- Improving the overall user experience on your site
- Optimizing for mobile use
- Promoting new services or products
- Improving SEO
- Increasing the amount of revenue generated by your website
- Changing the visual appeal
Analyzing website performanceBefore you begin the actual website redesign phase, you need to research how your website is performing. You do this by looking at metrics. You obtain those performance metrics from analytics. Those analytics can come from a variety of web analytics tools like Google Analytics, Mint, or Kissmetrics. The data provided by web analytics tools help you determine what works and what doesn’t after implementing whatever changes you want to make to your web design. The data from the analytics tools are used as a baseline to compare with future website performance. When reviewing performance metrics, be careful not to focus too much on what is known as “vanity” metrics. An example of a vanity metric is a high number of visits to your website. Great, you have a lot of hits, but that does not tell the whole story. Better metric: How many of these visitors convert into leads or actual customers? If users are getting to your website and not sticking around to sign up or purchase anything, having a lot of traffic means very little. Therefore, make sure you focus on the metrics that matter. A few metrics to consider:
- Number of subscribers to email or blogs
- Total number of online sales
- Number of users that take a call to action
- Bounce rates
Optimizing user experienceForty percent of visitors abandon a website if a page takes more than three seconds to load. This is why I emphasized above that a great user experience needs to be top priority. Without a good user experience, people become frustrated and don’t stick around. This means navigation buttons should work properly, the site should be mobile friendly, and pages should load quickly. A good method for preventing slow page loading times is to avoid self-loading multimedia content and pop-up ads. Personally, nothing can be more annoying than having a website take forever to fully load because of a pop-up ad. You can test how quickly pages on your website load with tools available online such as Pingdom and Yottaa’s Website Test. External links on your website should be set to open in a separate browser window or tab. Hosting your own videos also contributes to slow page loading times. Instead, consider having your videos embedded with a third-party service such as Vimeo or YouTube. Another tip for a better user experience is to make sure your site is optimized for mobile usage. As of this year, mobile traffic has surpassed desktop by about ten percent and is expected to continue growing.
Attracting trafficNext, let’s focus on how to attract visitors to your website. We do this by improving SEO rankings. Having the right keywords to attract the targeted audience minimizes bounce rates. Again, you learn about your site’s visitors by analyzing metrics. From this you can determine the following:
- Where are the visitors coming from?
- What keywords are most effective in attracting visitors?
- How much time do visitors spend on each webpage?