You've determined your website needs an update. Taking the proper steps in planning and preparing for a redesign is crucial to make sure your investment is well spent.
Building a Better Website
In my previous article I provided the first steps in preparing to redesign or the initial design of your website. This worksheet outlines the information you need to gather and review about your competitors and about your target audience. Now is the time to clarify your site goals.
Does My Website Support My Company Goals?
When redesigning a website, subjective aesthetics often take far too big a role too early in the decision making process. It's not that we don't love beautiful sites and brand elegance... the design aesthetic is only one component of a successful website. Along with the look and content the functionality of the website, ease of navigation is as important. Your site needs to balance function, aesthetics and ease of use...working together to answer your visitors questions and drive them to act.
Your objective needs to be that it delivers leads and sales. Focus on inbound marketing and results. Your expectations and web build should support that end.
Your objective needs to be that it delivers leads and sales.
What will the overall purpose of the website be? Do you want to sell products, generate sales leads, present information to potential customers or interact with current customers? Websites can be a combination of these uses, but must have a focused goal otherwise its become a "brochure" that doesn't drive visitors to respond.
Write down goals and discuss your expectations with your team. Everyone needs to be involved and that includes your designers, developers, copywriters, marketing team, CEO, sales and anyone else who will have input along the way. Why face issues later on in the process that would have been raised at this point if you had gotten a consensus? Everyone needs to be on the same page.
How Do I Know If My Website Is Effective?
Here are some metrics you will want to measure in relation to your goals. You will remember in my previous article asking that you review analytics of your website. This is a list of details you want to review in-depth.
- Number of visits/views
- Number of contacts who revisit site
- Bounce rate
- Time on site
- Quality inbound links
- Most popular content and most visited pages
- Domain authority
- Number of new leads/form submissions
- Sales generated
- Current SEO rankings for important keywords
If you have Google analytics tracking on your site most of the basic metrics can be tracked. However, statistics specific to form submissions will most likely need to be tracked using additional services. The method you use to create forms and gather the submission data will track submissions and compile the data into a contact list that can be used for email marketing. These services range in complexity from the simplest form tracking to a CMS system for managing all your business contacts and leads.
Your goals should not be just about improving these individual metrics. Think about how each is dependent on the other. It's not just about page views.
For example, to increase conversions you can focus on decreasing bounce rate. More users viewing your pages with fewer navigating away before interacting with content will generate more leads.
Are you trying to generate leads but find potential customers are not submitting forms. Will including special offers and offering free informational downloads entice interaction? Educating potential customers about your products and services can help convert them into actual customers and encourage interaction with your company.
You need to hierarchize these metrics, since some will be more important than others based on you needs.
If your goal is to generate sales and your sales drop, you may be missing a crucial customer expectation. You have to ask how well you know your customers? Are you offering the right products or services? Gaining insights into your customers needs and buying habits will aid in creating an interactive experience that will encourage them to click and buy.
You need to hierarchize these metrics, since some will be more important than others based on you needs. By prioritizing your goals you can evaluate your site in a way that supports your overall marketing and business objectives.
We want to help you focus on developing a website that integrates brand awareness, email marketing, lead generation, and sales strategies in an easy to navigate format. These metrics will help you set realistic goals and measure the performance of your website.
Look for these other articles in this series that will lead you trough redesigning you website.
How Do You Know It's Time To Redesign Your Website? (Part 1)
Web Redesign Part 3- Inventory Your Assets
Website Redesign Conclusion- Create a site that kicks butt