The prevailing wisdom when it comes to design (and just about everything else) is “less is more.” While we hold that practical philosophy to be generally accurate, there’s still a good deal to be said for keeping material that is still useful.
We’re not advocating a full-blown descent into the digital version of a Hoarders episode, where you stockpile stray cats and cyber-detritus for use during the upcoming zombie apocalypse, but an analytical, considered approach to evaluating your digital marketing assets as they stand. It’s worth the effort of documenting your existing content to minimize your website-related headaches down the line.
Running full tilt at your website redesign without taking time to plan and execute it intelligently will only hurt your business in the long run. After benchmarking your current performance and making note of the pages and posts that have the highest ROI, make sure you have a strategy that protects that value on the new site, so that they can continue to help build your client base.
Identify Significant Assets
Getting rid of content that is currently or potentially valuable is not only wasteful, but an exercise in poor strategy. Your content with the most page views and shares are still beneficial to engaging your buyer persona, as are pages with high page authority, credible inbound links and pages that rank well in search engines.
Losing that advantage in a website redesign will negate any future benefit and can cost you potential customers. But by protecting your most effective content assets, you can continue to benefit from them momentum behind them after the redesign of your site.
Tools like HubSpot provide a comprehensive look into your site metrics and user behavior. That way you can see where you’ve gotten the most shares, where your traffic is originating from, how visitors behave on your site, and what content are seeing the most interest.
The insight you gain from these numbers will help you to build not just a better website, but to make the best use of already great content.
Make It Awesome(r)
Content that you’ve used to great effect can still be improved and updated to reflect current trends and technological changes. If you have content you're proud of that underperformed, now's a great time to give it a second chance by reassessing your approach and making a few changes.
Technology is constantly transforming the marketing landscape, so it’s a smart move to make relevant changes that improve the impact and reach of your assets. Try making good content more shareable, and adjusting formatting to hold your reader's attention.
Before revising the copy on existing material, bring your content team into the website redesign process to discuss any changes or improvements. That way, they can form a plan to tackle changes to your content assets as the design and development team address their jobs. Then your website can undergo the redesign more smoothly.
Plan to Optimize
By pinpointing where your visitors have found the most valuable information, you can craft a better strategy for utilizing your existing assets.
Your top-performing pages and posts are a great place to start; with a little effort, you can make them even better. Start by optimizing the key elements of on-page SEO. If a page is ranking well for a keyword, make sure you've optimized everything on that page around it, from the page title to the image alt text.
However, when you're renaming pages or moving them within your site, keep a close eye on the URLs. You don't want to change the URL of a page unless you need to, but if you must, be sure to set up 301 redirects to avoid losing all your SEO "credit" for that page.
It’s a common mistake that many companies make, but one that’s easily avoided. With redirects in place, you don’t lose any of the content value to dreaded 404 errors.
Leave No Teammate Behind
A website redesign should be an integrated process that includes your entire team to some degree, not only a select few. While the implementation can be overseen by a small group, it’s imperative that your company as a whole understands the changes and how the redesign process affects their roles.
Each staff member should be aware of the purpose and objective for the overhaul, so that team strategies going forward can make the most of the recent changes, dovetailing easily within your broader digital strategy.
Your people are, after all, your company’s greatest asset. If they don’t understand the Hows and Whys of your redesign, they won’t be able to use this new tool effectively to market, sell, write about, design, develop or manage your services.We went through a full website redesign at VIEO Design recently, so you can trust us when we say we know how frustrating it can be.
Our step-by-step guide will walk you through the process.
No army of stray cats or hordes of post-apocalyptic undead. Just clear, straightforward, and sane assistance in meeting your redesign needs.
Quick reminder—you can skip around in this series all you want. Here are the other parts if you want to explore:
Website Redesign, Step 1: Benchmark Current Performance
Website Redesign, Step 2: Clarify Your Goals
Website Redesign, Step 4: Analyze the Competition
Website Redesign, Step 5: Incorporate Your UVP
Website Redesign, Step 6: Design for Your Ideal Customer
Website Redesign, Step 7: Optimize Your Content for SEO
Website Redesign, Step 8: Plan Your CTAs