The technology is developing at the speed of light, and along with it, web and consumer behaviour. Likewise, your company’s website must also evolve. To make sure your website is working well, you need constant development. Sometimes a company’s needs have changed so drastically it’s more sensible to make a brand new site.
Website redesign is not only about new design. A few years in a web technology can bring important changes that offer better user experience, easier management, better functionality etc. If you feel like your business website no longer meets your business goals, here are 10 points that help you decide whether it’s time for a website redesign.
1. Your website is old
When was the last time your business website was redesigned? The good custom of web hygiene recommends redesigning your site after every 2-3 years. By this time, important developments have happened in technology and design. Although the web develops very fast, you don’t need to worry about every little thing. We have had smartphones for many years now, but only few businesses have set their mobile presence.
If you cannot recall when the last redesign of your site was, it’s a good indicator to make a new one. Even worse, does your website include Flash elements, automatic music/video player, shiny banners etc? Definitely time to make a redesign.
2. The website functionality does not meet business needs
Growth is a natural part of every business. This in turn means that your website needs to change. How else will your customers know that your business is doing great? The problem emerges when the originally created website doesn’t support the developments needed. For example, your website has only product descriptions, but you want to add an ecommerce module. If you cannot develop your page the way you want, your online business will stand by. Sometimes it’s easier to build a new website than merely improving the old one.
3. Your product range doesn’t meet reality
Company growth comes often with changing product range. You need to show the changes on your website if you sell new products or your product range has changed substantially. Lack of fresh information will outdate your website. Also, you will get a negative image if you show products that are out of stock. Without new products your business loses potential clients – they cannot get fresh information about your business activities. The worst scenario is when you cannot make the changes by yourself, it’s too complicated, or you don’t have the access needed. It’s difficult to keep a positive online presence if your team doesn’t have the know-how for making simple updates to your site.
4. The website structure doesn’t meet business growth
Business goals are changing and the changing needs transfer to the business website. A website that was created few years ago may not support it. Many old websites were created in HTML format where you need to change the code to make any changes on the site. This kind of content management is very complicated. If you cannot add or change existing categories and your site requires a major restructuring, you should take the leap and definitely develop a new website.
5. Your competitor’s website is prettier than yours
Have your competitors suddenly risen from the ashes only to steal your clients with their fancy new website? When you can admit that a competitor’s website is prettier than yours, it’s time for changes. Their site could be more functional, easier to use, better organized, modern etc. 70% of the purchase decision is influenced by the business website. When your website is worse than your competitors’, you can say “good bye” to your clients.
6. The content is outdated
Does your website include broken links like 404 error pages? Although fixing broken links is easy, it could refer to a bigger problem: your website is unorganized and poorly maintained.
If your website has many broken links, errors, missing images and other elements that are not working properly, you should consider a redesign. When creating a new site make sure to choose a CMS that makes it easy to update information and add new pages. This helps to avoid outdated content.
7. Target group expectations/needs have changed
Your website visits have dropped? Visitors leave the page without any further inspection causing high bounce rates. Maybe your target group expectations have changed? Your website is not adapting to consumers’ needs. Check your web analytics to determine your vistors’ common path on your site. How do they arrive to your site? When and where do they leave your site? If your product pages have a high exit rate it’s a sign of a weak marketing and/or a change in consumer needs.
8. No social integration
No one doubts social media’s importance in a marketing plan. If you don’t share your social channels on your main marketing channel – your website – how can visitors find you in the social sphere? Often, people are too lazy or fickle to start looking for themselves. Social media is an excellent tool for developing customer relations and promoting your brand. If your website is missing social buttons, be sure to add them. Check out your blog and add sharing buttons to each blog post.
9. Your website is not mobile friendly
You see increasing visits from mobile devices but are your visitors leaving your site before converting? The problem is that a regular website doesn’t meet mobile user needs. The increasing mobile trend will bring more and more mobile visitors to your site. That’s why it’s important to offer them the same user experience as on desktop. If your site does not leverage responsive design, it’s not mobile friendly. You can also create a separate mobile web that doesn’t require rebuilding the old site. Read more about the difference between responsive web design and mobile web.
10. Your website is not visible on search
Rocking on search engine results page requires constant technical adjustment and content updates. Technical elements include activities like choosing keywords and optimizing pages for relevant keywords. Some CMS systems make it easy to set meta data by yourself without having to change the code. If you don’t have a CMS, you probably need a little help from professional web developers. Search engines like Google, Yahoo! Bing, Yandex etc. consider fresh and relevant content as a ranking factor. To meet their conditions and stay on top of search results you need to add fresh content regularly. So it’s really important that you can update your own site content and add new pages independently. The easiest way to keep your site fresh is facilitating a blog!
If some of the situations sounded all too familiar, it’s an indicator of an outdated website. Maybe you don’t have to start from the ground and build a brand new site. But it’s important to remove the errors and keep your website at the top level. You can be sure that your potential clients are looking for service providers with prettier, more user friendly and trustful websites. So make sure you are the one who stands out!