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3 Facts You Need to Know for Your Next Website Makeover

And you will be doing one—

As a growing number of customers find you on mobile devices, you will need to update the look, feel, and NAVIGATION of your site, (like yesterday in fact).

Since I just spent a YEAR riding herd on the makeover of an innovative website that gets millions of hits a month, I can say the following 3 things with great certainty:

  1. A website makeover will take more time than you think or plan. Websites are always more complex than they look. They require outside vendors, intra-department cooperation, and a great deal of digging just to get a true handle on the scope. Wrangling all these factors is the hardest job. Make sure your project manager knows what he/she is doing. Then build in extra time.
  2. There will be blowback (both internal and external) so grow a thick skin. Think of your misplaced keys and how frantic you get when you’re trying to leave the house. Now transpose those feelings to your customers. After our launch we averaged a thousand plus comments for the first few days—60 to 70% negative. And I can tell you first hand, some of those negative comments were very, very negative. But I’m happy to say that a week into the makeover we began to hear a new story. The tide turned, and many of the angry people reconnected to let us know they had changed their minds.
  3. You must limit changes, or you’ll never go live. There will always be sacred cows, forgotten seasonal pages, ruffled feathers, and more, but you’ve got to GO. Then plan to keep on GOING. Websites are living documents. You can fix and keep fixing. The important thing is to get the makeover out there and working for your customers. Analytics on our site reported 40-50% were finding us on smartphones and tablets. That number is only growing.

Like I said, it’s makeover time. Hope this helps!

Anything to add to the list?

About the author

Melissa Kennedy

I am an innovative, practical problem-solver with an MBA. Pioneered one of the first social media strategic plans for a Fortune 100 company, including monthly online TV program viewed by 120,000 customers. Created a scalable channel marketing service model and established a new customer communication channel through partner web syndication. Developed marketing plan for start-up technology firm. Launched first comprehensive marketing campaign for major science and technology university's $1 Billion fund-raising effort. Award-winning performance for 15 years across functions, industries and organizations.

My passion for results goes beyond professional pursuits. I am a global facilitator and co-organizer of Startup Weekends and serve as an advocate and volunteer for many local charities including Food Bank of Central/Eastern NC, North Carolina International Affairs Council and Connected Women of North Carolina. Plus, I have served as the President for the Triangle Interactive Marketing Association,

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