Many organizations begin a new year with a list of objectives, business goals and projects they would like to achieve. It’s best practice to redesign your website every 2-4 years, so for many organizations, 2019 is not just the year of the pig, but also the year of a new website launch.
To make sure your new website drives ROI for your organization, here are six things to consider when going through the process of a website redesign.
Content Management Systems
Houses are supported by a frame. Similarly, websites are supported by content management systems (CMS). A good CMS will allow you to post new content, move elements of your website around, and organize everything on your website. When you are redesigning your website, it’s the ideal time to consider if you are happy with your current CMS or if you want to switch to a new one.
There are many CMS options available, but two of the most common options are WordPress and HubSpot. These two platforms are easy to use, cost-efficient, and offer you the ability to continue building your website. After making that decision, you can begin thinking about other aspects of your website.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is a never-ending project. Even if you are high-ranking one day, you may not be there tomorrow. The ever-changing nature of search engine result pages (SERPs) means the competition for organic clicks is more competitive than ever.
New content assets, website copy and pillar pages within a website are recommended tactics to use to improve rankings for your target keywords. The website redesign process is the ideal time to conduct a complete SEO audit of your website, keyword strategy and content.
Popular SEO tools to help conduct keyword research, research domain authority, discover keyword difficulty and track your progress are Moz, Ahrefs and SEMRush. From there, you can determine which title tags, headings and website copy are working and which ones needed to be revised. These tools will help evaluate the external links to your website.
Re-evaluating your SEO strategy often means it is time to revise your website copy, too. A copy update could mean a complete overhaul or simply a few tweaks. The scale of changes will depend on the structure of your website pages and if the new website launch coincides with any type of strategic shift or new focus for your organization.
Take time to review your website copy to ensure that it encompasses the messaging and themes you want website visitors to grasp. It’s likely been a while since copy on many of your pages has been reviewed, so this is the ideal time to revise it.
A mobile-first mindset is no longer a new strategy, it’s common practice. Between 2016 and 2017, the percent of mobile website visits increased from 57% to 63%.
Having a website that looks good on smartphones and tablets is important from a user-experience perspective but it also helps boost SEO with mobile-first indexing. Every part of your education marketing strategy should be built around mobile optimization. This means making sure your website, email, social media ads, pay-per-click ads and more all fit nicely on a mobile screen.
Website Structures – Leveraging Topic Clusters
More doesn’t always mean better, especially when it comes to websites. The best websites are focused on having high-quality pages, not the quantity of pages. A website redesign is the ideal time to revise how your website is structured. This can mean condensing a few short pages into one pillar page to build up the pillar page’s domain authority and have one central place to drive internal and external links.
The best way to organize content is by adopting the topic cluster approach.
For example, let’s take a K-12 curriculum developer. One pillar should be a page about all of the available math curriculum options. That page would feature strong calls to action, resources and information about the product. To support that page and drive traffic there, math related blogs should link back to the main math curriculum page. This process would then be repeated for each different pillar – English, science, social studies, etc. When you deploy this topic cluster approach, you create natural SEO links to help improve the ranks of your pages. A true win-win.
Calls to Action
Driving website traffic is great, but if no one takes any actions on your website, then there is no ROI from your efforts. Calls to action are an important lever for driving conversions and converting leads but only if done right. We’ve all been on a website reading a blog post or reading a services page learning about a company’s capabilities but were bombarded with calls to action and left the site out of frustration.
Typical CTAs help website visitors move deeper into the website and convert on forms, rather than users bouncing off the site without converting. Marketing automation platforms, such as HubSpot, now allow you to tailor your CTAs to the website visitor’s history with your organization and what actions they are taking on your website.
Focusing on conversion rate optimization (CRO) is an effective way to map out your CTAs and measure their effectiveness. It is important to have metrics from your old site to compare to your new site to determine the improvement of your CRO with the launch of the new website, so make sure to save your past analytics reports.
Your Next Step – Connect with CB&A to Learn More
Website redesigns are a time- and resource-consuming task. Designs have to be created and reviewed. Copy is written and edited. Content migration is planned and executed. But, in the end, it’s all worth it, because your website is often a potential customer’s first interaction with your business.
By considering these six key website elements in your process, your site launch will flow smoothly and more importantly, it will help drive additional revenue for your business.
Interested in learning more about how to plan for a website launch? Looking for website copy or a SEO strategy? See how we helped Galin Education refresh their online presence, streamline their website structure and revise their website copy and get in touch to see how we can help you.