If you are considering a website redesign, it may feel overwhelming at first. However, some careful planning will ensure that your new and improved site provides optimum user experience and increased sales or lead generation.
Set the Bar
Before you begin your redesign, make sure to get a good idea of how your metrics are performing. Using a tool like Google analytics, analyze historical data like the number of visits to the website, amount of time spent on the website, form submissions and goal conversions, bounce rate, keyword rankings, and domain authority. If you do not have anything setup to measure metrics, make sure to do so immediately. Measuring the performance of your website, especially when transitioning to a new website, is crucial to your marketing efforts.
Define Your Audience and Goals
It is important to determine what your goals are as a manufacturing company and how your website will help to accomplish these goals. Perhaps you want to convey your cutting-edge processes and product innovation strides through sleek design and updated imagery. But what is your end goal? For instance, if you own an eCommerce website, you are likely looking to increase sales. If your website’s main purpose is to generate highly qualified leads, consider setting a quarterly percentage increase you’d like to meet.
Simply increasing traffic to your website is not enough in today’s highly competitive landscape. You want to make sure you are driving the right traffic and that these users know how to find what they’re looking for when they get to your site. A better user experience generates more sales and leads. So, who are these users and what are they looking for? It is important to identify your target market and learn everything you can about them to create a goal conversion. For example, a manufacturer of electrical equipment will have a different target market than a manufacturer of food products. Furthermore, within this specific niche, there may be three different types of target users with varying education and experience levels. Designing your website with these details in mind will be key to your success.
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Us Vs. Them
What sets you apart from your competitors? Do an initial review of your competitors’ overall web presence, including metrics, search rankings and social media. Review their strengths and weaknesses to identify where there are opportunities to deliver a better experience to your target users. Then create a list of action items to set your plan in motion.
It is also important to identify your unique selling proposition. You want to make sure you have consistent messaging across your entire website that conveys what you do and how you can help your visitors. This will ensure that users are staying on your website and completing the goals that you’ve set.
The Design Phase
With your goals and target audience defined, you are ready to begin the design phase. As you begin to create your wireframes, keep your user journey in mind. While the graphic elements are important, you want a functional website that defines a clear path to conversion. Too many navigation choices will overwhelm users and prevent them from meeting your goals. Create a simple sitemap with a limited amount of options at the top and landing pages with clear action items to follow. A call-to-action is an element on your website, like a button or link, to drive visitors to complete your conversion goal.
You also want to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. As Google continues to roll out its mobile-first algorithm, the mobile version of your website is the first to determine how you rank. As mobile traffic continues to increase, creating a clear mobile path to conversion is as important as ever. Things like buttons and menus that are easy to use on a touchscreen, fonts and images that appear clearly, clickable phone numbers and other downloadable material should be kept in mind.
Protecting your SEO value is also extremely important when launching a new website. Make sure to implement 301 redirects, as having potential customers land on old URLs makes for a bad user experience. This will hurt the credibility of your website and ruin potential opportunities to nurture customer relationships. Failing to properly implement 301 redirects will also cause you to lose backlinks. Google uses the number of quality sites linking to your content to determine value. Preserving these backlinks will ensure that you don’t lose any value in the eyes of Google’s algorithm. SEO is an ongoing process that needs constant curation. However, before launch, you should ensure that your meta titles and descriptions are filled in for each page. These bits of HTML code in your web page header help search engines to better understand your content.
The Top 6 Advanced Website Designs In Manufacturing
Develop an Ongoing Plan
Now that you’ve launched your website, you can relax….right? Not so fast. As previously mentioned, SEO requires constant curation. Not only should you be monitoring your keyword fluctuation and optimizing accordingly, you need a constant flow of fresh content as well. As a general rule of thumb, more content equals more visitors. Develop a strategy to add more content to your website over time. Competitive research, industry trends and customer testimonials or case studies are all good sources of content to develop. Consider a company blog and designate some time each month to add a post or two. This ongoing curation is key to the success of your website.
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