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Branding / Mar 12, 2020
How To Know When To Redesign Your Website
If you’re asking yourself whether or not it’s time to for a website redesign, you’re probably asking yourself the wrong question. The truth is, there is no set rule for how often you should overhaul your website—the answer will depend on what kind of business you’re in, your business objectives, economic conditions, and a myriad of other factors rather than some arbitrary number of years that branding and marketing experts predetermined for you.
The question you should be asking yourself instead: “Is my website consistently delivering the results I hope for?” Or, in other words: “Is my website working well for my business?” When you ask this question, your response will naturally be tailored to your specific business and your goals.
Of course, if your answer is yes, then you’re done for now. Don’t fix what’s not broken; keep doing what you’re doing until the results start to change. If your answer is no, then you’ve got some work to do to figure out why your website isn’t producing satisfactory results.
7 Signs Your Website Needs A Redesign
There could be dozens of reasons that your website is no longer working for your business, including your personal tastes and preferences. Perhaps you just don’t like how it looks anymore—that’s just as valid a reason for a website redesign as other, more technical issues.
When assessing your website, be sure to consider all aspects of design, content, and the development, or backend, of the site. Maybe your business has evolved and your site no longer accurately presents your value proposition to potential customers. Maybe your customers aren’t finding your website in the first place due to a lack of SEO. Here are 7 common complaints that we hear from clients who are ready to refresh their websites:
1.) Your Site Isn't Generating Leads
This is one of the biggest complaints we hear from our clients. If you have a beautiful website but your lead generation is low, then it’s not a great site for your business. Before you completely revamp your site, you need to spend some time getting to the heart of the problem.
It could be that you aren’t showing up in searches and aren’t getting enough traffic to generate the leads you want, in which case you need an SEO strategy to optimize your site as well as an ongoing SEO strategy once the initial work has been done. The latest Google update prioritizes original, high-quality, current content. One of the best ways to keep your website fresh is adding a blog that explores relevant topics and provides thought leadership, and updating that blog at least couple times a month.
On the other hand, you could be showing up in searches but reaching the wrong audience, which means you need to research your target market to create content that appeals to them more directly. An ongoing SEO strategy, keeping your content fresh, and understanding your audience more fully will not only help you generate more leads but will also improve the quality of your leads.
2.) Your Site Isn't Converting Leads
So you’re getting enough leads, but very few of those users are converting into customers? If you’re getting plenty of traffic and you believe you’re reaching the right audience but not converting, take a look at your user experience.
Does your site have clear calls to action (CTAs)? How do visitors move through your site? Is the path clear? Can a casual visitor understand what you do or what your offer is after spending 5-seconds on your homepage? Can users access your site how they want, when they want, and from whatever device they want? Focus on the customer journey. Redesigning your website just so you can say that you have won’t get you the results you’re looking for—it’s important to think through the site and approach it the way a potential customer would first. As you rethink your design, be sure to begin establishing KPI’s and other analytics so you can create a conversion rate optimization plan for your site.
3.) You’re Experiencing High Bounce Rates
If you’re getting good traffic but the majority of your visitors are bouncing, there are several possible explanations. First, it could be that your pages takes forever to load and you need to reengineer your site’s backend. Nobody waits for a site to load anymore. Under 4 seconds for a desktop and under 3 seconds for mobile should be your goal.
Second, it’s possible that you’re showing up in irrelevant search results, so your site is pulling in traffic that doesn’t belong. For example, if you’re showing up in search results or running Google Adwords for ‘office furniture’ but you only sell a high-quality standing desk converter, you’re going to bring in visitors that aren’t looking for your product. Be sure that your visitor knows what they’re getting before they arrive on your site by writing strong headlines and good meta descriptions as well as targeting your Adwords. Lastly, your site could be difficult to navigate or have uninspiring content with no clear CTAs. A redesign that focuses on creating multiple points of entry, clear pathways through your site, and compelling content will keep your visitors on your site for longer.
4.) Your Site Doesn’t Tell Your Story Anymore
Businesses are constantly evolving. Since your website is your digital storefront or digital office, it’s important that your site evolves along with your business. Perhaps you’ve adopted new branding or color standards since the last time you had your site redesigned and you want to apply your new look to your site for a consistent user experience. Maybe your business has shifted and you offer new products or services, or you’ve dropped certain products and services, and these changes aren’t reflected on your site. Your website is a digital extension of your business, and you need be make sure that it represents who you really are.
5.) Your Site is not Mobile Responsive
Mobile compatibility is so important that it’s a category unto itself. According to recent studies, customers are spending more than twice as much time browsing on mobile as they spend on desktops or laptops. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re missing out on this valuable audience. A website that’s built in an outdated content management system (CMS) with limited mobile responsiveness can also hurt conversion, cause a higher bounce rate due to the dated look and feel, and limit consumer engagement.
Furthermore, Google uses mobile friendliness as a ranking factor, penalizing sites that aren’t mobile responsive. In a scheduled update, Google will soon be using mobile site speed as a ranking factor as well. A mobile responsive site will no longer be enough; businesses will have to make sure the site is fast, too. All of this means that even if you’re hosting a B2B site and think mobile doesn’t matter to your customers, it does matter to Google rankings and your SEO, both of which will be impacted negatively without an update.
6.) Your Site is Informational Rather Than Interactive
Visitors no longer go to websites just to read content anymore. They are there to see videos, find out more, comment, engage with their favorite brands, and make decisions. If your homepage is little more than a Wikipedia page for your brand, then it’s time to overhaul your site to create a better user experience. The information needs to be there, of course, but you also need to create things for your visitors to do. Can they register for a webinar? A demo? Sign up for your newsletter? Get a free ebook? Give your visitors more ways to interact with your brand and your website will become a better asset for your company.
7.) Your Website is Slow—So Slow!
Again, we mentioned site speed when discussing bounce rates above, but it’s such an important issue that it warrants a closer look. Slow page loading is a death sentence for your website. Slow sites can have a number of causes, but the most common causes include:
- 1 Bloated HTML, Java and CSS. When your code is bloated, your website will take too long to load. Tools like Less and Sass that help minimize your code and slim down your site are industry standards now.
- 2 Image Optimization. If images are not saved out properly for web, you're going to have a massive site when it comes to file size. The bigger the file size, the slower the site loads because it has more to load.
- 3 Server Speed. Not all servers are created equal. Some servers put your site on the same server as hundreds of other sites and all are jockeying for bandwidth. Be sure that your bandwidth is adequate for your traffic with the right site hosting package.
- 4 Too Many Redirects. If you're redirecting your site to different places, it takes longer for the browser to go down the path to find the right place.
- 6 Browser Caching. Good practice is to utilize a browser caching tool on sites so repeat visitors to your site without having to send another HTTP request to the server.