How To Ensure Your Website Redesign Is Inbound Ready: Part 2

Posted by Murray Sye

on Fri, Dec 13, 2013 @ 01:32 PM

In yesterday's post we covered the first 5 of 10 elements of the website redesign process that will help ensure that your redesign is optimized. Today's post gives you five more must-have elements to include in your checklist. Just a caution to those companies at the initial stages of a website rebuild: companies all too often rush headlong through the makeover process resulting in a dramatic downturn in search engine rankings! Don't underestimate the value of existing indexed pages and other assets in this rebuilding stage.


While there are checklists for design and other tactical objectives, the focus of our post from yesterday and today are concentrating on a website that integrates with your social media, email marketing, lead generation, brand awareness and sales strategies.

1) Build your design around personas

In the planning stage it's important that you focus on who you're trying to reach. It's not about you, it's about your customers and prospects. If you don't speak to them in their language and address their needs, then chances are you're never going to achieve good conversion rates. 

Personas are fictional representative of your ideal customer, based on analyzed data. The more data you have on your customers and prospects, the more dimensional and useful your personas can be In terms of data, we are talking about demographics, online behavior, primary quantitative and qualitative research if you an get it, and educated speculation about their personal histories, motivations, and concerns.

Here are three ways to help build personas:

  • Segment by demographics – Do some research on your existing customer base to identify the most common buyers of your products and services. Assign characteristics to these buyers – job titles, roles, types of products etc. Group them and you'll start to see several personas emerge.

  • Identify their needs – Once you have your groups, look at their needs. What problems can you help them solve? Understand the types of information they might be interested in.

  • Develop behavior-based profiles – Now that you've defined their needs, you need to uncover their behaviors. How do they interact online? How active are they on social media?

Once you've developed meaningful personas, you can start building pages for them, and created messaging that they find relevant.

2) Optimized your site for search

Redesigning a website is not like creating a 'Field of Dreams.' Building it does not automatically mean that people will come. Here are some SEO (search engine optimization) tips to help get your site found:

  • Document our most search-valued pages – take note of the pages that have the strongest SEO juice, the most traffic, inbound links, and keyword rankings.

  • Create a 301 redirect strategy - we think this is the most important step in terms of retaining traffic and rankings. We recommend creating a spreadsheet that records and map out your 301 redirects.

  • Do your keyword research – determining what keywords to focus on can seem overwhelming. To get started, pick one or two keywords or keyword phrases for each page. Then apply on-page SEO tactics, such as internal link building and optimizing your header tags.

3) Convert your calls-to-action

With today's web, you want to drive your visitors to take an action. That could be downloading a whitepaper, requesting a demo, or buying a product. So when planning our redesign, make sure you ar thinking how calls-to-action can or can't be integrated into each page. Here are some examples of great CTAs:

  • eBooks and whitepapers

  • contests and promotions

  • product purchases

  • email newsletter subscription

  • free trial

  • demo

  • assessment/consultation

  • contact us

Provide your visitors with well thought out and relevant calls-to-action so you don't lose them.

4) Plan for an ongoing content strategy
Content rules in the inbound world. The more you have the more your newly redesigned website will benefit. The key is to keep your content fresh and constant. Here are some ways you can do it:

  • Blogging – starting and maintaining a blog is one of the most effective ways to keep an on-going flow of great content.

  • Public Relations – PR is much more than writing and posting press releases. When written with content and search in mind, press releases can do wonders for your search optimization.

  • Outsourcing – you only have so much time in your day, and creating content takes time. There are many companies that provide content services and a network of authors at very reasonable rates.

5) Don't forget the extras

There's more to a website than the basics of a homepage, product pages, industry resource and a contact us page. Think about these extras as you go through the planning stages of your website redesign:

  • Developing an informative blog

  • Create landing pages and calls-to-action

  • Add RSS subscription

  • Assess your analytics

Because your website is such an important element in any company's marketing, a redesign has to be thought of in terms of the entire marketing plan. It needs to integrate with all of your online marketing efforts, be they email, social media, lead generation and nurturing, PR and advertising.  

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Written by Murray Sye

Murray is the CEO and Creative Director with the award-winning
Toronto HubSpot agency partner, WhiteSpace. You can
connect with Murray on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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