Using a Website Redesign Checklist

When it comes to redesigning your website, there are a lot of different elements you’ll need to address, which is why you should use a website redesign checklist. The following website redesign checklist will help you gather all of the data you need as well as address the most important aspects of your website’s design:

Analyze your current website

If you’ve committed to investing in a complete website redesign, then you probably know what you want to improve. However, you should use analytics to diagnose your site’s issues so that you know exactly what’s wrong. For example, if you’re visitor conversion rate is lower than you would like, look at data such as bounce rates, page load times, CTA click-throughs and shopping car abandonment rates to pinpoint where your issues lie. Other metrics you’ll want to pay attention to include:

  • SEO rankings for important keywords
  • Total number of sales generated
  • Number of visitors
  • Number of unique visitors
  • Domain authority
  • Number of new lead form submissions.

Establish your goals

If you don’t know what you want your website to accomplish, then you won’t know what direction to take your website redesign in. Without goals, you won’t know what to focus on, nor will you know whether your website redesign is successful once it’s up and running. Make sure that when you set your goals, you can tie them to measurable results. For example, if increasing your brand authority is your main goal, then track metrics such as:

  • The number of unique visitors,
  • Time spent on page
  • Social signals (shares, likes and comments)

Determine what works

Just because your current website might have a few issues doesn’t mean that there aren’t elements that work really well. For example, maybe you’re redesigning your site because you want to update its look; however, your content is actually very effective at drawing in visitors and capturing leads. More specifically, you’ll want to make sure that high ranking pages are kept in place. When auditing your site, take note of what you think is successful as well as what needs work.

Analyze your competitors

In addition to auditing your own website, you should audit the sites of your main competitors. Take note of everything you like and don’t like about their site. Your aim shouldn’t be to just copy what they do but to get an idea of what they are doing so that you can create a superior website experience.

Identify your UVP

Your unique value proposition (UVP) indicates exactly what your business does and what makes your services or products unique. A UVP helps you stand out from the competition. You need to know what your UVP is because it will inform all of the content that you create for your website.

Keep buyer personas in mind

Your website should appeal to your target audience. Your visitors need to be able to connect to your brand’s messaging, after all. To make sure that this happens, all of your content should cater to your buyer persona. A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer created using the available data you have from current and past customers, such as:

  • Demographics
  • Past purchases
  • Online behavior
  • Motivations
  • Needs
  • Wants
  • Concerns
  • Personal histories
  • Income

Here are the reasons why buyer personas are so important to a business

Map your buyer’s journey

Every visitor that comes to your website is going to be at one of three stages of the buyer’s journey. The first stage is the awareness stage, in which the buyer is seeking information that helps to define their problems or needs. The second stage is the consideration stage in which the buyer defines their problem and is searching for solutions. The final stage is the decision stage, in which the buyer chooses a solution. Your website needs to cater to visitors at every stage of the buyer’s journey in order to attract their attention, keep their attention and, finally, to convert them.

Set benchmark metrics

The goals you set should be general yet measurable. For example, the goal to increase brand authority is a long-term goal that doesn’t end. Because of this, you should set benchmarks so that you can judge your site’s performance. For example, social signals are a good metric for measuring brand authority. You could set benchmarks for how many shares you want to average per blog post by a certain date. If your metrics meet this benchmark by this date, then you know that your redesign is working and you can set the goal posts even further. If you don’t meet this benchmark, then you may need to make more adjustments.

Optimize your site for SEO

Implementing a strong search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is vital to consistently attract new visitors. Google takes into account a variety of factors, including keywords, link juice and social signals. You’ll need to do keyword research to identify unique keywords relevant to each page. These keywords should be used naturally in your titles, headers, body content, anchor text, alt image tags, HTML tags, meta tags and title tags. External links are earned by promoting and linking to your website’s content via social media, submitting your website information to local directories and by writing guest blogs. Social signals are earned by getting visitors to engage with your content, such as by liking, sharing or commenting on it.

Optimize your site for mobile use 

Many people use their smartphones and tablets to browse the Internet. This means that your website will need to load and display properly no matter how small the screen size is. The easiest way to ensure that your site is mobile-friendly is by using a responsive design. You can check to see if your current site is mobile-friendly by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. Just type in the address for each webpage and it will determine how mobile-friendly it is.

