When you redesign your website, there are a lot of things to take into consideration. Most people think about the design, look, and feel they want the website to have. After that, they’re thinking about functions. While these are both important, there are a lot of other considerations as well.
The one thing we talk about most is that you cannot ignore SEO when building a new website. We’re not going to talk about that here because we’ve covered it extensively elsewhere (see: How SEO Affects a New Website Build). Just remember, if you are revamping your website, and your agency hasn’t mentioned anything about SEO, it could be costing you a SIGNIFICANT amount of money.
After that, we’ve found that there are a lot of things that many clients, and quite honestly many agencies, don’t think about when building a new website. Here are four things that need to be top of mind before you even start the process if you want your website to be successful.
1. Think Mobile First
It’s the end of 2020, so we probably shouldn’t even have to say this, but you need to be thinking mobile first. Unless you’re in a very corporate B2B environment, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll have significantly more traffic coming from mobile devices. Go ahead and look it up in Google Analytics right now if you have an existing site. Even if you’re the rare case that gets more desktop traffic than mobile traffic, Google still is using your mobile site. Google now uses what is called “mobile first indexing.” This means that they crawl the mobile version of your site first, and that is what gets indexed. Then there’s checks to make sure the desktop experience is fine. Despite this, people are still designing first on desktop, then creating a mobile version based on the desktop version. This is backwards.
Think about your user experience from a mobile perspective. Is it easy to read? Can people find what they want right away? Is it easy to navigate? Think about your mobile website as your website, and desktop as an expanded version. Don’t think of your desktop site as your website and a mobile site as a condensed version. Your perspective will change how you create things, even if you don’t realize it.
2. Stop Promoting Your Solutions
This is particularly prominent in B2B, but lots of other industries do it too. In healthcare, for example, they would be called “treatments” instead of “solutions.” The problem with this is that you’re thinking in terms of your own business as opposed to the customer. Always think customer first. This is the difference between a customer finding what they’re looking for and a customer getting frustrated and leaving.
For example, we had a chiropractor client that wanted to focus on a specific therapy utilizing a system called DRX9000. If you’re in chiropractic care, you’re familiar with this and know it’s good. If you’re not, it means nothing. Leading with this is going to tend to get you ignored by patients. Patients don’t care much about the techniques, services, or other offerings you have until they’re deeper down. They want to know if you can fix their problems. They’re looking for what they know (chiropractic adjustments, maybe spinal decompression), or what their issue is (chronic back pain, minor back issues, etc.).
Everything in your menu, navigation, sliders (which we don’t recommend anyway), or home page promotion should be incredibly clear to the user and ensure that they know you can meet their needs – not that you have fancy “solutions” that they’ve never heard of.
3. Talk About Yourself
This feels like it is counter to the point about not promoting your solutions, but they’re actually quite different. You don’t need to lead with your own solutions, but you do need to promote very strongly who you are. People want to know who they are doing business with. They want to know who is taking care of them. Your “about us” page is probably the most navigated to page on your site (again, take a look at your Google Analytics!).
Make sure you have a thorough page devoted to who your company is, and who your people are (at least your core people). In today’s world, the more human your company is, the better.
4. Use Your Google Analytics
We’ve mentioned it twice already, so now we’re just going to dedicate a whole point to it. Check your Google Analytics! What pages do people go to? Which ones do they spend a lot of time on? How can you make it easy for people to get to what’s important to them? How are they getting to your site? What pages are they landing on and how can you make those pages a good experience?
If you’re ignoring Google Analytics, you’re ignoring the needs of your users.
Plan for the User
Ultimately, you need to plan for your site, and you need to do it with the user in mind every step of the way. If you just do that, you’ll handle all four points above and many more just by default.
Planning to redevelop your website soon? Let us know and we can help consult you in the process to make sure your website is as effective as it can be upon launch.