Your website is essentially the face of your business – the first impression your customers will carry with them. And it’s no mystery. A first impression is all it takes to either generate genuine interest or get left in the dust. 94% of consumers cite design as a reason they do not trust a company’s website. Your website needs to provide solutions and information that your target audience values. It needs to be well structured, concise, and action-oriented. And most importantly, it needs to be an accurate reflection of you and your brand.
Take a look at this extensive list of the best ways to assess your website’s structure, content, and aesthetic; questions to consider throughout each stage of the process; and tips for tackling your website redesign phase by phase. The secrets to a stellar website redesign are at your fingertips. It’s time to turn the key!
9 Steps for a Successful Website
1. Analyze Your Metrics
Okay, all you designers-to-be – We know you’re probably just itching to dive right into all the exciting aesthetic changes and modernized reformatting your website is craving. But you can’t start crafting your new look without taking some measurements first! Before fully engaging in any website redesign project, the importance of scrutinizing your current site metrics and available data cannot be stressed enough! After all, you can’t figure out what work needs to be done without looking at what’s truly effective – and what’s falling flat. Time to turn to your marketing metrics and let the numbers speak for themselves.
Do you notice any significant traffic patterns? Home in on your source analytics – reporting on organic search, direct traffic, email marketing, social media, and referrals. Identify any correlations to solid or weak page performance and identify the existing holes.
What is your bounce rate? Bounce rate measures the percentage of website visitors who enter your site and then leave rather than continue navigating your other pages. Your site page bounce rates can indicate the source of a significant problem!
What are your relevant conversion rates? Determine how many visitors are converting into leads and how many leads are converting into customers. Conversions are marketing gold – so flaunt those pages that convert and pump up the ones that aren’t! What are your top-performing landing pages? Similarly, your landing pages receiving the highest traffic and facilitating the most downloads should be highlighted and promoted.
How are you ranking in search engines with your current keyword strategy? Time to figure out if your keyword strategy makes sense! How many of your priority keywords land you on page one of the search engine results?
What is the monthly search volume for your priority keywords? Ensure your keywords are actually terms people use. Just think – how do you go about researching companies, products, or services? What words and phrases do you type into a search engine?
What IS working?
What are your most popular pages? Your top-performing site pages can serve as excellent benchmarks. Use high-conversion and high-traffic pages as a template for any areas that require redesign.
What purpose are they serving? Each page is created for a specific reason, as simple as it may be. Understanding its functionality provides insights into how visitors are primarily using your website!
Why are these pages so popular? Analyzing page popularity entails both a quantitative and qualitative assessment. Determine what makes these pages tick and how you can apply these differentiating characteristics throughout your website.
What can make these pages even more visible and accessible to visitors? Include links to these pages in your navigation, in the sidebars of other site pages, and the copy of relevant blog posts. Make the most of your top performers!
And what isn’t?
Which of your pages can you get rid of? No page hoarding! Chances are, you shouldn’t be hanging onto every last page when redesigning your website. Discard the dead weight to keep it organized and efficient. Outdated or irrelevant pages can be unpublished, archived, and redirected.
What is one critical improvement you can make to your web pages? Start with tackling one component for each page type (landing page, blog post, contact, etc.) in need of a change. For example: Add a relevant Call-to-Action to each of your blog posts. A small wins strategy can make a daunting task seem much more manageable.
Can you use Google Analytics to assess your website better? On which pages are your website visitors arriving? It’s not just your homepage that serves as the gateway to your website. Identify the first impressions incoming traffic has by looking at the numbers.
And where are they dropping off? If visitors are spending very little time on specific pages, continually hitting the ‘back’ button after a few seconds, you have already found yourself some areas on which to focus!
Key Takeaways: Analyzing your current metrics and available data is an essential first step. Inventory your assets – Capitalize on your strong attributes – And pinpoint the weak spots so you can develop a plan for improving them. If there are any outdated, irrelevant pages, bin them! And above all, temper quantity success measures with quality success measures; conversions are ultimately your most important metric.
