Most companies these days have an existing website.
Years ago they hired a graphic designer and web programmer and built a good looking website. After its launch they put their new website address on all cards, stationary and brochures and then promptly forget about the website for a couple years…

Then for some reason their interest in internet marketing is re-ignited years later and they set out to redesign their website thinking that a new design will certainly turn their website into a sales lead generation machine.

If this sounds familiar, consider the following before investing in a web site redesign…

1. Do you have the statistic tracking needed to measure improvement?

The problem here is that no one bothered to install statistical tracking and no one knows how well the original site performs. If you don’t know how well your existing site performs, how are you going to be able to measure any improvement? (or lack there of)

I have a friend who owns a website selling educational books. She was totally unaware of how well her website converted because there was no statistical tracking. After an expensive redesign she noticed that sales were not as plentiful.

She went back to the old design and installed Google Analytics and found that the original site had a conversion rate of over 10% (that’s pretty good 1 out of 10 visitors made a purchase).

Newer is not better. Better is better.

Don’t try to improve something before you have accurately measured its existing performance and have the tools in place to measure improvement.

2. Is it just the design that needs work, or is there more?

How well does your content convert visitors into sales leads? You need to know this number.

Is it 1 out of 10, 1 out of 100, or 1 out of 1000?

Most of our clients get 1 out of 20 from PPC campaigns and 1 out of 40 from organic search.

Writing compelling sales text that turns visitors into customers is both an art and a science. Copy-writing is probably the most undervalued element of any marketing campaign.

In the direct marketing business they say that a successful advertisement is 40% List (meaning who its shown to) 40% Copy and 20% design.

Are you about to spend 80% of your marketing budget on an element that only influences 20% of the outcome? Don’t get caught chasing diminishing returns.

3. Is there something more important you should be doing?

Is your old, outdated looking website really your biggest marketing problem?

If it is, then by all means, fix it. But most companies suffer from a harder problem and use the website as a scape-goat project to work on instead of addressing the real (often times really hard) problem.

Perhaps your sales team just plain sucks and needs some training. Perhaps you are approaching your market from the wrong perspective. It’s easy to miss key insights when you are directly involved in day to day operations.

Are you working IN your business or ON your business? There is a huge difference.

Any number of things can go awry in a business. There are a million ways to grow a business and probably only a dozen will work for your company. Your job as a marketer is to find the best way to grow your company, and you don’t do that by guessing.

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