Few investments have as immediate a positive impact as a new website.
A good website provides immediate credibility. Credibility means trust. Prospective clients, donors, readers who trust you make for repeat clients, donors, and readers.
An outdated website sends a message that you aren’t up on the latest trends. There comes a time when it’s time for every business to redesign and re-launch their website for maximum business impact.
For example, older websites might not be optimized for speed. About 40 percent of those who visit your website will bounce away if it doesn’t load within three seconds. You can’t afford to keep a bulky, outdated website with statistics like that.
While a redesign project might seem overwhelming, we’ve developed some tips at Connect4 Consulting to launch a new website in an easy, productive manner for maximum business impact.
Before you start a redesign process, be sure to record your website’s existing statistics. You’ll want to know:
- bounce rate
- site load time
- average time on site
- most visited pages
Without these existing benchmarks, you’ll have no idea whether your new project is successful.
Once you know what kind of website traffic you have, you can set goals regarding the quantity and type of traffic that you want. This is important because it will impact exactly how you go about redesigning and relaunching your website and web presence. You should set several goals.
Look at what your competitors are doing online. You can do some intensive research through sites such as SEMRush or SERPSTAT and find out what keywords competitors are ranking for, as well as their most visited pages. Using this information, set some firm goals for your own website.
- What do you hope to accomplish with your re-launch?
- Do you want more traffic?
- Perhaps you want more visitors to convert into customers.
Whatever your goals, write them out and then work backward on how you will get there.
Let Your Customers Know What’s Going On
Send a short note to your mailing list and social media followers. Let them know you are redesigning your website, why you chose to do so, what you hope to accomplish with the redesign and when they can expect to see the new look. You probably already have some loyal followers who have been with you and your website for years. They deserve to know before anyone else that you are updating, improving, and relaunching your web site. You might even get some valuable feedback from your customers that will help your process or the final outcome.
Don’t Forget About SEO
There are more than 1 billion websites on the World Wide Web. You are trying to differentiate and stand out from all of those, rise up in the search results ranks and capture the attention of potential site visitors. There are so many factors that play into ranking and how many people visit your site, but in general, you want to do some basic keyword research.
Find the keyword strings that make the most sense for the type of visitor you most want to attract and create content around the information those searchers would actually want to read. You can drive people to your site, but if you don’t have the content to hold them there, it won’t do you much good. For more information on keywords and content marketing, you can check out all the blog posts we have written on search engine optimization, keyword research, and content marketing.
Get Feedback From Your Site Visitors
Once your website has been relaunched, gather feedback from your site visitors. Devote as much time as you can to answering questions, listening to concerns and fixing problems as they crop up. This is your best test of how users are interacting with your content.
Make Sure To Test Different Browsers
Ideally, before you launch your new website, you should test how the site performs across different browsers and screen sizes. There are many services online that allow you to do this for free or a small fee, such as BrowserStack and Browserling. Browserling will let you use their system for free for short 3 minute increments. Choose the one you like best and see how your site might look on a mobile device or on a larger screen.
The photos and text should be responsive – adapt to the device and screen layout – and be clear to read, and images should still have a sharp resolution. Also, test out the way the site functions on a mobile device versus a traditional PC.
Update Your Content
The best time to revamp old content is during a website redesign. Freshen things up. Fix any issues, such as broken links. You can easily find plugins to help with this, such as the Broken Link Checker plugin WordPress. You can also push older, but still popular, articles to the top by doing a roundup around a certain theme and linking back to those articles.
When site visitors come to see what has changed, they’ll see the content is fresh and updated and of even greater value to them.
Extend New Branding Throughout Your Online Presence
Your site may be rebranded with new colors, logos, fonts, etc. Now it’s time to extend that new branding throughout your entire online presence. Colors and designs should repeat on social media, for example. Update your social media headers and profile images. Link any interesting new content to your social media pages. Update any contact info or “about us” info.
Identify The Influencers In Your Niche and Get Feedback From Them
In each industry, there are influencers who have a lot of consumer reach. Figure out who the influential people are in your industry and reach out to them about your redesign. Ask for their input and feedback. You’ll get some amazing tips, and if you’re lucky they may decide to announce your re-launch to their social media followers, which will increase your traffic.
Test For Speed
Remember that three second rule from the beginning of the blog post? Whenever you add new features, images, plugins and such, there is always the possibility one or more of those things will slow your site down. Site loading speed is an important aspect of whether or not a visitor sticks around beyond that three-second mark.
Test your website’s speed. GTMetrix has a free and easy speed test you can use to see how quickly your pages load. They will give you a percentage grade and suggestions for ways you can speed up your site a bit more. Follow a few or all of the suggestions to make your site “sticky” and avoid that dreaded high bounce rate.
By implementing these tips, you’ll have a much more successful re-launch and a site that will work well for your visitors. And if you’re thinking about a website redesign or new website, Connect4 Consulting has got you covered. Contact us today.