How to Know When it’s Time to Re-design your Website
So it’s been a few years since your site got a redesign, and you’re starting to consider tackling that project. But how exactly do you know when it’s time for a redesign? There’s no checklist necessarily that indicates when your business is ready for a redesign. And redesigns take a lot of commitment on your part, something that your business should not take lightly. It can be overwhelming trying to navigate this big of a task, but fortunately, we’re here to ease the process.
So what should be considered when you’re redesigning your website? A few things are pretty standard across the board, regardless of what your business specializes in.
Easy navigation, easy-to-use layout, an aesthetically pleasing design, and quality content are four variables that are pretty much a staple for any website. If your website is harsh to look at or if visitors can’t find the essential information amidst a web of dizzying drop-down menus, they are likely to click away and hurt your lead gen efforts. Make those visitors believe that you are the expert - spending the time to develop these foundational components will generate trust between you and the visitor. There is a science to the balance of these goals, which we will go into further detail about throughout this blog entry.
The first thing that you want to prioritize is your launchpad website. This is going to be the first impression that you offer to visitors to your site. A common mistake that many companies make is oversaturating their front page. It can be tempting to want to give them all the information that they’ll ever need about your company from the jump, but most visitors aren’t ready for that much information yet.
So start small - your launchpad website should focus on your brand, your mission, and your premiere product that makes your business unique. Tell them why they want to keep exploring. And make your contact information easy to find so that they can follow up with questions for you. It might seem obvious, but if your contact information isn’t proudly displayed somewhere easy to find on your site, you are likely going to lose potential leads. Visitors would much rather click off and contact your competitors than they would try to find your business’s phone number and email.
A pretty telltale sign that your website is due for a reboot is if your users are not converting. There are a lot of reasons for why this might be happening. If your website was not built with a specific goal in mind, it will be difficult to track the metrics of how well your site is operating. So make sure to clear with what you are trying to accomplish in a site redesign and align it with your marketing and sales efforts.
Are visitors leaving your site shortly after finding it? Are they interacting with your calls to action (CTAs) or your content? If you’re not sure, then allow us to introduce you to Google Analytics and heat mapping, your new best friends. Google Analytics monitors your website performance and tracks users on your site. Heat maps show you where users are clicking or scrolling, basically outlining to you what they are interacting with on your site. Hotjar is our personal favorite heat mapping tool. Below is a graphic to show you how heat mapping works:
You also don’t want your load time to be more than a few seconds. Generally speaking, if your website has a long load time, this is an indication that there is something technically wrong. Users are becoming more and more used to instant gratification. If the information is not immediately available, a visitor is much more likely to just click away instead of being patient with your site’s display issues. Check, recheck, and triple check that your website is fully optimized for mobile - it’s an investment of your time that you don’t want to overlook.
Another important component of the Growth-Driven Design formula is your search engine optimization (SEO). Less than 10% of people go beyond the first page when they conduct a Google search, most barely even leaving the first two or three results. As such, it is even more important to get on that first page of search results.
Google has modified their algorithms so that websites can’t just jam their pages full of keywords in order to get hits. The focus has shifted to a more qualitative approach rather than a quantitative one. Include keyword research, different header tags, page titles and alt tags to make sure you are getting ranked in Google for the things you would like to be found for. Make your keywords count and align them with what your visitors are looking for in this stage of the buyer’s journey.
Depending on how old your site is, you may not be optimized for newer browsers options or for mobile interfaces. Optimizing for mobile users is imperative to your website’s emerging success in today’s technological era. Statistics show that over 80% of American Internet users are browsing on mobile devices, and it’s anticipated that this percentage is only going to grow in the coming years. Make sure that your mobile site is fast and efficient - you don’t want your site displaying like a jumbled brick of HTML code.
And on that note, be sure to include links to social media from your website. Connecting with your social media portals is a great way to reach a bigger audience. Social media is becoming a more integral part of the marketing process - more users are finding businesses through social media portals, so be sure to take advantage of the free(ish) exposure. What’s more is that the more links that you have to social media, the higher your SEO rating will be. It’s a two for one deal.
Website redesign is a hefty project, regardless of how you look at it. But that’s why the time, effort, and strategy that you put into it is all the more vital. If you are thinking about doing a website redesign or want to generate more traffic, make sure to consider all the elements we have outlined in this blog post. Consider the design as well as the functional elements; a well-designed website is perhaps the most effective marketing tool you have.
Still not sure if you need a redesign? Lucky for you, we offer a free website assessment service. We can give you a quick audit of your site and offer our opinion on what you can do to improve. We would love to talk to you about your site and Growth Driven Design, so feel free to contact us.