2. Set Your Goals: The Best Questions to Ask Before Starting a Website Redesign
Perhaps the most critical phase of website redesign is the goal-setting stage. Being able to articulate precisely what you aim to achieve from a redesign is crucial to enacting change. Otherwise, you might as well be stumbling around in the dark. You’ve already waded through your data analytics. You know what’s wrong with your site. Now, by establishing objectives, budgeting factors, and timelines, you’re essentially laying the foundation for your entire redesign process. And with the proper guidelines in mind, you can make life a whole lot easier for yourself.
What are you hoping to achieve from a website redesign? What particular marketing stats are you hoping to see improve? After thoroughly analyzing your benchmarking data, you probably have a good idea of what you’d like to see change. Note your targeted metrics and set some quantitative goals.
Are your expectations realistic? Though change is good, it’s not always easy. Be sure your initial targets are within your reach! If you’re unsure, it’s best to discuss these expectations with a consultant or outsourced marketing agency well-versed in website assessment and redesign.
How will this change affect your brand? Consider the ways your website redesign influenced the perception of your brand. Is rebranding your business one of your overarching goals?
What is the overall mission of your website redesign? Break down your redesign hopes and dreams into a brief outline of objectives. You should be able to articulate the value each objective will contribute. Be sure your redesign mission is aligned with the value proposition of your business.
What other marketing objectives are you trying to maintain during this process? What is the scope of the redesign? Okay, how much redesign are we talking about here? Determine what work needs to be done to accomplish your primary objectives. Establish all major tasks – phrasing them as actionable goals – to evaluate how large an undertaking the website redesign process will be for you.
What additional marketing tasks can you handle? Assess your marketing bandwidth. You may not have to stop everything for this redesign to move forward. Plan out ways to maintain your most routine marketing tasks while still making progress on your new site. This may require a little more automation, new editorial calendars, rotating out personnel, or outsourcing some of the work.
Who is working on the various parts of the redesign project? Decide how the job can be divided among all team members involved. Select a project manager who delegates tasks, sets deadlines, monitors deliverables, establishes rules for communication, and holds everyone accountable!
Website Redesign Cost
What is your budget? How much time can you afford to give to this project? As they say, timing is everything. Break your redesign project into phases and allocate specific amounts of time to each phase. However, there may be hiccups along the way – be sure to leave a little wiggle room for practicality’s sake!
How many people are needed to accomplish this redesign within a reasonable timeframe? The answer here is dependent on first developing your list of tasks and then establishing your “reasonable timeframe.” Once you decide on these factors, you can determine how many people are needed to execute your website redesign.
How much money are you willing to spend? Come up with a sensible range. Do a little pricing research, and start with what you’d like to spend. Then write down the maximum you’re willing and able to pay. More than likely, these numbers will be different. Hopefully, there’s a compromise hiding in the middle somewhere.
Key Takeaways: Marketers are often pulled in many different directions at one time. Spread out what you can do – be realistic about timing and keep your budget practical. Make sure you have a clear idea of what you are setting out to accomplish, and more importantly, understand why you are doing it. A defined purpose will sustain motivation and keep your team on task.
3. Know Your Visitors
Your website visitors are seeking refuge from a storm of chaotic information as they browse the Internet looking for that buried treasure. Ideally, you either want to be the first pit-stop they make that ends their online search entirely or that moment of sweet relief when they finally find what they needed after scouring a myriad of websites. The impact of a great user experience cannot be understated!
Many sites are simply catalysts of frustration for their visitors, so it’s essential to make sure your website’s user experience is outstanding! When redesigning your content, optimize for your target buyers first – and for search engines second. If you focus on the audience’s interests, the rest of your design will follow suit.
Who are your target buyers? Have you developed your target buyer profiles yet? Firmly establish what you are really selling and to whom you are selling it. Begin by drawing up a detailed list of 2-3 target buyers you hope to delight. Initial buyer persona criteria should include (but are not limited to) an individual’s industry background, job title, responsibilities at work, pain points, values, goals, information-seeking habits, and a typical day in their life.
