The year is almost coming to an end. This is the right time to take stock of your business website and find ways to improve the look and feel, user experience, traffic and usability. This is a difficult and time consuming exercise which requires careful strategizing and planning in order to achieve the best results. However, it will be absolutely worth the effort.
The success of this exercise will depend, to a large extent, on how well you define your newly found vision for the site. That will be the only way to help you clearly define goals and objectives.
This post will be the first part of a seven-series guide to help you get started with the website redesigning process in a smooth and much streamlined fashion. This part will focus on strategy; the most important part of the redesigning process. This is vital because it helps you gain valuable insight into the current website and provide clues as to which areas should get the most attention.
We will look at six (6) steps to follow in order to create a comprehensive strategy. These are as follows;
1. Information Gathering
To have a better understanding of your current website, gather as much data as may be relevant to your vision. Your main aim here is to understand how users are engaging with your website. Your webmaster can assist you in making sense of these metrics;
- Number of visits/visitors/unique visitors (monthly average);
- Bounce rate (monthly average);
- Time on site (monthly average);
- Top performing keywords (in terms of rank, traffic and lead generation);
- Number of inbound linking domains;
- Total number of new leads/form submissions (per month);
- Total amount of sales generated (per month);
- Total number of total pages indexed;
- Total number of pages that receive traffic.
2. Clearly Define Goals
The key question to answer here is “why do I want to redesign my business website?”
Possible reasons may be to improve look and feel, user experience, usability to align with where the business is expected to go in the coming year.
3. Define Your Brand
Here, provide a clear description of how your brand is different from your competitors in terms of product or service offerings, customer relations and distribution, among others.
- What is your business’ message/unique value proposition?
- Is it (message and/or branding) changing or staying the same?
- If it is changing, what about it needs to change?
4. Define Your Target Audience
Knowing the demographics of your target audience is crucial to your success in this process. Knowing who they are (age, gender etc.), where they are (location) and what they want (taste & preferences) will help you tailor-make your content to suit them. Try and answer the following questions;
- Do you currently have a clearly defined target audience?
- Is this audience changing as part of this redesign?
- Does your branding and content currently align with that audience?
5. Know Your Competition
Invention is novelty but sometimes re-inventing the wheel is a waste of time. There are businesses like yours who are doing similar things. Learn from what is already working in your industry. Consider the following;
- Are there competitor sites that you really like? If so which? Gathering examples in advance will help with the design stage;
- What are the top 3 most competitive keywords for your industry;
- Who are top ranked competitors?
6. Content Inventory
Analyze your current content to find out if they meet the needs of your audience. Discard the ones that do not align with your new objectives and research new topics as well. Think on these questions;
- What is your most shared or viewed content?
- What are your most trafficked pages?
- What are you most ranked pages?
Image Credit: creativelive.com