of you but hopefully won’t be too late for all.

Here it is.

There is a very, very good chance you don’t need to redesign your website this year.

There, I said it.

Exceptions
Of course there are exceptions to the rule (though I’m partly saying that to decrease the hate mail I get from designers and agencies) including concerns over accessibility or sites that were built when your new social media intern was in kindergarten.

But by and large, the site that you have now is going to be just as good as the one you’d spend way too much time and money to build this spring.

What should you do instead? I though I’d never pretend you’d ask.

Make a List, Check it Twice
If I were you – and, to be clear, I’m not – I’d make a list of ten things centered around three goals or ideas.

  1. Moving people from common landing pages to valuable next steps or from scattered pages to one key page.
  2. Improving the performance of existing elements.
  3. Trying totally new things you’ve never considered before.

For example.

Moving People
Take a look at your top 3-5 landing pages ranked by traffic from organic search.

For each of these pages, decide what an ideal next step would be for someone coming to this page (i.e., “Snow Report >> Check Ticket Prices”) and then rework the content on that page within the limits of the CMS and structure to drive more people to that next step.

Likewise, if you want more people on your blog reading all that content you’ve been working on, build something into every page that moves them there.

Improve Element Performance
Next take a look at the sign up rate of your newsletter form. Get a good benchmark for that and brainstorm ways to triple it. No, quintuple it.

Then, whether that’s a popover or better wording around the form itself, just do something and see what happens.

Try Something New
I guess this is the point where I should be clear that these three areas are not mutually exclusive. So if your goal is moving random visitors to your blog or blog visitors to your vacation deals page, trying something totally new is often a great way to do that.

Never tried a Hello Bar? Give it a whirl. Never considered Snip.ly to overlay deals on your site for social referrals? Do it. Heck, if accessibility is on your radar, spend some time improving color contrast, add a skip-to-content link, and update your alt tags.

Just try things. Different things. New things. Things you like. Things you don’t like.

One Year from Now
However you break up it up, make a list of ten things that you can build or try or improve and then roll up your sleeves and make those changes.

What you’ll find is that in 1/10th the time of a redesign you’ll improve your site to a level that a full rebuild could never achieve. Because you won’t do it based on instinct or the desire to impress your peers, you’ll do it based off data.

A year from now you’ll have 1,000 extra email subscribers, 150 more ticket sales, 35 more vacations booked just by taking something that’s already working well and doing lots of small things to help it work great.

That’s what I’d do.


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