Which of your target buyer profiles are the most lucrative? If you have multiple profiles in your target buyer arsenal, select the one that makes you the most money and create a better website experience for this audience. Directly address the buyer’s wants and needs by showcasing the products and services that appeal to them front and center.
Which of your target buyer profiles has converted most often? Each of your converted customers should be classified in your list of target buyer profiles. As you obtain information about these contacts, categorize them and analyze the trends. If one target buyer group stands out, what can you do to maximize the conversion rate?
On which site pages are your target buyers converting/spending more time? These pages are your money makers. Provide clear and simple pathways to them, stemming from your home page.
In terms of a business model, who are you today as opposed to in the past? You may discover your existing target buyer profiles require modifications as your company evolves. Take a content inventory to assess which profiles and respective pain points are being handled effectively.
What is the user experience like on your website? Have you had non-company or non-industry members test out your site? Can someone less “tech-savvy” navigate your site efficiently? Just because you can access your blog or complete a landing page form with your eyes closed, do not assume everyone else can, too.
Does your website copy cater to your target buyers? The language used throughout the site should resonate with the buyer profiles you’ve developed. However, this doesn’t imply stuffing your site pages with industry jargon. Just be sure the style and tone (and keywords, of course!) accommodate those people to whom you primarily sell products or services.
Does your website have a natural flow? Browsing your website should not feel like work. Ensure user experience is as fluid as possible! A visitor checking out your site with specific goals or intentions should easily be able to find what they need.
Where are your visitors coming from? Who is researching your website? It’s important to recognize with whom you are engaging first. Who is making that initial interaction? Zero in on these visitors with messages that appeal to them.
What keywords are attracting your target buyers through an organic search? Round up the unique search terms leading people to your website. Now develop a list of comparable alternatives and substitutions that might generate even more traffic. You can also take advantage of plural and gerund versions of practical search terms, as well as changes in word order.
How can you capitalize on priority keywords to better optimize your website? Consider website design changes based on the needs of your target buyers. Generate an updated list of keywords – along with long-tail versions of each – that reflect those needs, and create site content accordingly.
Key Takeaways: When executing a full-fledged website redesign, user experience should be a top priority. With that said, don’t try to be everything to everyone. Define your desired audience and recognize how this compares to who is actually visiting your site. Put yourself in a user’s position, and walk yourself through a particular scenario. This task in itself may draw attention to issues you hadn’t considered. And of course, always keep the needs of your target buyers top of mind.
4. Pinpoint Best Practices
How do you measure up? Competitive analysis should be a systematic part of any business venture, let alone an entire website overhaul. Taking a peek at your rival’s site certainly isn’t cheating. It’s smart. And frankly, it’s just about necessary. To get your head in the game, start by compiling three lists: your areas of analysis, your friendly competition, and your industry’s best practices for website design. You’ll want to soak up as much insight as possible, so strap on your tough critic goggles and scope out the good, the bad, and yes – the ugly, too.
What are the prominent best practices for website design across your industry? Does your website align with any of these best practices? Best practices are best practices for a reason. If your old website doesn’t reflect many recommended formatting, style, or aesthetic features for your industry type, you’ll want to take a page out of the best practice book and make some changes.
In which areas can you improve your website design based on this information? Think about all the components of your website. Anything from your navigation, to your primary Call-to-Action buttons, to your headline copy, to your font colors, and so on. It's important to be objective in your assessment. If your website is driving visitors away, its important to understand why, and not repeat the same mistakes in your redesign.
What are design experts blogging about? Be as resourceful as you can with your research. The Internet is pretty much littered with design blogs and industry thought leadership pieces, so try reading up on the latest website trends. If you can glean at least one good tip from a selection of articles, it was worth digging around!
