Is It Time For A Website Redesign?
Aug 13, 2019
Here at Stout Heart, we get asked a lot about how we know when it is time to redesign a company’s website. Since there is no silver bullet yes/no answer, we typically go through a website redesign checklist to see what is working on the current website and if there are gaps in design, content, features, usability, and functionality. If any of the boxes are left unchecked, then it is time to strategy, plan, and complete a website redesign.
Even without leveraging the website checklist, it is pretty common for most brands to redesign their website every two to three years to stay current with their industry, design trends, and technology advancements. You’ve probably noticed some companies will do a full redesign every year, while others will push out a new website every three to four years. The value of how often you should do a redesign can be very difficult to quantify because a number of factors involved such as the industry, the products and/or service you are offering, technology changes, and your target audience. However, using this guide, your company can make a more informed decision on whether or not it’s time to do a website redesign.
It is up to each and every company to determine the right redesign cadence. If your company does not have a set redesign schedule, you can evaluate your site using Stout Heart Website Redesign Checklist, but before you do, review the details on each of these website redesign considerations.
Mobile-Optimized or Responsive
Statista details that in 2018 mobile phone internet usage worldwide reached 61.2% over desktop. In addition to the expanding internet usage on mobile-devices and Google’s focus on using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal, it’s crucial that your website be mobile-optimized or responsively designed. The time has come to plan a redesign and optimize your site for mobile, no matter where your customers are coming from as there is no doubt they are accessing your site on their mobile devices. If you do not have a mobile experience, you will lose customers and fall behind your competition.
Your Website User Experience Is Poor
In the past 10 years, the focus on providing users with great user experience (UX) has been a top priority. With the push to provide these streamlined website experiences, the expectations of users have increased to a point where if your current website does not meet the UX standards, users will look poorly on your brand and leave your site. There are some standard UX practices that most users look for on sites such as the location of site navigation, standard functionality for tasks completion (contact, shopping cart, etc.), specific page layouts to consume content, and a clean, well-organized site structure for wayfinding. If your website is too cluttered, poorly laid out, and confusing to navigate, users will not stay on your site and will look for a competitor to meet their needs.
Your Website Has No Conversion Funnel
Associated with having poor demand generation, your site could have a poor conversion funnel strategy. A conversion funnel strategy is created to help visitors navigate through your website in order to convert – be it buy a product or submit a contact form. Starting from the homepage of your website, you should know how visitors will travel through your website to gain what they are looking for. If your current website doesn’t have a solid conversion funnel strategy and users have to work hard to figure out how to convert on your site, you should start to plan your website design to help improve site success metrics and meet business goals.
Design & Content
You Cannot Manage or Update Content By Yourself
If you’re not using a Content Management System (CMS) to easily edit and create new content, it’s likely that your site isn’t updated often enough and most likely has outdated or incorrect content. By moving to a CMS you will not only be able to easily create and update content, but you will be able to break your dependency on a developer to change HTML code on the site. Your site’s content managers will be grateful for the ability to quickly and easily swap out content without needing to use code editors. Lastly, because of Google’s tendency to favor sites that are updated often, switching to a CMS is necessary but it can help improve your website’s chances of increasing its ranking ability with search engines.
Disconnect Between Your Brand & Current Website
If your website doesn’t match your brand or positioning, you need to update it. From the logo and header to the font and formatting, every element on your website must reflect your business’ brand. Otherwise, visitors won’t remember your business, what it offers, and the difference between your website and offline branding could create mistrust. If this is the case, you should give your website a complete makeover with a brand-focused design.
Your Site Design Is Outdated
In a past survey, people polled noted that they wouldn’t trust a poorly designed website, as it comes off as unprofessional and out of touch. This distrust can cause negative business outcomes like poor brand sentiment and limited site conversions. While you don’t need to meet the designs of the top brands like Nike or Apple, providing your site visitors an appealing looking site that allows them to easily consume content and navigate the site. Today’s top website designs feature high-res images, smart use of whitespace, pleasing typography, among others.
Your Website is on Wix, Weebly, or GoDaddy
If your website is on a platform like Wix, GoDaddy, Squarespace, or something comparable, you could be limiting your website performance. These platforms have limited functionality and features which can reduce your abilities to compete against your industry leaders who use modern CMSs. Not only are the design templates limited and the ability to connect your brand to the design templates, but the SEO functionality is also limited. While these platforms are great to quickly get a website up and running for small businesses to put something up (instead of nothing), it fails to build trust and credibility. Once that cost-effectiveness of the quick website creation is no longer valuable, it is time for a custom website via a redesign.
