Are you ready to improve your website?
If you are planning to redesign your website, it’s probable that there are one or more reasons for this. It could be that you want a completely different image for your company or business. Maybe your business has grown and you need a complete content overhaul. Or it could just be that you have grown tired of the old design and you want the website to be completely redesigned.
Whatever the reason, your end goal should always be that your website helps you reach your business goals. That is to say that it needs to attract visitors and ultimately generate sales or leads.
Once you have decided to go ahead with a website redesign, it is important to do your research and plan accordingly.
The importance of research cannot be stressed enough. This is what will make or break your redesign and decide whether it is a great success or a complete failure.
First of all, you should analyze how your current website is performing. By doing this you can see the areas that really need some improvement. You can also make note of what works well on your current website.
You should be looking at the number of visitors you are getting and the amount of time they spend on your site, bounce rate (monthly average,) the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) ranking for main keywords and the number of leads and sales generated.
By using GA (Google Analytics) can get a really good baseline for your website performance. You can study your traffic and the source of your traffic. GA is also a great tool to measure your website conversion rate.
It is also a good idea to look at the websites of your competitors. See how they rank, look at their content, blogs, and keywords. Which websites are linking to them? Can you get the same site to link to your site?
Now is a good time to consult with your own team and get some feedback from them. Anyone with contact with the customers should be part of this process.
This includes management, sales staff, and customer support. You can also consult with customers and see what attracted them to your current website. Ask your customers what website improvements they would like to see? Bounce off each other any ideas and feedback that you get, to help with the redesign.
Once you have all the information you need, it’s time to start planning. Your plan should, first and foremost, be about your ultimate goal of getting the most out of your online presence in the form of leads and sales.
Firstly, you need to think about the navigation of your website. What is going to be on each page and where that page will be. At this stage, you need to bear in mind your existing content. You need to decide what you will keep and what you will discard. Before you discard content completely, see if you can update it, so it is good enough to keep.
Each different page should have its own target keywords and content. Each page should flow easily from one to the other. Have a framework for each page so that your designer or design team can see exactly what you want and where you want it.
Don’t wait for the content creation. The sooner you start the faster will your new website go live. Your new content should be written, proofread, and search engine optimized.
You should also really carry out a content inventory and audit. An inventory shows all your content on the website such as text, documents, video and audio files and images. This is needed so that you know exactly what is on the site and where it is.
Each piece of content usually must have its own unique title, keywords, author, category, meta description, access, URL and date of creation. A content inventory is really necessary if you want your website redesign to be successful.
A content audit will give you the required information about every piece of content. The content audit gives you a baseline about your current content. It gives you the know-how to make improvements. Any information that is out of date can then either be updated or removed. This would include dates of events in the past, old press releases, etc.
An audit will also tell you what content gets the most traffic and where visitors spend most time by analysis of each particular page. Whether the pages follow a logical order and if they are search engine optimized correctly. You can try to create similar content based on your most visited web pages.
Importantly, an audit can also give you an idea of what content is missing. Each product or service of your business should be fully explained. Then visitors and customers get a full picture of what you are about and can make an informed decision about how they will proceed.
The Actual Website Redesign
Once you provide all the required information to your web designer, they can start on the redesign. Because of the research and planning, your designer should have everything she needs.
Once the new website design mockups are ready, you can interact with the web designer about the final stages. Based on the design mockup you can either approve the design or ask for modifications. Based on your feedback the designer can make the final adjustments.
Once you have approved the design, it is time to build the website. Most likely, your website will be built on WordPress. Based on your approved design, the designed will customize the WordPress theme.
Once the WordPress theme has been customized, you can load the content on the new site.
After loading the website content, it is time for the final review.
Testing and Final Review
While reviewing the website take the following steps:
- Proofread all the text content. Ask team members to proofread the website content too.
- Make sure each web page is optimized. On page SEO must be part of the final pre-launch due diligence.
- Make sure the navigation is correct.
- Test the website search feature.
- If there are forms, create test submissions.
- If there is an email subscription, create test submissions.
- Make sure that each web page is optimized for the target keyword.
If your website doesn’t work flawlessly for you, it won’t work for your visitors either. Get second opinions and see what others think of it.
Then, and only then, if everyone is tested, your redesigned website is ready for the world and it is time to launch!