There are a lot of great reasons to redesign your website. If you’ve rebranded your business, added a whole boat load of services, or have a template design that you made on your own from the 1990’s, it’s time you took that step into the world of the living.
Redesigns are a great way to transform your site into a new butterfly. It’s a long and tedious process, but if you have a few guidelines and do some homework ahead of time – remember that planning is the best strategy – then you’ll be all the better for it and can prevent yourself from hitting your head against the wall.
The one thing you have to remember about a redesign is how it will improve your overall marketing efforts. If you don’t have social media on your site, it needs to definitely be included. If you are lacking any CTA’s they also need to be taken into consideration based on whatever it is you are trying to sell.
What Are Your Current Metrics?
Analyze your existing site using Google Analytics and look at the history of the following stats:
- Number of unique visitors and visits
- Bounce rate (anything at or below 60% is good)
- Time on site and/or page
- SEO rankings for keywords
- Domain authority
Other things to consider which you should be keeping track of within your business is how many new leads from the site using form submissions did you receive? Also, what was the total amount of sales revenue from your current website?
If you don’t have Google Analytics for your website, get it. It’s free and can be added to the <head> section of your web pages.
What Are Your Goals?
Once you’ve looked at your metrics, you can probably determine your goals pretty easily. However, with most redesigns, the phrase “more professional than what I have,” is what I typically hear. Or, “I built the site myself and I’m stuck, or it won’t work on some browsers, or I can’t be found in search engines.”
This is where I’m not surprised. Anyone can build a website. It’s the analytical approach and different SEO tips and strategies that only those who have had the lengthy experience and education in knowing what those are that can truly help your business get noticed on the internet.
If you want to increase site traffic as a goal, that’s fine. But, this has to be more quantifiable: How much do you want to increase it by? If you increase the traffic, you’ll want that traffic to turn into sales, right? So, looking at your existing website, how do you change that?
Analyze Your Competition
Don’t be a stalker, but see what your competitors are doing online. I recommend running your website thru Hubspot’s Marketing Grader. This will give you a “report card” on how your website and marketing is performing today.
After you do that, run your competitor’s thru the Marketing Grader and see how they stack up to your strengths and weaknesses. Look at their websites. What do you like? What do you see that could possibly enhance and help your website. The objective is not the copy a competitor’s design NOR content (that’s illegal and I don’t advocate this at all), but you’re looking for some fresh insight within your industry.
So, once you’ve made a comparison, start making a wish list on what you want on your redesigned website.
What Sets You Apart?
Content is the most important thing you can craft when it comes to a redesign of your site. There are a few things to keep in mind though:
- Based on your current site, what keywords stuck out and worked for you? Make sure those are kept within the content of your redesign. The same goes for any downloads or offers.
- If you have social media on your site and you know you’re getting traffic from it, leave it on there. Social media is a whole other topic with regard to writing content, how often to write content and timing.
- Don’t change the names of your web pages if you get a lot of page views since it may be a disadvantage for your SEO
Most importantly, your content should be relevant. What I mean by relevant is how it relates to your product or service. Long diatribes with endless paragraphs will send a web visitor running from your site.
Start off with what sets you apart from the competition. Why should the web visitor keep reading what you have on your website? Give them something to “chew” on.
Lastly, when you write your web content sound like you’re talking to your best friend in a bar (without the swearing). Keep it short, to the point and in layman’s terms.
Design Your Site Based On Your Demographic
Most likely, if you’re selling paint products, the people visiting your site are those who are either in the painting industry or artists. Maybe there are a few DIY out there as well.
What’s their motivation in coming to your site? Do they need a tutorial on how to paint using a special technique? Do they need help in matching up colors? What about that artist? Maybe she is looking for special brushes or blank canvas.
Remember that although the website is about selling your product or service, it’s really not about you. It’s WIIFM? (What’s In It For Me), for the web visitor, so make it worth their while.
Calls to Action
This is what makes visitors take an action:
- Downloading an e-book or guide you’ve written
- Having a contest or promotion
- E-Newsletter subscription
- Contact us for a consultation, demonstration, evaluation, etc.
CTA’s should be prominent on the page. People use all sorts of graphic images to wave that web visitor’s eye to it, and it’s up to the designer collaborating with the client to ensure that whatever is used works well with the design that was approved.
Lastly, don’t forget all that online marketing that should be tied into your website: Blogging, E-newsletters, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, etc. All of these outlets are critical in not only providing fresh content to your visitors, but it keeps your business name out there and reminds them when they do need your service, they’ll remember your name.