The Website Redesign Process, Part 2: Analysis

by Taylor Pratt February 13th, 2012 

In part one of the website redesign process, we focused on the groundwork of your redesign: goals. The key takeaway of part one is that everyone who is involved with the redesign need to be in sync with goals and expectations prior to any other work being done on the redesign.

Now that we have everyone on the same page, it's time to focus on part two: analysis.

The SEO Website Redesign Process

Goals
Analysis
Information Gathering
Design & Testing
Preparation
Launch & Tracking

Part 2: Analysis

During the analysis section of our redesign, we'll be focusing on two things:

  1. Current site performance
  2. Current site structure

Basically, we need to get an understanding of what is working well on the current site design, and what needs improvement. We can gather this data from a number of sources: visitor feedback, user testing, and of course, our analytics.

Possible structural changes you should be considering:

  • URL structure
  • Navigation
  • Conversion points/CTAs
  • Structured data
  • Social meta data
  • Hierarchy
  • Semantic elements
  • Site speed
  • Social sharing
  • Additional of new languages
  • Coding language
  • Media

Let your website's performance guide your structural changes. Instead of asking, "Will we be changing our URL structure and navigation?", first ask, "Do we need to change our URL structure and navigation."

One of my favorite ways to help me figure out what I should be changing in my website redesign, is to pull a variety of custom reports in Google Analytics. Here are my favorites:

1. Conversions by Keyword

Conversions by Keyword

This report is pretty straight forward. What we're looking for is which keywords are converting the best for both return and new visitors. This will help us decide if we should be including these keywords throughout our new design's architecture.

2. Conversions by Country/Language

Conversions by Language

Not sure if it's time to start translating your website into other languages? With this custom report you can quickly see which countries are bringing in the most conversions and visitors to your site. You might consider excluding your home country when running/viewing the report.

3. Top Converting Landing Pages

Top Converting Landing Pages

You also need to have a clear understanding as to why certain pages are converting better than others. With this custom report you will be able to view your top converting landing pages. Compare your top pages to your bottom pages so you can figure out what the differences are and can avoid making the same mistakes with your new design.

4. Engaging Blog Posts

Engaging Landing Pages

How should you be constructing content on your new site? With this custom report we'll see which content has the highest engagement. That can help you determine what types of headlines and writing styles you should be incorporating with the new site.

5. Underperforming Content

Underperforming Content

Likewise, you also need to take a look at the content that is seriously underperforming. This report looks at content that has the highest exit and bounce rates on your site, so you can avoid the mistakes they are making on the new site design.

6. Goal Abandonment

Goal Abandonment

Within this custom report we'll get an idea of what pages are leading to the most abandonments in your conversion funnel. This is a really important report to run and analyze because the goal of your redesign should be to address underperforming pages like these.

7. Slow Page Loads

Slow Page Loads

Finally, you need to identify which pages on your site are taking the longest to load. Is it because of media you have embedded on the page or some other design flaw? For both the search engines and users sake, you need to find out what is causing the pages to load slower then usual and address it in the new design.

Taylor Pratt

Taylor Pratt is an online marketing consultant at Built to Search. Built to Search offers customized SEO, PPC and social media consulting services.

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