5 Things Most Businesses Forget to do When Redesigning Their Website
Keeping your website fresh is important but if you aren’t aware of a few basic things, you may end up worse off by redesigning. Check out our list of 5 things to consider when redesigning your website. There’s obviously a lot more but these will make you think.
Most companies jump into a website redesign without thinking about a few key aspects. As most web development companies, we have a long checklist of items to consider but here are 5 to make sure you think about:
1. Check your web analytics
If your website has been up for a while, you should be able to track what is working. If a specific page is successful at creating conversions then make sure you don’t break that by redesigning your site.
2 Information Gathering
Have you defined your target demographic? Have you defined your business goals? What is the goal of this website and how are you going to measure it? Are you going to measure traffic? Email newsletter sign ups? etc. Make sure you define what winning looks like.
3. Navigation structure
If in your analytics you see that there are some content areas that aren’t getting as much exposure as you’d like, you can re-architect the navigation to bring those pages to the forefront or create calls to action (CTA) directing visitors to that content you deem important.
4. Design (Look and Feel)
Does the new design reflect your company and its culture? Have you really connected with your audience?
5. Clean up (Elbow Grease)
Make sure you check for broken links if you have changed URLs or created new pages. I don’t care if you clicked on the Contact Us link from the Home page and it worked. Click it from every page. Use software to look at all the links on your site and make sure that none of them end in a 404 error. A 404 error is when someone is trying to go to a page that doesn’t exist.
Make sure you Spell Check your content after it goes live. If someone is entering your content by typing it in manually then you need to spell check just to make sure they didn’t make a mistake. It’s easy to mak ea (< see what I mean?) mistake or put a space in the wrong place. If you are copying and pasting content then you may be copying extra “hidden” characters into your clipboard and then pasting them into your website. You may not see it until it’s live on your website. Microsoft Word is notorious for helping cause this type of error due to hidden tags.
If your page addresses have changed you need to create 301 Redirects to point Google, Yahoo!, and Bing to the new page URLs. The search engines know what your website addresses were and other sites were linking to those pages and now you went ahead and changed them. Instead of losing all of those links, make sure you create 301 Redirects that automatically redirect visitors to the new page. 301 is just a term for a permanent redirect
This is especially important if you are doing any pay-per-click. You don’t want to pay for clicks just to get a prospective buyer to an error page.
There’s a lot more. There always is. Just make sure that whoever you are working with is experienced and has been around the block a few hundred times.