Your website represents your business on the Internet. It only makes sense for your website to undergo a redesign that corresponds to changes in your market, business status, objectives and goals. Business should never remain passive. In order to be competitive, business should always remain dynamic; ever evolving to accommodate changes in demand, tastes and preferences. Therefore, your website should likewise remain dynamic and ever evolving.
So yes, your website should undergo a redesign. The question is when?
There is no clear cut rule on determining the need to change your website’s design and functionality. A web designer manipulates design elements to arrive at a look and feel that best captures your business purpose while presenting beautiful aesthetics and user-friendly functionality.
The initial design of your website was based on the information that was provided at the time. Over the course of your business, conditions may have changed.
Perhaps you adopted new strategies, presented additional products and services or experienced a shift in market demographics. Online analytics will help you determine how these changes have collectively asserted their influence on the flow of business.
Or you could subscribe to the Amazon.com and Apple.com school of thought which applies an iterative approach to website redesign. These highly successful technology companies continue to follow a process of consistently getting feedback from customers on their experience using their respective sites.
A combination of online analytics, customer feedback and a frequent review of company financials, should give you an accurate evaluation of the decisions that you need to make regarding your business.
And that should include redesigning your website.
3 Questions You Need to Answer Before You Redesign Your Website
A website redesign could be a minor undertaking. You may only want changes in the color combination, the type of content or add another web page for your portfolio.
But it could also mean a major overhaul. The extent of the redesign will impact your budget for the project.
When clients ask us to redesign their website, we ask them a few questions so we can have a better idea of where they are coming from and what they hope to accomplish with their decision.
1. Why Do You Want to Redesign Your Website?
This seems like an obvious question but we always prefer to hear from the client first.
We view the client as the expert; no one knows the business and the market better than you. No doubt there are very real factors or reasons on why you believe it is time to redesign your website.
- Does your website look outdated or behind-the-times?
- Are your competitors redesigning their websites as well?
- Are you planning to improve your search rankings?
As the web design company, we are here to listen to you. Our job is to offer solutions to your problems or concerns. We will translate your needs into design elements that will help you achieve your goals and objectives.
2. What Problems Are You Currently Experiencing With Your Website?
In the same way that no one likes poor service in a brick-and-mortar establishment, poor user experience is unacceptable in website design.
- Is your website taking too long to load?
- Is your bounce rate high?
- Are the social sharing buttons functioning well?
Part of our web management service package includes a website audit for our clients to identify potential pain points. The audit can be an eye-opener; it gives them a clearer perspective on how the website affects their bottom-line. It becomes a valuable reference tool in managing their business.
3. Have You Changed Your Brand Image?
It is normal for businesses to change its brand or company image. This is done to accommodate changes in the market demographic. You want a brand that your target market can relate to.
Changes in brand image should be incorporated in web design. Your brand represents how you want your business to be perceived in the market. It must be consistent throughout your marketing channels.
In an online marketing campaign, your website is the destination point where all inbound avenues converge and drive generated leads. Its redesign should be in line with any change in your brand or company image.
Checklist: 8 Signs Your Website Needs a Redesign
The best way to determine if your website needs a redesign is to get a professional opinion. An experienced web designer can review analytics and run tests to give you solid bases on the extent of work that needs to be done.
Of course, you can always get a second or third opinion before deciding on the course of action to take. It is very important to be comfortable with the redesign recommendations and at the same time be confident with the ability of the web designer to get the job done.
At Mountaintop, after we meet with the client, we go through a standard checklist covering eight signs your website might need a redesign.
The checklist is a great way to confirm all of the information and details given by the client during the meeting. We will use online analytics plus a thorough site audit to validate their concerns and spot potential problems that may have been overlooked.
It is not necessary to have all the items checked in the list. Our job is to identify the pain points and offer solutions for you to consider.
1. Poor Mobile Loading Capability
You may have commissioned your web designer to create a mobile responsive website for your business. But when you tried to view it from a smartphone, the site’s text did not appear legible and the images seemed distorted.
At a time when 65% of online traffic comes from mobile devices, you can’t risk visitors having poor user experience on your site. This is especially true if you are running an ECommerce website.
Your website must be accessible to various mobile devices. Laptops, notebooks, tablets and smartphones come in different screen sizes. How your website sets up in these mobile devices will determine whether the user will further explore or abandon the search.
