The Website Redesign: Getting Better Results the Second Time Around
This is the second
of three articles that will cover nearly every
aspect of how to prepare for and redesign your website from a business
perspective. The first
installments are also available.
Determine Your Objectives
Philip Dormer Chesterfield once wrote:
of purpose is one of the most necessary sinews of character, and one of
the best instruments of success. Without it genius wastes its efforts
in a maze of inconsistencies."
At the risk of
dramatic, the same idea holds true for the website representing your
business. Purpose, or objective is the key element of any good plan.
Without objectives being clearly defined, your site will never produce
tangible results for your business.
various objectives of your website is all about what business
challenges you want to solve.
Website Objectives Include:
are only a few examples. In some cases, you may determine that more
than one objective is appropriate. Next, you need to determine what, if
anything, on your website has been working well.
- Educate potential customers about the features and benefits of
your products and services
- Generate qualified leads for you or your sales team
- Reduce the cost of customer support by providing online self-help
- Shorten the sales cycles by providing customers with online
product and service decision making tools
- Increase sales revenue by selling your products or services using
shopping cart technology
the costs involved in transacting business with suppliers and service
providers by developing web-based purchasing and accounting tools
Hot and what’s Not
an earlier post, I said that you have the advantage of
hindsight--knowing who has visited your site in the past. Virtually
every site keeps track of its visitors, which pages were viewed, how
many times each was looked at, some geographic data about the visitors
themselves and a few details about the person's browser and operating
system. All this data is kept in a Web server log file which can be
downloaded and fed into reporting software.
You can obtain
of these reports, often referred to as web metrics, from the person
responsible for managing your website. Many of my colleagues use
WebTrends Log Analyzer software from NetIQ which produces beautifully
formatted and highly informative reports.
how can you capitalize on this data? First, a good web metrics report
can offer a wealth of valuable information that can be used to decide
which content should be incorporated into the new website.
A typical report
might include the following information:
Most Popular Pages...
- Most popular and least popular pages on your website
- The number of visitors and the amount of time they spent on
- Search engine keywords that were used by people while searching
for your website
you can use the report to decide which pages you want to keep and which
ones to get rid of. Naturally, you want to include the most popular
pages and exclude or revise pages that weren’t so popular. And
knowing whether or not most people used Internet Explorer or Netscape
software can help you decide what kind of bells and whistles to
provide. In any case, it is the needs of your customers that ultimately
dictates what you publish.
next installment in this three part series will cover how to plan,
collect and organize your content and put it all together (Website
Redesign Part 3.)
Nolan & Nolan Interactive, Ltd. All rights reserved. This work
is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 License.