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Seven Common Redesign Pitfalls... and How to Avoid Them

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When redesigning a website the focus tends to be centered on overhauling the aesthetic appearance. The goal tends to revolve around developing a modern-day look that delivers great user experience, and rightly so.

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Seven Common Redesign Pitfalls... and How to Avoid Them

  1. 1. prepared exclusively for Seven Common Redesign Pitfalls… …and How to Avoid Them Gus Kroustalis Digital Marketing Strategist Beacon Technologies
  2. 2. Background • Beacon was founded in 1998 • One of the longest active Google Analytics Partners • Digital Marketing and/or Website Design work in 42 states and 5 countries • Cascade CMS Development Partner since 2006 • Gus Kroustalis • Lead Google Analytics strategist at Beacon • Joined Beacon in 2012 • Digital Marketing professional since 2007
  3. 3. About This Session • What constitutes a pitfall? • Lack of time/resources allocated • Process breakdown • Unknown/forgotten consequence of the redesign • Objectives • Learn what others have experienced • Discover how your own redesign project can succeed • Additional Q&A at the end
  4. 4. #1 Google Analytics: Transferring the existing tracking code incorrectly
  5. 5. Incorrect Tracking Code Transfer #1 of 7
  6. 6. Incorrect Tracking Code Transfer #1 of 7 • How this issue can occur: • Not applying base tracking to all pages/sections • Forgetting to transition custom tracking snippets • Not making dynamic tracking updates to account for new HTML
  7. 7. Incorrect Tracking Code Transfer #1 of 7 • How to Avoid: • Commit to a strategic plan for your website’s Analytics • Assess breadth of tracking before development begins • Note relevant HTML changes & recode your tracking as needed • Utilize Cascade include files and apply at template levels • Pre and post-launch testing/validation
  8. 8. #2 Google Analytics: Skipping over tracking improvements
  9. 9. Skipping Tracking Improvements #2 of 7 • New Header Navigation • Improved Home Page Slider • Content Blocks • New Call-to-Action Graphics
  10. 10. Skipping Tracking Improvements #2 of 7 Visitor Capture Content Interactions Conversions Can you improve your data reporting for any of these segments of tracking?
  11. 11. Skipping Tracking Improvements #2 of 7 How to Avoid: • Find gaps between business objectives and supporting data • Utilize more Google Analytics features • Event tracking • Custom dimensions • Goal conversions • Cross-device reporting • Offline data integration
  12. 12. Skipping Tracking Improvements #2 of 7 Visitor Capture Content Interactions Conversions Result: Your team will be better equipped to connect these points
  13. 13. #3 SEO Health: Improperly planned 301 redirects
  14. 14. Improperly Planned 301 Redirects #3 of 7 Are you changing URL extensions? ex: URLs will end in .aspx instead of .asp Is your website going from http to https? Are you consolidating pages on the new site? Are you deleting a mobile site and going responsive?
  15. 15. Improperly Planned 301 Redirects #3 of 7 Risks: • Lost visibility in the search engine results • Bad user experience for site search
  16. 16. Improperly Planned 301 Redirects #3 of 7 What is a 301 redirect? • A server configuration that sends a user from their originally intended URL to a new URL. • Helps preserve SEO value.
  17. 17. Improperly Planned 301 Redirects #3 of 7 How to Avoid: • Understand the mandatory changes to URL structure • Gather all information about new/obsolete pages • Plan your 301 redirect strategy • Test before launch / validate after launch http://www.your.edu/admission/deadlines.asp http://www.your.edu/admission/undergrad-deadlines.aspx
  18. 18. #4 SEO Health: Not managing site crawlability
  19. 19. No Site Crawlability Management #4 of 7 Risks • Lost visibility in the search engine results • Bad user experience for site search This is similar to #3, but could risk the entire website being de-indexed from search results.
  20. 20. No Site Crawlability Management #4 of 7 To avoid issues, these SEO elements need active management: • Robots.txt • XML Sitemap • Google Search Console / Bing Webmaster Tools • Checking your site indexing on Google/Bing Bare minimum: Pre/Post Launch Recommended: Ongoing
  21. 21. #5 Quality Control: Cutting corners during device, browser, and user acceptance testing
  22. 22. Device, Browser, and User Acceptance Testing #5 of 7 Cutting corners can result in: • Browser compatibility issues • SEO mobile ranking drop • Load time issues and high bounce rate • Users becoming your testers • Increased project costs from rework of development
  23. 23. Device, Browser, and User Acceptance Testing #5 of 7 How to Avoid: • Plan enough testing time (more than you think!) • Include device and browser considerations during the Design Phase • Understand your audience • Browsers & versions • Devices • Screen resolution • Regional mapping • Pre and post-launch testing
  24. 24. #6 ADA/Accessibility: Waiting until the last minute
  25. 25. ADA/Accessibility Testing #6 of 7 Risks of waiting until the last minute: • Unexpected updates required • Content • Templates • Color schemes • New site launch • Delayed? • Out of compliance? • Additional risk: Untrained content owners
  26. 26. ADA/Accessibility Testing #6 of 7 How to Avoid: • Should begin during strategy & design phases • Design can be affected by WCAG color compliance issues • Plan your content with Web Accessibility in mind • Run regular compliance scans during: • Development • Content entry • Post launch
  27. 27. #7 Benchmarking: Not being able to measure redesign success
  28. 28. Benchmarking & Follow-Up #7 of 7 The sole purpose of the redesign is to make the website look better.
  29. 29. No Benchmarking or Follow-Up #7 of 7 Actual redesign goals • Delivering a quality user experience • Connecting with target audiences • Driving admission opportunities • Driving donor opportunities
  30. 30. No Benchmarking or Follow-Up #7 of 7 Higher website traffic and lower bounce rate are not good enough indicators. Can you answer the most important question: • Is the new website doing a better job accomplishing primary objectives than the old website?
  31. 31. No Benchmarking or Follow-Up #7 of 7 How to Avoid 1. Identify KPIs 2. Establish baseline metrics during strategy phase (pre-design) 3. Ensure necessary tracking is in place 4. Conduct post-launch data analysis
  32. 32. Avoid these pitfalls: 1. Incorrect tracking code transition 2. Skipping over tracking improvements 3. Improperly planned 301 redirects 4. Not managing site crawlability 5. Cutting corners on device, browser & user testing 6. Inadequate ADA/Accessibility Testing 7. No benchmarking or follow-up Summary & Questions

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