In this post, Carly Stunder, Director of Website and Graphic Design at Miles Technologies, shares her thoughts on when businesses should consider investing in a redesign of their company websites.
If a business determines its website needs to be updated or changed, too often it will decide they need a complete redesign just for the sake of getting a “new look.” In order for a redesign to be effective, the need has to arise from an understanding of what does and does not work on the current site. The data that you collect will allow you to make educated decisions for a new strategy. A redesign also does not have to mean a whole new look. It can mean that you need to add more content to your website or change some of the elements to create a better site that is functional and not just aesthetically pleasing.
Some companies may not want to take on a website redesign, but the reality is, your website—as the public face of your company and/or your top salesperson—may be in dire need of a facelift. If you are on the fence about undertaking a redesign project, here are some top reasons why you should go for it:
1. The Latest Trends: Your Website is Not Responsive
A website is not like a fine wine that gets better with age. Websites needs attention because the internet is constantly changing. Trends come and go. What was all the rage a couple years ago is not as effective any longer. The website that was designed in 2010 more than likely cannot hold the test of time. It needs an upgrade.
More than 17% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices, so if your website by now does not have a mobile plan in the works, you are losing leads and losing business. This should be a top priority to enhance your visitors’ experience no matter the device. Don’t make your visitor pinch and pull to get the information they want from your website. They should not have to squint to see your content. If the user faces these inconveniences, then you have not taken the time to make your website respond to the size of a device.
2. Has Your Competition Done Something New With Their Sites?
The web makes it easy for people to find information about your company and its services at the click of a button. The downside is that this holds true for your competitors as well. It is important for your website to make an impact and stay ahead. What is your competition up to and how can you take things to the next level? You need to show potential customers what sets you apart and make sure you are screaming it from the rooftops.
Suggestion: Spend a bit of time looking at your competition. Analyzing competitors’ sites is one of the most important parts of the redesign process. How does your website compare to theirs? If their site is “better” than yours, it is definitely time for a redesign.
3. Do You Want to Build a Better Audience?
Develop a content strategy with your website design team as you are building your new website. Make sure you have a plan in place before you go live. Building search engine “findability” into a new site is much more effective than trying to increase your findability once a site has been built.
When planning to redesign your website, you need to keep track of what you are doing now, and what you want to do better. The reason for the redesign is because there is a running list of dissatisfaction on your current website. Your new website needs to offer visitors useful information that helps them achieve their goals. A customer centric design will provide the value that your customers are looking to gain by going to your website. Having the materials that will answer their questions will help your customers, allowing you to grow as a leader in your industry. Listening to what your customers want and incorporating that into your website is one of the best practices you can follow.
4. A New Site Means New Information
If you find yourself not adding new information to your website regularly, then you may need a website redesign. You may not have a system in place that will allow you to add more relevant and timely content to your website. You may need a webmaster or an ability to make the updates yourself as a key part of your overall content strategy. Get some ideas together of what you want to add to your website, and determine the best way to bring those concepts to life for your audience to view.
A redesign will often require an investment of time and effort, but if the information is going to be presented in a better fashion, then it should be worth it. If a new design is what is going to encourage and motivate you and your company to make regular changes, then we are seeing positive signs.
Also, don’t forget that when you launch a new site or new information, people need to know. There are so many ways to get the news out there. Make sure with a new design you reach out to your social corners through various means such as a blog post, a press release, an email blast, a Facebook post and a Tweet to relay the good news.
5. Customer Centric Design
While it is relatively simple to build a basic website, it’s a much more involved proposition to build a website that actually performs well for your customers. The first step is to set some goals and success criteria for your site. What exactly are you trying to achieve and how will you know how when you’ve achieved it? Who are your users, what do you want them to do and what do they want to do?
With firm goals and an understanding of your visitors you can make informed decisions on how the site should look, work and sound. Some key questions to ask are:
– Does the site design back up your goals?
– Does the navigation encourage people to click on the section you want them to click on? How about the content – does it have the right tone?
– Does it encourage people to buy that product, register for that newsletter, read that article?
If you are not able to answer these questions clearly, a website redesign may be the better investment. You are able to mold a whole strategy around a new design instead of trying to force new content into your current structure.
On a whole, a website redesign will allow you to achieve the goals that you once felt were not able to achieved in your current design. Remember, a well-designed website is one of the most effective marketing tools you can have. When undertaking the investment, make it count by planning it right, committing to the project timeline and working with the right team to make it happen.
Let us know if you have any other thoughts or questions about our power 5. Do you agree or disagree with anything? Hit us up in the comments below.
Have questions about a website redesign you’re considering for your business? Contact us to speak with a web design expert today