<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1492321814142908&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

10 Steps to redesign your website.

Why Re-Design Your Website?

Every now and then a website needs a refresh. There are many good reasons for a website redesign, whether it's a rebranding, moving onto a new content management system (CMS), the site is getting lackluster results or it looks like it was built in 1999 (yikes).

Eventually, there comes a time when you've gathered all the low-hanging fruit possible. That's when you need a bigger change. Radical redesign is a great way to transform your site into a beautiful new butterfly.

A redesign can be a huge success - or it could fail terribly. After all, it's a long and tedious process. That's where checklists can make your job a whole lot easier. Whether you're working with an agency or redesigning in-house, this checklist will save you some headaches.

But, I will admit, this is not your average checklist. While many detailed and tactical checklists are available online (we list a few for you on page 16), the one thing commonly overlooked - that can make or break your redesign - is how the redesign will support (and improve) your overall marketing efforts. Your website isn't a silo. And it's not just about design. Your website affects your social media, email marketing, lead generation, brand awareness and sales strategies. 

That's what this checklist solves for: turning your website into an inbound marketing machine for long term success.

Click to download the PDF below, or keep reading!

Get the Website Redesign Checklist

STEP 1: BENCHMARK YOUR CURRENT METRICS...

Before you start thinking about anything, document your current performance metrics.

Start by analyzing your existing site, including; 

  • Number of visits/visitors/unique visitors
  • Bounce rate
  • Time on site
  • Current SEO ranking for important keywords
  • Domain authority
  • Number of visits/visitors/unique visitors
  • Total amount of sales generated

If you don't have access to this information, then I absolutely recommend using a tool like Google Analytics or Hubspot's closed-loop analytics for better tracking and visibility into site performance.

marketing-perf-with-hover.png
Pillar page.png

STEP 2: DETERMINE YOUR GOALS...

If you're considering a redesign, there needs to be a good reason for it. Many times we hear "just because we haven't done one in awhile" or "I want my business to look bigger". These are not good reasons for a redesign. It's not about how it looks, but how it works.

But be really clear about why you are doing the redesign in the first place and tie it to measurable results. Then communicate your goals with your team, designer or agency. Consider the following objectives for your own website;

  • Number of visits/visitors
  • Bounce rate
  • Time on site
  • Current SEO ranking for important keywords
  • Domain authority
  • Number of new leads/form submissions
  • Total amount of sales generated.

Many of these goals are dependent upon each other. For example, in order to get more conversions, you need to increase your traffic while decreasing bounce rate, so it's common to have many of these objectives. Some may be more important than others for your business.

Once you determine the list, tie those objectives to a specific success metric e.g., "to increase site traffic by 50% in the next six months."

Set SMART Goals with our fillable worksheet to get started.

Get the SMART Goals Worksheet

STEP 3: AVOID PITFALLS. INVENTORY YOUR ASSETS...

While redesign is a great way to improve results, there are countless ways it can hurt you. Your existing website contains a lot of assets that you have built up, and losing those during a redesign can damage your marketing.

Such assets might include:

  • Most shared or viewed content
  • Most trafficked pages
  • Best performing keywords you rank for and associated pages
  • Number of inbound links to individuals pages

For example, if you remove a page that has a higher number of inbound links, you could lose a lot of SEO credit, which could decrease keyword rankings.

Keep in mind that many web designers don't consider this step because they are not marketers.

Baskets organize
Website Grader Screenshot

STEP 4: ANALYZE THE COMPETITION...

While it doesn't help to obsess over your competition, it helps to know how you compare. 

  1. Run your website through Website Grader to get a report card of your website and marketing is performing today.
  2. Next run your competitors through Website Grader so you are aware of their strengths and weaknesses
  3. Take a look at their websites, note what you like and don't like. BUT, this is not meant to copy them. That's the last thing you want to do. Instead, you can uncover what you can do better.

Another helpful tool is Growth Bot, where you can analyze any statistic about things on the web by simply asking a question in Facebook Messanger.

Once you run through the analysis, put together an action list of what areas you can improve and what you can do differently than your competitors.

STEP 5: IDENTIFY YOUR UNIQUE VALUE PROPOSITION...

Before you begin crafting your content, be clear about your Unique Value Proposition (UVP) so that it is consistent across your entire website If you attract a high number of unique visitors, or you're a new business, your visitors might not be very familiar with you and what you do.

You need to immediately answer if what you do is right for them, and why they should buy/convert/stay on your website and not flee to your competitors.

When crafting your UVP, make sure you sound human. Do not use gobbledygook. Consider the following example of how we could describe Media Garcia in a gobbledy gook way:

Media Garcia works with small businesses and entrepreneurs to develop their brands, voices and presence within the digital marketplace. We achieve this through marketing automation through Inbound Marketing and HubSpot software, growth driven design and business intelligence analytics, diving into data for a synergistic view that determines and prioritizes high-value marketing activities.

