Remember that your website is not for you. It’s really for your customers and prospects. If you don’t speak to them in their language and address their needs, then chances are you’re never going to achieve good lead conversion rates.
You only have seconds to engage new visitors on your website. When visitors arrive, they want to know what you do, why you do it better and (most importantly), what’s in it for them. You need to have a compelling and clear “unique value proposition” (UVP) that is reinforced and consistent throughout your website.
More often than not, companies create value propositions that use corporate-speak – thinking that bigger words and more intricate the sentences will impress the potential customer. This is just not the case. You need to identify with your customers and relate to their needs.
So who are your customers? One way to identify them is through the creation of personas. Personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers, based on analyzed data. Learn how to create a buyer persona with this persona guide.
Get Visitors to Interact With Your Site
The days of the website as a virtual brochure are long past. You want to drive your visitors to take an action. That could be downloading a whitepaper, requesting a demo, or buying a product. Only 3% of website visitors are ready to contact you. Offer the other 97% a way to convert from a visitor to a lead with a great offer. The “call-to-action” (CTA) is just that – the element or elements on your website that gets visitors to actually interact with your site.
Ways to Convert Visitors
Every page on your website can offer the opportunity for a conversion, so when planning your redesign make sure you are thinking about how calls-to-action may be added on each page of your site.
Here are some tried and true examples:
- eBooks and whitepapers
- Contests and promotions
- Product purchases
- Email newsletter subscriptions
- Free trials
- Contact us forms
Be sure you give your visitors plenty to do when you redesign your web site. Give them well thought out and relevant calls-to-action so you don’t lose them.
Keep Your Content Fresh and Constant
In the world of online marketing, less is not more – especially when it comes to great content. A 100-page website ranks higher than a 10-page one that covers the same market, 99% of the time. And a 500-pager beats the 100-pager and so on. This does not mean that you should produce a lot of poor quality content for the sake of quantity. Your visitors should see your content as “content worth paying for”.
How a Web Redesign Can Hurt You
There are almost as many ways that a web redesign can hurt you as can help you. The number one way it can hurt you is by removing the parts of your website where you have built up online value. Be sure you take an inventory of all assets to avoid doing major disrepair to your online marketing efforts.
These assets include:
- Most shared or viewed content
- Most trafficked pages
- Best performing keywords you rank for and associated pages
- Number of inbound links to individual pages
Document Your Most Search-Valued Pages
Make sure you know which pages have the strongest SEO, the most traffic, inbound links, and keywords rankings. Then, if or when you move any of these pages, make sure you create proper 301 redirects so you don’t lose any of that value.
Create A 301 Redirect Strategy
This is the most important step in terms of retaining traffic and rankings. Create a spreadsheet that records and maps out your 301 redirects.
Do Your Keyword Research
Determining what keywords to focus on can seem overwhelming. To get started, pick one or two keywords or keyword phrases for each page. Then apply on-page SEO tactics, such as internal link building and optimizing your header tags (h1, h2, h3, etc.).
How your website looks is important. But more important is how it works for your visitors and for your business. When the two work together, it is a great thing. Because the website is such an important element in any company’s marketing, a redesign has to be thought of in terms of the entire marketing plan. It needs to integrate with all of your online marketing efforts, such as e-mail, social media, lead generation and nurturing, PR and advertising.