If you are planning a website redesign in 2015 there are 4 areas you MUST include to ensure you get the outcome you're really after, more business. I shiny new look and feel will certainly help to build trust with your visitors when they arrive, but if you have no visitors to see it, what's the point? It's an absolute must to have as much focus on your efforts (think SEO, content marketing, social media, sponsored advertising) to get high quality traffic to your site as your efforts to make your site look better.
1 - A Blog
In case you haven't heard... you have to be producing content if you want to get high quality traffic to your site. I'm not talking about people searching for your brand name, or people using local search to find a local supplier. I'm talking about new, high quality visitors that need what you provide and search for terms around your offering versus your brand name. That's how you grow your business.
The absolute easiest way to generate content on a consistent basis is through a blog. If you aren't familiar with what a blog is, you are viewing one right now. Generally speaking, they are regularly updated sections/pages of a website that tend to be less formal, but often educational in nature. Blogs provide a nice, categorized way to share content about your products, services, industry and ideal buyer questions. We all know that being sold to sucks. We'd much rather be educated than sold to. A blog will do that for your buyers.
2 - Content Marketing
This area is a nice tie-in with blogging as you can often take your blog topics and expound upon them to create higher value content worth exchanging an email address for. The idea with content marketing is that you have educational content that your ideal buyers will find valuable enough to give you some basic contact details in exchange for it.
When they do so, you've generated a lead. Your job then becomes nurturing that lead through a continued educational effort until they move closer to being a qualified lead that you should be talking to. This is often done through email marketing, social media and CRMs.
3 - Responsive Design
This could technically be tied to the redesign of your site, but it may not be completely obvious at first. Responsive design, as we've covered many times in the past, is a way of developing your website that allows your site's design to adapt (respond) to the size of the device being used to view it.
In other words, it makes sure that smartphone users have a smartphone-optimized view of your site, as well as tablets, TVs, etc...
Google recently indicated that by the end of 2014, over 50% of the searches done on Google will be from a mobile device. That means there are tons of people looking at your site on a mobile device too. If the experience sucks because the visitor is stuck zooming way in and panning around to read your content, they won't stick around.
4 - SEO
Search engine optimization should no question be part of any website redesign or ongoing marketing effort. Some of the items above will go a long way to helping your SEO strategy, but you need a site developed using SEO best practices that ties to your SEO strategy to be successful. You do have a SEO strategy, right? Installing a few Wordpress plugins on your blog is not an SEO strategy, especially not one you can monitor performance of and improve over time.
When you do a website redesign, you have to be super careful not to undo any positive SEO effect you are getting to your current site.
So Much More
There are so many more areas that you or an agency you hire should do on an ongoing basis to ensure that you meet your business objectives, but these 4 will be a great start when coupled with a website redesign. The main point I want you to take away here is that a shiny new "skin" to your site won't help you grow your business if you don't generate an increasing amount of high quality traffic.