Avoid These Website Redesign Mistakes, from SEO to Content

When redesigning you website, make small changes to elements to determine styles your Buyer Personas like.

There are plenty of things you can do to improve your website content and design. A couple of weeks ago we discussed things your homepage absolutely should have. We’ve covered what goes into quality website design. And you’re probably itching to get them all done ASAP.

But wait a minute before you run to make all those changes to your site right away!

You’re missing out on a great opportunity if you make multiple changes all at once. Depending on the elements you want to change, you might want to make incremental changes slowly, so that you can determine which styles or voice your Buyer Personas like. On the other hand, sometimes you need to go for the complete reboot for a brand vision to materialize, and so your old site doesn’t scare away any qualified leads.

Here are a few examples of elements you’d want to change one at a time, and total pages you can toss and re-do.

Big Picture Transformations

If you are looking to re-brand or transform the look of your entire site, it makes sense to make a handful of changes. In particular, you’ll want to scrap old website format or copy that is clearly passé. Some elements will scare away any prospects, not just the ones that match your Buyer Personas.

About page: Your About page isn’t usually the page that contains a ton of CTAs or interactive content. However, it is an important part of your brand identity and can determine whether or not a visitor understands what you offer and who you are. Your about page should inform your audience about what you do, by telling them who you are in a way that appeals to them. Check out some About page ideas we wrote about earlier.

Technical issues: These you need to fix ASAP. Your page needs to be optimized for mobile. Your website needs to load quickly. Aim at be user-friendly overall: your links need to work and your pages need to be live.

Confusing, busy content or design: If no one can tell what it is you do and what your key offers are, then we have a problem. The flow of elements on any one page should have a deliberate direction and elements that are visually pleasing and complement each other. This doesn’t mean you can’t have exiting content! It means that all the elements and content have carefully been considered both individually, and as they interact with one another on the page. It means that navigating your site is easy.

Old, irrelevant content: Make sure your contact information is up to date! Make sure your blogs are kept up-to-date. Actually, if any of your information isn’t relevant anymore, but a historical relic to things you once did and services you once offered, it needs to go now! Put in simple place-holders that are clear and have updated, true content. Afterwards, you can fine-tune details and copy to match your ideal audience.

Speaking of which….

Tiny Changes Help Measure What People Like

An incremental change allows you to do two things. It controls variables by isolating the change to indicate one element, and it allows you to see how your visitors react to that one element after the change is made. If views and engagement increase through an element you’ve changed, it is safe to assume that the change was successful, and that you can use that element again to appeal to your visitors. This is where your site analytics work for you to help you gauge if a response is positive or negative: how the change was received. Over time you can repeat this litmus test for various elements to slowly, but deliberately build super-targeted pages that truly appeal to your ideal leads.

Design elements: The design, particularly of elements that you want visitors to engage with, like CTAs, needs to be something that will attract your ideal prospect. But how do you know what attracts them, short of asking them? Changing one element at a time of font size, color, border, dynamic, etc., and then monitoring and documenting any change in engagement will allow you to build a profile of design elements you should continue to use to grab their attention or guide them through your site.

Content: Try changing the wording of CTAs. We know CTAs should be specific, but maybe the specificity that your ideal lead prefers is different from what you currently have. Perhaps some headline formats are more appealing than others to them. Test out different types to find out which perform best.

Keywords: Knowing what we know about the search algorithm, keywords and content need to be specific. Long-tail keywords will help search crawlers more accurately index your page for organic search. If there are many different types of keywords that are relevant for what you offer, test different locations and uses of your keywords with different kinds of descriptive phrases. Don’t forget that searching for them yourself can help you see what types of keyword phrases top hits use. If they are relevant to you, try those out, too.

Essentially, make informed decisions before you start redesigning your awesome new site or tailor your elements and content to your leads. Deliberate action can increase positive engagement with CTAs and headlines, and ultimately lead to conversions. Don’t forget the power of small changes: they hold the key to your audience’s preferences.

Learn more about what goes into an excellent website in our eBook!