Does your website need a redesign?
Updated 11th January 2018
Have you ever asked yourself, "Do I need a website redesign?" Well, if you have a fast, secure, beautiful-looking responsive website that you and your customers love, then the answer is probably no. However, if your website is slow, not mobile-friendly, looks a little dated, restricts your customers from buying, or you just aren't happy with your site, you might want to continue reading.
Over time, technology improves, fashions change, security gets stronger and user experience evolves. Websites are no exception. Websites are not one-off solutions that never need updating, they require constant attention as technology, user expectations and trends change.
The internet, and to be specific the World Wide Web, has changed a lot over the last five or six years alone. Mobile browsing has now overtaken desktop browsing as the most popular way of accessing websites, and online purchases from mobile devices are on the increase too. If your website has not had much attention lately, is not very secure, is not mobile friendly or sends your customers to another website to buy, it may be in need of a redesign.
Website redesign or brand new website?
Simply put, redesigning a website requires taking the website you already have and changing it to make it better. However, because of the nature of websites and the technology they use, it is often better and more financially viable, to create a new website from scratch. This enables maximum use of the latest technologies, to speed up your site and make it more secure.
A website redesign should focus on a greater volume of traffic and in turn more customers. It should have the latest technologies and should focus on user experience. However, a website redesign isn’t just about the technology and user experience, it's an entire process of getting your business and brand back up-to-date and one step ahead of your competitors.
Why should you redesign?
Websites are fantastic tools and are one of the most important facets to the success of your business. If you have an old website it is unlikely to be able to generate the same results as more modern websites can. In the current marketplace, it is so easy for your existing or potential customers to just go elsewhere if they don’t get what they expect. They want your site to be easy to use and intuitive and they expect to have a great user experience. If you want or need better results from your website, you might want to consider a redesign.
How can you tell if you need a website redesign?
There are several questions you can ask yourself regarding your website to see if it's time for a redesign. Here I have answered ten of the most popular questions as to why a website redesign for your business might a good idea and I've included some tests you can do to see if your current website holds up.
1. Can your customers buy your products from your website?
If you run a business that sells products or services, but you don’t sell these products or services on your own website, you're missing out on huge potential revenue. Whilst having your products on an online marketplace like Etsy or Not On The High Street can be very useful, sending a customer away from your website to buy it on a different website has its dangers. There is no guarantee that the customer will buy your product when they get to the online marketplace, because they're now tempted by all the other lovely products available on the marketplace site.
Test: If you sell products but don’t have an online shop of your own, and instead send your customers away to buy them, you should seriously consider having your website redesigned so that an online shop can be incorporated.
2. Is your website mobile-friendly?
The majority of online searches being performed today are done using a mobile device. So, it’s important to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. There are always new devices to browse the web, so your website should easily integrate into whatever device your customers are using. If your website does not work well on different devices, you're losing out on a large chunk of your audience.
Test: Have you checked your website on a tablet or smartphone recently? Have a look now and see. What does it look like? Is the text small? Do you have to zoom in? Can you navigate easily? You can also try Google’s ‘Mobile-Friendly Test’ on your pages too: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
3. Do your customers have a good user experience?
User experience is a critical part of any website and so when your customers land on your site, it should be clear from the very start what you offer and how you can help them. If a potential customer has to spend any time thinking about what it is you do, or have to search around your site trying to understand how to navigate, they will almost certainly leave and will be unlikely to return. Your customers expect your website to do what they want and need it to do. If your website fails your customer’s expectations, it may be because it is lacking in specific features or functionality.
Test: Open your website and pretend that you are a new customer or, better still, ask someone you know to look for a specific product on your website. If a customer can’t find what they are looking for in a few clicks, or they struggle to understand the navigation they will probably get frustrated and leave.
4. Are you or your products being found in Google search results?
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)-friendly content is probably the best way to improve your website's search rankings, but if your website doesn’t have SEO at its heart, you simply won't be found via organic searches. There’s no point having an excellent website if no-one finds it. If your website doesn't rank well on Google (or other search engines) for your target keywords and phrases, it might be time to think about a redesign to provide you with a website that is more SEO-friendly, that Google will approve of and that your customers will find.
