Bay Area Inbound Marketing Blog

Websites are Business Tools, not Art! by Bay Area Inbound

Posted by Laurie Monahan on Sun, Jun 24, 2012 @ 05:29 PM

Websites are Business Tools, not Art! You need to drive traffic to your site, and once people get there, you need to capture leads to win business.

More than 5 years ago, long before there were 150 million websites, you could put up a website and have a reasonable expectation that your customers might find your website when they were looking for your products and/or services on a search engine like google. Today, you have to know what you are doing and take a lot of steps to drive relevant traffic to your website and garner business from that traffic.

Among other things: you need to target keywords, blog to get page density (a lot of pages), use the proper tags in the proper places, use social media to get the word out, use calls-to-action like offers, landing pages with forms to collect customer contact info, and use analytics to see what's working so you can repeat it. Below are 7 steps for redesigning your website into a lean, mean, lead-generation machine.

Step 1: Determine Whether Website Redesign is Right for You

Make sure you are going into redesign for the right reasons. Website redesign is a continuous process, and just as much about functionality as it is design. The first thing you will need to do, along with our help, is set your redesign goals.

Key Concepts and Statistics

Wrong Reasons For Redesign

Right Reasons for Redesign

“We have a new corporate look and feel.”

“Want to get found by more prospects.”

“It’s been 12 months since our last redesign.”

“Want to convert more prospects into leads and eventually, customers.”

“The CEO wants to do it.”

“We want to improve branding.” (Only appropriate if oriented around one of the previous reasons.)

 Website Redesign Half-Life Chart

 Source: Hubspot, Webinar Redesign Strategy, 2010

 If you do redesign for "art's sake".

  • The excitement you and your CEO will have from a complete renovation of your website will be short lived.
    • Once you have visited your site repeatedly, the excitement of a new website will turn into boredom.
  • Complete website renovation is even worse for users.
  • Users are accustomed to the constancy of old website.
  • Need time to adjust, causing them more confusion.


Misguided reasons for redesigning your website are driven by the thought that the freshness and “wow factor” of a new website will increase excitement over your brand. The main motivations behind website renovations should be to improve the performance of your website. A beautiful website, although intriguing and aesthetically pleasing, is secondary to a functional traffic and lead generating website.

Step 2: Insure that your Website’s Assets are In Order and Safe

Your clients can cause more damage than good by trying to undertake a website redesign on their own. Use the information below to convey the importance of existing assets, and the importance that these assets are preserved and protected.

Key Concepts and Statistics 

  • Website assets such as content, inbound links, keyword rankings, and conversion tools are critical to a strong web presence.
  • To preserve your web presence, you must keep track these assets to insure that they are all transferred in the redesign process. 

The Asset Check List

  • Determine how many pages you have.
  • Figure out which pages are most popular/powerful.
  • Determine how many inbound links you have.
  • Establish where these links are coming from.
  • Look up what interior pages have inbound links.
  • Figure out which inbound links are most popular/powerful.
  • Determine what keywords you rank for before the move.
  • Figure out keywords are most effective.


If you do not fully understand the importance and practice of proper SEO, doing a web redesign can be more damaging than helpful. If you do not feel comfortable around SEO work, it may be best to hire a specialist to perform the redesign so all the hard work you have put into making a web presence does not disappear. It may also be time to contact a professional to set you up with a system that can track current SEO metrics if you don’t already have a system in place. 

Step 3: Formatting your Homepage

Your clients probably want some interactive and flashy homepage that entices their user. It is important to establish that fundamentals need to be addressed first. 

Key Concepts and Statistics

  • The first impression is all about simplicity.
  • 75% of Internet users never scroll past the first page of search results.1
  • 76% of consumers want a website that makes it easy to find what they want.2
  • Highlight blog on homepage.
  • Set up a 301 redirect, for SEO’s sake!
  • Have a permanent redirect.
  • Limit the amount of choices the consumer must make.
    • If you offer 25 services, put those 25 under 4 overarching umbrella services so consumers will not be overwhelmed.
  • Links to social networking pages are a must on home page. 

Source: HubSpot, The Science of Website Redesign, June 2011 


Your homepage is the face of your services or products. You only get one chance to impress that visitor, so make sure you carefully place the essentials you want them to know on your homepage. It should also act as a launching platform to places where they can contact you in the future (i.e. blog, social media, etc.) 

Step 4: Focus on Continuous Original Content that Attracts and Converts

It is important for your prospect to understand that original content is what will generate them more traffic. By stressing that content creation must be a continuous process, they may be more inclined to hire you to help them with the workload.  

