Getting a new website design can really make a huge impact on your business. The question is: will it be a positive or a negative impact? With a new design, online customers will probably see you as a more professional organization. A well-done site can draw new customers and new employees simply by presenting your business in a high-caliber image. A redesign is always done in hopes of being beneficial; and it definitely can be, if done the right way.
Checklist for Website Redesign
Here are some things to keep top of mind when embarking on a new website design:
- Do a complete SEO audit of the current site to determine the value of each page.
- Do a keyword analysis to determine all of the valuable keywords that are and can drive you business.
- Study your Google Analytics to determine which pages are liked by users and which pages are a turn off. Identify bottlenecks in your site and plan to eliminate them.
- Look for opportunities to provide a better user experience.
- Look at improving navigation and general user experience through the site; are their bottlenecks or pages that people reach and then leave the site. This is a great time to ensure site visitors are getting a good experience.
- Determine which pages in your site are turning users off, which pages users like and understand what is good or bad about each of those pages.
- Add more calls to action to drive new business.
- Come up with a plan to make sure the new website is SEO friendly.
- Plan to redirect all old pages to new pages using 301 redirects. In some cases it is wise to slowly remove old pages over time specifically when an old page is valuable but needs to be updated.
- Plan to maintain the same URL structure for valuable pages or use Canonical Redirects to improve the URLs yet maintaining all value of the old URLs.
- At a minimum come up with unique page titles, page descriptions and header tags for each new page of your site and improve them for pages that will be copied over to the new design.
- Look at replacing images that contain text with actual text so search engines can understand your messages (search engines cannot read text within images).
- Come up with ideas to add fresh content to old pages based on your keyword analysis.
A new website design project should start with a full SEO analysis to understand how valuable the current website is in delivering quality traffic to your site. It is vital that you identify which pages of your site are performing best for you. Once you know which pages drive value to your business, redesign with a plan to keep or increase their value on your updated site.
The above checklist may have you thinking we have created a lot of extra work for you. However, it may have taken you years to build up the value of your current website, and of course you want to take strong measures to protect your current and future value. Your redesign can improve your aesthetic and content while still continuing to build on the elements that were working for you.
We hope that this checklist helps you learn what your website strengths are and why, so that you can both protect and grow your online presence. To learn more take advantage of our FREE SEO AUDIT service.