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Website Redesign Guide

The Founder’s Guide to Improving Website Traffic, Search Results, and Conversion

Things to consider as you begin

Whether you're launching a startup or scaling your business, this comprehensive guide is designed to equip you with the knowledge and strategies needed to elevate your online visibility and drive meaningful results.

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01. What’s the Purpose(s)?

What’s the purpose of your website? Do you want to attract new customers? Educate the audience? Share big ideas? Advertise your latest innovations? Establish your brand? If you answered ‘all of the above’, then what’s the goal of the project? If you haven’t updated your website in 3+ months or recently launched a new product or service, now is the perfect time to refresh your website. While your website is ultimately an expression of your brand and promise of value, the website isn’t about you. Instead, it should be about your audience. As you think about the audience, their buying journey, and how your company can help them, here are some questions to keep in mind:
How is the content aligned with those purposes? Anything missing?
Are you addressing the right people at the right time with those purposes?
Does someone need more context before they're presented with those purposes?
What do you want people to do based on those purposes?
Can people assess what you're about and align their pain to those purposes?
 
Can they do it in less than 7 seconds? (That’s about how long visitors spend on a website to determine if it addresses their need.)
Are you giving them a way to do that with the least amount of friction?
Can you capture that interest "above the fold" without having them scroll or have to dig.

02. Does your website have technical issues?

Have you addressed all the things that make your site harder to find and more difficult to navigate? Often, design and graphic-heavy sites are pretty to look at but could be hurting the user experience. As you consider your next website update, check the site performance data to make sure your slick graphics and animations load quickly and efficiently. Speaking of efficient, did you know that 58% of websites are viewed on mobile devices? Check out the mobile user experience of your site. Do the pages and graphics load properly? More importantly - can visitors complete the CTA (demo request, book a meeting, resource download)?
Are your pages loading in under 2 seconds?
Are your metadata structured in a way that produces clickable search listings?

03. What do you want to be known (and found) for?

What topics/pains do your audience experience that you can solve? And where do those pains show up for them in the course of their day? Your content should put your audience’s pains in context - it’s a great way to show that you understand their job and resonate with their challenges. Before you embark on a website redesign, examine your content and make sure you’re speaking to both pains and solutions. Is your site content informational and does it speak to your audience’s concerns? How does your audience describe their pains and what they’re solving for? Check your content to make sure those phrases and terms are part of your copy (that’s what they Google).
Is your content around this able to be found by search engines?
How are you thinking about creating content for each phase of the buyer journey?
What areas of the buyer journey are you addressing with your website? Is it enough?

Preparing for your website redesign

Before you dive in, here’s what you’ll need to plan your website redesign project.

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Google Analytics.

Pull 12 months of site traffic (or as far back as you can go). Identify the ‘major moments’ in your company’s timeline, like your last big launch or announcement, press releases about major updates, your website launch, etc. Want help deciphering the data or a second opinion on what to do next? Email us to set up a website data review and we’ll walk you through some recommendations.

Data on website user behavior.

If you have tools like HotJar deployed, pull the heat maps for all of your website pages. Don’t have it? Don’t sweat it! Ask prospects on your next 10 introductory calls if they’d be willing to share feedback about the website. Have them screen share and pull up your website and ask them to show you around. Take note (or record) what they clicked, how they used the site navigation, and what content they found most useful (and what pages and content they ignored/missed).

User feedback interviews.

Your most recent customer, your Ideal Customer Profile, plus input from anyone who’s market-facing (Sales, Support, Customer Success, Product Marketing, Product Management). Want specifics on how to handle these feedback interviews? Send us an email with your company info and target audience or buyer (e.g. Sales leaders, Software Engineers) and we’ll send over specific insights for your industry.

How to Use the Checklist

We divided the checklist into three categories: Contextual, Visual, and Functional, and assigned a priority 1-3, with 1 being critical and 3 not urgent. Answer each question by marking the checkbox.

Most of the Functional and Visual questions are straightforward and have a range of values (ex. percentage of mobile website traffic). Only select the checkbox that’s closest in range to the data from your website.

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Pull 12 months of site traffic (or as far back as you can go). Identify the ‘major moments’ in your company’s timeline, like your last big launch or announcement, press releases about major updates, your website launch, etc. Want help deciphering the data or a second opinion on what to do next? Email us to set up a website data review and we’ll walk you through some recommendations.

