How to revamp a WordPress website ?
By Philomathes in Technology
There may be many reasons to revamp your WordPress site. For example, your website content may be outdated and doesn’t reflect your brand mission, values, and goals anymore. Or, your website navigation may be too complex, preventing customers from finding the right products and making purchases. Maybe your website colors and typography distract customers.
The current global situation could be the perfect time to audit your WordPress website and appeal and polish it up. In this brief guide, you will learn how to do that.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WEBSITE REFRESH AND REDESIGN
Even though website refresh and website redesign are often used interchangeably, those are separate practices. The main difference lies in the way you update your WordPress website. A website redesign includes restructuring your entire website. Those practices usually require making significant changes to your website code and visual appearance. The functionality of your website changes, as well as its core architecture, navigation, functionality, etc.
On the other hand, a website refresh is a simpler, faster, and less risky process. It is perfect for website owners that are satisfied with their overall website structure and functionality. The core website elements remain untouched, while they focus on revamping the look and the feel of the website. For example, you could choose your website typography, insert a new logo, pick new color palettes, or start creating more engaging content. While refreshing a website requires less time and resources, it can still significantly improve customer experiences of your website, maximize conversions, and inspire people to come back. Precisely because of that, it needs to be strategized properly.
PERFORM A CONTENT AUDIT
The goal is to identify outdated content, see what pages drive the highest traffic, learn what types of content does and does not resonate with your audiences, etc. Your website analytics can help you here.
Start by identifying all pages on your WordPress site. Your goal should be to identify your weakest points, as they require investing more time and planning. You should also understand what content needs to be refreshed, as well as identify content your website is missing.
ANALYZE BOTH INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL LINKS
You need to analyze your websites’ links thoroughly and identify broken links (both internal and external) to avoid redirection to broken links or non-existing external pages from your website.
You can use a website crawler, such as Screaming Frog that offers a free broken link checker. Second, use Google Search Console. Go to Crawl > Crawl Errors, which will inform you about any 404 error pages. Click on the links provided in the report to see what pages are pointing to a broken 404 page.
Third, install a Broken links Checker Plugin for WordPress. It monitors links in your blog posts, comments, or even custom fields and informs you about any broken links or missing redirects via its dashboard or email.
Finally, use an online SEO tool, such as Ahrefs. With its Site Audit tool, you can scan your website and see all 404 errors on your website. With Ahrefs Site explorer, on the other hand, you can audit any broken backlinks on your website.
MONITOR YOUR COMPETITORS
The idea behind competitor analysis is to gather inspiration for your website and get insights into the industry best practices that may help you improve your website. Choose 2-3 competitor websites and audit them carefully.
UNDERSTAND WHAT MOTIVATES OR FRUSTRATES YOUR CUSTOMERS
One of the most important things to do when revamping your website is mapping the customer journey and understanding what is helping them or frustrating them the most. The following questions can help:
- Where do visitors get stuck the most?
- What are the most common issues they experience on my website?
- What is working/not working on my individual pages?
- What is triggering doubt and preventing people from converting?
Google Analytics and your common website metrics, such as user engagement, time on page, bounce rates, etc can answer these questions to some extent. More specific tools like website heatmaps visualize your visitors’ behaviors on your website and understand the most common performance issues.
You can also ask users directly for opinions. Use chatbots, create on-site surveys, or add feedback widgets to encourage them to share opinions with you.
Only by understanding your customers’ behavior patterns and collecting data continuously will you be able to update your buyer personas accurately and tailor your website design and content to their needs.
IMPROVE YOUR CONTENT CREATION EFFORTS
Creating content for SEO is not enough. To deliver value to your target audience, you need to keep your content engaging, innovative, and useful. It should educate them, inform them, and help them solve real-life problems.
You should also adapt to the latest content creation trends. Highly informative, long-form guides, whitepapers, or how-to articles are immensely popular, but such content is often difficult to digest and memorize. Breaking text-heavy paragraphs into smaller chunks, using catchy headings, and inserting original photos, illustrations, or animations will spruce your textual content up and make it more user-friendly.
Visual content too appeals to a wider audience.It grabs users’ attention and gains loads of high-quality social shares and backlinks.
KEEP YOUR DESIGN CONSISTENT
When updating your website, you will probably want to change some key brand elements, such as color palettes, typography, shapes, contrasts, logo design, CTA button design, and so forth. For starters, think about your brand. Just like above, ask yourself how effectively your current design elements reflect your brand personality. If your brand has changed over time, you need to reevaluate its major missions and choose your design elements accordingly.
Each color, shape, and font trigger a particular emotion in a visitor. Once you choose your design elements, implement them consistently. Create a brand style guide or update your existing one. It’ll be a detailed guide that defines your brand personality and dictates how your brand’s tone of voice and design elements should be used. It also informs your marketing and designer teams how those elements will vary across different online channels.
KEEP A/B TESTING EVERYTHING YOU DO
A/B testing is critical for any WordPress website owner, as it tells you what tactics work for them. This practice involves creating two types of something on your website and comparing their performance. For example, if you want to test two different types of CTA buttons, lead gen forms, opt-in forms, graphic elements, widgets, landing pages, or page titles, A/B testing is critical for you.
Performing A/B testing for WordPress websites is simple, as there are many WordPress plugins that may help you, including Nelio A/B Testing, Split Hero, Simple Page Tester, etc.
After performing these website audits, you will identify a lot of areas that need improvement. However, you don’t need to fix them all instantly. Make website improvements gradually and strategically to maintain positive user experiences and protect your SEO rankings. Above all, rely on analytics, A/B test everything, and ask for user feedback regularly.