If you’re reading this, then you’re probably starting to consider redesigning your website. Maybe your current site is not user friendly or not optimized for mobile, but whatever the case, it may be in your best interest to write a website RFP. When you’re writing a website request for proposal, it’s important to clearly articulate your needs in order to get responses from the best website development agencies. While it may seem simple, it goes along with the saying, easier said than done.
The best RFPs are the ones clear about project goals, criteria for vendor selection and functionality, deadlines, selection process, and contact information. Being a website development agency, this is our bread and butter. A good RFP will help the organization seeking responses to find the right agency and the agencies sending a RFP response determine if it’s a fit for them.
Many organizations rush into their website development and redesign project without following some critical steps. It’s important to get it right since your website is likely your most effective marketing and branding channel. To help, here’s a list of our top five things that you may not think of to include in your website redesign RFP.
1). User Personas
Do you understand your website audience and what you want them to do on your site? User personas, also known as target audiences, can help you identify this. This step is an important part of the discovery process and will help inform design and IA. User personas are fictional characters that represent targeted audiences that visit your website. Creating these personas is a method that can help you get inside the mind of your website visitor. User personas should include demographics for your audiences, their current challenges that your service or product can solve for them, what brought them there, what they are looking for, how they navigate and search, and any other information that is pertinent to how you interact with them on your site. We recommend creating 5-8 personas to better help identify your audience and the actions they will take on your new site.
2). Stakeholder interviews
Interviewing stakeholders at the beginning of your website development project gets them involved in the early decision-making and fosters buy-in for key personnel. We’ve found that this often helps the whole team, even those that aren’t involved in the day-to-day of the project, invested in the outcome of the website.
3). Business and Technical Requirements
As with any project, communications is key! Without proper documented business and technical requirements, the functionality implemented on your new site will be dependent on what is communicated verbally and many details will fall between the cracks. We feel that being on the same page with our clients is the most important factor for a successful website redesign project.
The business requirements should outline all of the details surrounding how the site will work and the technical requirements should outline all of the details regarding the technology being used.
For the technical requirements we document all technical details surrounding the project:
- Are there integration points that need to be implemented?
- How is the URL structure determined?
- Will redirects be created from the old site to the new site?
- Will the site be https:?
- Is there a requirement around translation?
- Does the website have to meet any accessibility requirements?
In the business requirements, we document things like:
- - What happens when someone fills out this form? Does it get emailed to someone? Is there a thank you message that is also sent? What page do they get after they hit submit
- - Will the marquee be clickable? Will it support video?
- - What happens if there’s no content in this field on the back end? What will then show on the front end
4). SEO Audit and Analysis
SEO is a critical piece of an RFP and shouldn’t be considered a minor piece of evaluation. Your proposal should include more than ‘SEO is required’ since search engine optimization is not simply cut and dry. There are various options to evaluate when it comes to SEO in your RFP. For example, are you planning on updating your copy as part of the redesign with a focus on keyword centric content? Do you need the agency to help with that? Will the agency be responsible for migrating the meta data from your current site?
Including a SEO audit and analysis is important to determine what’s working vs. what’s not. There’s no better time to deal with it then when you’re working on a new site. In your RFP ask the agency to describe the technical SEO aspects that they will perform with the new site, describe how keywords and titles will be determined, and ask them to list the proposed measures that will be incorporated to evaluate the effectiveness of the changes.
5). Website analysis
Data is the best way to see what’s working on your website vs. what’s not working. Rather than basing the new design and information architecture off intuition, you should base them off facts. As part of the RFP response it will help to understand how decisions on the design will be made. Traktek Partners starts with Google Analytics. We use Google Analytics to understand your audience, what users are doing on your site, what the challenges are (where are people dropping), and what’s converting. With this data, an agency can properly understand behaviors and trends to make educated recommendations.
At Traktek Partners, we are always leveraging the latest Web technologies and best practices for web design in order to deploy brand rich experiences that will bring your company, products, and services to life across the web. To learn more or receive assistance with your website RFP, please contact us.