2. Slow Loading Website
Research conducted by Akamai and Gomez.com showed that Internet users expect websites to load in 2 seconds or less.
One second more will make 79% of visitors abandon the site and never return. Another 44% will relay the poor experience with a friend. You would not want your website to be representative of these statistics.
If from your own experience, your website is not loading fast enough on desktop and mobile devices, you definitely should have this looked into by a web designer.
3. Social Media Shares Don’t Look Enticing
Social media is a powerful driver of traffic. But if your links and thumbnail don’t look good when you share on social media, people who come across it may not be enticed to click on your content.
Not only should your link and thumbnail grab attention, its title and description should give readers an immediate idea of what to expect from your content.
If your link doesn’t look enticing in social media, give it an update. Keep in mind that social media accounts for 31% of all referral traffic.
4. Content Does Not Display Properly
Don’t you get frustrated when you click on a URL and the website comes out like an unfinished template?
Images are not displayed properly and content is nowhere to be found. You refresh the page and the results are the same. Your next course of action would be to click out and look for a similar website.
You would probably never click on that link every time you see it.
The same thing could happen to your website if its content does not display properly.
It’s possible your website is using obsolete software. If it’s been around for some time, it may no longer be compatible with newer devices and browsers. This is a problem that is best handled by a professional web designer.
5. Unsatisfactory Business Results
As we discussed in our article “10 Benefits of a Website for a Small Business”, it is absolutely important to have a website in this day and age of the Internet and social media.
It will be difficult to capitalize on opportunities if you have no destination point for all the inbound traffic that you plan to generate with an online marketing campaign.
But having a website is never a guarantee for business success. Like all ventures, there will be hits and misses. You should never look at a website as a “magic potion” that will cure all business ills or the veritable “lightning in a bottle”.
The advantage of having a website is that the availability of online and offline analytics allows you to identify strengths and weaknesses:
- Are you having problems generating leads?
- Is there an increase in the rate of shopping cart abandonment?
- Is your conversion rate decreasing?
- Is the level of engagement declining?
Once the problem areas have been threshed out, the web designer can come up with a redesign that might provide remedy to your current situation.
6. Visitors Leave Your Site Right Away
In retail, the longer you keep visitors inside your store the higher the probability of making a sale. The rule also applies to websites.
If you have a blog page, you would love for people to hang around, read content while nursing a cup of coffee. The more they read, the more likely they would share your content with social media.
If you are managing an ECommerce site, you would want your visitors to take their time, browse your site, zoom in your product offerings and place merchandise on the shopping cart. In time, they might follow through with the purchase.
Visitors leaving your site early is never a good sign.
A web designer will use the following metrics to check the online behavior of your site visitors:
- Bounce Rate – Measures the rate by which visitors leave your page. It is not a good sign if your bounce rate is high.
- Pages/ Session – Measures the average number of pages a user views per session. A high number means the average user views more pages whenever he or she is in your site.
- Behavior Flow – This is a Google generated report which gives you details on the most popular path site users take to visit your website. Knowing where your visitors come from will improve productivity and help fine tune your online marketing campaign.
7. Visitors Can’t Find What They Need
Navigability should always be an important consideration in website design because it is a big part of User Experience. If a site user can’t find what he or she is looking for within a few seconds, frustration could mount.
When you receive emails or comments from users narrating their difficulty navigating through your website, take it seriously and act upon it right away.
A professional web designer could help come up with a cleaner and more efficient navigation plan that will keep users happy.
8. Initial Design Does Not Capture Current Changes
It could be that the previous year represented a time of sweeping change for your business.
If you have an online consultancy business, perhaps some services are no longer available. Did you replace some products with new offerings? Were there changes in management?
All of these changes should be reflected in your website. In business, communication is very important. If you distribute marketing collateral its content must correspond to what is presented in your website.
If you have a website, accept the fact that a redesign is inevitable. Digital technology will always be in a progressive state. Programs are expected to run faster and process more data. Users will crave a better experience and if you want to compete, you will have to keep your website updated, current and compatible.
The programs and plugins running your website now could be rendered obsolete within a few months. Without a redesign, it may not be responsive to the needs and demands of your market.
Keep in mind that your website is an investment that will yield potentially high returns for your business. With the help of an experienced web designer, you will get more out of every resource that you put back into your website.
Did we get you to re-think the design of your current website? Give us a call or drop us an email to clear your mind. We can simplify the process for you and help you get your business back on track.