If there’s one thing I know about website redesigns, it’s that they never launch on time.
So, when you’re in limbo between your lame duck website and the future one — how can you ensure performance isn’t hindered and conversions aren’t left on the table?
First, on the tactical side:
If you’re responsible for your company’s website, there are a few short- and medium-term online marketing strategies you can use while you wait for the completed website redesign. Most of these are going to be focused, low-hanging-fruit type approaches, since you likely have limited budget and time.
Second, on the emotional side:
Don’t get too upset. This happens to companies and teams of all sizes. See this website delay period as an opportunity, as the extra time spent focusing on strategy can help align future efforts and generate even better results down the road.
This article will provide 4 proven strategies that can help improve your current website’s ROI, should you be stuck in limbo during a website redesign.
1. Launch a targeted paid campaign
What better way to improve that future website you’re waiting on than by collecting more data around the current one? With a focused PPC or paid social campaign, you can drive a lot of traffic in a short period of time to specific parts of your current website.
Try the following:
- Select a handful of pages that are slated to be repurposed, redesigned, or reshuffled in your future site’s architecture.
- Drive additional traffic to those pages through a Google or Facebook paid campaign.
- Note what those visitors do. Do they bounce? Do they take meaningful actions? Do they start exploring other parts of your site?
- Ask yourself: Overall, do the results validate what the redesign is proposing? Or do the results indicate that what you currently have is working?
You might decide that these landing pages only require small tweaks to perform optimally. Collect this information and use it as part of the website redesign.
2. Test a series of email campaigns
Another off-website strategy you can employ during this limbo period is a renewed focus on email. We know that:
- 59% of B2B marketers say email is their most effective channel for driving revenue.
- Email averages $38 in ROI for every $1 spent
As you shift your mindset slightly away from your website and onto your audience, think about what assets you already have that could be working harder for you.
Try the following:
- Select a segment of your e-mail list that has been underperforming.
- Create a lead nurture campaign designed specifically for this audience.
- Try a new, creative approach with language and/or design. For example, emails featuring videos have CTRs 96% higher than non-video emails.
- Following several email tests, what conclusions can you draw about this segment, and how can you better serve them with the future website?
3. Refresh existing content
Some websites go through code freezes, where you simply cannot add new content to them for a period of time, determined by the business.
Code Freeze means the code is frozen and there will not be any further modifications from the developers.
If you aren’t in a code freeze, now is a good time to explore your current website and do some much-needed content refreshing. Our recommendation for this process is:
- Identify content pieces that have been lagging in performance.
- Verify that the content still aligns with your strategy and a specific target audience.
- Improve the content with semantic keywords and content chunking.
- Republish the content as if it were new; promote it.
Conversely, if you are in a code freeze, you may feel stuck. But this can be a great time to develop future content, so your pipeline is full when the new website does launch. This way you ensure that any content gap doesn’t extend beyond the code freeze.
Try the following:
- Refer to your content calendar or your content “bucket list.”
- Identify topics that have been on hold, or ideas that were simply too difficult to produce over the past year. Is now the time to finally create them?
- Identify topics that will be just as relevant 12-24 months from now as they are today. Do not develop “current events” content at this time.
- Assign appropriate content topics to groups — website limbo is a good opportunity to create in-depth pieces that call for multiple parties to work together.
Regardless of your code freeze situation, don’t wait around when it comes to your content during the website delay. Do something!
4. Optimize conversion rates on your current site
Some of your colleagues may be saying, “We can’t waste resources or time on the current website. It’s going away.” But remember, it could be months before the new site launches.
Now is the time to take a lean approach and test your current site. Similar to the paid campaign tactic above, you can use conversion rate optimization (CRO) to collect data that will inform, validate, or invalidate ideas for the future site.
Try the following:
- Select important pages or sections that either will be changing as part of the website redesign or are being considered for significant changes.
- Calculate the results that these CRO tests could yield: how many additional website visitors? How many additional leads?
- Set up A/B tests on these pages by experimenting with elements like CTA language, colors, layout, and number of required form fields. Split traffic to the control and test page versions, determine test winners, and continue to test as long as you can.
- Ask yourself: What lessons are you learning? Is your current website optimized for conversions? What data or insights can you share with the web redesign team, to ensure that the next website can perform optimally right from the start?
Maybe the data from your tests shows that the new green color on your calls-to-action isn’t having a positive effect, or perhaps you’ve found new messaging that’s more likely to yield click-throughs.
Website limbo, unfortunately, is a fact of life.
Hopefully, with these 4 strategies, you can still drive results with your current website, and simultaneously inform strategies for your future site.
Download Our Content Marketing Course-Correction Guide
Once your website redesign is complete, get back on track with our course-correction guide where you can revamp your current content marketing strategy to produce better results within 90-days!