A true redesign involves more than just sprucing up the look of an existing website. Yes, updating the layout and color scheme are important. However, if your goal is to drive more people to your website and convert site visitors to customers, then in addition to creating a beautiful design, it’s important to look carefully at your content. Determine what is working, what is not working and what is missing.
Admittedly, thinking about how the site should look is the fun part. It’s also the easiest. Improving the content and optimizing the structure take more time. However, these are also the things that Google cares about the most. The way a site looks is important, but the real return on investment comes from well-organized, thorough and accurate content.
Steps to a complete website redesign
Step One: Review your content for accuracy and thoroughness
It’s easy to let content grow stale and out of date. Consider this process as an opportunity to review each page and make sure that every word is accurate.
- Are the hours correct and consistent?
- Are all your services/products represented?
- Can you expand on the services and give more detailed information?
- Is your contact information current and is it available on every page.
- Is your blog up-to-date?
- If you don’t already have an About page, an FAQs page and a contact page, build them. And if it’s relevant, include a photo gallery page. Photo galleries are some of the most visited pages on a website.
Step Two: Review your content from the perspective of a new client
Much of your website traffic is likely to come from people who are unfamiliar with you and your business. Visit your website and look at it from the perspective of a potential customer. Is it immediately clear what your business does? State clearly and succinctly what makes your business unique and why someone should choose to do business with you.
Step Three: Review the analytics
Look closely at your existing website statistics. There’s a goldmine of information in there. Determine which pages are driving the most views and build on those topics. If some of your most popular pages are buried deep in the navigation, consider moving them to a higher level so more people will find them. How about your poorest performing pages? Are there some that rarely get views? Consider removing them.
Step Four: Visit your competitors’ websites and look for inspiration
Your customers probably know what your competitors are doing. You should, too. Spend time visiting the websites of your direct competitors, as well as others in your industry who are outside your area. What can you learn from them? Is there anything that they are doing better than you? Are they offering different services or targeting particular keywords? Equally important, what things are they doing poorly or not at all that you can capitalize on?
In addition to visiting their website, keep an eye on competitors’ social media. How do they engage their followers to create more brand awareness? Of course, we never want to copy another website’s exact wording or graphics, but we can all learn by reviewing what is publicly available.
Why there’s more to website redesign than color and layout
In order for your site to get found, Google needs to be able index the information and match your site with the appropriate search query. They do this by matching the content on your site with people who are looking for that information. Google doesn’t care if your site has a nice design or how pretty the pictures are. They care about the information your site contains and if that information is structured well.
Of course, this doesn’t make the look of your site any less important. The people who land on your site will care what it looks like. It’s simply important to remember that there’s much more to web design than color and layout.
If you’re interested in having us redesign your website, give us a call at 518.392.0846 or email [email protected]. If you’d like to learn more about our services, visit our website design and development services page.