Is there a way to incorporate A/B testing? If you’re at a fork in the road, try split testing some of your website features in the trial stages to see what’s most effective. You can also conduct a survey with current customers with whom you work closely to gather information. Not only will their input be valuable, but they’ll more than likely appreciate being asked! This is also a great opportunity to reengage with clients of the past.
Who are your online competitors? It’s a good idea to research your top 5 “adversaries.” If you don’t know them already, find out by typing your targeted keywords into a search engine – and see who is popping up frequently. If you run a company with a more local audience, narrow this down with location-specific search terms. Be sure to delete your cookies beforehand, or your results could end up biased towards past search topics and thereby misleading.
What makes your website experience better than your competitors’? Get up on that high horse for a second – it’s okay. An honest self-assessment will help you decide what to maintain when your website undergoes its makeover. Take what’s special and accentuate these features.
What are you not doing that your competitors are doing? Alright, this may be tough to admit – but it’s unlikely you’re outdoing your competitors in every single area of website design. Try accessing various parts of their sites as if you were an interested lead. Note what pathways are particularly smooth, helpful, or fun!
In which areas can you improve your website’s performance? Pitting your website against your competitors’ ultimately helps you see the light – or at least some fresh ideas you can incorporate into your new layout. However, the last thing you’ll want to do is copy your rival; it’s about putting your spin on those qualities your website lacks!
Key Takeaways: Sometimes, an effective way to figure out what to do next is to figure out what you’re not doing. Do the homework and take a look at top industry competitor best practices. This will get your wheels turning, giving you some added firepower to draft those innovative design ideas no one has touched yet. Like your products or services, your website will shine if you can manage to fill a hole in the market.
5 . Evaluate Your Design & Aesthetic
A website is a window into your company – it’s what creates a first and typically lasting impression of your organization’s identity and brand positioning. Naturally, you’d like your website to be easy on the eyes, but assessing your design and aesthetic is more than just making everything oh so pretty. Even with all the creative license in the world, graphic designers still need a plan of action. The following questions will lead you into the creative process, framing that right-brain artistry with some left-brain logic.
What are the positive attributes of your existing aesthetic? Which of these attributes can you keep or amplify? Website makeovers don’t always mean you have to start from scratch. You might already have some really cool visual elements that can be recycled into your new design.
Are these attributes consistent throughout your website? If an element from your home page’s aesthetic has a strong positive impact, can this element be carried throughout your website? Consistency is key.
What are the negative attributes of your existing aesthetic? Which characteristics must be changed? Are parts of your design chaining you to the kids’ table? Write up a list of cons that need to be addressed before you can play with the big boys. Then prioritize them, starting with any blatant blemishes on your home page.
Is your site’s layout a help or a hindrance? Evaluate how your layout and formatting facilitate navigation. A visitor’s eye will naturally dance around the page, but you want this dance to be smooth, elegant, and purposeful. Waltz them through your website with well-defined pathways, clear and understandable text, and links that make sense.
What does your aesthetic lack? Are your logo and overall design modern? This particular point is among the more subjective questions in this eBook – and unless you graduated with a fancy design degree, you might want another pair of eyes helping you out with this one. However, if your aesthetic hasn’t evolved since Y2K (okay, so hopefully that’s an exaggeration), it’s safe to assume it’s time for a fresh look or updated logo.
Do you need new photography and graphics? Much like your design, your photos could be a tad dated, irrelevant, plain-looking, or distracting from more recent content. Consider which photos to use when redesigning your website. If your business does not have a variety of team or company photos to utilize, choose a handful of stock photos that compliment your site. While stock photos can be customized, it's important to use them sparingly, as research shows consumers are less likely to trust your brand if stock photos dominate your web pages.
Can you implement valuable infographics? If you have mounds of insightful data laying around, do not let it go to waste! Why don’t you strategically piece together some infographics to place throughout your website? Or you can save them for a blog post or social media blast. Infographics attract visitors and serve as excellent bait for inbound links that raise your web page authority score.
Is video important to your website? Video isn’t suitable for everyone, but it certainly brings in visitors, facilitates link building, and increases time spent on your web pages. With the numerous benefits of video marketing, it certainly can’t hurt to consider your options.
