Your website is your calling card, sales brochure, advertising sign, marketing department and brand manager all rolled into one.
But anything that works so hard, 24x7x365, needs maintenance and replacement of parts sometimes. It may also have parts that were cutting-edge at the time they were installed, but are almost anachronisms today. There could be features that websites must have right now to stay in sync with technology.
With technology and customer preferences changing at such breakneck speed, it’s not long before your website begins to fall behind in the race.
If your firm has gone through major re-branding, or visitors report that your site isn’t mobile-friendly, or it isn’t SEO compatible, and it isn’t in compliance with ADA regulations, these are important signs.
That’s when you need to take a long, hard look at your site, not just from a business point of view. Think like a first-time visitor, a loyal customer or a supplier. Imagine what it’s like to be part of your own marketing team.
Then you could get some answers that seem to point in one direction.
You need a website redesign !
Poor Design Has A Real-Time Impact
Take a look at some of the problems of continuing to run with a less-than efficient website:
- Poor design affects sales and conversions
- Your site looks outmoded, old-fashioned, neglected
- It gives the impression that you don’t care about your customers
- Poor design translates psychologically to poor quality goods and services
- It impacts your reputation and credibility – gives the impression you’re shutting shop
- It makes people believe that your company isn’t up to the mark on professionalism, or is disconnected with the industry
- Bad design lets your competitors have the edge by default
- You’re reluctant to share your web address with people you meet
- Your customer-service, marketing and staff morale goes down
- Customers get confused by outdated coupons, offers, discounts etc
- You’re way down on the Google rankings
Features of Outdated/Inefficient Design
Users take just 0.05 seconds to evaluate whether to stay with your site or move on. More than 50% of users report that they wouldn’t recommend a website that’s not mobile-friendly.
More than 60% of website visits happen on smartphones. If the content/layout are unattractive, nearly 40% of visitors abandon it. Most importantly, more than 80% of visitors are unlikely to return after a poor UX.
It’s easy to spot poor, outmoded or outdated design features:
- You still use Flash
- Blinking text and clutter
- Stock photos
- Fonts not compatible
- Non-responsive design
- Not mobile friendly
- Takes too long to load
- Too many photos and graphics
- Outdated content
- Slow loading
Website Redesign: Important Aspects
When you think of redesigning your website, it means that you’re looking at a big-time overhaul and an in-depth change. This could involve replacing core elements, such as the code, visuals, structure and content. It is different from a design refresh, where the core elements are not touched, but cosmetic changes are made, or upgrades are installed.
The aim of this exercise would be to reduce or eliminate bounce rates, ramp up the UX and ultimately result in better revenues and sales.
Before you hire a website re-designer, take a complete inventory of your website. Check what features you want to retain, what pages work well and are favored by customers. Involve your entire sales and marketing team and get inputs from them. Ensure that you have your target audience in focus and evaluate whether specific needs are being addressed in the new design.
Tips For Quick Website Redesign
Understand your Target Audience: While redesigning, it’s hugely tempting to create websites that look great, use amazing tech and even win awards. But ultimately, if the design fails to connect with your target audience, your conversion rates would plummet. Use the available data analytics and tailor website re-design to meet current and future customer expectations.
Home In On Homepage: Fix on the homepage elements right in the beginning. This helps to create the general elements for the site such as fonts, colors, architecture, and navigation.
Focus on Functionality: Unless your website is functional, practical and gives the customer/visitor what they came for, no amount of Wow Factor will suffice. Avoid too many gizmos and gimmicks, but stay with the latest features and tech. Make a great first impression, but follow through with functionality.
SEO: Re-design helps you to re-invent and re-work your SEO practices. While it’s not a great idea to focus exclusively on designing around SEO, it’s an important aspect of your new design. Use smart SEO tactics for maximum leverage.
Content: Many re-design projects fail because they simply serve up old content in a new package. Redesign is a great opportunity to infuse new text, video and images, animation, professional photos, and audio content. Your target audience may have matured, or changed since you first launched the website. Ideally, websites must be overhauled at least once in two years. This is a good time to evaluate your content in terms of links and social media shares, and ensure that your website becomes a byword for authoritative, original and reliable content.
Firm Up On Your Brand: Avoid getting carried away by pure design, look and feel, or the latest tech. Remember that your website is your brand ambassador. It should reinforce, reflect and recall your brand every time a visitor clicks on it. Let your brand emerge through the content, visuals and the look and feel. This will help your customer/visitor to engage more fully with the brand, keep it memorable and recommend it to their social circle.
Be Aware of Trends: Every 2 second loading-time delay can cost you at least 1% of your audience. Your website should have fast loading times, so ensure that the design is responsive, uncluttered, mobile-friendly and easy to navigate. Google analytics can help you to understand how visitors interact with your current website and how that needs to be tweaked.
A last word here – website redesign projects infuse new blood and enthusiasm into your marketing efforts. It’s important to establish your goals, get a clear understanding of your users and what they need/want/expect, and make sure that your website does its job – which is to function as a lead-generation channel.