How to Redesign Your Website for Stellar Success - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

How to Redesign Your Website for Stellar Success

Websites get old just like anything else. As they get old they too start to show signs of age, and can even be more prone to sickness. Old programs, old security, old content – all of this can make you a prime target for hackers who are after your data. An old and outdated site is also not likely winning any new clients or customers around, either. That is why audits, redesigns, and future thinking is so important.

Don’t disparage the past, however. Your website and your company deserve better than that. You need to fully commit to a redesign from the ground up. This might mean tweaking some aspects of your company so that it can suit the digital landscape of today. That is fine. In fact, every major website redesign deserves to start on paper, or, in this case, a whiteboard.

Start with the Whiteboard

Whether you actually end up using a whiteboard or an empty wall doesn’t matter. The point is you need a system that will allow you to change the sitemap of your theoretical website manually. This could be with a whiteboard and markers or with Post-It notes.

Redesign the Page Parentage and Menus

You need to simplify your menu and improve the parentage of the pages. This way, it is easier to find information than ever before. You will also be able to focus your efforts on fewer, quality pages rather than pages that, more likely than not, don’t say anything new. The exception is of course if you have different locations, but even then these pages should be stored under one parent page, like “Locations”.

Pair Down Your Content, so it is Easier to Navigate

Large websites with thousands of pages are hard to navigate. Go through all of the ones you currently have and pair them down so that your website is lean, fast, and easy to use. If you don’t you run the risk of having lost, broken, or floating pages.

Create a Mood or Theme Board

Another great thing to do manually is to create a mood board. Try out different fonts, colors, formats, and even image themes until you have a great combination. Being able to manually switch out these different elements will help with your design process, as you can see all your options laid out before you, rather than trying to sort through layers on a digital file, makes this step much easier.

By planning out the page layout and hierarchy, you have two benefits. One, you now know where to start with your site design. Two, you will have a list of custom and quality URLs, which you can insert into each page so that your interlinking strategy is strong.

Hire a Web Design Agency

Once you have that all prepped, the next step will always be to find talented web developers to turn your vision into reality. Knowing how many pages to work with, as well as what your design vision is, will help immensely. You’ll know you have found the best developers for the job when they can handle all aspects of it, from a beautiful website to optimizing it for SEO.

Beautiful Website Design

A beautiful website design will do wonders for keeping your customers on your site. Make them delighted with each new page or post, and you will have someone who goes through your entire inventory or who subscribes to your newsletter for the soft sell.

Safety and Security

Safety and site security are so important. For Google. For Users. For You. You need to have at the very least an SSL certificate that will encrypt the traffic coming to your site. Scan your website’s content for viruses on a regular basis and work towards improving your data security at your office.

Site Speed

A fast site is one that does not give its users any reason to click away and give up. It is also one that is marked favorably by Google.

Page Hierarchy

You should know where every page on your site is. There should not be any missing, lost, or broken pages. By cleaning up your site layout in this way, you improve your overall site’s structure.

Page Layout

Make sure that each page and post has a great layout that can easily be accessed by mobile phone users.

Update and Revamp Your Content

Your content should not just be deleted. It’s valuable, but it is outdated. That is why you need to go through and update and revamp your content instead of just deleting it and restarting.

SEO Optimized Content

SEO optimized content is content that is fresh, optimized for the keywords that you want to rank on, and above all else, great. You want to combine old school marketing with SEO to make the perfect blend of content that both people and algorithms will enjoy.

Location Optimized Content

If you have multiple locations or serve multiple locations, then having specific location pages can work wonders for your success. Try to offer unique information for each location, and be sure to improve the offsite SEO for these pages.

Update Old Blog Posts for Outdated Information

You should be running a blog and keeping it updated. Before you make a new post, however, it is always best to check through your post history and see if you have already written a similar article. If you have, update it with new information.

FAQ and Voice Search Optimization

Voice searches are only going to increase as more people become familiar with home assistants. A great way to optimize your site for this is by adding FAQ sections that are hidden in a drop-down menu or question and answer formats to your pages and posts.

Improve Your Website’s Outside Presence

Finally, start to focus on your off-site SEO. There is a reason why you will ideally want to wait until after your website is up and running beautifully. A bad website means you don’t see the results of your offsite SEO efforts, and possibly won’t ever see them. By making your website have high page authority and a solid SEO presence, your offsite efforts will pay off. This means focusing on local SEO efforts to boost the likelihood of locals finding your business as much as it involves increasing your global keyword ranking.

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