When is it Time to Redesign?
Similar to a kitchen or bathroom remodel, it is time to consider a website redesign when your visitors don’t want to stay long, the look is no longer fresh, and you just aren’t getting anything out of it anymore. Often, your website is the first impression for a prospective customer but you have much less time to capture their attention online than you would in a brick and mortar store. With millions of results to attract shoppers, if they do not see exactly what they are looking for, then you risk their departure to the next site.
To redesign or not to redesign, that is the question. We recommend taking the following considerations into your decision.
Was it built more than 3 years ago? Anything over that can be a long time in Internet years. With the variety of screens in use today (laptops, desktops, tablets, mini tablets, ereaders, smartphones, etc.), you never know what screen size your user will be on at any given time. Test your website on a few of these devices and see how it renders. If you find it difficult to read or navigate, it's time to redesign.
Is the design aesthetically pleasing? Users will notice this before content, usability or anything else. Just as a restaurant has to capture the attention of its patrons with ambiance (because they see it before the have tried the food), you will need to attract people to your site and keep them there. An outdated design could be giving customers a bad taste in their mouths.
Is your website's navigation intuitive? If it isn’t easy to navigate, users will become impatient and revert back to the seemingly infinite listings on their favorite search engines. Keep it simple and make finding things easy.
Does it function properly and quickly? Again, speed is essential due to lack of patience or time. We are in the “get it now” era where something that was once acceptable (dial up modems for example) is now antiquated. If there are 404 errors and other nuances, guess who is moving on?
Is your content even older than your design? Good, fresh content is important. Make sure it’s in easy to read and uses non-industry terms. Know your audience. Don’t just talk about your business and your services, but talk about their hurdles and show them how you can help them overcome challenges. Your site can really come alive here rather than simply feeling as though it is a brochure in a file cabinet.
There are user stats and data that allow you to essentially stalk your visitor activity. For example, you can view bounce rates (entering and leaving , or bouncing, the site without viewing other pages), you can watch their mouse/click patterns (which are the most active and dead areas?), and you can also measure your website's success by how many sales leads you are getting, or the lack thereof. If you are getting a decent amount of traffic and are still not happy with your web sales numbers, then more traffic is not the answer, more leads is!