So, your company has decided it’s time for a new website. You know there are a lot of things that need to be done in order to make it to a successful launch, but you don't know where to start. Because your website is the digital face of your business it is important to clarify as many details as possible prior to jumping into the website redesign process.Today’s FAQ Friday is focused on providing a thorough list of questions you should have answered prior to your website redesign.
If you are redesigning your website it probably means the current site is not working as well as you expect it to. With all of our clients, we recommend taking a pulse check on current metrics prior to updating or changing anything on the live site. This will give your company a baseline performance and help set goals for the newly launched site.
The following metrics will give you a clear picture of your current website performance.
Benchmark Your Current Metrics
- Number of visits/visitors/unique visitors (monthly average)
- Bounce rate (monthly average)
- Time on site (monthly average)
- Top performing keywords (in terms of rank, traffic and lead generation)
- Number of inbound linking domains
- Total number of new leads/form submissions (per month)
- Total amount of sales generated from site (per month)
- Total number of total pages indexed
- Total number of pages that receive traffic
Once you have a clear understanding of how your current website is performing you can begin to set goals for the redesigned website. This is an important step, that usually gets pushed to the side because time and budget are at the forefront of most businesses. If you have a clear set of goals, the design team can work with the content team to ensure all of the necessary elements are included in the new site.
A common goal we see with the sites we have designed, centers around increased marketing success. Take a look at this video for tips on creating this marketing success with an effective website redesign.
There are many types of goals one company can have for a website, here are some questions we like to ask to get the wheels spinning:
Determine Your Goal(s):
- Why are you doing the redesign?
- How will you know if this redesign project is a success?
- Do you want to drive more traffic, and convert more visitors to leads or contacts to customers?
- Are you trying to establish your brand as the go-to digital resource for your company?
- Do you want to establish your brand as the thought leader of your industry?
If you have an established brand it is important to infuse that brand into your website. If your brand is not as clearly established as you would like—a website redesign is a great idea. We like to establish a style guide for each of the websites we develop. This ensures consistency and uniformity. It will also ensure visual identification when a visitor or community member comes across your digital content.
Define Your Brand
- What is your business's message/unique value proposition?
- Is it (message and/or branding) changing or staying the same?
- If it's changing, what needs to change and why?
Whether you are doing the design in house or you have hired an agency to take the lead on your website redesign, it is important to set expectations. You have already set your goals and now it is up to the design team and the content team to build a strategy for the site so that you can ensure those goals are achievable. The following questions will help you better communicate your wants and needs to them:
Questions to Consider
- List 3 to 5 sites that you like (they do not need to be the same industry) and why?
- What do I currently like and dislike about my website?
- What is missing from the current website?
- How does my current site compare to your goals?
- What's the first impression I want to give my target audience?
- Does my site currently convey a feeling of trustworthiness and authority?
- Will this be a whole new website or are there small changes that can be made?
- Will the domain name change at all?
- What platform do I want my new website to be on?
- What is a realistic timeline for this redesign? (Define a target date.)
- What is our budget for this project?
- Can we do this work in-house or do we need to hire someone?
- What is your most shared or viewed content?
- What are your most trafficked pages?
- What are your most ranked pages?
- Is the site structure changing?
For a more accurate assessment we recommend doing an Inbound Marketing Report prior to jumping into your website redesign. This report is a deep dive in the competitive landscape your business will be facing post website launch. The report will help shine light on the state of your industry and provide insight for content development.
You can also check out this list our partner HubSpot put together of 90 questions you should ask before starting a website redesign. This report includes the following sub-reports:
- SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities,Threats).
- Define Your Buyer Persona.
- Do you currently have a clearly defined target audience?
- Is this audience changing as part of this redesign?
- Does your branding and content currently align with that audience?
Analyze the Competition (Competitor Analysis)
- Are there competitor sites that you really like? If so, which ones?
- Competitor List.
- Who are the top 4 ranked competitors?
- Keyword Analysis Data.
- What are the top ten most competitive keywords for your industry?
- What are the top 100 keywords of Client and the 4 competitors?
- Social Media Metrics.
- Identify social media metrics for Client and top 4 competitors for: Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube
Inbound Marketing Game Plan - Check out the video below for more details on the Inbound Marketing Game Plan.
- Content Recommendations
- Keyword Recommendations
- Lead Management Recommendations
- S.M.A.R.T. Goals
- Social Media Recommendations
- Social Media S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Thanks for reporting a problem. We'll attach technical data about this session to help us figure out the issue. Which of these best describes the problem?
Any other details or context?
This is how we like to kick off our website redesign projects. It has been proven to provide success for our clients.
If you have questions you would like to see featured in our weekly FAQ Friday, please submit them in the comments below or mention us @DirectImages on Twitter. Until next FAQ Friday, keep your communication lines open. Don’t know the answer—just ASK.
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