Website Redesigns - Is Now The Right Time?
As the years go by, your website will grow more and more outdated. At some point, you’ll need to redesign your website so it can continue to help achieve your marketing and sales goals. A major overhaul isn’t always necessary, but a thorough evaluation of needs is. Is it functionality that your current website is lacking? Are the design and aesthetics dated? Is it loading slowly and causing visitors to bounce? Are there new services or sections needing to be added?
By clearly defining the need, a website redesign project can be scoped easily and progress can be made quickly.
The Benefits Of Investing In A Website Redesign
Your website is the foundation of your business; all departments can benefit from a well-constructed website and your prospects can get to know your brand and expertise before even contacting you. Investing in continuous website improvements will yield benefits to all corners of your business. You can be sure that your competitors are continually working on website redesigns and in some cases even complete overhauls to maintain and improve their position within the market.
A website redesign can help showcase to the world your strengths, personality, and expertise, and it can also help you keep pace with your competition. Take a look below at all the benefits of investing in a website redesign no matter what size the changes are that you might be considering:
The visual look of a website can grow outdated pretty quickly. If it’s been a few years since you updated your website’s look, there’s a good chance that it’s a little behind the times. A poor or uninspired aesthetic can affect the first impression that visitors have of your business. On top of that, if your website looks outdated, it’s not a stretch for visitors to think that your products or services might be outdated as well. The aesthetic of your website includes everything from the colors and fonts you use to the layout and other website elements such as CTA buttons and navigation menu.
New website technology is emerging all the time. Implementing new technology can help to significantly improve the user experience. For example, if you just implemented a chatbot, you’ll quickly notice how much more engaged visitors will become and how much more valuable information you’ll be able to collect. Not only should you keep your eye on new technology to implement on your website, but also be aware of the fact that not keeping up with emerging technology can cause you to fall behind, especially if certain tech is being adopted throughout your industry.
There may be features that you do not currently have on your website because they weren’t commonplace when you built it or because you didn’t have the proper resources to set up. Adding such features whenever you can will help enhance your website experience. For example, you may want to add a customer testimonial page (which would have required you to collect enough customer testimonials for) or a resource page (which would have required that you create sufficient content, such as eBooks or whitepapers) if you don’t have them yet.
The needs of your target audience are constantly evolving with time. If you don’t keep up with their needs, then you’ll lose their interest as well as their potential business. For example, it wasn’t long ago that customers were fine trying to call you or email you to speak with customer support. However, with the advent of various new technologies, your target audience might expect more convenient and immediate ways to interact, such as through a live chat feature. Since your website needs to focus on the user experience to be successful, keeping up with the user’s needs and expectations is incredibly important.
If your marketing and sales strategies have changed since the last time you updated your website, it may be time to redesign your website to better reflect those changes. Your website needs to align with your marketing and sales strategies for them to be effective. If not properly aligned, it can result in inconsistent messaging and unclear processes that can not only confuse your website’s visitors but also your marketing and sales teams.
Your content strategy is a big part of your website’s success. Older content may need to be updated, whether it’s to rewrite content that hasn’t aged well, replace outdated facts and statistics, or to optimize older content more effectively for SEO.
9 Signs You Need A Website Redesign
Adding new features, functionality, and technology is certainly a good reason to redesign your website. However, there are cases in which a redesign is required not because you want to add improvements to your website, but because there are problems that need to be addressed. The following are a few signs that indicate you need a website redesign to improve your website experience:
Poor loading speeds will negatively affect the experience of a website visitor. People expect a page to load within two to three seconds, if not faster. If it takes longer to load, they will likely abandon the page and possibly leave your website altogether. If you notice that a page has a significantly high bounce rate (the rate at which visitors leave without engaging), there’s a chance it might be related to page loading speed.
If your SEO efforts aren’t generating the results you anticipated or search rankings aren’t as high as you would have hoped for, your website traffic will, in turn, be lower than desired. If you notice that your pages are experiencing lower traffic than you expect, then it could be a problem with your SEO, either on-page or off-page SEO. If you want to improve your rankings so that you can bring in more traffic, you will need to perform an SEO audit to see what needs to be changed and include the recommended resolutions in the website redesign project.
