You’ve added a blog & maybe some social feeds. You’ve ensured the search engines can easily find your site, however there will inevitably come a time when you will need a redesign.
There is little doubt that the redesign cycle is shortening, so when that time comes around don’t just focus on how it will look.
This is a great opportunity to place your website at the very centre of your business, right next to your customers. An opportunity to design how will it support your marketing activities such as email, social media, lead generation, brand awareness & sales conversion?
A quick search for website development check list or similar will return plenty of tactical advice e.g. this great list has over 400 specific items!
Our list is a more manageable 10 points & has been designed specifically by inbound marketing specialists, Hubspot so your new site integrates with other key marketing functions;
Create a record of what your site currently delivers e.g. number of visits/visitors/unique visitors, bounce rate, time on site, current SEO rankings for important keywords, number of new leads/form submissions, total amount of sales generate.
2. Set Goals based on the Audit
‘Our site is looking a bit old’ or ‘it’s been a while since the last design’ or ‘such & such has a new site so we need one now’ are less valid reasons. Yes there is merit in how your site looks & answers your customers needs but if you are going to invest both time & money in a new site, make sure you have specific & measurable targets for 6 months, 12 months & 24 months.
3. Don’t throw away the good stuff!
Your existing site will have some content & links that perform well, so make sure your review the whole site inventory & brief the design team thoroughly on those you wish to keep.
4. Know the competition
A day or two researching your key competitors & noting likes & dislikes will identify where you can improve & offer your customers a better service.
5. State your Unique Value Proposition
This is vital. Immediately answer in plain, simple language if what you do is right for your site visitors, and why they should buy/convert/stay on your website. See my previous post on What is it you actually do?
6. Know your visitors & build your site around them
Segment the your key targets in personas & understand all you can about each e.g.
- demographics including job title, role, company information & industry
- needs such as what information they are searching for or what trends are influencing their business decisions
- online behaviour e.g. are they active on Twitter, Facebook, or other social networks? what search terms do they use? what kind of online information do they tend to consume? which of your products or services do they spend the most time researching?
Ask the experts as this is tricky, time consuming & requires constant attention. Start by taking our quick 7 point SEO health check developed in partnership with the springboard to see where your SEO can be improved.
8. Calls to action
Once you have a visitor, your site must prompt practical further engagement . Think about;
eBooks, whitepapers, contests, promotions, product purchases, email newsletter subscription, free trial, contact us, consultations & demonstrations.
9. Create a content strategy
There is no getting away from the fact that in general more relevant content generates more visitors. Build a plan to continue adding content to your site. Some suggestions to follow in a future post.
10. Consider the extras
Blog, Landing Pages, RSS subscription, shareability & analytics are all well worth including within your redesign brief.
So next time you are considering a website redesign, prepare a list similar to the above (& check off the 400+ tactical list!) or ask us, we would love to help.