Uh....? Let's translate that into the way people actually speak:

Media Garcia empowers small businesses and entrepreneurs with tools to transform their business and expand their presence within the digital marketplace.

That makes more sense! This step defines how the world communicates with your website. It can dramatically affect your bounce rates and conversion rates. Don't skip this step!

West Side Saint Paul MN Mural
Mural of Mexican Girl

STEP 6: DESIGN YOUR SITE AROUND PERSONAS...

Your website is not just about you. Your visitors ask, "what's in it for me?" Speak to them in their language by designing content around buyer personas.

A buyer persona is when you slice your marketplace into individual groups of people. They are fictional representations of your ideal customers, based on real data about customer demographics and online behavior, along with educated speculation about their personal histories, motivations and concerns.  

For instance, if you are a marketing manager at a hotel who is looking to bring in new business, you might target five buyer personas:

  • an independent business traveler,
  • a corporate travel manager,
  • an event planner,
  • a vacationing family,
  • and a couple planning their wedding reception. 

Consider the following when building your buyer personas:

  1. Segment by demographics.
    Start developing personas by researching your existing customer base to identify the most common buyers of your products and services. You may have several different types of buyers, so give each one a detailed description including a name, job title or role, industry or company info, and demographic info.

  2. Identify their needs
    What problems are they trying to solve? What do they need most? What information are they typically searching for? What trends are influencing their business or personal success?

  3. Develop behavior-based profiles
    What do they do online? Are they active on Twitter, Facebook, or other social networks? What kind of search terms do they use? What type of information do they tend to consume online? Which of your products do they spend the most time researching? How do they use those products?

Your website is a great way to match your messaging to the needs of different buyer personas. Build your pages into categories to fit these personas, or offer content in a way that your prospects can easily find what's relevant for them.

We've made a Buyer Persona Workbook to save you time. 

Get the Buyer Persona Workbook Now

STEP 7: OPTIMIZE YOUR SITE FOR SEARCH...

Getting found online is essential to improving the rest of your site metrics. If no one is coming to your site, how can you increase leads, downloads, or sales? Here are some tips to designing your site for search engine optimization (SEO):

  1. Document your most search-valued pages.
    As mentioned in step three, know what pages have the strongest SEO juice, the most traffic, inbound links, and keyword rankings. 

  2. Do keyword research.
    For every page, pick one or two keywords that the page will focus on. Once you determine the keyword(s),  use on-page SEO tactics, such as internal link building and optimizing your header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.)
Pillar page (1).jpg
Pillar page.jpg

STEP 8: IDENTIFY CALLS-TO-ACTION...

Calls-to-action (CTAs) are the elements on your website that drive visitors to take an action, whether it's a whitepaper download, contacting sales, or a product purchase. Your website shouldn't be a static brochure but should prompt your visitors to do something that further engages them in your brand.

When you're planning for redesign, think of all the potential opportunities for conversion. For example:

Remember:

  • Ebooks and whitepapers
  • Contests and promotions
  • Product purchases
  • Email newsletter subscription
  • Free trial
  • Contact us / consultation / demonstration / etc

While the "design" of your website is important, focus on the functional. Make sure there are plenty of calls-to-action so you don't lose visitors.

STEP 9: CREATE AN ONGOING CONTENT STRATEGY...

If you have more content, on average you will have more website visitors and grow your business faster. A 100-page website will beat out a 10-page website 99% of the time. And a 500-page website is even better, especially when it includes a constant flow of fresh content. Build a strategy to continue to add more and more content to your website over time.

  • Start a blog
    This is one of the best ways to have an on-going flow of great content. In fact, companies who blog have 55% more website visitors and 88% more leads than those who do not.

3 Tips to Improve Your Blogging Game

  • Include some PR
    Post press releases, but don't rely on this alone.
  • Outsource when necessary
    Lack time or resources for content? Take a look at content marketplace services like Zerys that provide a network of authors. 

  • Need ideas?
    Check out HubSpot's 100 Inbound Content Marketing Ideas or ask us! We'll always answer questions.

 

AdobeStock_82008558.jpeg
Cat at computer

STEP 10: DON'T FORGET THE EXTRAS!

Any website built today should include these basics: a homepage, product pages, industry resources and a Contact Us/About Us page. But of course, there are more basics that can really make your website awesome. 

  • Blog 
    A blog is a great way to create content on an ongoing basis, and to converse with your customers and prospects.

  • Add RSS Subscription
    RSS allows some content from your website to be automatically pushed out to other websites and people, increasing the reach of your content.

  • Landing Pages & Calls-to-Action
    Landing pages and calls-to-action are critical lead generation components. Create awesome landing pages as a part of the redesign for your offers and assets.

  • Analytics
    Its critical you are measuring the performance of your website from the start. Insight is everything for a marketer.

  • Shareability
    Add social media sharing buttons/links to all your pages. You can use tools like ShareThis or AddThis

Get More Ideas from our Blog

Media Garcia Blog