Do you lack white space? Sometimes less is more. Don’t crowd your images and Calls-to-Action with more images and Calls-to-Action. Break your blog post pages up with bulleted lists, headlines, blockquotes, and indentations to increase readability. Create focal points on your landing pages using white space. Let your stylish typography stand out against an empty backdrop. Trust us; white space is an underutilized element.
What kind of personality do you want to show? What type of emotion does your website evoke? And what should it evoke? Time to gauge your website’s personality. Every web design inspires some type of feeling in a viewer – first, make sure it’s a positive one. Then make sure it’s the emotion you’re shooting for!
What is the tone of the language? Not only should the language on your site reflect your company culture, but it should also echo with your target audience. Advising you to “keep it professional” is a bit vague. It’s more important to know your brand and understand how your linguistic choices influence a visitor’s perception. And remember, there’s a fine line between bold or quirky and tacky or off-putting.
Does your site FEEL like you? Without a doubt, many people will base their first impressions of your company on your website design. Yes, you want it to be something to write home about, but you also want the website to represent you – the people behind the curtain.
What is your color scheme – and why have you chosen these colors? Think of your website’s color scheme as its very own mood ring. What do these colors represent, and how will they be interpreted? A color scheme should be inviting, but the choices may ultimately depend on your industry. Statistically speaking; however, greens, blues, and purples are the top-performing hues.
Key Takeaways: Critiquing design and aesthetics isn’t just about a look. It’s about the feel of your website – the entire presentation. Ultimately the experience visitors have on your site should reflect the same experience they would have engaging with someone from your company. As your website is often a person’s first exposure to your business, you’re aspiring to create an impression that’s not only a memorable one but an accurate depiction of your brand and values.
6. Don’t Neglect the Technical: Website Redesign SEO
A new shirt can look as cool as a cucumber, but really, it’s the stitching that keeps it from falling apart. Similarly, if you ignore the nagging, procedural details during a redesign, a website simply will not operate correctly. Executing a successful website redesign implies taking a hard look at how your site functions on a technical level. Is your website well optimized? Are you using the right platform? Can your new website be reached if a past customer searches for the old address? These are all topics that must be shuffled into your redesign strategy if you’re going to seamlessly pull this off.
Have you implemented a 301 redirect for your new site pages? Are there any broken links? We’ve all experienced clicking on a link and ending up in some lost 4th dimension. Typically, this is indicated by a conspicuous “404 message” or “Page Not Found” text. These errors often occur when a site page is moved to a new URL and the old link hasn’t been redirected to the new address. Make certain that you apply a permanent 301 Redirect to all of your newly born web pages!
Does your 404 error page alleviate any stress to the user in the event of a broken link? Think about your lost opportunity when your customers or potential buyers want information they can’t find due to a broken link. Not a great feeling, right? Now, think about their lost opportunity. They probably aren’t smiling either. The least you can do is customize your 404 error page to bring them back to your website or provide a light-hearted message to communicate that you meant them no harm.
Does the type of platform you’re using need to change? What type of platforms are available to you? There are a plethora of tools and platforms available for building and structuring websites and applications. The most widely used platforms can be classified as one of the following three types:1. Content Management System (CMS)
2. Content Management Framework (CMF)
3. Web Application Framework
Why is a specific platform advantageous or disadvantageous for your website? Each platform has its particular benefits and drawbacks. Make sure you weigh out the pros and cons of your particular site design, development skillset, resources, and budget.
How well optimized is your website? How and where are you leveraging your keywords? Keywords are a sizeable piece of the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) pie. Avoid stuffing them throughout your site pages, as search engines may penalize you for sacrificing readability and user-friendliness. Position your keywords in a meaningful way and include long-tail versions where applicable.