If your website isn’t effectively generating awareness of your business, then your marketing and sales results will be directly affected. Poor conversion rates, click-through rates, social signals, and general engagement can all be the cause of issues with your website. Unfortunately, any number of website issues could be resulting in poor marketing and sales results, which means that you will need to do a thorough analysis to identify what exactly is in need of improvement during a redesign project.
A website that isn’t mobile-friendly will cause a lot of problems. Visitors who are trying to view and navigate your website on a mobile device, such as a tablet or a smartphone, will have a poor user experience and won’t stick around for long. Google also takes into account how mobile-friendly a website is when calculating page rankings, which means that it could hurt your search results if your website is not properly optimized for mobile devices. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you need to redesign it so that it is.
A website that’s not user-friendly will not provide a positive user experience. Simply trying to use your website yourself can tell you if it’s user-friendly or not. Pay attention to how easy it is to navigate, how easy it is to find specific answers if there are internal links that help guide you from page to page, and whether or not your experience is interrupted by broken links.
If your company switched its focus or rebranded, then your website will need to be redesigned to reflect this. Your messaging needs to be consistent across all channels, most of all, your website. If the messaging and the aesthetics of your website don’t match your company’s existing message and branding, your brand identity will be unclear and will confuse your customers and prospects.
If your website still uses the old HTTP protocol, then you need to update it to HTTPS to ensure that the data on your website is properly encrypted. If you don’t update it, your website will be a security risk and your visitors, as well as Google, won’t trust it nearly as much.
There are cases in which your company may have retained the same message and branding, but your audience has changed over time. This can happen if you originally built your website to target who you thought your audience was only to find out that the majority of your customers belong to a completely different audience segment. If your audience has changed, identify who your current target audience is and make sure that your website is redesigned to meet their unique goals, needs, and challenges.
If you no longer offer the same services, or your services have matured, then redesigning your website to reflect this is required. Not only do you need to make changes to your services page, but you may also have to go through all of your website’s content to make sure any mention of your legacy services is updated.
Website Redesign Best Practices
Knowing why and when to do a website redesign is one thing, knowing how to approach and execute a website redesign project is a whole different matter. Even if you’re only considering adding a minor feature or making a small tweak, it’s worth the time and effort to thoroughly evaluate your website and plan your redesign. Some of the best practices to keep in mind as you plan to redesign your website are below:
It helps to know about the websites of your competitors and the observable strategy they have implored. Review how user-friendly their websites are, what kind of aesthetics they use, what features and functionality the websites have, what kind of content they’re publishing, and more. Even evaluate what is and isn’t working for them regarding SEO as this can help bring to light your own website’s strengths and weaknesses. Analyzing your competitors’ websites can give you ideas on how to improve your website through a redesign project.
An effective website is one that is tailored to your target audience. If you don’t know who your target audience is, it will be impossible to create a user experience that meets their needs. If you haven’t done so already, develop your buyer personas (which are fictitious representations of your prospects and customers) so that you can better understand your target audience.
Perform a thorough analysis of your website to identify any potential issues that need to be addressed. You can do this by exploring your website on your own to determine how user-friendly it is, performing an SEO audit, using a variety of metrics to measure the performance of your website, and even asking existing customers for feedback.
In addition to addressing issues that your website has, you may also want to make general improvements by adding new functionality. Monitoring new trends and doing competitive research can help you identify new functionality that your website may not have and that you want to improve.
Using what you’ve learned from analyzing your website as well as your competitors’ websites, establish what the goals of your website redesign project are. If you’re updating or upgrading elements without a goal in mind, there’s no guarantee that it will have any impact on the success of your website, which means you could very well be wasting resources.
A Website Redesign Can Strengthen Your Marketing And Sales Strategies
It’s important to keep in mind that a website redesign doesn’t necessarily require a major overhaul. Redesigning your website can be a matter of making a few minor upgrades or updates to your existing website, such as to the site’s functionality, features, or general look. Even though a redesign isn’t a rebuild, the changes you make can greatly improve your website’s user experience and strengthen your marketing and sales strategies.