Every now and then your website needs a refresh. There are many good reasons for a website redesign – rebranding, the need to move to a new Content Management System (CMS), the reversal of lack lustre results, or perhaps it looks like it was built in 1999.
A redesign can be a huge success, or it could fail terribly. After all, it’s a long and complicated process. That’s where checklists can make your job a whole lot easier. Whether you’re working with an agency or redesigning in-house, this ten-step checklist will save you from some headaches.
This is not your average checklist. While many detailed and tactical checklists are available online, the one thing commonly overlooked – that can make or break your redesign – is how it will support (and improve) your overall marketing efforts. Your website isn’t just a silo for information, and it’s not just about design either. Your website affects your social media, email marketing, lead generation, brand awareness and sales strategies.
That’s what this checklist solves: turning your website into an inbound marketing machine for long-term success.
What follows is an extract from our new ebook, the 10-Step Checklist for Your Next Website Redesign. Download the ebook for free to see each step explained in more detail.
1. Benchmark your current Metrics
Before you start thinking about anything, document your current performance metrics. Start by analysing your existing site over its history.
2. Determine your goals
If you’re considering a redesign, there needs to be a good reason for it. Many times we hear “just because it’s been a while since we’ve done one” or “I want our business to look bigger” – these are not good reasons for a redesign. It’s not just about how your site looks, but how it works as well.
3. Avoid pitfalls – inventory your assets
A redesign is a great way to improve results, but there are countless ways
it can go wrong. Your existing website contains a lot of assets that you have built up, and losing those during a redesign can damage your marketing.
4. Analyse the competition
Benchmarking your competitors is a good way to see how you compare, and what website trends work best within your industry or business activity.
5. Identify your unique value proposition
Before you begin crafting your content, be clear about your 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 should be able to demonstrate your UVP, and tell them why they should buy from you and not your competitors.
6. Design your site around personas
Your visitors ask themselves, “what’s in it for me?” Speak to them in their language by designing content around buyer personas. Divide your marketplace into individual groups of people, or personas. They are fictional representations of your ideal customers, based on real data about demographics and online behaviour, along with educated speculation about their personal histories, motivations and concerns.
7. Optimise your site for search
Getting found online is key to improving the rest of your site metrics. If no-one is visiting your site, how can you increase leads, downloads, or sales? Download the full ebook ((LINK)) for tips on designing your site for search engine optimisation (SEO).
8. Identify calls-to-action
Calls-to-action (CTAs) are the elements on your website that drive visitors to take an action, whether it’s a white paper download or product purchase. Your website shouldn’t be a static brochure, but should prompt your visitors to do something that further engages them with your brand.
9. Create an ongoing content strategy
If you have more content, on average you will have more website visitors and grow your business faster. A 100-page website will beat a 10-page website 99% of the time. A 500-page website is even better, especially when it includes a constant flow of fresh content.
Build a strategy to continue to add more content to your website over time.
10. Don’t forget the extras!
Any website built today should include these basics: a home page, product or service pages, industry resources, contact and about pages. However, there’s more that can be added to really make the most of your website.
Don’t forget to download the 10-Step Checklist for Your Next Website Redesign for more explanation of each step, plus other tips for your next website refresh. You may also be interested in our 53 Brilliant Home Page Designs, a valuable source of inspiration for your website visuals.