Do your web pages contain optimized Meta descriptions and ALT text on images? Meta descriptions – the 150-character text underneath the headline in a search result – do not directly impact SEO, but they improve click-through rate. Make sure yours contain keywords to attract searchers. Image ALT text, however, is correlated with SEO. Be sure your graphics’ corresponding ALT text includes a key search term, and your image’s file name isn’t comprised of a series of random characters before uploading it to your page.
“An ironclad 301 redirect strategy preserves as much as 85 percent of the link authority the current site has earned over its lifetime and funnels it into the new site to give it a strong start.”
– Practical Ecommerce
Are your headlines on site pages and blog posts both eye-catching and optimized for search? Optimize a headline for search engines by including a relevant keyword. Optimize a headline for the reader by commanding their attention! Pick out your top 10 favorite titles from your various pages and posts. Then, refer to your data analytics to see which pages are getting the most visits from organic search and social media. Is there a connection? What types of headlines are attracting your prospects?
What is your authority score? Your page authority is based on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 100, indicating the relevance of information and links within your site pages. Higher page authority provides greater chances of your page showing up in search engine results and that your page will be placed closer to the top.
Are you facilitating opportunities for more inbound links? Inbound links refer to any link to your website from another website. In simple terms, the higher the authority of the other website, the more optimization points you rake in. Link building for SEO remains an integral piece of any inbound marketing strategy.
Key Takeaways: When designing a website, it’s easy to get lost in the graphics, bells, and whistles. Don’t forget about the functional aspects. If your site isn’t optimized for search or your links aren’t working correctly, no one will see your improved design anyway! Additionally, regularly producing new and valuable content is vital to any SEO or link-building strategy. It maintains your relevance in the “eyes” of search engines and provides an incentive for others to connect back to your site.
7. Develop Your Content Strategy
A website redesign is a perfect time to give your content the up-and-down and see what you can improve – or at least reorganize. It may also serve as an opportunity to change your content creation habits and institute new practices. In particular, you’ll want to consider your blogging routine (or lack thereof). As companies who blog receive 55% more traffic and 97% more inbound links than those who do not blog, investing some time in your content marketing strategy is going to shift the spotlight onto your freshly reinvented website effectively. Here’s how you can approach content development so that your company attracts all that coveted attention it deserves!
Have you established an organized Content Calendar? What types of posts are you developing? Your sparkling new site should exhibit various blog posts – longer editorials, short, bite-sized tips, curated content, repurposed offers, guest blogs, how-to’s, how not to’s, and everything in between that your customers care about in relation to your industry.
How often do you blog, and how often CAN you blog? Blog regularly and blog often. By publishing your posts around the same time every week or month, you generate anticipation in your readers. Creating expectations helps develop a stronger following.
Are you scheduling your posts to be published on your social media channels? Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are all terrific ways to engage with leads. Social media allows your followers to share your blog posts and interact with your brand. Ultimately, this dually increases traffic to your website, as members of their social network are likely to trust these evangelists more than a business with which they are unfamiliar.
What else can you include in your Content Calendar? The sky’s the limit! Tweets, third-party posts, new offers, white papers, case studies, video, infographics, newsletters – you name it. Whatever the content your organization wants to show the world, hold yourself accountable for its progress with a shared company content calendar.
What are your current blogging practices? What types of content are your target buyers looking for? Give your target buyers a little inspiration. Whether it’s an answer to a question, a solution to a problem, or just a good laugh, if they see that piece of content they’ve been desperately searching for on your site, you could be one step closer to closing another customer in the long run.
Do you outsource blogging to a marketing specialist or freelance content writer? We know how much time content creation takes. Sometimes, you simply can’t do it alone! If you’re choosing to outsource your blog, just be sure the writers understand your company and industry and share your unique values. Communication is crucial.
Can you set up a guest blogging partnership? Invite other industry experts to write guest posts for you. Utilize that network of yours! When pitching them the benefits of doing so, be confident. Guest bloggers gain exposure beyond their normal readership, and what’s more, they generate inbound links back to their websites.