Find opportunities for conversion

Calls-to-action should be used on every page to encourage visitors to convert. Without calls-to-action, visitors won’t know what you want them to do. Not only should you use relevant CTAs on every page, you need to offer something of value to visitors in return for opting-in. Depending on your what your business offers, this could include downloadable eBooks and white papers, email newsletter subscriptions, product discounts, free trials, free consultations and more. Unique landing pages should be crafted for every call-to-action that focus on the visitor’s needs, your UVP and how what you’re offering can benefit them.

Implement a content strategy

Whatever your goals are for your website, their success will depend on your content strategy. You need to provide high-quality content that is relevant to your buyer persona’s needs and concerns and that is informative, helpful and unique. The best way to do this is through a website blog. Additionally, you’ll need to regularly publish new content to keep your audience engaged and to make sure that they return to your site. While writing good content is important, you’ll need to market it as well. An important part of your content strategy is establishing exactly when you publish your content (it should always be on the same day at the same time) and where and how you promote your new content.

Continually improve

Don’t assume that once you’re done with your website redesign that you’re finished. A good website design is one that is always being improved. You should track your metrics and make adjustments to your design whenever needed. If you meet your goals, you should establish new ones. Move your goal posts further so that your website can continue to grow and improve. Additionally, you should always be uploading new content to keep your website fresh, thereby maintaining or improving your search engine rankings.

Want more resources on how to redesign your website? Click here!

  25 Website Must Haves For Driving Traffic, Leads & Sales

Are Keywords Still Required To Increase SEO Rankings?

Although the use of keywords no longer has the power to increase SEO rankings the way they once did, they continue to play an important part in online marketing strategies.

SEO has evolved greatly over the years, to the point where it’s almost unrecognizable to what it was just a decade ago. Google has continuously updated its algorithm to make its search results more accurate and relevant, and they’ve cracked down on the abuse of keywords to artificially boost web rankings. These days, Google uses over 200 factors to determine search rankings; however, keywords still play a vital part. The following are three ways that keywords are still important to your SEO rankings:

Identify Relevancy

The use of high-quality keywords can help Google to identify what your content is about so that they can their SERP (search engine results page) more accurate. It’s important to use good keywords, such as long-tail keywords that are backed up by semantic keywords. This helps prevent Google from mistaking your use of keywords for similar keywords in subjects that are not the same.

For example, if you write a blog post about the best apples (as in the fruit) and your keyword is “how to choose the best apple,” Google might mistake this for the company Apple. Visitors who come to your site looking for information on new Apple computers are going to be annoyed and will leave immediately, thereby increasing your bounce rate, which will affect your rankings. The stronger your keywords are in regards to relevancy, the more accurately Google will rank your content.

Match User Intent

Knowing what your target audience is searching for will be very beneficial, not only in building your own keyword list to match their search queries, but to use those keywords in content created to match the user intent. Basically, the use of keywords and content created to match the user intent of the keywords your audience is using will put you in a greater position to fulfill their needs at whatever stage of the buying journey they are at. If they click on your page and it’s exactly what they’re looking for, they’re more likely to stay on your site for a longer period of time and to engage with your content, resulting in higher rankings.

Learn how to drive website conversions during each stage of the buyer’s journey! 

Attract Higher Quality Leads

Overly broad keywords will bring in traffic, but it won’t necessarily be your target audience. Bringing in empty traffic doesn’t do anything for your site if your visitors don’t have interest in your brand. By using stronger keywords that are more specific, you’re more likely to attract visitors that match your buyer persona.

While you might think that doing this could limit your web traffic, this may not be true. More specific keywords are likely going to have less competition than broader keywords, which means you’ll have a much better chance at ranking higher. For example, you’re not going to rank very high for “apple” for obvious reasons, but you’re more likely to increase SEO rankings with a more specific keyword, such as “best tasting apples in Sacramento.”

Keywords aren’t the only thing that you should be focusing on as you attempt to increase SEO rankings, but they still play a very important part in your SEO strategy. In fact, although they may not be as defining a factor in your rankings as they once were, you could argue that they play an even more important part in your inbound marketing campaign as a whole. For more professional advice on how to create an effective SEO campaign, contact us at Stevens & Tate today.

