Maybe it's the fact that it's looked the same for the last 5 years or perhaps your company has just gone through a rebranding, or maybe your site is just not getting the traffic and conversions it used to.
Whatever the reason, it's time for change.
There is a lot to consider when undergoing a website redesign. A company's brand, usability considerations, appearance, colour scheme, image compression, functionality, browser compatibility, responsive design, navigation, website architecture, and on and on.
Complex isn't it?
Regardless, all of these intricacies need to be knitted together into one cohesive website design. With so many elements and moving pieces, one way to make the whole process easier and more manageable is creating checklists.
Voila! Use this checklist to turn your redesigned website into an inbound marketing machine.
1) Benchmark your current metrics Before you do anything, make sure you benchmark your current performance metrics. Here is a list of metrics you need to benchmark:
Traffic - number of visits/visitors/unique visitors
2) Be clear with your goals Focus on inbound. Realize your goal is what's most important and strive for that rather than spending an enormous amount of time on aesthetics. Make sure you are clear about why you are redesigning your website, and then tie that into measurable results. Here are some metrics you will want to measure in relation to your goals:
Number of visits/visitors
Time on site
Number of new leads/form submissions
Total amount of sales generated
Current SEO rankings for important keywords
You need to hierarchize these metrics, since some will be more important than others. For example, if your goal is to generate more sales and your sales go down, then so what if your traffic increases.
3) Inventory your assets There are almost as many ways that a web redesign can hurt you as can help you. The number one way is if you lose those parts of your website that you have built up. Make sure you take an inventory of those assets and avoid doing major despair to your marketing efforts. These assets include:
Most shared or viewed content
Most trafficked pages
Best performing keywords you rank for and associated pages
Number of inbound links to individual pages
Why is this important? Let's say you remove a page that has a high number of inbound links. When the links disappear you could lose a lot of SEO credit, and that will only work to decrease some of your keyword rankings.
4) Analyze the competition You can learn from your competitors. Here are three easy ways that you can find out how you compare.
Go to Marketing Grader and get a report card of how your website and marketing is performing today.
Type your competitors' URLs into Marketing Grader to see what their strengths and weaknesses are.
Visit your competitors' websites. Act like a customer and try to be objective about what your like or don't like about their sites. We are not talking about copying them, but rather this is a way to discover what you can do better.
5) Identify your uniqueness with a value proposition You only have a few seconds to engage new visitors to your website. When they arrive they want to know what you do, why you do it better and what's in it for them. In this online universe where we compete for business by the minute, your finely crafted value proposition becomes the foundation of your foot-in-the-door campaign.
Stay tuned for tomorrow's post for the additional 5 elements needed to complete your website redesign checklist.