Can you curate content to help your audience locate information? Blog posts containing collections of content about the same topic of interest can save your readers a lot of time! But to really add value to these types of posts, serve up your own opinion and insight against what someone else has voiced in his or her article.
Are there offers or old content that can be repurposed? There has GOT to be a piece of sad, old content sitting around just waiting to be recycled into an updated post with a new twist. Repackaging information is one of the quickest ways to generate content when you’re suffering from writer’s block! Similarly, if you dissect your company’s written offers, you’ll find that white papers, eBooks, and case studies are filled to the brim with juicy posts.
Key Takeaways: Blogging and social media posting are important ways to entice visitors and generate leads, but these methods are most effective when your content strategy is ongoing and consistent. Developing a content calendar to hold your team accountable will keep your crew on track! Again, knowing your audience is crucial. Figure out what they truly want or need and transform your assessment into valuable, practical, and entertaining content.
8. Think Action with Conversion Points
CTAs to the rescue! Ultimately, your new website redesign should overtly encourage visitors to take actions they were not taking, or perhaps not even contemplating, before. When reinventing your Web presence, you should always be thinking ahead with these goals in mind.
Facilitating the realization of these actions requires thoughtful planning and utilizing every opportunity to convert a visitor into a lead. It’s one of the inbound marketing musts! Your Calls-to-Action, in whatever form they take, are meant to motivate your audience, lifting them off the proverbial couch and into your database. CTAs are the superhero starting points to generating both leads and customers – and they’re here to save the day!
What actions would you like visitors to take?
All this requires is one button on your blog posts – a piece of cake! Make sure this stands out from the other links on your post pages. Demonstrate the value of subscribing to your blog by explaining what the visitor will get out of it. You can even offer an incentive for subscribing, such as an exclusive download or coupon.
Download offers? Every blog post should contain a relevant CTA to a related offer. You can also promote these offers through your social media channels with Calls-to-Action that are a little more informal or channel-specific.
Purchase a product or service? The key to making this Call-to-Action successful is the phrasing. This step will likely happen later in the buying cycle, but make sure your leads understand the value of their gain. In addition, including a testimonial or a number of previous purchasers in the CTA provides third-party validation – a compelling motivator for your site visitors’ and prospects’ actions. (Read More: How To Market Services – Treat Them Like a Product)
Contact a company rep? Let your prospects know you are there to answer any questions and provide helpful information. With this type of CTA, always link to a dedicated contact page or landing page with a form field for questions. Providing team member email addresses on your team page is up to you. This does, however, encourage communication and openness.
Are your Calls-to-Action in place? Do you need new Call-to-Action designs? If your Calls-to-Action designs are a bit dated, irrelevant, confusing, or simply non-existent, it’s time for some brand-spankin' new ones. Spend some time strategizing how you can improve your click-through rate (CTR) with a better CTA design. Compare your CTR to others in the industry and find out what you’re lacking. You can also employ A/B testing on CTA's to understand which design or copy combination resonates better with your audience.
Are your current CTAs relevant? Call-to-Action relevance is critical to the lead gen process. For instance, if your reader is interested in outsourced marketing tips and reads one of your blog posts on the subject and then comes to a CTA about engaging Twitter followers, nine times out of ten, they won’t click on that button. Overall, the click-through rate for the CTA is likely to be pretty low. Make sure you are paying attention to which CTAs you apply to each of your pages and posts.
Which CTAs have performed best? Which CTAs have the highest click-through rate? Your data analytics prove to be useful once again. Comparing views to clicks, you’ll discover which Calls-to-Action are bringing the most interested visitors to your landing pages.
Which CTAs have led to the most lead conversions? A conversion occurs when a visitor fills out a form on a landing page to receive an offer, thus giving up their contact information and becoming a qualified lead. Which CTAs are attached to these landing pages? Perhaps there is a strong connection between the landing page content and the CTA design that can be mimicked in other CTA / landing page combinations.
What attributes from these successful CTAs can be applied to other CTAs? Maybe it’s your compelling copy. Or perhaps it’s the sleek design. An incredible photo or an eye-catching headline? Whatever you believe is making these CTAs successful is what you need to replicate in your others.
