When you go to the grocery store to buy produce, how do you select it? Do you look for the produce that is old, dry and withered up? Do you grab the greenest banana you can find? Or do you look for avocado that has just that right amount of soft smooshiness to taste perfect?

It's just like Goldilocks and the three bears: You want to find just the right mix of freshness and ripeness. Your website should be no different than your produce selection - you need to keep it fresh, but it's a balancing act - and it's time to start treating it that way.

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One of the most common misconceptions about a website redesign project is that your work begins with an agency as soon as you make the decision that it's time for an online facelift. 

In reality, approaching the redesign of your website with that kind of mentality can be what ultimately makes the project a total disaster. 

So in the last episode of Creator's Block for 2016, Liz and I are verbally rolling up our sleeves and arming you with a step-by-step guide of everything you need to know (and do) once you decide it's time to take the leap with a new website. Because you'd be surprised how much needs to happen before you even start thinking about an agency partner.

Enjoy!

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What Inspired This Episode?

We are back in our Saturday morning routine this week, and I don’t think either of us could be more happy about it.

But while I was away (sorry Liz!), Google announced a major algorithm change. You may remember the last major algorithm announcement Google made last spring. It fully confirmed everything we had been preaching about mobile-friendly websites. Marketers dubbed it "Mobilegeddon," and the phrase really stuck. It stuck so much, that this latest announcement is following in its footsteps and is aptly named Mobilegeddon 2, except this time the focus is on pop-ups.

So, why should you care?

Google has only announced an algorithm change once before (the aforementioned instance last spring), so the fact that they just did it again is a huge deal that absolutely anyone with a website should be paying attention to. Google wants you to care about your users more. That’s the bottom line. Google primarily exists to get users the most relevant information they need, when they need it. In the last couple of years, this has meant more than just having the best content on the web, it’s shifted into also providing the best experience on the web.

In this episode, Liz and I break down this announcement from Google and really dig into why it matters. Since it does have such a heavy emphasis on user experience, we talk a lot about what works and what doesn’t in terms of website functionality. We also get into where Google (the grand master of the web) should simply butt out.

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I'm just going to come out and say it: The traditional website redesign process can be a total pain. "But, Jessie-Lee, don't you design websites for a living? If you feel this way, how can you stand to do it day in and day out?"

Yes, I'm a web designer who loves to dive in and get my hands dirty with fonts, colors and code. But that "fun stuff" only happens after we engage our clients in what can be particularly painful - and lengthy - strategy and content development stages. Sitemaps and wireframes often require multiple revisions. Content is often not delivered until a "mission critical" deadline arises - and sometimes passes. Am I digging up any painful memories here? 

I'm just going to come out and say it: The traditional website redesign process can be a total pain.

What if there was a different way to approach a website redesign? A way that is less painful and takes up less internal resources? If you are saying, "Yes, yes, yes!" welcome to website redesign nirvana - also known as Growth Driven Design

In the Blab below, Quintain Marketing's CEO Kathleen Booth and I discuss Growth Driven Design and how this new methodology could be a great fit for your next website redesign project.

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The Guide to Creating Mind Blowing Content

Let's face it, there is a lot of content out there. How do you get yours to stand out?

Simple, make it mind blowing!

42 pages full of ideas for creating awesome content that converts visitors into leads and leads into customers!

It’s really interesting how many of us are always on our phones, yet we never really call anyone. Calling to talk to anyone about anything is just so...committed.

Your clients feel this way too. Well, maybe not now that you have earned their attention (they call you for every little thing don’t they?), but think back to the beginning of your relationship. You didn’t exactly get engaged before you went on a first date. In fact, they were probably pretty shy about even taking the first step to contact you.

Here's is a question. Do you think your relationship would have progressed quicker if there was an easier way to get in touch, something akin to a text in today’s dating world? A text is easy. You don’t actually have to talk to the recipient, but you can have a really great conversation and still maintain a comfortable distance. 

In today's internet-driven world, more often than not your web presence is a prospective client’s first experience with your business. Your website has to be well designed, have great usability and be direct in offering up specific information about your products and/or services. But what if your website had a way to communicate in real time with prospects - like a text message? It can with Live Chat.

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Just like the age old question, “what came first, the chicken or the egg?” web design teams have to determine “what comes first, content or design?”. The good news is, there is a definitive answer.

Content.

Content should always come first. Why? Because, you can’t design without a concept.

I’ve seen it all too many times before, and with an immature and overzealous attitude I have made the mistake of letting the client drive the process. “Show us what things will look like first, and then we'll get you the on page copy,” they say.

Trust me. This won’t work.

Executing a project this way will result in multiple revisions, blown budgets, miscommunication and frustration. 

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Ever since I started blogging over seven years ago, I've been interested in tracking my web traffic. Now that I work with clients who are constantly asking me about their traffic, I've come to appreciate that not all metrics are created equally. Yes, page views matter, but are they all that matters? Not so much. Let's talk about what website analytics you should really care about when it comes to marketing your business and why they matter.

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