Key Concepts and Statistics

  • Blogging results in a 55% increase in website visitors.3
  • Search engines like fresh content, which will increase your number of indexed pages.
  • People like fresh content.
    • Companies that blog have 2x as many twitter followers than those that don’t.4
    • Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links than those that don’t.4

 Original Content Vehicles:


Video Content (Youtube Channel)


Photos (Flicker)

Presentations (Slideshare)


News Releases

 source: HubSpot, 100 Awesome Marketing Stats, Charts and Graphs for You, 2011


Original content is your website’s messenger; it will inform your prospects on what you do, and how passionately you do it. With a vast array of formats to create content on, you should always be continuously contributing original content to keep your prospects engaged and constantly interacting with your website. 

Step 5: Formatting Your Landing Pages

Many of your clients may not understand the importance of a compelling landing page. This is where they can see the real results of their website redesign. This page is a great opportunity for you to highlight your landing page services since many may not even know what a landing page is.

Key Concepts and Statistics

  • Leave out any website navigation.
  • Keep the description of the offer clear, simple, and concise.
    • One company found that they had a 32% conversion rate with longer description and form field.5
    • Cut it down, which brought their conversion rate to 53%.5
  • Keep the form above the fold.
  • To maximize efficiency, consider these questions:
    • How fast can you launch a new landing page?
    • Can one person do it in 15 minutes?
    • What is the cost of experimentation?

source: HubSpot, 2011


Landing pages are where the magic happens; they are the gateway to your conversion offers that create engaged and interested leads. Make sure you can grab their attention with an interesting offer, but also coherently explain what you are offering through the landing page! 

Step 6: Conduct Conversion Experiments

Since a majority of your clients do not have a system in place that tracks their conversion performance, you may want to highlight how your agency could provide them with ways to analyze the effectiveness of each individual landing page and offers.  

Key Concepts and Statistics 

  • Your offers should be living, breathing documents that are constantly changing.
  • They need to help educate your prospect’s on the buying process.
  • If your landing pages and offerings do not seem to be reaching their full potential, you should try to:
    • Attach their links in your email newsletters.
    • Have your pay-per click ads go right to the landing page.
    • Use them as the next step after a trade show or event.
  • Helpful sites for experimenting with your conversion events:
    • Five Second Test
    • Feedback Army
    • User Testing
    • Loop11


Website design is not a one and done deal. Your web pages should evolve and improve over time. This is especially important for your landing pages since they help convert your faceless website visitors into opportunities that you have collected vital information about. 

Step 7: Review Your Metrics on Visitors and Leads.

Metrics are the closer. You should try to stress the importance of ongoing improvement, and how no “project” is over. Since you can provide them with the metrics to succeed, they should feel more compelled to pursue your services. 

Key Concepts and Statistics 

  • Should avoid “paralysis by analysis.”
  • Do not concern yourself with metrics that track the technical performance of your website.
  • Focus on these three metrics:
    • Visitors.
      • How many people are coming to my website?
      • Where are they coming from?
    • Leads.
      • How many visitors converted to leads?
      • What did they convert on?
    • Sales.
      • How many leads converted to sales?
  • These metrics will help you determine what parts of your website need revision. 


Metrics are pivotal for pinpointing the exact pain points of your website. By doing small, but constant adjustments to your website, you will be able to maximize the utility of your website so it becomes a platform for generating visitors, leads, and ultimately, sales.

So What?

Key Concepts and Statistics

  • Start with defining your website redesign goals.
    • Remember that most companies don’t need a new website, but rather need better tools on their existing site.
  • Protect your assets during the design process so you do not damage your website presence.
  • Make a great first impression by focusing on the functionality of your homepage.
  • Creative and original content is the most powerful way of attracting and retaining website visitors.
  • Design compelling landing pages so visitors will be more willing to give away their contact information for your content offerings.
  • Make constant adjustments to landing pages by experimenting with their layout and formatting.
  • Set up a system to measure the metrics of your website so you can reproduce successful campaigns, and scrap failing ones.


Redesign projects can be laborious, so most companies are better suited at trying to get more out of what they already have. Inbound marketing tactics such as SEO, blogging, and social media are easy to include in your existing site, and are twice as effective as traditional web redesign elements. You should strive to make small, but constant and continuous improvements to each element of your current website so your website becomes a powerful traffic-generating machine. 

Do you need a website redesign? Are you doing this for cosmetic reasons or to drive traffic to your site, capture leads, and nurture them into sales?


Bay Area Inbound is a full-service Inbound Marketing Agency in SF that specializes in content creation and getting you the leads you need to significantly increase company revenue.

Bay Area Inbound is a Hubspot Value-Added Reseller. Hubspot makes Integrated Inbound Marketing Software and is the #2 Fastest Growing Software Company in the World.

For more information on getting traffic to your site and generating the leads you need, contact or  510-543-7593.

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Topics: Website Redesign, Inbound Marketing in SF, Lead Generation, inbound marketing in bay area