The average website undergoes a redesign every 1 - 3 years, but how often is this truly necessary? Before you consider a website redesign consider the following 7 critical questions.
1. Are you Redesigning for the Right Reason?
Before you dedicate time and resources to a website redesign, take a moment to determine why you want to do this.
- Get found by more prospects.
- Convert more prospects into leads and customers.
- It's been a while since the last time.
- New corporate look and feel.
If you're going to redesign ensure its motivated by looking to improve the performance of your site. A beautiful website, although intriguing and aesthetically pleasing, is useless if its not driving traffic and generating leads for your business.
2. How will you Preserve your Website Assets?
A website is a business asset. It has content, inbound links, keyword rankings and conversion potential that are all valuable to your business. Undertaking a redesign without considering how you are going to protect these assets is risky to say the least.
Understanding how SEO effects the inbound marketing equation and taking the necessary steps to preserve existing inbound links and keyword rankings in a redesign process is imperative to protect your website assets.
3. What will your Homepage look like?
76% of people are looking for a website that makes it easy for them to find what they are looking for.1
The key here is simplicity. A well-structured site that does not overwhelm visitors with options and easily directs them to the content relevant for them is best.
Another key objective of your homepage is to build rapport, showing visitors how they can connect easily with blog and social media links upfront are important.
4. Have you got a Content Creation Plan in Place?
Content creation is critical for inbound marketing success and is an on-going process. You need to commit to the time and resources required to generate large amounts of original, engaging content.
- Regular blogging results in 55% increase in website visitors.2
- Search engines look for fresh content, which increases your number of indexed pages.
- Companies that blog have 2 times as many Twitter followers than those that don't.3
- Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links than those that don't.3
5. How will you Format your Landing Pages?
Landing pages is where the magic happens on your website. These are the pages that are geared to convert those strangers to prospects by way of a compelling piece of content behind a form to capture lead information.
A couple of tried and tested tactics include:
- Hide website navigation reducing the chances of your potential prospects popping off to another page.
- Keep copy clear, concise and descriptive.
- Forms should be found above the fold.
6. Will you be able to Conduct Conversion Experiments?
Website design should not be a once-off project and elements on your pages should be continually tested for better performance. Perhaps a blue "download now" button converts better than a red one. Maybe using "sign up today" as opposed to "submit" will increase conversion.
Without a platform that allows for conversion experiments and tracking, you will never know what works best. Testing is key to conversion optimisation.
7. How will you Monitor your Metrics?
Metrics are what shows where your site is achieving and where there is room for improvement. It is easy to fall into a trap of monitoring too much irrelevant information that doesn't necessarily translate into anything meaningful for board members and director reports.
Stick to the metrics that show website performance:
- Visitors: How many people are coming to the website and from where?
- Leads: How many visitors concerted to leads and what did they convert on?
- Sales: How many leads converted to sales?
Website redesign projects come in at an average of $38 5001, excluding resources for on-going maintentence. It makes sense for companies to consider what they already have before embarking on a website redesign for the wrong reasons. Inbound marketing tactics such as SEO, blogging and social media are easy to include in your existing site and are twice as effective as traditional web redesign elements. Growth-driven design should also be a consideration before you go ahead with your redesign.
1 HubSpot The Science of Website Redesign June 2011
3HubSpot State of Inbound Marketing Lead Generation Report 2010
Are you considering a website redesign? What are your motives and concerns? Leave you comments below or tweet us @struto_central to get chatting.