17 SEO MYTHS YOU SHOULD LEAVE BEHIND

artificial intelligence

What AI means To B2B Marketing Strategies

Artificial intelligence is no longer just a concept explored through pop culture; it’s a very real thing that has become increasingly prevalent throughout society, even in the creation of B2B marketing strategies. In fact, the use of AI is practically commonplace now. For example, the use of AI is what allows Amazon to recommend personalized products based on your buying and browsing habits. It also allows your GPS to provide you with the best possible route. For business owners and marketers, AI has also become essential to improving B2B marketing strategies.

The Benefits of AI in B2B Marketing Strategies

The following are just a few ways that the use of AI can help to improve B2B marketing strategies:

Improve the customer experience via personalization

Businesses no longer directly interact with brands when they are doing product or service research. This means it can be difficult to mine information from potential clients or business partners. The use of AI technology can help you collect data that provides insight into the behavioral patterns of both existing and potential clients or partners. This means that your marketing efforts no longer have to be limited to certain sectors, you’ll be able to target specific businesses with messages designed to provide solutions to their specific needs, thereby improving the customer experience as well.

Improve your marketing strategy

The use of behavioral analysis and machine learning can help you to better understand what the pain points of your target audience is. Behavioral analyses also allows you to craft a more effective marketing strategy to reach and convert that audience.

Find out how to build your brand story with your B2B marketing strategy.

Save money by saving time

The use of AI technology means that you don’t have to spend hours analyzing data. This type of data can be collected and analyzed by AI programs for you. It will allow you to dedicate more time to other aspects of your business.

Improve results with lead scoring

Trying to chase down every lead is typically a waste of time since not all leads are equal. The use of AI technology can allow you to score your leads using all of the behavioral data that you’ve collected. This, in turn, allows you to pinpoint businesses that are much more likely to convert. It allows for a better use of your resources since you can identify the best prospects and prioritize your most promising accounts.

The use of artificial intelligence will help to improve your B2B marketing strategies in any number of ways, whether it’s by helping you to collect and organize more valuable data that can be used to more effectively target qualified leads using personalization, or simply being able to make better use of your resources. Be sure to visit us at Stevens & Tate to take advantage of our free downloadable marketing tools, which can be leveraged to help improve your B2B marketing efforts.

For more resources on Attraction Marketing, click here.

lead generation tips

case study questions

The Benefits of Using Case Studies

Consumers are a lot less susceptible to fancy sales pitches in this day and age, which is why the use of case studies can be very effective in building brand trust. Many consumers will ask friends and family for recommendations or look up online reviews before doing business with a particular brand. They do this because they simply trust other consumers more than they are willing to trust a brand. It’s due to these reasons that you should consider using case studies. We’ve gone over the case study questions you should ask, but the following is some information on what they actually are and how they can benefit your marketing efforts:

What are Case Studies?

Case studies are similar to testimonials in that they provide audiences with an account of previous customer experiences with the brand. However, testimonials are typically basic interviews that function as little more than positive reviews. Case studies are more in-depth and concern the entire process that the customer went through. Basically, it’s a depiction of their buyer journey and how your business helped to fulfill their needs from beginning to end. This allows for an element of storytelling that’s much more engaging

What are the Benefits of Using Case Studies?

Although case studies require a lot more effort to put together than the typical testimonial, it’s well worth the time and resources required. Many businesses will even produce their case studies as video content that their audiences can watch. The following are just a few of the benefits of creating case studies:

Build brand trust

Case studies are extremely effective in building trust because of the very fact that they represent the viewpoint of your previous customers. Instead of you telling your audience how great your brand is and how effective your products or services are, you’re having your customers do it for you. Not only do audiences trust other consumers more than they trust companies, but by allowing your previous customers to tell their stories, they are basically endorsing your brand, which gives your business more credibility.

Engage through storytelling

Simply having customers tell the audience that your product is great is just a basic customer testimonial. It’s not that interesting, nor is it very engaging. Case studies are more concerned with telling the story of the customer. The customer is the hero, their problem is the conflict and your brand’s solution is the resolution. The use of storytelling helps to make a brand much more relatable and will allow your audience to see how you fulfilled that customer’s need at every stage of the buyer journey.

Click here to learn about the differences between storytelling and storybranding.

Identify brand evangelists

To find the subjects of your case studies, you’ll need to speak to several clients or customers and request that they participate. Those that are willing are your brand evangelists. They are offering to tell their story because they believe in your brand. Knowing who your brand evangelists are is helpful because they can help improve your brand reputation through word-of-mouth marketing.

