Your website is an extremely important part of your marketing strategy. Just as a shop window needs to be regularly maintained, decorated and updated to attract buyers’ attention, so does a website needs to be redesigned every now and then. A website is just like an online shop window, and it thus needs to be given a facelift. However, for a site to be properly redesigned, it is important to bear in mind that it does not only need to look aesthetically pleasing and make a good visual impact. It also needs to be functional from an SEO point of view. So, let us go over some of the main aspects to keep in mind when redesigning your website.
1. What is the purpose of your website?
Your starting point should always be focused on the purpose of your website. Is it purely informational, or do you want to attract sales? Your goals need to be very clear so that you can improve your chances of achieving them in time.
2. Carry out a website review
Your current website needs to be analysed carefully if you want to redesign it.
How should you carry out a site review?
Carry out an in depth review of what you like about your current site and pinpoint areas that you feel that need to be improved in some way or other. It is a good idea to look up some sites that you like, possibly those of your competitors. Look at the elements that you would like to incorporate on your website, and if possible try to do it even better than they did.
3. Bear in mind who is your target market
Since your website is intended towards your prospective customers, you need to focus on your target market.
How should you define your target market?
Describe the target market in detail, in order to to get to know who they are, and what they will be looking for and expect when they land on your website. This will improve your chances of having an impact on them, and encourage them to browse through the site and hopefully buy something or subscribe, or get in touch with you for a quote or for more information. You need to target your target market to possibly connect with them. At this point it may be helpful to build around personas to make this evaluation as realistic and as accurate as possible.
4. Decide if there are any new functions that you would like your website to have
If you do not have a content management system you may wish to consider whether it is time to have one. At this stage you will also need to decide on ways that could make your site easier to navigate.
Why is ease of use important?
Ease of use is very important for your users, because should a visitor feel that the site is too confusing or not well laid out, there is a high probability that she will simply leave and look up another site that can offer her what you could have offered. You need to make the site aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate. Visitors need to find what they are looking for easily and quickly. This will also need to be possible on smaller screens such as those of tablets and smartphones, as many users are accessing your site from such devices.
Another important aspect is to include social media links on your site as nowadays many people will want to look up your presence on social media platforms so as to follow you there too.
5. Find out what works on the site and keep that
There are surely several good elements on your site. You do not have to change everything, and it is best to keep what works well to retain that effectiveness as much as possible. The redesign process should be focused on areas that can be improved. You will need to place importance on the aesthetic areas, as well as the content on the site. A content marketing plan will be important at this point.
6. Research and analyze your competitors’ sites
Your website will need to compete with several other websites online. Your redesign process will need to be carried out in a way that will help your site outrank them. So, you need to take a look at your competitors’ websites.
How should you carry out this competitors’ sites analysis?
Make a note of what you like and what you do not like. Once you run this type of in-depth analysis, put together an action list of what areas you can improve upon, and what you can do differently than what they did.
7. SEO considerations
SEO is important for your website’s success. Hence, during the redesign process it is very important to keep in mind the SEO perspective.
How should you go about it?
Start by analyzing your current SEO rankings for your most important keywords. These need to be retained because should you remove a page which has a high number of inbound links, you would end up losing a lot of SEO credit and a reduction in keyword rankings. Redirects from old urls to new ones, and on-page optimization needs to be done very carefully. Thus, you would need to devote a lot of attention to on-page and off-page SEO as well as keyword analysis to ensure that your website redesign does well from an SEO point of view.
Through it all you will need to establish very clear objectives, so that whatever you do in your website redesign process you will always be aiming to achieve them. There are going to be qualitative goals, such as what you want your audience to feel and think when they visit your site, as well as how you intend them to react. Then there are going to be quantitative goals which may be linked with the leads you want to get, and the subscribers and sales you would like to achieve within a period of time, for instance.
Website redesign may be a bit overwhelming at first. Therefore, it is really important to do it step by step. It is best to come up with a detailed plan so as to achieve the results you aimed for. Support your website redesign with ongoing marketing initiatives in order to build brand consistency.