10 Things to Know Before Rebuilding a Website

1. What is your GOAL for rebuilding a website? You may be coming from the “we just need a website” camp, or “I want leads” or even ecommerce – but […]

1. What is your GOAL for rebuilding a website?

You may be coming from the “we just need a website” camp, or “I want leads” or even ecommerce – but every website should have a distinct goal. Knowing this at the outset helps us tailor our approach and development the process around it.

Having a goal for rebuilding a website will help you determine ROI.

In 2019, there’s no reason why you can’t assess the ROI of your website.

2. Who is your target audience?

Not knowing this ahead of time – especially when creating your website content can lead to major misalignments that bring you exactly the kind of traffic you DON’T want. In real terms, we’ve seen law firm sites launch without considering this and 6 months later all of their traffic is looking for immigration help – when they’re actually a REAL ESTATE law firm.

Understanding keyword saturation and positioning ensures that Google understands your content – and brings you the right kind of traffic.

Outside of SEO / indexing purposes, your brand has the opportunity to align with a specific target customer that may ultimately be more likely to buy than what you expect.

Take for instance one of our case studies Eastchester Heights. They are a middle-income housing development in the Bronx. The risk for them was alienating target residents through too much sophistication and high-design.

Sometimes knowing your audience means making your site more approachable, easier to read and optimized for devices that are outside of what you’re used to using.

3. How are people getting to your website?

Companies overlook this more often than you’d think. Do you intend to pay for traffic? Do you have an existing base of organic traffic that you need to maintain and build upon?

Knowing what your primary gateways are is important – again because you may think that everyone is going to “www.yourwebsite.com” but actually most traffic is going through “www.yourwebsite.com/BESTPRODUCT.”

Just like if you owned a brick & mortar location, you want to know where people are coming from and ensure that the pathway to what you want to deliver (remember your goal?) is as clear and uninhibited as possible.

Rebuilding a website? Google Analytics is a free tool that you should absolutely use to guide the process.

4. What do you want them to do during/after their visit?

This connects closely to your primary website goal, but what are you after? Some ideas:

  • Collecting emails for a list
  • Collecting leads for followup
  • Making ecommerce sales
  • Educating about your cause/services
  • Offering a tool, that leads to sales

Depending on what you intend for the audience to do, this dictates the design and structure of the website. You should also make sure that if you’re trying to collect leads, that you actually have the system in place to do something about it!

5. What devices are your customers using to view the site?

This is becoming increasingly important and something to track constantly to watch for traffic trends. You’ve probably heard that “mobile traffic is increasing” but you may already be at a point where 80%+ of your traffic is coming from mobile – are you optimizing for that?

Mobile websites need to be FAST. Payments need to be simple and your messaging needs to be 110% clear. If you’re not concerned with getting that right – you’re throwing away business.

If you don’t know how much of your traffic is coming from mobile you are likely missing out on the largest growing audience in your target market.

6. What do you think your most valuable offer is?

Amazingly, companies are often more interested in listing products and services in alphabetical or arbitrary order vs. what their customers are actually interested in.

Not only should you optimize building a new website around what the customer wants most, but also invest time or money in actively studying your  most valuable content – and optimizing it towards your desired action.

For instance, using a heat mapping-module on your website can show you where users are focusing their cursor and there’s nothing wrong at all (in fact it’s brilliant) with restructuring your website around this.

7. Do you know what your customer thinks your most valuable offer is?

This is a classic risk of misalignment. You’ve got your heart set on “selling pizza” but your customers think you’ve got the best sandwiches in town. The problem with a website vs. a restaurant is you don’t necessarily have a direct feedback loop of sales to tell what your customers like.

The way this plays out, is maybe you’ve got the best widget on the web but your price is too high. Or maybe the competitor packages it better. By lowering your price, improving the conversion rate or making the packaging surrounding a product or service better you can start utilizing an untapped opportunity – that might not be what you think it is.

8. If you collect leads on your website, are you prepared to nourish them?

Sometimes clients tell me “I want an email list” but then they’re not interested in actually investing in setting up the accounts and automations to follow up on those leads. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes – you like a site, you enter your email, and then you never hear from them. #Buzzkill

You may have an existing sales force, in which case you can probably farm the leads around equally to your team or based on regions/specialties/etc. But if you’re a smaller company you may not have this infrastructure in place – and you’re leaving money on the table.

At base-level, if you have an email collection form, you need to take the time to setup a signup confirmation/thank you and think about 4 emails you could send to represent each quarter of a calendar year. That’s the MINIMUM.

If you actually did something about those leads, they might actually turn into new business (scary)…

9. Why should Google care about your website?

This is SEO in a nutshell: you must convince the search engine algorithm that you are the MOST VALUABLE site on THE ENTIRE INTERNET for a given search term.

Day by day, these algorithms get smarter and more accurate – more based on reality vs. parlor tricks. More based on quality over volume. In the past, (and still to some degree today) you could put this in real terms that if your competitor wrote “8 things to know about X” and you wrote “15 things to know about X” then your page would outrank theirs (because more is better, right?).

But algorithms are wising up to this, and looking for consistent quality – aka THE HARDEST things to achieve in business, but by far the most valuable. The value of a search engine is based on a user’s ability to trust their recommendations. If you have done the work to substantiate your site as the most-trusted authority for a given search term then guess what – you’re exactly who they want at the top.

Far too often, clients come to us looking for a website and they “want to rank on Google” and so we present them with a content plan. “No no, I’ll do the blogging.” Years go by and guess what, no blogging and then we hear “hey guys – I don’t get any leads from my site.”

Let’s be honest – no one is going to care about your website if it’s obvious that you don’t either.

10. What commitment are you willing to make to have your site reach its intended goal?

#10 brings it all together. You’ve got a goal, an understanding of who your traffic and target customers are and have an intended action from  your website. Now what?

Launching a website is just the beginning of a journey that honestly never ends. Just like if you opened a brick and mortar store – it requires maintenance and concern to remain effective.

If your competitor shows just 1% more attention to the users than you, on the internet that means lost business.

When considering the investment you’re willing to make for a website, it is absolutely essential that you also determine what marketing dollars will need to go into content development, advertising, SEO – or whatever it is that you wish to pursue. Otherwise you’ll have a great site that’s dead in the water.

Shiny, BUT Ineffective.

For us, rebuilding a website for you starts with these very important questions.

When we say “Intelligently Engineered Web Applications and WordPress Websites” we assure our clients (and prospects) that our thoughtful approach and diligent execution will create a platform that will serve their goals.

If you’re considering an improvement to your existing website – we’re ready to help. Fill out our brief today and let’s get started.