4 Steps to Planning Your Website Redesign

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Step 1: Prioritize your goals.

Website redesign projects often fall victim to scope creep. So it’s important to prioritize your goals and timeframe. If you identify technical issues that are hurting performance, you’ll want to address those first. Content and messaging gaps require additional time.
* It is common to encounter opposing input from sales and product about messaging. One way to referee the discussion and make a decision is to use marketing data on strategic keywords, site traffic trends, and your competitors’ website analytics.
If you’re struggling with content ‘freshness’, now would be a good time to develop a formal content strategy. As you examine your website performance data and speak with your target audience through user feedback interviews, consider how much content you’ll need to tell your story. Are there concepts or questions that your website does not answer? Have you created multimedia content that your audience can consume on your site as well as channels like social? As you plan the timing and scope of your website redesign, take the extra time to prioritize your content roadmap. What ‘must have’ stories and messages do you need for the website launch? And what can come as a ‘fast follow’ post-launch? Identifying these elements up front will help your marketing team determine which projects are top priority, what projects can be outsourced.

Step 2: Assess your resources and bandwidth.

Can you take this on with your existing team or is it time to call for help? What projects are your team focused on that would get icelogged if they were to focus on the website redesign? Are you struggling with alignment on core elements such as strategy and messaging? It might be time to engage outside help. We happen to know a growth company that can help (cough Miracle Max).

If you’re running a lean and mean marketing team, or if you’re handling marketing on your own, there are some benefits to bringing in outside help for initiatives like website redesign.
  • No more guesswork around digital marketing. Agencies that specialize in disciplines like SEO and content can help you turn around your site traffic and conversion challenges.
  • ROI and scope. Agencies will focus on how to squeeze every last drop out of your website investment by focusing on the updates that will make the biggest impact.
  • Speed to market. Agencies can more quickly on your website updates while your marketing team focuses on demand gen campaigns, meaning you can quickly execute your website redesign project without sacrificing revenue-generating campaigns.

Step 2: Assess your resources and bandwidth.

Can you take this on with your existing team or is it time to call for help? What projects are your team focused on that would get icelogged if they were to focus on the website redesign? Are you struggling with alignment on core elements such as strategy and messaging? It might be time to engage outside help. We happen to know a growth company that can help (*cough* Miracle Max).

If you’re running a lean and mean marketing team, or if you’re handling marketing on your own, there are some benefits to bringing in outside help for initiatives like website redesign.

01. No more guesswork around digital marketing. Agencies that specialize in disciplines like SEO and content can help you turn around your site traffic and conversion challenges.

02. ROI and scope. Agencies will focus on how to squeeze every last drop out of your website investment by focusing on the updates that will make the biggest impact.

03. Speed to market. Agencies can more quickly on your website updates while your marketing team focuses on demand gen campaigns, meaning you can quickly execute your website redesign project without sacrificing revenue-generating campaigns.

Step 3: Align on your ‘done’ and ‘perfect’ elements.

You know that adage ‘Done is better than perfect’? It was first said by a weary marketer struggling to finish a website project. We get it - if your website is an expression of your brand, you want everything to be perfect. In a perfect world, that could be possible. Instead of holding up the website launch over minor and cosmetic issues, set your expectations at the beginning of the project. Make a list of your GO/NO GO elements that must be 100%. And set at least one check-in with your team to review the status of the project so you can decide whether to deprioritize some tasks or move them to ‘post launch’ projects.

Step 4: Set the reveal date and make it a “moment”.

Your team has limited bandwidth, so as you’re planning your website update, consider timing it around industry events on the calendar. Do you have a big product launch planned later this year? Are you exhibiting or speaking at an industry event? Is your target audience gearing up for their ‘buying season’ where they will be in the market for your solution?

Step 4: Set the reveal date and make it a “moment”.

Your team has limited bandwidth, so as you’re planning your website update, consider timing it around industry events on the calendar. Do you have a big product launch planned later this year? Are you exhibiting or speaking at an industry event? Is your target audience gearing up for their ‘buying season’ where they will be in the market for your solution?
By implementing the strategies outlined in this guide—getting your goals straight to (really) defining what are non-negotiables and what can be a v2—founders can position their businesses for sustained growth. We’re gonna throw another annoying saying at you, but it’s because it’s so true - building a thriving company is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Not a one-time endeavor but an ongoing commitment toward sustained excellence. At Miracle Max, we’re here to help you make your dreams happen. Let’s go.

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