Key Takeaways: One primary objective of your website redesign is to facilitate increased activity on your audience’s part. Constantly keeping in mind what actions you want your visitors to take allows you to shape the direction you gently push them in with your website layout and copy. Always remember your end goals and how this relates to your design strategy. And like the rest of your marketing components, streamline your Calls-to-Action with your updated vocabulary and aesthetic.
9. Promote Your New Site
You've finally finished pouring your blood, sweat, and tears into your website redesign project and you’re ready to show off your new look and content to the whole world, it’s time to sound the trumpets and promote! The trick is to do so without boasting or giving off an “It’s all about me” vibe. The process of promoting your website doesn’t have to be blatant to be effective. It’s about finding fun or entertaining ways of letting people know you’ve upgraded your company’s online presence while still providing them with information of value.
It also encompasses streamlining all of your marketing channels to match your website’s updates. And lastly, take pride in your hard work – Your audience will be excited if you’re excited about it, too!
Is your new website design aligned with other extensions of your company’s brand? How is your brand represented across all channels? Before you rev up the promotion engine, you’ll want to make sure your fresh designs are streamlined across all company facets. Your social media channel backgrounds and cover photos, your press release layout, your newsletter color scheme, etc., should all be a part of the redesign. Old templates will no longer match your newly reinvented website.
Is there consistency in the language used? If you’ve changed the overall tone of your site through the copy, you’ll want to make sure the same style of language is used across the board. Any new catchphrases, mottos, or mission statements should be integrated into your marketing media.
Is there consistency in imagery and aesthetics? New logo, images, or colors? These are now part of your brand. Ensure you use them in all areas of your marketing for consistency. People may become confused and bounce if they see your Facebook page has one aesthetic and they click to your company website, only to find something entirely visually different.
“85% of companies use social media for business exposure; 69% use these channels to increase traffic.”
– Social Media Examiner
Have you documented the redesign process for a white paper or case study? You’ll never know when these notes will come in handy later down the road. A full-scale redesign can transform into several new high-value offers.
Is there a newsletter to promote the update? Read all about it! A monthly or quarterly newsletter is a great way to share company updates with subscribers and customers. Your new website could be the highlight of the content!
Have you thought of using your Thank You Pages? After a lead downloads an offer, they are either taken to a Thank You Page or receive an email. Drop a line about your new website and see how many clicks you get from these links.
What about email? Many small opportunities can be useful for a “Hey! Check out our new website!” Include an announcement in your email signature line, a casual email to some of your closest contacts, or even an out-of-office reply. People enjoy looking at new things, and you’ll probably receive some positive feedback afterward.
Have you updated your social media followers about your new website? Promote your new website through your social channels: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and whatever else you’ve got going on in the social marketing world. Keep your followers in the loop!
Have you maximized sharing capabilities? Do each of your blog posts, landing pages, and offers contain social sharing icons? Sharing is caring. Enable social sharing capabilities on all three so that people who found them interesting or helpful can pay it forward.
Website redesign doesn’t have to be the overwhelming, grueling monster it may look like before you begin. It’s all about breaking down the process into stages and conquering the beast bit by bit.
Unless you possess Web-altering magical powers (in which case, please contact us for freelancing opportunities *wink*), yes, a website redesign is still going to involve a lot of work and time, regardless of your knowledge and skills, but we’re confident this guide of comprehensive questions and tips will see you through the challenge, helping you organize a top-of-the-line strategy for developing your brand new site.
Once your refurbished website is live, don’t just stand there! Your website is a living, breathing marketing powerhouse that constantly needs to be fed with fresh content and monitored for progress. Ensure that you measure the results of the changes, test variations, and refine your site based on your data analytics – always keeping your original goals in mind.
With a promising strategy, your website has the makings to become your company’s most valuable marketing asset. Unlock its potential with these ten keys to a remarkable redesign and you’ll have opened your gateway to success!