If you want to know more about SEO, have a read of my free ebook ‘What is SEO and why should I care’:
Test: Navigate to Google and search for one of your products or your company name. If your website doesn’t show up on the first page of results, it may be time to question your current website. 75% of web users never scroll past the first page of search engine results. Do you continue to navigate through pages 8 or 9 of Google’s search results? Me neither.
5. Does your website take ages to load?
The speed at which your website loads is essential to its success. You have only a small amount of time to grab the attention of your customers before they decide to either stay or go elsewhere. People are more likely to navigate away from your website if it takes too long to load. If your website is old, it’s unlikely to load as fast as a newer site, due to the servers and technologies involved. A slow to load website could also negatively affect your SEO, because Google now uses website load speed as part of their search algorithm.
Test: Open your website in a new browser or empty your current browser’s cache, as if you were a new customer, opening your website for the first time. How long does it take to load? You can test your website load time with this handy online speed test by Pingdom: https://tools.pingdom.com
6. Has your website stayed the same whilst your business has evolved?
Another reason you might consider a website redesign is that it hasn’t kept up with changes within your business. You might have expanded and your website is still just a few pages, you might have outdated information, your about page may not reflect you or your company’s ethos anymore, your contact details might have changed which could confuse or frustrate your customers.
Test: Write down your ideal customer and then go to your website and see if the site reflects their wants, needs and expectations. Are they able to get information that is current and relevant?
7. Does your website reflect your brand?
As a creative business, your brand is part of who you are and it’s essential to reflect this on your website. If your website doesn’t reflect who you are, has an old logo, uses different fonts or colours than your current brand, you run the risk of existing and potential customers losing confidence in your website and leaving. Your website’s look and user experience should reflect your brand.
Test: Take a look at your website. If the logo, user experience, fonts or colour scheme are not what your brand represents any more, you should consider a website redesign.
8. Is your website a few years old?
Time is a major factor when it comes to deciding if you need a website redesign. If it has been a few years since your last website redesign, then it's time to consider a refresh. An old website will struggle to compete against newer websites, as newer sites will be utilising the latest technologies and will probably be using the most recent SEO techniques.
Your website is much more than a simple online tool, it’s designed to build credibility for your business. If it’s old, outdated, difficult to use or not mobile-friendly, what does that say about you and your business? It tells your customers that other things besides your design might not be current.
Test: How many years ago did you last update your website? Take a look at your website and see if it stands up to some of your favourite sites. Is it as slick as you would like? Is it old-fashioned-looking? What features would you like it to have?
9. Does your website bring value to your customers?
If a potential customer visits your website, and they don’t get what they need from your site quickly, they’ll leave. And if they don’t find anything helpful, useful or valuable to them, they have no reason to return.
I don’t recommend obsessing over what your competitors are up to, but it is worth keep an eye on them, because if they have a lovely new website with excellent design and simple navigation, there’s a chance your customers may prefer to do business with them. Keeping your website current and full of valuable content is key for returning customers.
Test: Have a look at your website and see what valuable content you have. Do you have a blog that is regularly updated? Do you have information that changes often, like ‘product of the week’? What driving factors does your site have that would encourage a customer to return?
10. Is your website secure?
Security is hugely important when it comes to a website. Nobody wants to be worried about whether or not their passwords, private information or credit card number might be hacked. To make sure that this doesn’t happen, it is always advisable to have an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate installed on your website. SSL is the web’s standard protocol that is used to secure and encrypt any communication between computers. Essentially it means that any information on your site will be secure.
Another great reason to make sure your site is secure is that Google now uses this SSL security as part of its search algorithm, so if your site isn’t secure, it will negatively effect your rankings.
Test: Open your website and see if there is a padlock next to the name in the address bar. If there isn’t, your website is not secure and you should consider looking into this sooner rather than later.
Your website is often the first point of contact for potential customers, so first impressions are crucial. If your website has slow load times, is difficult to navigate, doesn’t sell the products, no longer reflects your brand, or isn’t mobile-friendly, then it could be time for a website redesign. Your website is an essential part of your business and a website redesign can help your business attract more customers and achieve more sales.
Are you in need of a new website or a website redesign, or would you like to talk about how you can improve your current website? I'm here to help. I can take care of your website so you can take care of your business.
Get in touch with me here. http://cptcreative.com/contact/
If you have a comment or want to ask any questions about website redesigns, please leave a message below.
Until next time…
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SEO Lakewood, CO says
Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe that this amazing site needs far more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the advice!