Assist your sales team

Having an assortment of case studies available on your site can be hugely beneficial to your sales team. This is because they can recommend prospects to watch specific case studies of previous customers who may have had similar problems. This, in turn, can help them close deals.

As you can see, case studies can be very beneficial to your marketing efforts. Don’t forget to read up on the important case study questions you should ask, and be sure to take a look at some of the marketing tools that we offer for download at Stevens & Tate.

Learn The StoryBranding Process

Website Redesign Tips

Once you’ve decided to redesign your website so that your business can remain competitive, you’ll want professional website redesign tips to help ensure that your new website design will be effective. Without one, your site is likely going to continue having some of the same problems it currently has. Redesigning your website without a plan is basically like doing temporary repairs and hoping that they will hold up.

Questions to ask when planning your website redesign

If you’re in search of website redesign tips to figure out what you need to change, then you’ll want to start by asking yourself key questions about your current website design. The following questions will help you understand where your current website’s issues lie and how your website can be improved.

What do you think needs work on your website?

If you’ve identified the need for a website redesign, then you should have some idea of what areas of your current website need work. However, you should still go through your entire site to see if you can pick up on anything that you think needs to be addressed. Pay attention to:

  • How long pages take to load
  • How easy it is to navigate
  • Whether your links are working
  • Whether visitors are engaging with your content
  • Whether your content is outdated
  • What kind of impression you have of the site’s look

What do visitors think about your website?

Your visitors often have a better perspective on how functional your site is to use than you do. In fact, some of the best website redesign tips you can get are from your visitors. Pay attention to some of the common questions that your visitors are asking concerning your website. You can also look at what your visitors are searching for most in your search bar. For example, if they are searching for your contact information, then your contact page may not be as easy to find as it should be.

Why Your Website Redesign Would Benefit From An Inbound Marketing Strategy

What is your website’s main goal?

You should have one main goal, whether it’s generating sales, increasing brand authority, converting leads or spreading brand awareness. This goal will help guide you when it comes to making your website design choices and will give you something to benchmark your site’s results against.

What are your competitors’ websites like?

One way to get an idea of what works and what doesn’t is by taking a look at the competition. Spend some time going through one of your competitor’s websites. It’s often easier to judge another website objectively than it is to do so your own. You’re likely to notice that your more successful competitors have the more effective website designs. Take note of some of the things you like about their site as well, such as the layout, features or some of the pages they have that you might not.

How often do you update your website?

You should be updating your website regularly, even if it’s just to post weekly blog content. If you’re not, it could be because your current website is just too difficult to update. Fortunately, there are content management systems (CMS) available that makes it easy for anyone to update a website, whether they are technically proficient or not.

Want more resources on how to redesign your website? Click here!

  25 Website Must Haves For Driving Traffic, Leads & Sales

video storytelling

Your Company’s Core Values Play a Role in Developing Your Brand Story

When vetting brands, consumers often look far deeper than the simple surface messages that portray a company. In today’s age, more than ever, customers are choosing brands based on their set of core values–a major player in a brand story–in an effort to better understand the people behind the logo.

Your brand story and your company’s core values dictate exactly who you are and can give you a significant competitive advantage by outlining the age old question, “Who are we, what do we do?” In other words, you put your “why’s” and “how’s” on your proverbial sleeve. This level of transparency makes brands more human, more approachable, and more connected with their target market.

Core Values in a Nut Shell

In short, your core values tell your target buyers why you do what you do and must be at the epicenter of your brand story as well as the focus of your day-to-day business functions. Another way of looking at core values is character: who you are, how you go about your business, and the name you carry into your daily tasks, but these values must come from the heart and should stand out in the marketplace.

These core values are what connects your brand to your customers on a “human” level. Evaluating your core values can be a little more in depth as it truly resonates through the drive within your business. That evaluation begins by asking why your business exists, what your purpose is, and what obstacles you face to deliver on that purpose. All of these “outer layer” questions should point back to your “why” and should be able to justify what lies at the center.

Be a Storybrander, Not a Storyteller

The most iconic and memorable brands imbed their beliefs, core values, and emotions into your psyche. Storybranding is how memorable brands generate an enduring, lifelong value or belief system that stays with their customers and engages their buyer personas. In other words, companies are characterized by their ideals and personified through them. Storybranding is an attraction marketing tactic that marries your company, its belief system, and the beliefs of your customers.

