If you are like most business owners, your web site is something you have because you need it, not because you really want one. Getting a site redesign is like going to the dentist. No matter how great your site design was when you launched it, there comes a time when you will need to consider a redesign. While this might send shivers of terror down your spine, getting a new web site design is a great opportunity to revisit your strategy and look at what your site is doing well, what it is doing poorly, and what you want it to do.
Here are 5 things to do before meeting with your web designer.
- Set some goals: Many business owners get a site because they know they need one but that is about as far as it goes. Do you want leads? If so, how many more? Do you want visitors? Facebook fans? Think about why you are spending this money and what return you want on your investment. Knowing what your goals are helps us to focus on ways your site can help achieve your goals and gives us something to measure against after the site launches to see how we did.
- Do a competitive SEO audit: This will show you how you compare to other businesses in your industry. This helps you build lists of topics to include and set a reference baseline to see how successful your redesign was at improving your search engine visibility on the terms that matter most for you. (We can help )
- Analyse your Analytics: Sure it is great to know how many users you get per month but an afternoon doing a deep dive on your analytics will help you figure out why people are coming to your site. What are your post popular pages? Where are users coming in from? What information are they searching for? What are the trends over time? This can help you prioritize your content and your calls to action. This understanding will also give you something to compare the new site against 60 or 90 days after launch. (We can help with this too )
- Review your content: Take a look at your top pages from your Analytics and see what content you have on them. Take a look at what people are searching for on your site? Do you use the same vocabulary as your site visitors? Take a look at your SEO audit and see how the existing content can be improved. Create a site map for the new site. If you want pictures on your site do you have them already? If not, look for stock images online or budget for a photographer.
- Figure out what you like: Design preference and taste is subjective. It depends on your personal tastes, your industry, and your brand.. It is your web designers job to stay up to date with trends but in the end, you need a site that YOU are excited and proud of and reflects your brand properly. Create a list of up to 5 sites that like with at least a couple from your competitors. Make notes about what you like. This is a huge help for the designers.
If you do these 5 easy things before sitting down with your web designer, you will be their favourite customer. You will save time on your redesign and reduce the final costs because it will help them hit the design sweet spot faster. You will also be able to make more informed decisions and have a better sense of whether the site is working well and helping you achieve your goals.