Can you imagine a business without a website in today’s world? Yes, there are not tens or hundreds but thousands of businesses in the old areas of any big city in India. Jam packed streets having array of shops, all with small entrances but when you get in you see a different world. These markets make millions of business everyday, I will not be surprised if someone tells me that it could be in billions. Anyway, here we are not considering those businesses coz they don’t really need a website. Reason is simple, these are old city markets and don’t need advertising.
We are going to talk about businesses that need advertising. So you have a website? A few reasons why would one need to redesign a website:
- Your website looks like its made in the year 2000?
- Your business has changed over a period and the website has not been updated?
- Have got a lot of broken links on your site and visitors are lost when they land on your website?
- Are you planning to shift to a content management system?
- Is it just a part of rebranding exercise?
- Or, is it just that you are bored with the current look and feel and now want to give it a fresh look?
Whatever may be the reason, your Inbound Marketing starts from Website Design or Redesign stage. As its a long and tedious process, there are few basic parameters of online marketing that you need to take care to make sure its a success and not really realize at the end of it that you have to do it again. To list down all in order:
Check your current SEO status – Number of total and unique visitors / bounce rate / keywords ranking / Average Visit Duration / Page Views / Page per Visit – This is to make sure you measure your success from the point where your new site comes up.
Take back up of all the live pages – To make sure you don’t lose out on the content.
Take back up of the pages that have most inbound links – To make sure you don’t lose out on visitors.
Above is about what is to keep from the old website. Now let’s talk about some preparatory tasks required before you go about structuring / designing your new website.
- Customer behavior is evolving fast—and companies that don’t adapt are going the way dinosaurs once were gone. The hyper-connected consumers, Generation 3.0, are changing the way we do business and our society as a whole is changing as Global market. Start digging information about their browsing patterns, surfing time of the day, what they surf internet on, trends affecting their likes/dislikes, social connections, what are they looking for etc. You will get clear idea about your prospect’s persona.
- Do a bit of research on your competition. This is not to get influenced by their design elements but to understand what they are doing and what you can do differently.
Now that you have all the required information in hand… start redesigning (aesthetic-driven) and realigning (purpose-driven) your website. A few technical stuff to be taken care:
- Page Compression Status: You should compress your HTML to reduce your page size and page-load time – this is again for the same cause, help your site retain visitors and increase page views. Consider using GZIP to compress your HTML. If you were using compression, you could be compressing your HTML size to 8.64 kb, that is, by 75% to further reduce page loading time.
- Libwww-perl Access: Botnet scripts that automatically look for vulnerabilities in your software are sometimes identified as User-Agent libwww-perl. By blocking access from libwww-perl you can eliminate many simpler attacks.
- Page Caching Check: Cached pages serve up static html and avoid potentially time consuming queries to your database. It also helps lower server load by up to 80%. Caching most visibly benefits high traffic pages that access a database, but whose content does not change on every page view. Common caching methods include Alternative PHP Cache, Quickcache, and jpcache. Caching mechanisms also typically compress HTML, further reducing page size and load time.
- Inline Styles: Make sure you are not using inline styles. Repeated use of inline styles leads to unnecessary code bloat and slower page loading. Use an external CSS stylesheet instead.
A few other important factors to keep in mind while you redesign your site:
- Make sure your call to actions are in place
- Make sure the site structure is per your business focus areas
- Make sure that you’v got easy navigation for users to move around the site
- Have 301 Redirection in place for you famous old pages
- Have On-Page aspects of SEO taken care – Meta tags (Title/Description/Keywords) | Heading tags | Image – Title and Alt tags | Anchor texts
Wow, if all of the above is taken care, you have got a kickA$$ start to Inbound Marketing Journey…