The small business game has changed. When you are looking at new ways to showcase your business online, the first place to start is your business website. Redesigning your website is a major task, and can cause hurt your ranking and search value if you don’t plan ahead. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Look at Other Sites in Your Industry
Most entrepreneurs have no idea what their goals should be when they create or redesign their website. The first suggestion that we make to our clients is to look at other successful businesses in your industry and see how they are presenting themselves online. This will give you a sense of how they brand themselves and you can discover key features that you might be able to leverage in your own site.
Know Your Goals
Most businesses have a website but don’t identify any goals for their site. Be clear on what the 1 or 2 top goals are for your site so that your redesign aligns with them.
Know Your Metrics
…the right metrics that provide insight into what is valuable on your existing site and what kind of traffic it has. This gives a baseline to measure the new site against. Without knowing what is being viewed, you might decide to move or eliminate content that is actually bringing you traffic and helping your rankings.
Know Your Optimization Strategy
If you work with an SEO firm, make them aware of the new site redesign BEFORE you start so they can ensure all the hard work done is not lost. One big mistake made is failing to add proper redirects when URLs change, creating 404 error pages – which are bad.
Know Your Audience
Knowing how to relate to your target audience’s challenges will help craft the right content — content tailored for people, not search engines.
Have a Maintenance Plan
How the site is built can depend greatly who will be doing the updating so be clear on how that will happen. Update the core software regularly so your site is not risk for security breaches, slow downs and broken pages.
- Always make a backup of the existing site – just in case!
- Be realistic about timeline and budget.
- Make your site mobile friendly and add an SSL certificate – these are not optional
- Secure forms with anti-spam options
- Phase out rotators – they slow the load times and people ignore them
- Optimize images to help with load times
- Write descriptive page title and descriptions
Submitted by Roberta Kiphuth
President, Detati Digital Marketing
For more information about building a better website, visit us at www.detati.com.