Looking to refresh your website? You’re not alone. The average investment manager site – whether you are a hedge fund manager, RIA, or private equity manager – substantially updates or does a major redesign of their website every 12 months.

But you are not average. A redesign can be a huge success – or an epic fail. Your website isn’t just about design. Your website affects your social media, email marketing, lead generation, brand awareness and sales strategies. A basic checklist can simplify your job.

1. Benchmark Your Current Metrics and Determine Your Goals

Before you start thinking about anything, document your current performance metric, start by analyzing your existing site, including:

*  Number of visits and visitors

*  Number of new leads

*  Total amount of sales generated

*  Domain authority

*  Bounce rate

*  Time on site

*  Current SEO rankings for important keywords

What if you don’t have this detail? Try Google Analytics; it’s free.

2. Inventory Your Assets

A redesign can hurt, too. Map your assets so you don’t lose them. Site assets include:

*  Most viewed content

*  Most trafficked pages

*  Best performing keywords

*  Number of inbound links to individual pages

3. Design Your Site Around Personas

Your prospects will ask, “What’s in it for me?” A buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customer, based on real data about demographics and online behavior. When you design and write your site, get it right by designing for the right prospects, whether they are private investors, pension plans, or registered investment advisors.

4. Optimize for SEO

If no one is coming to your site, how can you increase leads, downloads, or sales? Some tips to designing your site for search engine optimization (SEO):

* Document your most search-valued pages. Know what pages have the strongest SEO, the most traffic, inbound links, and keywords rankings.

* Create a 301-redirect strategy. If you plan to move highly ranked pages when you refresh your site, create 301 redirects so you don’t lose any ranking.

* Do keyword research. For every page, pick one to two keywords that the page will focus on. Once you determine the keyword(s), make sure your headlines and subheads have the header tags (H1, H2 and H3).

5. Include Calls-to-Action

Calls-to-action are the free things on your website that drive prospective investors to take an action…to download an eBook, a whitepaper, a newsletter, a webinar, or a consultation.

6.  Create an Ongoing Content Strategy

More content means more visitors. An 80-page website will get more visitors than a 10-page site.

* Start a blog. Each blog post counts as an indexed page. Companies that blog have 126% more website visitors and 88% more leads than those who don’t, according to HubSpot’s 2014 State of Inbound Marketing Report.

* Shareability. Add social media sharing buttons, like LinkedIn, and links to all your footer and other relevant pages.

And finally, don’t forget to analyze your competition. It helps to know how you compare.

And finally, don’t forget to analyze your competition. It helps to know how you compare.