A website redesign might seem like a scary thing for both business executives and marketers. If you’ve invested time and resources in its promotion, and have managed to reach appealing traffic rankings over time, it’s only natural to fear potential changes.
However, an outdated site can negatively impact the image of your business and might prevent you from maximizing your reach in the online environment.
If you’ve decided that it’s time to actually pursue a redesign approach, you might be wondering what needs to be done to save the site’s current popularity, and what mistakes you should avoid doing. While the topic is complex, and you’ll need to focus on several factors, here are the insights you need to be aware of at the start of this project:
Know your audience
You should start with a clear assessment of your target audience. The reason why you are redesigning your site in the first place is to provide more pleasant user experience and to understand who the people browsing your site actually are.
Who are your customers and what market are you mainly targeting? Knowing your audience will allow you to understand their preferences and create an updated platform that actually meets their expectations. From picking the right site aesthetics to implementing appropriate practical features, every step of your redesign process should be taken with your audience’s preferences in mind.
Don’t overlook key SEO fundamentals
Losing traffic is the main concern that comes with the process of site redesigning. Because maintaining search engine rankings to appealing levels is critical, you should not overlook some key SEO fundamentals throughout the entire project. Both maintain the platform’s current standing and discovering new opportunities for organic growth means having a few essential considerations:
- On-page SEO
- User interaction
- Technical functionality
Keep in mind each one of these four segments, when you are making any redesign-related decision. Content, in particular, should be handled with precise care.
“Updated, high-quality content stands at the base of any successful website. It has become one of the most important SEO fundamentals, and marketers are using it to improve the appeal and rankings of business digital platforms” – explains Robert Greene, an SEO specialist at SupremeDissertations writing service.
Analyze your current position
Before taking any steps in this direction and giving the entire project a go, you should analyze your site’s current position as well. What is currently working for your site and which areas would benefit from improvements?
- Use a heat map to see which features users are more drawn to at the moment. Find out which are the site pages and areas that currently benefit from most user activity.
- Set baseline metrics with the help of Google Analytics. Document your site’s current traffic sources, page load times, session duration, bounce rates, and pages per session.
Based on the information you acquire during your site performance analysis, you can better figure out what needs improvement and what can stay the way it is. All of your upcoming decisions should be based on clear data and statistics. Don’t just assume that your users are thinking the way you do.
Set the right goals
You can’t just start off your project without having some clear goals in mind. The right objectives will allow you to stay organized and segment your project in a productive manner. Your goals should be set in correlation to the data you’ve gathered from the analysis of your current position. If your daily traffic flow is quite steady at the moment, but conversion rates aren’t exactly satisfactory, for example, your main goals should be increasing those rates by a certain percentage.
Build a redesign strategy that aligns with your primary objectives:
- Do you intend to increase conversion rates?
- Will your site simply be a source of information for your visitors?
- Do you want to increase engagement?
From a user experience boost to a new marketing initiative or optimized SEO adjustments, it’s up to you to decide what your site lacks now, and what you expect from a redesign.
The aesthetics of your website matter, but to maintain a great position, and not lose SEO results, content should be prioritized. Writing your content first will allow you to design your pages in accordance with what your users expect from you. Google’s algorithm will also go over your written content, so anything you post on your redesigned platform can impact in one way or another your position in search engines.
There are a few critical characteristics great content should have: Consistency – posting and updating content regularly, include in your redesign plan a content creation strategy for the future; Quality – poorly written texts will lower your ratings and affect site image; Expertise – informative and accurate content, properly researched and of value.
While written content should be kept short and user-centric, it needs enough attention and time from your part. The success of your redesigned platform can depend on it. Luckily, you can use some writing services and tools when you are creating content, to ensure maximum quality and relevancy. A few examples are:
- BestEssayEducation – a writing and research service that covers the extent of your content creation requirements. You can get well-documented texts on the topics of your choice, so you know what you post on your site is relevant and properly written.
- Grammarly – this online tool allows you to easily proofread all of your texts, signaling any grammar, punctuation and spelling mistakes. Just insert your content and you will get instant results.
- WowGrade.net – timely writing service that provides plagiarism-free articles. If you want high-standard content, written by experts, this service can assess your requirements and do the writing you need on your behalf.
- Hemingway Editor – it’s important for your content to flow well, and you can figure that out by using Hemingway Editor. This tool assesses content quality and points out any mistakes.
- Readability Score – use this tool to get accurate info on the readability of your articles, product descriptions, business description, etc.
Set up the site on a temporary URL
Copying your existing website to a temporary URL will allow you to work on your new redesign, while still allowing users to access your platform in the meantime. It’s simply a smart approach to the project, requiring only a switch of the domain at the completing of the project, and not keeping your current site in standby mode. When you start experimenting with different design changes, various things can go wrong, and working directly on your live site can be risky.
Check for broken links
Create a URL redirection
A refreshed site will demand redirects. Make sure to map out any 301 redirects for the pages that will be changing their URLs. Not handling things correctly here can affect user experience. Visitors that might want to access a certain page on your site could come across a 404 error page. 404 errors often lead to the highest bounce rates, so implement an appropriate redirection plan.
The entire process of a website redesign is complex, and that’s why you need to acknowledge some critical considerations before starting out. As long as you go over any potential challenge, and keep the suggestions above-mentioned in mind, your re-launch can end up being successful.