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One thing that I will never understand is just how much some businesses underestimate the power of their website. Your company’s website is your online calling card. Your website gives many visitors, customers, and clients their first impression of you and your company. Your website alone can either make or break your business. So if your site still has pages of running text, scrolling graphics and looks like it came out of the year 1999, then the time has come for a website redesign.
Website redesign is needed from time to time on a continual basis. Many business owners I speak to tell me that they do a bit of redesigning every few months, just to make sure that everything is up to date and in good standing. This isn’t a bad idea, as a lot goes into redesigning a website - so much so that we won’t be able to get into it all here in this short blog article. After you check out this blog, take a look at our FREE eBook “Website Redesign 101” for additional tips and tricks for designing your site.
Before you dive into overhauling your site, here are some things you should consider:
Make an Inventory of Your Website’s Pages
Unless you know what pages you’ve got on your site, how will you know that your site is fully optimized? This is particularly important from an SEO perspective. You need to know how many pages you have on your site and what each of those pages are about.
But fear not, there are tools out there that may be able to help you compile a list of your web pages. Check out tools like “Screaming Frog” or “XENU”.
Make an Inventory of Your Links
You may already have a list like this kicking around if you do regular analysis of your website. The goal here is to get an idea of who is linking to your pages, and which pages are getting the most inbound links. See how those pages are designed and figure out why they’re getting the most inbound links, and then with your redesign, test certain elements of your “successful” pages on your “less successful” inbound link pages.
Understand Keyword Rankings
Before you undergo any type of site redesign, make sure that you make note of where you rank when it comes to a specific keyword or keyword phrase. This is important, as oftentimes redesigning a site may cause a dramatic change in your search engine rankings. Make sure that you know exactly how keyword ranking works before you undergo any web redesign.
For more on optimizing your website for SEO purposes, check out our FREE eBook, "10 Things You Can Do Right Now to Improve Your SEO."
Additional Web Redesign Pointers
One important point I have to make is that you should never let the design of your site overshadow the message that your site is intending to present. Keep in mind that design is all subjective. You won’t be able to please everyone with your site layout, or the colors you choose, or where you decided to place the navigational bar. Above all else, make sure that your site has all of the information a visitor or lead or potential client needs in order to convert (i.e. what your company is about, pricing, contact information, etc.).
A major overhaul of your site may not be required, either. You’d be amazed by how just little tweaks here and there can keep your site fresh and interesting. If you do choose to make any drastic changes, however, I always recommend that it be done one page at a time. If you change your site overnight, a lot of your regular visitors may not even realize that they’re visiting YOUR SITE. Before a redesign, place a notice on your homepage about the changes that are to occur and then move your design efforts from one page to the next. This will prevent your visitors from thinking that they’ve landed on the wrong site.
If your ecommerce site is still advertising it’s summer specials in December, then you know that you have a bit of web redesign work on your hands. Most businesses don’t need to make any huge, dramatic changes, but it’s always a good idea to keep an inventory of things like your keyword rankings, your web pages, the topics of those web pages as well as inbound links, just so that you can better track your site’s standing online.
If a website redesign is something you are interested in but are having trouble getting started, contact us today to schedule your free marketing analysis.