16 Feb 10 Steps to Re-Designing Your Website to Increase Leads
effectiveness or inbound marketing tactics to attain more sales leads from your site. Or, it may be that your competitors are eating your lunch in search results. Whatever the reason, website redesigns are a part of life. Before you go into your next one, take a look at these tips.
Good luck, and here are the steps in order:
- Bookmark your current metrics. Make sure you are aware of how your current site is performing. This sounds obvious, but knowing how many visitors, what your bounce rate is, how long people spend on your site, amount of sales coming from the site, and which are the most frequently visited pages are necessary to defining goals for the the new site.
- Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely) goals. Increasing traffic from 500 to 600 visits for the time period March 1-March 31 is better than: “increase traffic to site”. With specific SMART goals in hand, a clear progression of needed activity can be identified. What do you want to achieve with the website redesign?
- Protect the good. Before you redesign your website, make sure you do not hurt your current site’s search rankings. From step 1, you should have a clear understanding of which pages have inbound links, which ones rank highly in search engines, and which pages need to be protected. Inevitably, you will have certain web pages that are performing better than others. 301 redirects need to be set up to protect these page rankings.
- Analyze the competition. What are competitors doing with their site? What keywords do they seem to be using in their sites? How do they fare in search engines? We are not a big fan of following, but we are huge fans of learning from the competition and learning how to one-up them.
- Why are you different? After looking at the competition and thinking about your position among them, what makes you a better choice for likely customers? You can’t be everything to everyone. It is easy to get caught up in trying to prove you’re the best at everything. Here’s a hint: everyone is trying to do that and your prospects are not only tired of hearing it, they don’t believe it. Your website needs to be designed around a unique value proposition.
- Find your target customer, research them, and build the site to fit them. Pretty websites are awesome. We love seeing a very appealing site. More important than aesthetics, though, are building websites that take into account the target customers needs, definition of value, and preferred method of delivery. Too often, we see sites that are designed with no regard to the target market. Many times, these are sites designed off of template systems. Remember, your target customer does not necessarily buy the same way you do.
- Optimize your site for search. Make sure individual pages are built with specific keywords in mind. (This does not mean write your content to be read by robots… but keep the keyword in mind). Be sure meta titles, meta descriptions, and keywords are present. Use alt text for images. Be sure H1 tags are used for important page headings. This is a separate blog article in itself…
- Calls to Action… Calls to Action… Calls to Action… Make sure you have clear calls to action on every page. This is critical. Once the traffic finds you, make sure you know where to take them! Calls to action should be “above the fold” on the site (meaning someone should not need to scroll down to see your call to action).
- Content is king! With today’s search environment and advanced search engines, the amount of content in a site is critical to rankings. It is becoming nearly impossible to trick search engines with black-hat SEO tactics. Make sure your site is filled with valuable content that a visitor (and search engine) can sink their teeth into.
- Make sure you don’t skimp on the extras. Social sharing buttons, RSS feeds, blogs, landing pages, forms, etc. are all crucial to effective web design. Make sure that your site is set up to convert.