There are different reasons behind website redesigning and you already know why you are doing it. It is however important to note that the standards used in the redesigning process will always change. You might be in need of launching a new product line or updating your cooperate image.
If your website is in the center of your business, then you have to know that the redesign will have a noticeable impact. You will need to ensure that this impact is positive in all aspects. This is why you are reading this post.
The following are top ten points you should keep in mind when redesigning your website. This is a simplified framework you can use in your website redesign project.
1. Have Defined Marketing Goals
The first step is defining marketing goals that will form the foundation of the redesign. Websites are used for sales, lead generation, and customer support. Regardless of the use, you need to have goals and these goals should be tracked using KPIs (Key performance Indicators)
The most important Key Performance Indicators are the conversions because they show the relationship changes. When a user fills the contact form and becomes a sales lead, this is an important event.
The main aim is to ensure that the visitors on your website are taking actions that are geared towards benefiting your business. The most important conversion actions include signing up for newsletters, downloading marketing documents and purchasing products.
It is important to use supplementary KIPs for purposes of tracking the performance of the site. For instance, pay attention to the bounce rate because when it is high, this means that there are many visitors visiting a page and leaving immediately. This might be as a result of inappropriate content or content that is not appealing to your target audience. Other important Key Performance Indicators include the average pages visitors view per session, and the average time they spend on the site.
Establishing KPIs and tracking them should be done before the redesign process because they will assist in establishing the comparison.
2. Know Your Target Audience
In most cases, people think it is a good idea to define their audience broadly, but it does not make any sense to exclude potential business. The danger in this is that while you try to include everyone, you might end up pleasing no one. The last thing you want is a website that reads like anonymous letters from a company.
The idea is to make the website read like a love letter to your audience. It is important to get into their shoes and understand what motivates them, what they are interested in and what they are looking for. Speak to them in a language they understand and make everything straightforward.
The task is to create a profile for all your target customers and ensure that the profile describes their needs, motivations, and interests. This might appear like hard work buy as you will learn, it will eventually pay. Keep in mind that you should focus on middle-level management when you are selling to corporations because they are responsible for making decisions that affect the company’s choice.
3. Provide Relevant Content
The main reason why a single company can dominate search engine result pages is content relevance. To search engines ‘relevant’ indicate that users find whatever it is they are looking for.
To your website, relevant content is what your intended audience will find useful. This is the main reason why you need to go through all the efforts to know your audience. This should be followed by content that represents their needs. Ensure you get into your target customers head to understand what they want or need.
Know why and how they got to your website, the problems they are looking to solve, the complications caused by the problems, how you can solve the problems in a different unique way, and how they will feel if you solve those problems.
The bounce rate on your website is a good sign of whether your content is relevant. The higher the bounce rate, the more irrelevant the content on the website is. This is because the bounce rate is raised by the number of visitors visiting your site and leaving as soon as they get there.
Relevant content will lower the bounce rate and increase the conversion rate. This is good for your website and good for your business. This is why it is important to work on your profile and the website content.
4. Search Engine Optimization
Phantom, Pirate, Hummingbird, Pigeon, and Panda – Google has continuously released algorithm updates. These updates are aimed at rewarding websites with relevant content. For this reason, you might want to ensure you are in the list of website being rewarded.
A while ago, SEO was all about playing the system, but things have been changed by these algorithm updates. The plays and games no longer work because these algorithm updates keep getting meaner and friendlier to the users.
Today, SEO is about different practices that are aimed at ensuring that Google and other search engines can easily understand your content. A competent website designer will incorporate these practices when handling the redesign project.
Keyword research is the other important part of SEO. There are many tools available online that you can use to conduct keyword research and identify the terms that match the motivations and interests of the audience you are targeting.
When you are selecting the keywords, it is crucial that you select one keyword for each page on your website. You can then optimize the page by using the keyword in the URL, title and through out the page content.
The exact method of optimizing the page is a debatable subject. This is because Google does not provide information on how it ranks websites. You can take advantage of Google Webmaster to find the terms Google considers relevant.
5. Explainer Videos Can Help
Days are gone when people used to only rely on images and text to tell their stories on websites. Today, you get an easier way of explaining things through videos.
Explain videos are popular because they actually work. When you have a video that has been well produced, a great script and visuals that engage the audience will capture their attention and this is all that matters. Through the video you can explain what you are all about in a way that appeals to the audience.
With a video, you can showcase the personality of your brand and this is a good way to ensure that the viewers retain the information. Videos can help in increasing the conversion rates and in achieving higher ranks on Google.
6. Responsive Design vs. Mobile- Friendly
You know that you that your redesign should appear attractive on different screens and there are 2 ways you can achieve this.
The cheaper option of the two is a mobile-friendly website. This simply means that your website will work the same way regardless of the size of the screen in use. Your content will scale to fit smaller screens and this means that you need to use smaller images. Because there are some features such as drop-down menus that will not work on mobile devices and you need to eliminate them.
If there are more than 35% of your visitors accessing your site using mobile devices, you will need to spend a little more for responsive designs.
Responsive designs are website designs that will adapt to the environment. The images and texts will resize and realign depending on the screen being used. The unnecessary images will be hidden when the screen being used is small.
7. Analytics Utilization
You should at least be using Google Webmaster and Google Analytics. These services are free and are highly assistive. It is important to start by tracking your website before the redesign so as to identify the things that need to be altered.
Google Webmaster Tools are more important with search engine optimization. After the redesign, you should take a few months then check to see the keywords that are performing well. You can then continue with the optimization of pages that are underperforming. You can also introduce new pages that are based on keywords considered high-value.
You can track the Key Performance Indicators using Google Analytics. These should be the KPIs that you defined prior to starting the redesign process. These tools can also assist you in tracking your marketing campaigns among many other important aspects.
8. Marketing Automation
As you plan the redesign for your website, you need to decide on whether you need to invest in marketing automation. Some of the automation tools will cost you a fortune but based on the benefits they bring on the table, investing in them is worth every cent.
The marketing automation vendors will provide all the comprehensive toolkits which will give markers an easy time planning, coordinating, managing and measuring all marketing aspects and efforts online and offline. Normally, these vendors will give you tools that help in building and tracking your landing pages, growing email lists and many other processes.
9. Existing URLs Forwarding
The redesigning process might also include the elimination of outdated pages. The unfortunate thing is that the visitors that arrive through the legacy links will be welcomed by the 404 error Page. This probably means you have lost that visitor for good. And this is bad for business.
A good solution to this problem is the redirection of all legacy URLs to existing pages that have been redesigned and contain relevant content.
Start with a map to the existing web content. List all the URLs. If you are eliminating any of the pages during the redesign processes the server-side 301 redirect. This will help in sending the visitor to the appropriate pages.
10. Conversion Path Optimization
The first step in the website redesign process was defining the marketing goals. Just because the website is launched, it does not mean that the process is over.
Once the website is launched, and you have traffic on the pages, you will need to ensure that the conversion paths are optimized. This is a process that is geared towards making alterations to the landing pages for purposes of increasing website visitors.
When you think in the line of conversion paths, you will also have a chance to change the other parts of the website that bring the visitors to these landing pages. The optimization of conversion paths is part voodoo and part science and this is why this skill is in high demand. In most cases, a 1% change or less can have a huge impact on the results you get.
Now you know some of the important elements that you need to pay attention to when you are redesigning your website. This will ensure that your website is attractive and can keep the visitors glued to the content and convert them from visitors to buyers.