When it comes to website redesign, there are lots of reasons to give your website a facelift. But, the most effective reason could be to boost your audience engagement and use your website to further increase the interaction with your followers.
Your website redesign could be a success or a flop. It could also consist of small tweaks or be an entirely long and mind-numbing process.
That’s why, before you begin with your redesign process you need to have an unclouded vision of what you want to achieve and where you want your online presence to go after that.
Long gone are the days when you could’ve changed your website and its elements just as easily as the billboard down the road. When a user visits your site, they want to connect with your brand in a flash and they want to see interaction opportunities.
So, how can you renew your webpage to enhance your audience’s engagement and turn your visitors into loyal customers?
What Is Website Redesign?
Website redesign is all about making changes to your page to upgrade its UX and UI. It is also about creating fresh customer journeys based on prior research and metrics. The redesign is also focused towards new content, fresh design elements and can be a significant part of your company rebranding process as well.
Reasons to Redesign Your Website
Computer/mobile technology shifts quickly along with design trends. This can alter the focus of your online presence too. That’s why it is crucial for your website to prevail and stay up-to-date with technology. The major reasons to opt for website redesign are:
- Out of Date CMS – Some web platforms and content management systems can’t keep up with the technology of more advanced ones like WordPress. If you’ve built your webpage on an older platform you’re already limited with features and vulnerable to cyber attacks. By redesigning your website on a flexible, innovative and secure platform like WordPress, you’ll immediately adapt to the latest trends and keep your online presence safe.
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- Outdated Design – First impressions are everything in business. You have only a few seconds to gain and maintain a user’s attention. The design and the quality of your webpage are directly related to that. If you have a webpage that looks like it’s from the dot-com era of the 90s, chances are that users will look for a better experience elsewhere.
- Not Mobile Responsive – More people are online on mobile than on desktop. And mobile users want a swift and easy experience on their devices. It is very important to have a platform that can offer that to different smartphones and tablets. This is another key benefit of having a WordPress website because the platform itself offers a mobile-responsive experience from the start.
- Doesn’t Bring Results – You may think that your webpage is an artwork by Michelangelo himself. You may love the minimalistic, or busy, look of it. But, your webpage exists to bring you traffic, new leads and to convert visitors into customers. If you don’t see any results from your current webpage, it might be time for some changes.
- New Business Goals – Everything can shift in business. One day you have one priority then, a trend emerges in your industry, and you have another set of goals. Social media integrations and cloud applications didn’t even exist ten years ago. That’s why you must have a revamped website that can integrate with the latest technologies and align with your new business goals.
Common Website Redesign Mistakes
Before you start with your website improvements, you need to know how to avoid the most common redesign mistakes:
- No Goals/Strategy – The spontaneous approach to redesign can take you places and allow you to express your creativity but, will it be effective? Will your redesign bring the desired results if it’s conducted without goals in mind? We highly doubt it. For example, if you want to increase your email subscribers by 15% it is understandable that you need to improve your landing pages, opt-in forms, and CTAs. If you didn’t have that goal in the first place, you wouldn’t even think of that improvement.
- Not Relying on Data – Data should be the focal point of your redesign process. When you know what to measure, you’ll know what your future goals should be. If you pass on analytics, you pass on opportunities to grow your conversion rate and your customer base.
- Retaining the Same Content – It doesn’t matter if you spend hours, days or months in the development of your current content. When you opt for website refreshment, you need to refresh your content too, especially if you’re adding new pages with new categories, services or products. You need to be sure that you have high-quality content on each of your pages that are combined perfectly with your redesign.
Analyzing Your Website
Examining the current state of your website is an excellent starting point for your redesign process. If you think that your site is a complete mess, maybe you need to start from scratch. But, if you have some elements on your page that work perfectly and bring conversion, maybe you should start to form your new design around them.
Reviewing your website will give you a good overview of where you stand with your online presence and how you present your business to your online visitors. You need to be aware that your design should unite your target customers with your brand. The things that you need to focus on when analyzing your website are:
- First Impressions – How do users feel when they land on your webpage? What are the feelings that your page invokes? The first few clicks and steps on your website matter too – Is your website structured clearly and can people easily find what they’re looking for?
- Content – Do you have content that is easy to digest and packed with value? Examine how your content feels and how your page visuals add to the entire feel.
- Site Architecture – Do you have unobstructed navigational links on your page? Are those links something that your target users expect to see or is there something missing on your site? Your website navigation needs to be intuitive and workable for users. This also applies to every button and menu on your page.
Before you begin with your redesign process you need to define what you’ll measure afterwards and the minimum that a certain KPI has to deliver in order to be considered a success. Your current and future focus needs to be on:
- Number of Unique Visits Per Month
- Average Monthly Bounce Rate
- Average Monthly Time Spent on Site
- Best Performing Keywords
- Number of Inbound Links
- Number of New Leads Per Month
- Monthly Sales Numbers
- Number of Pages That Are Indexed
- The Number of Pages That Receive Traffic
To have instant access to this data, we recommend you use Google Analytics. Log in to Google Analytics, paste the code snippet that can be found in Property > Tracking Info > Tracking Code on your website and start tracking how your page performs.
Defining Website Goals
You must have solid reasons why you want to redesign your page. It shouldn’t be just to “look nice”. Your website is more than just looks – it’s about how it works in the first place. Be transparent about why you want to redesign and connect your goals to something that you can measure. Some of the more important goals to consider are:
- Increasing the Number of Unique Visits
- Decreasing the Bounce Rate
- Growing the Number of Time Spent on Site
- Enhancing Domain Authority
- Increasing Number of Quality Leads
- Increasing the Number of Sales
- Improving SEO Ranking for Your Keywords
Turn to Your Buyer Persona
Websites should not just be about “Me, myself and I.” When a user encounters such a website, he/she will often think “Well, what’s in it for me then?”
