The website design process seems so straightforward, yet all it takes is one bad decision to realize how complex it really is. Common mistakes people make when designing a new website include:
Trying to translate old marketing paradigms into digital, online formats.
Making "Ranking #1 on Google" the primary goal.
Thinking a new website is a quick fix to systemic marketing and/or sales issues.
If any of these sound familiar, or if you hired a web design company who uses one or more of these approaches, results will be anticlimactic, if not disastrous.
Identify Your Website's Best Features and Make Them Better
The current M.O. of the digital marketing movement is to take what's great and make it better. When you do that, your website and social media channels will generate more traffic. Once you've generated more traffic, metrics and analytics will provide further insight into what works, so you can make those things better. Round and round it goes, and the more consciously and relentlessly you improve things, the more exponential your ROI will be.
With that in mind, let's move forward with three makeover tips that will enhance your website's best features.
Makeover Tip #1: The First Impression
In the cult classic LA Story, Trudi explains her rule for determining whether or not one is over-accessorized:
"One of the first things I always teach my clients is about the point system...You should never have more than seven things on...the best thing to do is...look in the mirror and turn around real fast, and the first thing that catches your eye, get rid of it."
This isn't such a bad motto for your website design either. If something is glaringly wrong, get rid of it. That will immediately enhance all the good stuff and make a better first impression. This probably isn't a good job for you or your co-workers, however. Instead, ask some of your regular clients, friends, or other unbiased people who won't be afraid to provide constructive criticism.
Once these "meh" items are eliminated, you are left with the very best features, from which you can continue your makeover.
Makeover Tip #2: Get Inbound Marketing Savvy
In many cases, clients have lots of good juice on their site, but they don't understand how to use inbound marketing strategies to leverage all those nutrients. Becoming an inbound marketing geek is one of the best ways to land a website version of a Golden Ticket.
A website design process that focuses on best inbound marketing practices ensures you'll:
Optimize your web content and make social media sparkle
Become fluent in knowing which content/campaigns speak to particular buyer personas at particular points in their buying cycle
Your website already has some excellent characteristics: it's burgeoning with knowledgeable content, it's loaded with informational blogs, and it all links back to all your social media accounts (right?!?). With a little extra inbound marketing savvy, you can shine an even brighter light on those attributes.
Makeover Tip #3: Re-Visit Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, and Keyword Usage
The website design process never really ends. When was the last time you reviewed the "behind-the-scenes" stuff of your site that improves your SEO, like title tags and meta descriptions? Google's current algorithms may now be penalizing you for using outdated SEO tactics even though the content is awesome, so be sure to peruse the content on your site and also delete over-used keywords. A little housecleaning and re-organization can re-vamp some of your marketing team's best work.