If you want to design a great website that’s successful and is a key asset to your sales and marketing teams, you need to have a solid plan in place. Before the design or development stages even begin, it’s important to come up with a plan in order to create a website that attracts visitors and provides them with all the information they need.

When it comes to planning a new web design, these are the top six mistakes you should avoid.

1. Neglecting to Record Benchmarks

If you already have a form of tracking on your website, one of the first things to do before a redesign is to take a record of your current site’s benchmarks. You’ll want to make sure that you use the same tracking tool to note benchmarks before and after the redesign, as well. With this information, you’ll have an accurate way to see how your new design is performing.

Some key benchmarks to record include:

  • Average monthly visitors to website
  • Average monthly bounce rate
  • Average monthly time on site
  • Top-performing keywords by rank, traffic, and lead generation
  • Total number of inbound linking domains
  • Average monthly leads
  • Total number of sales per month
  • Current number of website pages indexed
  • Current number of pages that receive traffic

2. Designing Without a Goal in Mind

If you’re designing your website without any goals in mind, you won’t have anything to measure your success against. When coming up with new goals, you want to be that they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely (a.k.a. SMART).

3. Failing to Identify Your Audience

You need to know who your audience is before you start designing for them. Figure out your buyer personas so you can learn how your visitors think and why they do what they do. Once you understand your audience, you can begin to refine your inbound marketing efforts, streamline the sales process, and improve customer support.

4. Refusing to Map Out Your Site Structure

Now that you’ve mapped out your buyer personas, you can start to plan how your website will function. Focus on providing a user experience that is intuitive, reliable, fast, and engaging. You may want to consider looking at heatmaps to see how your visitors are already interacting with your site and see if there are any areas that you can improve on.

5. Missing Out on Mobile

These days, a responsive website design isn’t just a “nice to have,” it’s a must. With mobile devices accounting for 60 percent of all organic search engine visits in the United States, it’s extremely important to plan your web design with mobile in mind. Test your site on various mobile devices and provide your visitors with a clean and user-friendly mobile experience.

6. Ignoring Your Need for an Expert

Determine whether or not you need to call on an expert by assessing the scope and timeline of your web project, as well as your team’s skill level and availability. For your website to be successful, it needs to be designed, engineered, and driven by your company’s buyer personas, buying journey, and sales process. With a team of experts, you can avoid these mistakes when designing your new website.

Follow these steps when planning your next web design, and you’ll be sure to avoid any major mistakes and create a successful website!