Having spent a few months re-doing the website we thought we would share a few words of sage advice if you were thinking of re-doing your own website. If it’s been a few years since you even looked at your website, or maybe you want to add a completely new aspect to your site such as e-commerce, let this be a gentle nudge to get started and create something you are proud of.
For us, we had an issue with the old theme on WordPress and so often would not load the homepage properly and navigation was struggling too. This forced us to re-look at the website and to be honest, a fresher look was what we wanted.
Keep what you love and forget the rest
It’s worth going over your site to look at what is worth keeping, that would be useful to link to from social or is crucial pieces of information.
Most importantly, head to your Google Analytics to look at the pages that have driven traffic to your site and this is quite useful on your blogs too. We had a standout blog, the Secrets to a Good PR Box, so this was a must to keep.
It is also a good chance to re-align your message, simplify your offering, and generally start afresh. For us, this meant ditching the black and introducing a brighter feel. We also wanted to showcase not just one service but bringing marketing activities together for greater impact.
Obviously, you can head to the big WordPress theme sites, but look around at other websites for inspiration. Look outside your industry too for some great ideas, visuals you like etc and start a mood board to share with your web designer.
Bear in mind that mobile is the most popular format, so make sure you head over to you phone to look at layouts in this format too. Working on desktop format and bigger screens is great for the eyes, but the mobile ready formats can look very different, and you need to consider this for your audience.
Think about the navigation around the site to be simple and leading your audience around your site to discover more. Add plenty of positive messages and Call To Action (CTA) buttons so they can make the next step easily.
This said, how do you want them to get in touch? If like ourselves, you are not e-commerce then forms or links to contact are best.
Have SEO in mind
Let’s be clear that we are not SEO experts. We very much see this as specialist field and a full-time job to stay on top of. It is, however, worth having a little understanding and appreciation for the search engines to help make it even easier to find you. Here’s our top points to consider:
- Avoid cramming repetitive keywords into your copy. Sentences need to work still and increasingly it is the longer search terms that work well. So, avoid single words and go for phrases such as “Yorkshire social media management for small businesses”. Spend time researching good terms and avoid the larger results, but aim for smaller results where you will be seen more easily
- Headers, sub-heading and bullet points all help make your content easier to read for both the audience and SEO
- SEO tools such as Yoast are great to keep you on track and guide you a little to help you improve your readability and SEO analysis scores
- Images – always add the alt text to help readability of the image too
This must have been the hardest part for us! Delving into the back catalogue, our phones and of course taking new snaps. It’s amazing how long this takes and getting the images right and working together is crucial as imagery and first impressions are everything.
If you have an e-commerce site, then think about your product imagery to be consistent and options such as colour, image as a lifestyle shot and details people would like to see.
Before Going Live
It’s worth having someone who has not seen the site to have a walk through and make suggestions from spacing, something not quite working and even reading right. Again, move off desktop and always look on mobile too. Test your forms, test your links, and make sure your Google Analytics are on.
You’ve got this far so keep it up and by that we mean update your site regularly; fresh blog content and keep on top of essential maintenance. There are quite a few key tasks to keep your website secure and running well, so it’s important to stay on top of these tasks from updates to checking for broken links. They just help keep your site working well.
We really hope you like the new site, and if you have any feedback to help us improve the site, we’d love to hear from you.
Hype can help with your website re-design project managing, copywriting and taking photos, as well as regular blog content and maintenance, just get in touch and we can talk you through the options.