It happens to all organizations. One day you wake up and notice that your company’s website needs a major refresh.
Maybe it’s the fact that it’s looked the same for 3 years (Where did the time go?). Maybe it’s because your company’s just gone through a rebranding and you need the site to reflect your new positioning.
Or maybe your site is just not getting the traffic and conversions it used to.
Whatever the reason, it’s time for a change.
There is always a risk/reward factor that comes with every redesign. It’s takes a lot of effort and planning, much consensus building and no guarantees that it will improve your rankings, or lead generation.
With so many elements and moving pieces, one way to make the whole process easier and more manageable is creating checklists.
And I have one for you. But this is not just any web redesign checklist. It’s focused on one major goal – to support your overall marketing efforts.
You can get checklists for design and other tactical objectives, but for now I want to help you focus on a website that integrates with your social media, email marketing, lead generation, brand awareness and sales strategies.
Bottom line: this checklist will turn your redesigned website into an inbound marketing machine.
1. Benchmarking Your Current Metrics
Improvements are relative. Getting 1,000 new visitors a day might seem like good news for your new redesign, except if you were getter 2,000 a day before. Similarly converting 50 leads a week might be nothing to write home about, except when you compare that to 5 leads a week before the redesign.
So, before you do anything, make sure you benchmark your current performance metrics.
2. Clarify Your Goals
When redesigning a website, subjective aesthetics often take far too big a role in the decision making process. It’s not that we don’t love beautiful sites and that you should not strive for brand elegance. However, if your focus is on inbound marketing and results, then your goals should reflect that.
So, make sure you are clear about why you are redesigning your website, and then tie that into measurable results.
3. Protect Yourself. 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. So make sure you make an inventory of those assets and avoid doing major disrepair to your marketing efforts.
4. Analyze The Competition
The nice thing about competition is that you can learn from them. Hubspot has a really cool Marketing Grader you can use to spy on them.
Go to marketing Marketing Grader (http://marketing.grader.com), and get a report card of how your website and marketing is performing today, then type in your competitors.
5. Identify Your Unique Value Proposition
You only have 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.
That’s why you need to have a compelling and clear unique value proposition (UVP) that is reinforced and consistent throughout your website.
More often than not, companies create value propositions that use corporate-speak, thinking that the bigger the words and more intricate the sentence, the more the potential customer will be impressed.
6. Build Your Design Around Your Personas
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 can get it, and educated speculation about their personal histories, motivations, and concerns.
7. Optimize 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 search engine optimization tips to help get your site found:
- Document Your Most Search-Valued Pages
- Create A 301 Redirect Strategy
- Do Your Keyword Research
8. Make it Responsive
Optimizing your entire web presence for a variety of devices is no longer optional (67% of mobile users who land on a mobile optimized site are more likely to convert), but that’s ok if you redesign your site to be responsive. Responsive design, a term originally coined in a 2010 A List Apart article by Ethan Marcotte, has been by far the most popular and widely used method for designing a mobile website.
9. Convert with Calls-to-Action
The days of the website as virtual brochure are long past. You want to drive your visitors to take an action. That could be downloading a whitepaper, requesting a demo, or buying a product.
The call-to-action is just that – the element or elements on your website that gets visitors to actually interact with your site.
10. Plan for an Ongoing Content Strategy
In the world of inbound marketing, less is not more, especially when it comes to content.
A 100-page website ranks higher than a 10-page one that covers the same market, 99%of the time. And a 500-pager beats the 100-pager and so on. The key though is keeping your content fresh and constant.
That’s why it’s so important to build a strategy that’s all about adding more and more content to your website over time.
11. Don’t Forget The Extras!
There’s more to a website than the basics of a homepage, product pages, industry resources and a Contact us/About us pages.
Here are a few extras that can help make your redesigned website awesome:
- Landing Pages & Calls-To-Action
- Add RSS Subscription
What inbound marketing features will you add to your website redesign?