To redesign your website successfully, you need to turn to your target persona. This is your perfect website visitor and you need to shape your redesign around that person. Your personal opinions and preferences should be left aside at this stage.
What’s good for you may not be suitable for your buyer persona. If you still don’t know what is your ideal target market, our guide will take you through the process of knowing and understanding who your clients are and how to find them.
Rechecking Your SEO
Your redesign is irrelevant if people can’t find you online with a simple Google search. If users can’t find you, you can’t expect new leads and more conversions from your website. Before you start the process, make sure to recheck your SEO and keep the following tips in mind:
- Document Your Most Valuable Pages – By using Google Analytics, recognize what are the pages from your website that receive the most traffic, most inbound links and are most relevant to your target audience. Before you move these pages ensure that you’ve created 301 redirects.
- 301 Redirects – A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one page URL to another. It sends site visitors and search engines to a different URL than the one they originally typed into the browser or clicked from a SERP. This is vital if you want to keep the web traffic and the links from a given page. Open a spreadsheet document and record each one of your 301 redirects. Then, implement them in your page redesign or find a web developer that can help you do it.
- One Keyword Per Page – You need to focus on one keyword for every page of your new website. Utilize white hat and SEO best practices to optimize your pages. Add more fresh content and pages that are related to your main keywords and on topics that you’ve neglected on your previous page.
The first thing that you need to do is examine the websites of your competitors and the first impression that they create. You need to write down every distinctive emotion that their designs evoke and why those designs evoke them. Get straight to the core root.
Next up is the structure of their websites. Do they have a clear structure? Are their page elements laid out in a pattern that leads the user straight to the CTA or not? Most importantly, would you apply that structure to your new design?
What about your competitor’s UX? Your competitors might have something that prevents people from taking an action or that leads them straight to the desired action. If they have a usable design, their site navigation has to be perfect too. Always look for reasons why users would want to visit your competitor’s site.
Sometimes, your competitors can use interactive elements like hero images with opt-in forms, sliders or carousels to capture or maybe to distract the user’s attention. See how you can use the same elements in your layout, whether they’re beneficial to the users, and how you can replace them with something else if you have them on your site.
Next, your competitive analysis has to be on the content itself. You need to examine how readable and interactive their content is. Do they use a special typeface for the sliders, headlines or the paragraphs? Does the font size make the content readable or affect the spacing between letters and sentences?
Again, you need to think about the reasons why your more successful rivals use that typeface or that font size. Is the content short-form or long-form content? If they’re ranked high on Google, they most likely offer long-form relevant content to the target audience.
The most important thing when you analyze your competitors is to alter your POV for each page. There are different elements like landing pages, blogs, galleries, portfolios and there are likely to be different people from your target audience that consume them as content. Don’t forget those contrasts when assessing your rivals.
Boosting Engagement with Redesign
Here are the 7 steps that you can implement to redesign your website for better engagement:
1. Refresh Your Content
When people land on your new page, the most noticeable thing has to be fresh and revamped content on your homepage, blog, and your landing pages. If you’ve already used Google Analytics to discover what pages users spend most of their time on, you’ll know where to refresh the content and where to add completely new and different copy.
It’s vital for your content strategy to be innovative and interesting because that’s how you’ll keep your visitors longer on the page. People don’t want to open a page and read the “latest post” from a year ago.
2. Enhance Navigation
Visiting and using your page has to be effortless. Don’t let users click more than 3 times to access something on your page. Again, check Google Analytics for what people look for when they land on your website and bring that content closer to them with your redesign. Make searching simple and the search bar easy to locate. At times, the search bar is the easiest way for the users to find what they look for on your page.
3. Use Visual Elements
The only way to give life to your copy is with videos and images. You can use tools like Lumen5 to create short videos that will go with your blog post. Or, you can use Infographics that will support your copy and present data from your research. Be creative and think about ways to reuse your content and extend its influence by sharing it on social media with creative designs and presentations.
4. Improve Mobile Design
Mobile is the present and the future. There’s no point in ignoring website mobile optimization and think that your audience is more comfortable on a desktop.
In fact, when redesigning your website you need to think mobile first. Depending on the time of the day or the conditions, users can access your website from anywhere. You need to provide them with a flawless transition on every screen, whether that’s laptop, smartphone or tablet.
5. Don’t Hide Your CTA (Call to Action)
When the users land on your page one of the first things that they need to direct their attention to is your call to action. Your CTA should be relevant and highlighted for the target audience. You need to deploy CTAs throughout your website because every piece of content on your pages can lead your audience straight to the CTA. Don’t hide your call-to-action. Test different approaches and see what works the best.
6. Flawless Opt-in Forms
You can’t hide your sign-in and opt-in forms either. They can give your organic audience growth a huge boost and provide you with endless opportunities to engage your subscribers. Signing up to your email list should be easy. The form needs to be easy to spot and you shouldn’t ask for more than a name and an email. You’ll have more chance to collect information once you engage with subscribers on regular basis.
7. Integrate Social Media
Besides SEO and email, social media is your biggest chance to boost your website engagement. If you don’t have social and sharing buttons on your current website, you need to include them when you redesign your page. With this, you move the conversation from your page to social media, and vice versa. With social media, you also have the opportunity to listen to your audience and learn what people are saying about your brand or about your niche in general.
To wrap up, the more you use the tips above in your redesign process, the more engagement you’ll receive as a result. Ensure that your newly designed website works well on mobile devices and that you provide the best possible experience for the target users. With that, your redesign will help your brand last and evolve online for years to come.