Ten smart steps to a new website
Refreshing your online presence with a new website takes more than redesign. It takes serious planning, goal setting and strategy. If your present website doesn’t use a CMS, doesn’t deliver results, look good on a phone or looks outdated, it’s time for a fresh start.
- Benchmark your metrics. Take a look at your traffic, time on site, bounce rate plus SEO rankings, lead generation and sales generated.
- Set new goals. Do you want to look bigger, increase site traffic, build leads or boost SEO?
- Inventory your strengths. The assets on your current site have value, especially when you consider the most shared or viewed content, most trafficked pages, best performing keywords and number of inbound links.
- Analyze the competition. Run your site through Marketing Grader, then run your competitors to see their strengths and weaknesses. Decide which areas you can improve and how to gain advantage.
- Check your UVP. Without a valid unique value proposition, converting visitors into customers is going to difficult. A well-drafted UVP defines how the world looks at your site and your offering.
- Stratify personas. A persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customers, based on real demographic and behavior data enhanced with reasonable projections of their history, motivation and concerns. There almost always are multiple personas with varying needs.
- Optimize for search. If you’re interested in bringing new customers into the funnel, you must think about search engine optimization. When you know which pages have the most SEO juice, traffic, inbound links or keyword rankings, you can create 301 redirects for the new site to retain your traffic and rankings. And be sure to focus on one or two keywords per page, and optimize your header tags.
- Call to action. Visitors who download a whitepaper, contact sales or fill out a survey are connecting with your brand, and are on the track to conversion. Other engagement tactics are free ebooks, contests and promotions, newsletter subscription, free trial or set up a demonstration. Aiming your calls to action is easier with clearly defined UVP and personas.
- Create outgoing content. The more content, the more visitor traffic. Building fresh content will keep your site producing. Sites with active, relevant blogs have 55% more visitors and 88% more leads. Include your press releases and links to coverage, and outsource content if you need it.
- Don’t scrimp on the extras. You need more than a homepage, about us, product pages, industry resources and contact forms. Be sure to plan for strong landing pages with a variety of lead-generating calls to action. Add RSS and social links to increase reach and virality. And don’t stop measuring your performance analytics on every page.
Need more specifics? Try The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, The Ultimate Website Launch Checklist, or 15 Essential Checks Before Launching. Thanks to web marketing experts at ClearPivot for their 10-Step Checklist.