Your website was once the pinnacle of internet technology. It looked great, ran well and customers loved it. But, this was several years ago, and the good-looking design now looks old and dated. The site itself has several bugs. Pages have a tendency to crash. You’re experiencing a decline in traffic.
It’s time for a complete overhaul but how do you go about doing this and where do you start?
Here are a few pointers to get you going in the right direction:
Identify your target market
You might already know who your target market is, but is your website geared toward them? Whether you’re marketing to high net-worth individuals or the average person on the high street, it’s important to ensure your website is appealing to your target demographic.
To do this, put yourself in their shoes and really think about what they would want in a website and how they would want it to operate. This means using all the tools at your disposal to help you understand their lifestyles, culture and the society in which they live. Then you need to ensure that you have a website that reflects that.
Acquiring and using feedback to achieve this goal is incredibly important. Make sure you are gaining a lot of data and information from user testing. This involves asking test users from your target market to go through your new website with a fine tooth comb. If you are too close to your own design, it is likely that you will miss the tiny details that could make all the difference. Your test users, on the other hand, won’t know your site intimately and are the most likely to find inefficiencies or outright mistakes.
Use their feedback to improve your website. The more feedback you get from your target market, the more you can customize the site to suit their needs.
Keep regular customers informed
What do you do when you try to click on a website only to find it currently offline? You go elsewhere.
If your current design is putting off potential customers, don’t keep your redesign to yourself. Keeping loyal customers informed about what you are doing is a courtesy, and it will discourage them from straying.
You may even wish to go a step further and give them the low down of why you are redesigning the website. This can be an opportunity to demonstrate all the ways in which you understand their needs and how you are willing to go the extra mile to meet them. This kind of detail can go a long way to keep visitors interested and make them more likely to return.
Turn your website overhaul into a marketing opportunity by making it exciting. Hold a webinar to introduce the new features of the website or have a Q&A session. Build it up to pique people’s curiosity and to ensure that come launch day, they’ll be logging on to see what all the fuss is about.
Get your branding on-point and your content up-to-date
A website that runs smoothly is wonderful, but you’re missing out if your branding still doesn’t cut it. Revisit your color schemes, images, and typography and consider updating them. Like an old house with ancient wallpaper, refreshing the “décor” of your site can bring it into the modern age.
Scrutinize your content to make sure it’s current and speaks to your target audience. Don’t make the fatal error of having out-of-date information about old products and services that are no longer available. In a heavily regulated area like finance, it is crucial that your product information is up-to-date at all times, without exceptions.
Optimize for mobile use
Since most people use their smartphones to browse websites, you really need to be making sure your website is optimized for mobile use. If not, you are losing out on a good wedge of business.
Ensure that mobile compatibility is built into any website redesign.
Use current technology
Research which software you are going to use to build your website. You don’t want to start using a software product only to find out it’s being discontinued in a year. A prime example of this is Flash. The technology is no longer supported by most web browsers, yet you can still find websites that are using the program. Surprise surprise, their websites don’t run properly, if at all.
Find a reliable product that can build your website perfectly and is likely to remain in use in the coming years.
Update your SEO
SEO (search engine optimization) refers to thoughtful use and management of the keywords and phrases that users put into search engines to find you. If your website isn’t optimized for SEO, you may be making it significantly more difficult for people to find you online.
Your SEO efforts need to be up to scratch if you want to stand any hope of appearing on page one of a Google search. Going through your website page by page and optimizing each one with keywords and phrases will get you on the path to ranking well in search results. SEO is a part fine art and part routine maintenance. Make sure to revisit SEO often.
Don’t just leave it!
You’ve redesigned your website. It’s as perfect as you can get it. Don’t rest on your laurels. Put a plan in place to prevent the website from becoming outdated again in the future.
You need to be doing the following on a regular basis to keep your website current:
- Updating product and service information
- Ensuring SEO is effective
- Testing for broken links, pages, and glitches
- Gaining customer feedback and acting upon it
- Keeping abreast of technology and software advancements and incorporating them where necessary
Also, make room in your budget for another redesign in the not too distant future. By keeping on top of your web design and making sure it’s 100% relevant to your customer base, you should see your conversion rate increase.
Any potential customer is going to want to spend time browsing your website if every part of it is up to date. It’s an investment to update your website, and it’s one you can’t afford to delay, let alone forget.
Of course…you are very busy, and we build websites to build your business. Let us do the heavy lifting… contact us here.