There are some important differences between storybranding and storytelling, though. Storytelling allows your brand to make a connection with your customers through current events or marketing therefore allowing consumers to better identify with what’s happening in your business. Storybranding, however, seeks to put your brand’s beliefs and deeper meaning before your customers in order to evoke stronger emotions therefore generating stronger bonds.

How do you build a brand story? Learn the process here.

Be Your Story’s Hero

super hero

The key to your brand story is to highlight the hero within it. Of course, with every hero in every story, there is something relatable, pure, and honest about that character. In the case of storybranding, that hero is you–is there a more perfect script for your brand?

With our protagonist identified, it’s super important to tell those why’s and how’s of the story. This is where your core values come in.

Speak to those core values and instill them in your customer’s mind. Make sure they know the heart of their hero and can relate to exactly what your brand stands for. Once you’ve made that emotional attachment, begin to outline the how’s of your brand story by outlining the competitive advantages you have over others in the market. This is what truly seals the deal, but without a reason, your brand simply can’t speak as loudly as it could. In other words, keep your core values close to home.

Furthering Your Brand Story

Your brand story is completely unique. No one else can say it the way you do and no one else can replicate the pillars you stand on as a company. If you need a little help, consider a free marketing consultation where a marketing professional can help you develop and say your brand story the way no one else can!

Click here to learn all there is to know about telling your brand’s story.

Learn The StoryBranding Process

website redesign process

Do You Need to Redesign Your Website?

If your website has sat untouched for more than a few years, then there’s a good chance that it might be in need of an overhaul. Your website should be continually bringing in new leads, increasing your brand awareness and establishing your brand authority. If your website isn’t currently doing these things, then you’re not only limiting your ability to grow; you’re also helping your competitors as a direct result.

Signs you need a website redesign

If you’re wondering if you need a website redesign, then you’ll want to look for specific signs that show your website is in need of improvements. The following are some major signs that your website could benefit from being redesigned:

Your brand has undergone change

It’s not uncommon for a company to undergo a change in branding. This can happen if the company changes ownership or has changed direction; for example, to concentrate on a more niche market or to target a different audience. If your brand has changed, your website needs to reflect this. Keep in mind that your brand identity consists of much more than just your offerings or your logo. It’s your company’s narrative. Brand storytelling is how you get your audience to connect with you and to relate to you. Because of this, it needs to be prevalent throughout your site.

Your website ranks poorly

Every website receives rankings from Google. These rankings determine your site’s exposure on Google’s search engine results pages (SERP). Google uses its rankings to ensure that its users are provided with search results that are relevant and of high quality. The higher your ranking is, the more exposure you’ll have to people searching for topics relevant to your site. If your site ranks poorly, it means that you’re getting little exposure. This will also limit how much traffic your website will receive. Your redesign needs to implement the best practices of search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure a strong ranking.

Here are ten ways to use Google Trends to increase your SEO

Your website user-experience needs improvement 

Some of the factors that influence your website’s user-experience include how long it takes your webpages to load and how easy your site is to navigate. If your pages take too long to load or your visitors don’t know how to find what they are looking for, they’re likely to leave. Additionally, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, it’s going to affect the way that your site is displayed on mobile devices. A lack of mobile optimization makes it difficult for mobile users to browse through your site.

Your website could improve its conversion rate 

If the ratio of purchases and opt-ins to your number of visitors is lower than you would like it to be, then there’s likely an issue with how your site is addressing each stage of the sales funnel. Your website should nurture visitors at every stage, whether they are looking for information about your company or product or whether they are ready to make a purchase. You should also have calls-to-action that are relevant to each page and that help drive your leads to convert.

Your website could use an updated look 

Aesthetics matter. The look of your website is going to leave a big first impression on your visitors. Consider the look of some of the websites you use on a regular basis. Today’s websites have generally moved to a cleaner and more elegant look.

You don’t regularly update your website

Your website generates all kinds of useful data you can leverage to improve your website’s design and adjust your marketing strategies. By implementing a growth driven design model, you can continually update your website based on your website data, which you can gather using analytics. This will also allow you to focus your resources on areas where it will benefit your brand the most and to adjust strategies that aren’t working.

Want more resources on how to redesign your website? Click here!

  25 Website Must Haves For Driving Traffic, Leads & Sales