A 10 point website redesign checklist
Are you thinking of redesigning your website and looking for a website redesign checklist? If yes, then you have come to the right place! In this blog article, not only are we going to discuss some of the key points you should have on your checklist, but also at the end of this article we are going to offer you a complete workbook that you can use as a template for your website redesign project plan.
A website redesign can be a huge success or an equally big failure, if not done correctly. After all, it’s a long and tedious process. That’s where checklists can make your job a whole lot easier. So here are some key points you must consider on your website redesign checklist:
1. Baseline your current metrics: Before you start thinking about anything, document your current performance metrics. Start by analyzing your existing site over its history, including:
a. Number of visits/visitors/unique visitors
b. Bounce rate
c. Time on site
d. Current SEO rankings for important keywords
e. Domain authority
f. Number of new leads/form submissions
g. Total amount of sales generated
2. Clearly define your goals: Be really clear about why you’re 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 redesign project:
a. Number of visits/visitors
b. Bounce rate
c. Time on site
d. Domain authority
e. Number of new leads/form submissions
f. Total amount of sales generated
g. Current SEO rankings for important keywords
Many of these goals are dependent on each other. For example, in order to get more conversions, you need to increase traffic while de- creasing the 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 this list, tie those objectives to a specific success metric e.g., “to increase site traffic by 50% in the next six months.”
3. Determine which marketing channels are working the best for you: Do you know which of your marketing channels are bringing in the most visitors, leads and customers for you? Here are some key questions to consider: How social media is driving leads to your business? How much of your search traffic can be attributed to search engine optimization, and how much you’re paying for it? Which channels brought in serious leads versus website visitors who just came to look around?
If you need help in answering any of these questions, you may sign up for a free assessment of your inbound marketing readiness with us.
a. Most shared or viewed content
b. Most trafficked pages
c. Best performing keywords you rank for and associated pages
d. Number of inbound links to individual 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.
5. Know your competition well: While we don’t recommend obsessing over your competitors, it helps to know how you compare.
a. Run your website through Marketing Grader (http://marketing.grader.com) to get a report card of how your website and marketing is performing today.
b. Next, run your competitors through Marketing Grader so you are aware of their strengths and weaknesses.
c. Take a look at their websites, note what you like and what you don’t. BUT, this is not meant to copy them. That’s the last thing you want to do. Instead, you’ll uncover what you can do better.
Once you run the analysis, put together an action list of what areas you can improve and what you can do differently than your competitors.
6. Know your uniqueness on the Internet: Before you begin crafting your content, be clear about you 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 unnecessary jargon while describing yourself or your services.
7. Design your website keeping in mind your target audience or buyer 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:
a. Segment your customers by demographics
b. Identify their needs
c. Develop behavior-based profiles
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.
Here are some tips to designing your site for search engine optimization (SEO):
a. Document your most search-valued pages
b. Create a 301 redirect strategy
c. Do your keyword research
When you’re planning for the redesign, think about all the potential opportunities for conversion. For example:
a. Ebooks and whitepapers
b. Contests and promotions
c. Product purchases
d. Email newsletter subscription
e. Free trial
f. Contact us / consultation / demonstration / etc.
While the “design” of your website is important, focus on functionality. Make sure there are plenty of calls-to-action so you don’t lose visitors.
a. Blog: A blog is a great way to create content on an ongoing basis, and to converse with your customers and prospects.
b. Landing pages & calls-to-action: Landing pages and calls-to-action are critical lead generation components. Create awesome landing pages as part of the redesign for your offers and assets.
c. 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.
d. Shareability: Add social media sharing buttons/links to all your pages. You can use tools like ShareThis or AddThis.
e. Analytics: It’s critical you are measuring the performance of your website from the start. Insight is everything for a marketer.