Website Redesign DOs
By Colin Ryan
About Website Design
Things You Should Do If You Decide to Redesign Your Site
1. Determine your baseline.
Whether it’s still in the planning stages or already finished, it’s important to start any evaluation of a website redesign with a clear sense of how much (or how little) your old website was doing for you. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How much and what kinds of content do you already have?
- How does your old site rank in terms of the keywords people are searching for?
- Are you getting inbound links? If so, how many?
- Do you have massive amounts of property photos?
- Do you have videos?
- Do your agents have micro sites?
Make a list of where you are in your keyword ranking, your social ranking. The results may be paltry, but don’t despair. If you measure it, you can improve it. This brings us to our next point:
2. Set measurable goals.
We all have grand, overarching goals for ourselves, and that goes for both our personal and professional lives. But in order to truly accomplish our goals, we have to be able to see our progress toward them, not just “feel” it. This is certainly true of deciding to redesign your website and determining how successful that redesign has been. Goals like “improve brand awareness” are all well and good, but there’s no way to measure them. If you feel like you’ll know it when you see it, chances are you never will.
Instead, go with goals that can be easily broken down into numbers and compared statistically. A few that can effect the bottom line of your business: increase conversion rates, increase sales, generate more leads, or reduce overhead costs. You can also refine these even further by setting a specific target. Instead of “improve market share,” for instance, go with “improve market share by 20% over the next six months.”
3. Actually measure those goals!
If you don’t measure it, you won’t be able to tell what’s working and what to do more of. Now that you have defined your goals, you need to measure them. If one of your goals is to convert more web visitors into leads, measure that conversion rate every month. If you want to get more organic traffic by increasing your ranking for the keywords important to you, measure that.
With measurement, discussions about likes and dislikes become less important. Does your new design get you more leads? Is anyone reading the content you are creating? If not, you have something to change. As the saying goes, “You get what you measure.” You won’t see improvement in conversions or leads or anything else if you’re not measuring it.
Still, you shouldn’t let measurement eat up all your time. If you do, you won’t have enough bandwidth to focus on responding to the results. Instead of tracking everything on your website, you should determine which are the most important for your business goals and follow only those. The goal of metrics is to help you achieve your business goals, not measurement for measurement’s sake.
Published on January 5, 2012