Points to Consider in Launching a Brand New Site
November 24th, 2013 by admin | Type: Standard

Rebuilding a website can take a lot of planning. It should. Without sufficient research supporting your new website plan, the entire project can lead to disorganization, bloated expense, and, worse, a website that is worse than before. So before even starting on a rebuild, here are some guidelines to consider.

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Establish your goals

Having a realistic goal for the website is an element of any web development project. Whether you are building a website or redesigning one, this must be the backbone of your project. It starts with knowing who your target audience is and what kind of service you would want to offer them. Here are the important elements that you need to include in your goal:

  • A purpose for the entire site and each page

Your entire website has to have a purpose; otherwise it does not need to be posted online. Try to think of why each page should exist. What can it offer your visitors? Think of problems that your audience might have and supply the answers on the pages.

  • Connect the page to your business goals

If you are using your website for business, you have to establish how each page impacts your business success. Examples are:

  • increase in gross sales
  • generate leads

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Establish the shortcomings of the current website

Why fix it if it isn’t broken, right? So, if the website requires a redesign, then something must be wrong with it. Or, if not wrong, then something needs to be improved. By doing an internal research, you will discover why the current website is not performing at 100%. Here are some ways that you can do an internal research:

  • Talk to your sales personnel and inquire about which parts of the site they find most helpful. Ask for input on how the website can be improved.
  • If your personnel doesn’t refer much to your website, ask them why. Note that the website should always be mentioned in every interaction with a customer.

Find out which pages should be retained

In most redesigns, unless the website is really problematic, some of the pages may not need to be changed at all. Find out which pages are your:

  • highest converting
  • most visited
  • lowest bounce percentage

Changing these pages may not be ideal. If possible, prevent making any modifications, particularly adding clicks to reach them.

Identify where you are getting referral traffic

There are a lot of tools that enable you to generate a report for your back links. Find out which is your top referral. Protect these inbound assets.
Check out competitor sites to get inspirations

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Your competitors are great sources of insights as to what you can add or remove from your current site. Try browsing their websites and evaluate what makes theirs easier or more difficult to navigate. Establish why their visitors feel compelled to buy from them instead of from your store. Remember that you are doing this for research and not to replicate their website. Here are some key areas that you can check our:

1. Identify what page elements work

  • What are the elements that are highlighted on their home page?
  • What kind of graphics, interaction, and text were used?
  • Are they providing answers or solutions to their audience? How?
  • What kind of interactive tools do they use?

2. Identify what pay-per-click practices your competitors are using

  • Are they paying more or less than the amount that you are willing to spend on PPC?
  • Are their PPC practices working for them?

3. Identify the voice that the other companies are using

  • Are they using a snarky, welcoming or technical voice?
  • Is this voice appealing to your target audience?

Make sure that the entire redesign team is on board

Summarize the research points that you made and present this to your team. If possible, make copies that you can use as reference as you go about the website rebuilding process. Having these copies on hand can help your team stay on target. Additionally, it can prevent instances of scope creep.