Maintaining a website can be as expensive and time consuming as upkeep of a physical store location.
With digital trends and techniques rapidly changing you can quickly fall behind the curve. The trend in user browsing from portable devices and best practices for reaching consumers are also evolving at equal pace. The problem is, keeping up is all part of a positive customer experience.
Search engines are also getting in on the act. Factoring web design and usability to help optimise the rankings. Think of the internet as the world’s largest shopping centre, in this instance your website becomes your store front. Would you really head into the outdated store on the corner, over the newer shinier model on the left? Therefore it’s fair to say that upkeep of your site has a direct link to leads, conversions, click-through and sales.
Deciding if you need an overhaul or updates is not an overnight decision. Here’s a few ideas as to why it may be time to rebuild;
First impressions count and aesthetics play a huge part. Old and outdated web design can diminish any authority you have and leave your users searching for the exit. A new site can instantly make your business appear as a higher quality resource and encourage more clicks. It’s also a great way to communicate your business more visually than older text based sites can.
Tip: When creating a new site, it’s important you think in depth about service, products or information you want to display. What is the best way to communicate this? Maybe a simple Google-like display, or perhaps something more action-oriented like a fundraising site. Take a look at the sites of your nearest competitors and make observations about what they do well and what could be improved and apply this to your own site.
Having the ability to log in and make changes to your site is a must in 2018, and it’s so simple. Content management systems (CMS) like WordPress or Joomla provide easy access to website information (like prices, and services) whilst limiting your ability to damage website structure. If you’re still having to go to your developer every time you need a change, you should seriously consider an architectural overhaul.
Tip: When working with your agency, always stress the importance to have administrative access to the back end. It’s vital to have a functional web platform that provides you with the tools to keep it fresh and trending without the need of a redesign. Plus you’ll soon learn of the bliss, being able to have changes as and when you want them gives you.
Assuming you have access to your sites analytics, then you’ll be able to view stats like click-through and bounce rates. If you don’t have analytics or access to them then this is just another reason on the list of why you need a redesign.
I say this like you haven’t already heard it; but the importance of responsive web design cannot be over-emphasised. Search whichever corner of the internet you delve into and you’ll see that more searches are being conducted through mobile platforms than desktop. On top of this, a huge portion of these searches result in the sharing of information or purchase. With this in mind, you can’t expect to benefit from this data if your site is unusable on mobile.
Tip: If it isn’t already, you should be making this one of your top priorities. Use Google’s new testing tool to see just how mobile friendly your site is. From there you can evaluate the usability of your site and the changes required to get the most from your services on smart phones and tablets.
If you’re not generating any conversions from your site it’s time to rethink it. Check to see if you’re getting traffic. You can then establish if your issue lies in getting people to the site, or converting those on it. If you’re getting the traffic there’s a good chance something critical is missing.
Tip: There’s a good chance that your pages are lacking in call to actions (CTA). Adding these can be an easy way to increase conversions. Not having them can leave your prospects lost on your site with nowhere to go.
You have no idea what your website conversion funnel is or have no idea what conversion funnel means! Conversion funnels are the stages a user navigates through to reach our desired goal. For example, if we want our users to sign up to newsletters, we direct our prospects in that direction (without them realising) reducing their available options to navigate them exactly where we want them.
Tip: We like to go old fashioned and get out the pen and paper. Set up a flow chart or diagram detailing the pages of your site and how you want users to navigate. Always keep your end goal in mind and calculate the best methods of getting users there effectively.
This can be as simple as looking sketchy. People will come up with several excuses not to complete a deal. Be it price, complexity, trust or not knowing who you are. As many as 48% of people believe that website design as the number one factor in deciding if a business is credible.
Tip: Do your research into your market space and see what your competitors are doing. Using this you can establish a norm for what people expect to see and therefore trust in and can use this as a basis for your build.
If your website is slow to load, be it in general or in certain browsers or platforms, it’s time to consider a redesign. Remember, you only have 3 seconds to make a positive impression on any visitors. If those 3 seconds are spent staring at a blank screen, waiting for something to load, then you’re in trouble.
Tip: Asides from moving your site to a faster or more local server, you can optimise your images, remove unnecessary plugins and go easy on the widgets to reduce load times. Another workaround can be to use a pre-loader. Although not a preferred option, pre-loaders provide a visual certification that something is at least happening. Just make sure your site is worth the wait!
If social media or crowdfunding sites provide you with your web page then it’s time you grew up and moved away. We’re not saying ditch the idea entirely, but you can always link back. You should always have your own site with product catalogue. Take it one step further by introducing e-commerce and cut out the middle man. You don’t want to appear as a one-man band selling products from their bedroom (even if this does apply).
Tip: If you’re not willing to go down the path of e-commerce, still continue with a product catalogue. Showing that you are a legitimate business will help prospects trust you. You don’t sink money into products, if there’s little to no-chance of any issues you may have being dealt with. This level of legitimacy will help you with conversions.
If your site is difficult to understand, be it content or navigation, users will be encouraged to look elsewhere. Using jargon or fancy wording can be an instant turn-off. Maybe the images on your site don’t correspond to the information? Your font types may be inconsistent or erratic. A great website is simple, visually engaging and consistent.
Tip: Keep it simple stupid. Great imagery goes a long way so make room in your budget to showcase your products or services. Keep the navigation simple, and use sub navigation or drop downs if you must have lots of pages.
If you’re not seeing traffic being generated organically, it can often mean there are issues with your SEO or other platforms in how they are driving traffic to your site. Running a full site survey is a great place to start and remembering that Google now takes site design and readability into account when deciding your page ranking.
Tip: We have a team of SEO experts on hand to analyse your current site and point you in the right direction. You can get your FREE SEO AND SITE SURVEY by clicking here, or see how are competition lines up by visiting DesignRush.
Still not sure? We’re always on hand to give you a hand. Why not drop us an email and arrange a FREE, no obligation consultation with regards to your current site. We’ll tell you how we see it and we can go from there.