Having an updated website is crucial. Your audience’s first impression of your business will at times be solely based on your website. It requires a great deal of thought and planning, but the outcomes are worth it.
Especially when a whopping 94% of people won’t trust an outdated website. So, if you’re currently using a website which was designed a few years ago and hasn’t been regularly maintained (both from a visual and technical point of view), you might be thinking that it’s time for an update…
Although the word ‘redesign’ can seem overwhelming, we don’t necessarily mean starting from scratch. Redesigns can be updates that make your website function and look better – which is going to have a huge impact on your businesses performance and the experience your customers are exposed to when they visit your site.
So while you might find excellent reasons not to revamp your site, there are so many more reasons why you should take the plunge and invest in your online presence…
1) You Aren’t Getting the Results You Want
If you aren’t happy with the results you are getting from your website, then it’s time for a change. At this point, you need more than just a visual update, it needs to function and perform better than it did previously. That’s why analysing your website’s current situation is crucial to identify what is/isn’t working, allowing you to put plans in place to change the website for the better.
You’ll want to start by examining the conversion rate across your website. This could be sales or leads, depending on your business objectives and the aim of your website. You’ll also want to monitor the behaviour of customers on the website and try to identify the points where they stop searching and leave. A great tool to use is Hotjar – it tells you what your users are doing on your site and where they are spending their time, in a nice visual format (heatmaps). It’s a great way to determine what’s working, and what isn’t so that you can make the right changes.
To get started simply ask yourself the following questions…
- Is your website’s landing page attractive enough to encourage users to explore the rest of the site? It should be!
- Is your website informative and helpful? It should be!
- Is your website difficult to navigate? It shouldn’t be!
- Is your site too text-heavy or riddled with technical jargon? It shouldn’t be!
2) Your Website Doesn’t Reflect Your Brand
If your website doesn’t reflect your brand, it needs to be revisited. Your website promotes your company 24/7 in the digital world with the possibility of thousands of people visiting the site in a single day.
It’s really important that your website truly matches your company’s culture, values and ethos, along with fully demonstrating your capabilities through examples. Not only that but consistency is also a key thing to consider when reviewing your website. Aesthetically, it’s important to ensure that your website looks and feels united from an outsider’s perspective.
3) Your Website Doesn’t Work As It Should
Your website might look fantastic, but if it isn’t functioning well and allowing for an effortless customer journey and experience, then it isn’t working. You’ve probably visited websites which are difficult to navigate and you’ve found yourself getting frustrated and moving on to a competitor site. That’s something you should try to avoid when creating your website. Your website might not be as bad as that, but it may not be as user-friendly as it could and in fact should be. That’s why reviewing your website, and seeking to identify key areas which simply aren’t working is helpful. Ideally, it would be good to have a handful of unbiased people reviewing the site to follow the journey and pinpoint areas which aren’t effective that need to be corrected during the next website refresh.
4) You have an Effective Web Design Strategy
If you’re already considering a redesign, it’s important to note that it won’t happen overnight. The beauty of web design is that it is implemented over a period of time.
In cases like this, it would be ideal to have a list of goals, set in order of priority, instead of having one large redesign goal. The most pressing things should be redesigned first, i.e things that negatively impact the user’s customer journey – most importantly navigation issues.
Having a longer redesign process can allow for breathing room too, and for bugs and errors to be corrected immediately without the need to fix ten other things first. This web design strategy is very common, and, if you think of some of your favourite websites, you probably don’t notice changes, as they happen gradually, one by one, rather than all at once.
5) Your Site Isn’t Responsive
It’s essential that your website is responsive and adapts effortlessly for desktop, mobile and tablet users. More than 50% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. If your site isn’t responsive yet, there’s a high chance that you’re losing leads and customers, as well as being harder to find in the search engines. As a result, you’ll see a high bounce rate, as users expect to land on a responsive site, which is easy to read and navigate through.
Mobile users expect to have superb experiences, similar to what they would find on desktop – so this should be a high priority for your company if it isn’t already.
6) Your Website is Slow
With 53% of mobile users leaving a website it takes more than 3 seconds to load, speed is everything. If your website is slow, it’s time to think about how you can make a change. There are many website templates available, some of which use a multitude of plugins which can negatively impact upon speed. That’s why it’s crucial to look for templates which are made for speed.
To find out how to improve your websites speed performance check out our ‘10 ways to improve page speed’ blog.
7) You Want to Incorporate a Better Content Strategy
Although having a great website which is fully functional and responsive is great, there needs to be content on there which resonates with the audience you’re trying to captivate.
Having brilliant content on your site can improve everything from customer acquisition to retention and SEO. But having quality content on your site is useless if your visitors can’t easily find it. If you’re planning to create and store a great volume of content on your site, you need a plan. The content should be organised, clearly visible and easy for users to find and navigate through.
If you’re planning to continuously update and add new content to your website, it’s important to choose a CMS (Content Management System) that makes it easy to update information and add new pages. This helps to avoid the accumulation of outdated content on your site and makes the adjusting of both new and existing content much easier.
8) Your Competitors Changed Their Site
You don’t need to give your site a refresh every time one of your competitors changes theirs. But, if they are making significant changes to their website, which is improving their rankings and pushing you down in searches, it would be wise to make some alterations to your site.
It’s important to keep an eye on what innovations your competitors are implementing, and how. Not so that you can ‘copy’ ideas, but so that you can take inspiration and ensure that your site meets the expectations of prospective customers or leads.
9) Lack of Originality
Visuals can make or break the image of your brand and show customers how serious you are about them. Today’s internet users are more sophisticated than they were a few years back and therefore have developed a liking for originality. The design and the images used should be original and show the value behind your business. Customers want to see what it is like to use your product or services, so user-generated content helps to turn your lead into a conversion, giving first hand, unbiased experiences of their journey with your brand. Think about how you can creatively showcase this – rather than just showcasing reviews and testimonials, explore ways to bring this content to life, through images and video content. User-generated content also contributes to improving the ranking of your website.
When planning your new website, avoid stock photography and invest in adding original, engaging imagery to your website, where you can.
Are you ready for a website refresh?
The take-home from this blog is to make sure your website is performing as it should be and meeting the objectives you’ve set for it. Your website is meant to bring you business. If it’s not doing that, it’s time to determine why not and make necessary changes.
Here at Codeminers, we have a range of highly skilled and specialised web developers to help bring your designs and concepts to life.