With all the work that goes into a website redesign, it's important that you ask the right questions before the project begins so that you can plan for success. What should you know before you redesign your company website?

Before you redesign the company website, you should answer the following types of questions. We've also organized all 47 questions into a handy PDF for download, so you can download them here.

What are your business goals?

We've said before that you need to think of your website as a profit center. What are the reasons that you're redesigning the website? You need to make a list. Hopefully, there are some defined financial reasons on that list, and some that you can assign some measures to so you can see if you were successful after the website redesign launches.

We've found it helpful to go through an analysis before the website redesign, starting with sales and revenue goals, and backing into how many leads and visitors you'll need from your new website to meet those goals. If you're not sure how to do this, I would suggest setting up an inbound marketing assessment so we can calculate these numbers and identify gaps between your current situation and your desired situation.

Who are your customers?

Formally defining and documenting who your customers are is something that companies rarely do. Many companies loosely define customers in a hypothetical way, but you need more. It's hard to stay focused on your customer through a website redesign if you don't define specifics. Creating customer personas before you redesign is a great way to keep your customer at the forefront of the redesign.

What is your company?

This may seem like a crazy question, but new people will be finding your website and need to know who you are and what you do succinctly and clearly. So what do you want your company to be known for and why?

You also need to consider who your competitors are, why, and what your competitive advantages are. I also think you need to be honest and document your company's weaknesses, which you may be able to pull from customer feedback or even reviews of your company on social media or directory websites.

What content will appear on your redesigned website?

Content is one of the most overlooked aspects of a website redesign. You can't just copy and paste content and pages from your old website to your new website.

You have to define the information that you want on your website, and that all starts with a simple outline. Once you have an outline, you have to think through what your customer is going to want to see and expect on each page, and write accordingly. You should also think about how you (or your marketing firm) are going to keep content up to date, and whether you'll need a content management system to do so.

Are there any visual design considerations?

Web design is where most companies spend a majority of their effort. They research websites that they like, they review their competitors' websites, and they write down subjective qualities that they'd like to see on the new website.

You probably have this one covered, but you need to think about color, types of photography, and if your company has any brand standards or color palettes that need to be adhered to.

Are there any marketing considerations?

If you're using your website properly, it needs to be the hub of all of your marketing activity -- even your offline marketing. Chances are, you're sending people to your website from advertising and printed collateral, and those links still need to work once you've redesigned.

This is also where we want to put some steps into place to measure your progress toward the goals you set. There may be some web analytics considerations, including how you'll be processing and routing leads and if you'll be using call tracking.

If you can answer these website redesign questions before starting your project or publishing an RFP, you'll be on the right track. Of course, you may not know the answer to some of these website redesign questions, like how to set goals, define customer personas or determine key performance indicators. If that's the case, let us know if we can help.

Download Must-Ask Questions for A Marketing Focused, Optimized Website Redesign