You Need Different Bells and/or Whistles
Much like an outdated website that needs HTML editing to update, not leveraging a modern website code structure or CMS could reduce your company’s ability to use 3rd party integrations. All the modern CMS platforms like WordPress, Craft, and Drupal have developer integrations for marketing automation, customer relationship management, chat tools, conversion forms, and search engine optimization. In addition to these integrations, the modern CMS platforms allow for great user experiences through advanced functionality available with custom coding..
Your Facebook, Amazon, or Etsy Page is Your Website
Are you currently using Facebook, Amazon, or Etsy page as your website? While these platforms are driving your sales, you are missing the opportunity to control your overall brand and product offerings. While you might think you don’t need a website because you are meeting sales goals on these platforms, it is still important to have a website. All brands need to have a hub to their marketing efforts. Although the transaction may not take place on your website, it may still be valuable to have a website to control your message and own branded search engine results over these platforms. Most consumers do their research online. And, your website can help them to do their research. An informed customer is a great customer. Use an effective website to inform your audience even if you complete sales on these other platforms.
Your Website is Debt Not An Asset
Is your website hurting your brand which you worked very hard creating? Is it costing you money but not generating sales for the company? Your website should be an asset for producing traffic, leads, and sales. Your sales could be declining or your leads could be lower in quality due to a poor website. If your website isn’t yielding the results you want, you should consider redesigning your website.
Metrics to Review to Validate If a Website Is a Debt, Not an Asset:
- Low Traffic Amounts
- High Bounce Rates
- Low Conversion Rates
- Slow Page Load Times
- Poor SEO
- Disconnect In Offline & Online Branding
Your Website SEO Ranking Is Too Low
If your current website is not ranking well in search engine optimization and is not driving quality traffic to your site, it might be time to redesign to meet SEO best practices. Search engine optimization can massively improve the quality of the leads you’re attracting on your site. While SEO is tackled prior to the site redesign and finalized during deployment of the site, the need for good SEO can be one of the main factors in needing a redesign. An SEO strategy will help determine your site’s architecture, mobile accessibility needs, and help provide a great website for your target audience.
Your Website Has Long Load Times
If there is one aspect of websites that can quickly turn off a site visitor, it is long load times. If your site takes longer than 3 seconds to load the page content, site visitors will most likely hit the back button and seek another site for their needs. Today’s society has little patience for slow websites so your site needs to load fast to keep them on the site. In addition, slow load times can hurt your site SEO causing search engines to devalue your site. Many of the modern CMS and hosting solutions provide tools to help increase load times through optimization features like reducing image and optimizing file sizes without reducing quality and selective content loading. Check your sites load times via https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
It’s Not Helping You Drive Demand
Like we mentioned earlier, if your lead generation is low, it’s time to revamp your website. If this is the case, you need to find the source of the problem. A redesign just for the sake of it won’t help anyone. You will need to uncover what the main issue is especially if this is the only open checkbox on the website redesign checklist. You will need to assess if your homepage lacks clear CTAs or whether or not someone seeing your site for the first time can guess what your company does from glancing at the homepage for 5 seconds. Odds are, a site redesign can help create better user experiences to help define your company’s position and drive demand by improving your user journeys.
You Are Falling Behind Your Competition
Sometimes a website redesign is not needed due to a lack of mobile experience or an outdated code base. Sometimes, a redesign is needed to stay current with your competition due to a change in the industry, reposition in the marketplace, or new offering from a competitor. Staying current with your competition could be a core reason for a website redesign to avoid falling behind.
While there are a lot of great reasons to complete a website redesign, sometimes it only takes one good reason to start a website redesign. Not all website redesigns need to be complete teardown projects of the current site. Some redesigns can start with minor updates and work toward larger changes through strategic planning. Every great website redesign begins by partnering with experts who will work with your company to determine the right plan to reach your business goals and objectives through the website redesign.
If any of these reasons to redesign speak to your business needs, let’s talk and layout a plan to strategize, design, and deploy your new website. Drop us a line at [email protected] or send us a message via our contact page.