How and Why You Should Redesign Your Web Site.
Why fix it when it ain’t broken? Why fool around with a redesign, when everything works just fine? Why jeopardize our conversion rates just for the sake of a refresh? Old, but gold... These are all perfectly reasonable reactions to a question whether your website needs improvement, a little facelift. Even though somewhere in the back of your mind you keep a number of reasons why you actually should redesign your website, you feel like there’s too much at stake. A redesign can make your business grow and bring you success, or it can fail discouragingly.
However, it is important to understand the crucial role your website plays in your business. It is your number one salesperson (working around the clock) and it needs to be good-looking, easy-to-use and responsive. Without a doubt users’ first impressions of your company will be based on your website; how it looks and how user-friendly it is. Nowadays, users are pretty web-savvy, confident and choosy and with so many brands competing for their attention, it is very important to keep up with the latest design trends and technology advancements.
Let’s look at some signs that can help you determine whether you should just update your product offering, change a couple of images here and there, modify the company’s logo or roll your sleeves up and start redesigning.
YOUR WEBSITE LOOKS OLD-FASHIONED
Take a 2-second look at your website. What is your first impression? Does it seem a bit outdated to you compared to the latest design trends? If it does, there’s your reason number one to start thinking about a makeover. It may sound a bit superficial, but the truth of the matter is it really is about how you look. There is a number of studies available online that show just how little time it takes for a user to form an aesthetic opinion. According to a study published back in 2012 by Google this happens within timeframes between 17 and 50 milliseconds. In other words, every millisecond counts and it can potentially hurt your business, especially when users are choosing between you and your competitors.
When it comes to modern design, a minimalistic approach is definitely the way to go. Whether you feel confident enough to do it yourself or you want to ask a professional to do it for you, you need to be thinking of a flat, clean design with simple, two-dimensional patterns that will look good on both desktop and mobile interfaces. Embrace the “Less is More“ mantra and bring your inner artist to surface.
Not only will your new design keep your user intrigued and interested, it will also assure them that your company is serious, professional and on top of the latest trends.
Try to remember the last time you visited a website that simply wasn’t working. You waited an eternity for it to load and when it finally did, all you got to see was a bunch of broken links and unoptimized images. Chances are you weren’t exactly full of understanding so you just left and never came back to that website again.
The goal is to keep your loading time under 5 seconds, ideally around two. If you’re not sure about it, try using tools like GTmetrix to check how quickly your site loads and how to make it faster. It might be that your website is not that broken, but has areas that need to be tuned up a bit. Make sure that your images are correctly saved for the web and that your layout is optimized for the latest browsers. Are there any links to old pages that don’t exist anymore or links that are not properly redirected?
Although small, these issues can have major impact on the overall impression of your website. Disregarding them will affect your lead generation and traffic in the long run.
YOUR WEBSITE IS NOT MOBILE RESPONSIVE
If this is the case, you need to start redesigning seriously and immediately. This is a no-brainer. People want the information and they want it now no matter where they are. Your website has to be easily adaptable to fit the screen size of any mobile device. A responsive design will give your visitors a seamless experience on your website, whether their access point is a smartphone, an iPad or a laptop.
If your website is not mobile friendly, this will have a huge impact on your credibility and consequently on your click-through rate and sales. It will cost you leads, period.
YOUR WEBSITE IS NO LONGER REFLECTING YOUR LATEST BUSINESS
Oftentimes people will check out your website before getting in touch with you. If your website is not reflecting your latest business strategy and products/services you’re providing, most probably you’re losing valuable prospects to your competitors.
A redesign will help you expand the list of your services so that your visitors are fully aware of everything you’re offering. While you’re at it, pay attention to the content that needs to be consistent and to the image galleries you show; keep everything fresh and at high-quality level.
YOU WANT TO IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE SECURITY
Most probably one of the greatest concerns today for all of us is (and should be) cyber security. If you were focused on high-quality code in the website development process and you tend to keep your web server up to date with all the settings done correctly, then keep up the good work. However, if your website was built years ago without any update, you’re risking malware and hacking. On Creative Bloq you’ll find some security tips that will help you protect your website from hackers.
YOUR WEBSITE IS NOT SEO FRIENDLY ENOUGH
In other words, if you’re pulling your hair out because your competitors are showing up at the top of Google’s search result, while your website is nowhere to be found, it’s time to think about how a redesign can help you improve the site’s performance.
The one thing you should always keep in mind is that Google and other search engines like fresh content. If you keep your content constantly updated, you’ll increase your chances to be more noticeable. So, having a blog, for instance, can help you drive more traffic on to your website through keywords, internal back links.
For all the SEO ninjas out here, Google Search Quality team compiled a helpful starter guide with the complete overview of the basics of SEO.
YOUR WEBSITE HAS A BAD USER EXPERIENCE
If your visitors are having difficulty finding what they need on your website, buying or subscribing, your navigation definitely needs to be easier. This is where a redesign can help you optimize the buyers’ journey on your website and keep them moving through your sales funnel.
Always research the latest trends in your industry, check the new features “big players“ have implemented and be on a constant look-out for the functionalities that’ll provide the best experience to your visitors. That way you’ll increase your chances of converting them into customers.
Hopefully, by now we got you convinced redesigns have to be done, because it is a process that will help you take a deeper look into your business, the goals you want to achieve and strategies you want to implement. Eve though, there is no simple answer to the question how often you should redesign your website, it would be a good thing to do a checkup every six months, if you have a basic website. But, if it is a more advanced one (with lots of blog posts or eCommerce features, for example) then you should do a monthly checkup to keep up with the latest trends in the industry.
To start with have a look at this free “Ultimate Guide to Redesigning Your Website“ available on HubSpot.