In today’s online world, it is not enough just to have a website – marketing experts agree that your website should be worked on and improved on a regular basis in order to attract visitors seeking relevant and useful information, services and/or products.
Redesigning your website can be a very time consuming process, so you do not want to dedicate all of your resources to a redesign unless it is necessary. Before you commit to a redesign, take a step back and decide if your redesign will have a positive impact on your operation. It is a poor idea to change your site for the sake of changing it, so ask yourself, why do I want to redesign my website?
Instead of blindly jumping in to make changes your site, it is important that you think things through clearly by defining the purpose of the redesign. Jot down what your aim is. Is it to make the site more user-friendly, to better showcase your products and services, or do you want to offer visitors more informational text and/or photos?
4 Good Reasons to Redesign Your Website
1. Want to Get Found by More Prospects/Fans/Etc
The whole point of your website is to attract visitors and encourage them to choose your product or service. If your website has a poor design it could be having the exact opposite effect and driving your potential customers away. If you feel that the design of your site is giving off a bad or outdated impression, it may be a good time to consider redesigning your site.
Do some research to find out how your site is doing traffic-wise and how it is perceived by visitors. Consider putting up some online surveys or usability tests before making any changes. Once you get a good picture of how your site is currently being used, you can then formulate a plan to make the proper changes to improve the user experience.
2. Want to Convert More Visitors into Customers/Members
Perhaps the appearance of your website is fine, but your website is still not converting prospects into customers or members. If this is the case, consider revisiting your landing pages and calls to action to see if these are driving visitors away. Perhaps your landing pages are too complicated or the language used in your CTA’s is unclear.
One of the most aggravating things when surfing the web is to land on a page and not being able to figure out what the website is about. Usually, these sites are rather ‘artsy’ in nature meaning that the design may look very appealing but you have to dig in order to find out the point of the website. Be sure that your visitors know immediately what your site is about when they arrive because if you don’t, they will leave in a flash. Try to make the necessary changes to pull customers deeper into the action funnel.
3. Want to Optimize Your Website for Usability
If your website is behind the times, you could be losing potential prospects. As people continue to use newer web browsers and accessing content from mobile devices, you need to be sure that your site is compatible across all of these platforms. Visitors shouldn’t need to constantly resize your website on their mobile device to get the content they need. That takes time and mobile visitors will simply search for an easier site to get the information. If your site isn’t responsive, you should redesign your website to give them the ability to access it from anywhere.
Also, one of the most important aspects of your site is the speed in which it loads. Your visitors will leave very quickly if they have to wait over 10 seconds for a page to load. Google has announced something that many in the SEO community already suspected: that the search engine will now consider site speed when ranking results. If your website takes too long to load, you may find yourself slipping in the search engine result pages (SERPS). Increasing the speed of your site may involve changing hosts or it could mean that you should look at a new publishing platform. It could even mean that you have to undertake a complete overhaul of the type and format of your site’s content.
4. Want to Improve Branding
If you are trying to grow your company into a brand, a website redesign could be helpful to build stronger association. You should only redesign a website to improve branding as long as it is oriented around one of the previous reasons. If you are satisfied with your number of customers or members online, but are looking to start a new branding campaign, you are likely changing your website for one of the wrong reasons.
After getting some feedback from your site visitors, you know what it is that your users expect out of your site. Write some fresh content so that your visitors are given up-to-date and useful information. New, unique content also acts as ‘link bait’ which helps build external links to your pages. Optimized content is what the search engines thrive on, so weed out any weak content and replace it with something fresh and interesting.
4 Bad Reasons to Redesign Your Website
1. We Have a New Corporate Look and Feel
Is your company trying to adopt a new corporate look and feel? That may be great for the office, but it is not a good reason to redesign your website. Keep in mind that your company website is supposed to be designed for your visitors/customers, not your own needs. Focus on maintaining a website that makes it easy for potential customers to locate any information they may be looking for.
2. It’s Been 12 Months Since the Last Redesign
There is no rule that says you need to update your website within a certain time period. Timeframes since the last redesign should not come into play when choosing to redesign your site. Web users become comfortable with your website over time, and will not appreciate it if your website is constantly changing.
3. CEO Wants To Do It
So the big boss is bored with your current website design. We’ll get right on that boss, but “just because” is a very poor reason to completely redesign your website. Performing a complete site redesign may be great for creating temporary excitement, but that feeling will be short lived. If you get bored with your original site, the odds are you will become bored with your new site as well.
4. Competitor Just Redesigned Their Website
There is nothing wrong with comparing your site to your competitors’ websites, but just because they make a move does not mean that you need to. It’s exactly like the old adage, if they decided to jump off a bridge would you do the same? You can improve on your favorite aspects of your competitor’s website, but do not change yours just to stay on pace with their changes. The goal is to lead, not to follow.
Redesigning your website can be very beneficial to your business, but only if it is done for the proper reasons. If you are simply looking to improve the aesthetics of your webpage, you will be committing a lot of time and effort for a minimal return.
What may appear fresh and exciting in your eyes may appear unnecessary and confusing to your customers. Your redesign focus should be on improving the functionality and performance of your website to drive traffic and create leads for your business.
In order to be certain that the new design works, have a few people test your layout. You can post a ‘sneak preview’ on your home page a few weeks before launching the new design so that you can received feedback in order to ‘tweak’ your site so that it is designed as best as it can be.
These tips should give you a bit of guidance when you are considering a website redesign. If you think your users are used to your website content and layout, but it could do with some improvements to the overall usability, then introduce small changes gradually.