Your website is the likely the foundation of all your marketing and communications, so it is paramount that you are getting just as much out of it as you are putting into it. When planning your website design or redesign, you need to begin with clear goals in mind. Define what your qualitative and quantitative expectations are so that you can ensure the final product meets your expectations and maximizes your return on investment (ROI). Before you begin your website redesign project, explore 10 ways to measure the ROI.
Design your navigation with your users in mind
One of the most critical aspects of a website is its navigation structure. Making the navigation simple, intuitive, concise and readable will result in improved overall site usability. A great navigation strategy focuses users along the sales funnel for ultimate conversion, resulting in more leads. Therefore, plan your site architecture accordingly to minimize clicks and maximize the customer journey. If a user can’t find what he or she is looking for quickly, there is a good chance they will leave your site. How do you quantitatively measure success? Check out your site analytics after you launch to look for an increase in average session duration, pageviews, engagement and average time on page.
Build a site that is search engine friendly
There are over 6 billion search engine queries worldwide every day* so it’s more critical than ever to make sure your audience can easily find your site on Google and Bing. If your site is strategized, architected, designed and built to be optimized for search engines, you will see an increase the number of search engine-driven visitors. Elevating your site’s search engine ranking is not as easy as inserting keywords into your meta data or copy. Instead, SEO should be left to an experienced digital agency that can offer both search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) services. This includes targeted keyword research, continual content development, pay-per-click advertising, retargeting, and various other tactics necessary to maximize the searchability of your new web design. This will ultimately drive your search engine referrals up and increase the number of quality visitors to your site.
Grow your referral traffic
Referral traffic is integral, because it sends potentially valuable visitors to your website from other popular and trusted websites. This, in turn, gets your content in front of new people, which gives your website the opportunity to convert visitors into leads, and ultimately into new customers. Your new website should have great, shareable content to attract as much referral traffic as possible. When planning your website redesign, ensure you have a plan to drive people to your site through integrated marketing tactics like social media, email marketing and more to get people engaged on an ongoing basis. Once your new site is up and running, you can then review your traffic sources to monitor the impact of your efforts.
Increase unique visitors
Attracting new visitors to your site creates new business opportunities. Although it is good to have a large percentage of repeat visitors, you always want to attract new visitors so you can keep growing your potential customer base. Just building a new website won’t bring unique visitors to your site. This is where inbound marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, search engine marketing, email marketing and more fit into the mix. Once you have more eyeballs on your site, your new site should work hard to convert them. To measure the impact after your site launches, check out the New vs. Returning section of your Google Analytics.
Make your content easy to read
Although it's tempting to focus just on visuals during a website redesign, ensuring that the content on your new site is engaging should also be a priority. The content of your site is what communicates your company’s brand position and services to your audience. To help your readers remember the message, make your content short and to the point, yet warm and welcoming. Also, be mindful of supporting SEO best practices when crafting your content, so that it can function to attract and convert. Once your site launches, reviewing your analytics for site engagement and pages viewed will provide insights into your content’s effectiveness.
Keep the site fresh
It is one thing to update your site content in the redesign process, but it is equally necessary to continue adding and adjusting content to keep visitors coming back for more. Plan and allocate the right resources and proper process required to support your site after the launch. A well-designed site with the capability to stay fresh and relevant should engage users for approximately five years. However, a site that becomes stale loses its ability to attract new visitors and engage returning ones.
Decrease bounce rate
Bounces happen when the visitors on your site leave without interacting. High bounce rates usually indicate that your site’s entrance pages are not relevant to your visitors. Therefore, with a site redesign, you have a great opportunity to reduce your bounce rate by creating a site that is engaging and relevant. Some ways to decrease the bounce rate include implementing an intuitive site architecture, creating high quality content and marketing to the right audiences through a targeted marketing strategy. Measuring your site bounce rate is easy in your analytics program, but be sure that you are reviewing your bounce analytics thoroughly to understand whether you are unintentionally counting “good bounces” (e.g. links to a third-party vendor site) in your data.
Use landing pages
Your website redesign project should always include the creation of a landing page template. Successfully designed and strategized landing pages have higher conversion rates that standard site pages because they offer a highly focused, highly actionable experience. And, with an experience truly focused on conversion, measuring ROI becomes a lot easier.
Make your site responsive
Responsive design is a must-have these days. 89% of visitors expect all website content to be visible across all devices.* So, creating your new site using responsive design will expand your potential audience, decrease bounce rate and increase engagement and conversion by providing a seamless, mobile-friendly experience for all devices. Once your site has launched, review your site analytics to view data by desktop, mobile and tablet. Also, compare bounce rate, pages/session, average session duration and goal data, if you have it.
Track your results through conversion
Finally, to make sure these improvements to your site are working, track your results. Google Analytics provides a wealth of data, but for many businesses, tracking conversions isn’t an “out of the box” effort. Whether you are using marketing automation software or custom event tracking with Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager, the key is to measure and understand all your results. In a perfect, world following every lead and closed lead to its source will allow you to truly measure ROI.
Being aware of these key steps when planning your redesign will help you produce the best final product and maximize your Return on Investment (ROI). From site strategy and design to content and tracking, every step matters in optimizing and measuring your new site’s results. Contact us if you are looking for some help on your next website redesign.
Sources: Internet Live Stats, JD Power