Site’s Redesign Process
Think – when was the last time that your business website was updated? Better yet, when was the last time you looked at your website?
When the Internet was first starting in the 90’s, just having a business website was all you needed. Nowadays, it’s not enough anymore. A good website is accessible on any device, easy to navigate and keeps the visitor’s attention from the first moment they land on the home page.
There’s no doubt that designing a business website is a big project to undertake, but once it’s finished, many business owners finish it and forget about it. What they don’t realize is that their website is the first line of digital marketing and constantly evolving, just like their business and market in general.
I already have a website – why do I need it redesigned?
Why would I want to make changes to my website design? Does my website need a redesign? What are the signs your website needs a redesign? These are questions that often bother website owners.
Maybe you wish to take your website in a different direction. Whether for business or personal reasons, your website’s purpose has changed and now needs to reflect that. Redesigning websites today isn’t just about changing the look and feel. With technology changing and different problems having to be solved, redesigning websites goes much deeper than just the way they look. The functionality, presentation, how they load, and how well they can be updated are all things that are prompting website redesigns on the daily basis.
Numerous factors can dictate how much you change on your website or whether it needs any change at all. However, before undergoing any redesign, it’s very important to understand what you hope to accomplish with your website. An unappealing design, bad content, an introduction of a new service, unhappiness with the way your website functions, improving search engine rankings, and sales conversions can all be factors that you need to redesign your website. Maybe the focus of your business has shifted and it’s time for fresh content?
These are all significant factors to consider, so before you start, make a detailed checklist of what it is you wish to accomplish during the redesign. This will help ease you through the rest of the process and make sure you stay focused on your end goal.
What type of redesign do I need?
After you’ve decided exactly why you want to redesign your website, it’s time to decide how far you move with your redesign.
Perhaps a small change in visuals and content is all that is necessary? You might discover that you only need to change certain things on your website and can avoid a major overhaul that would cost time and money. You may “dress up” your website as much as you want, but it’s the content that actually sells.
Maybe you need to add additional features or completely redo your website? Or you’re looking to shake things up, go for a different look or to improve on your website that has flatlined?
Depending on your need and budget, a large overhaul may be out of the question, or it may be the most cost-effective long-term solution. Therefore, take the time to think about your needs and find a right balance.
What doesn’t work currently on my website?
No matter how large or small the redesign, chances are there will be some elements of your existing website that work very well and some that don’t work at all. You must go through your website and identify primary elements that don’t work well.
Areas that are generally filled with bad content are usually Home Page, About Me and Contact areas. Maybe your sales page isn’t very user-friendly? These are generally the primary areas where you should check your content when you are undergoing a redesign.
You need to see all pages to find possible non-working pages that either show up with the wrong layout or not at all showing thus giving 404 errors.
Any downloadable content needs to be looked as well. Once these items are downloaded by the user, there is no way to correct any possible errors.
Images can also constitute bad content and not only because of the bad design. Customers like to see what they are buying – they don’t want to guess due to pixelated images.
Therefore, some elements of your website will have to leave, some will need to be cleaned up and some will remain (with a possible makeover). Break your website down into its fundamental components and then compare those with the goals you decided on in the first step and the overall vision for your website. Any changes your business has or even changes in your personal life that you wish to share need to be reflected in your website’s content so make sure you apply these updates. If something doesn’t fit, it should be removed.
How is my website being used?
You mustn’t forget to take a look at how users are currently interacting with your website. This will help you identify great content and problem areas. Your traffic statistics and website analytics must be regularly analyzed for information on things such as entry and exit pages, sales conversions, and search engine keywords.
This will help you understand how visitors find your website and what they do once they get there. While your website’s statistics are studied, also a look at details like screen resolution and browser usage must be taken. This will help your developer determine what technical specifications your website should meet and whether a more appropriate mobile version of your website is recommended, among other things.
Redesign Process Conclusion
The first thing to keep in mind is that performing a website redesign implies there is a need for a change – whether it is a visual or technical need for it, an evolution of your brand, major modifications to your marketing strategy, or even a combination of all these elements.
Website redesign affects your business as a whole, and the process requires a strategic approach aligned with both short-term and long-term business objectives.
You must be aware that if your business website is outdated, your possible customers are turning away from you because to them, your website says:
- You don’t care about how your business looks
- You don’t care about your visitors
- You don’t spend money to improve your business
- You do the bare minimum and nothing more
- You are fine with being mediocre
Your website acts as a 24/7 marketing agent for your business, a trusty communication tool and hopefully your company’s best “salesperson”. Signs your website needs a redesign – dated design, poor content and a lousy layout, damage your brand and cost you lost business opportunities, sales and income.
Redesign Checklist template
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Donation for FT: 24 strong signs your website needs a professional redesign
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How are you aware if it’s the right time to redesign your site? Follow these 24 strong signs to help you in deciding if your website needs a professional redesign:
You don’t get the business results you want
If you aren’t very happy with your current business results, it’s time to redesign your website. After examining your site’s conversion rates, you would have a clear understanding of what needs to be corrected on your website.
Some of the questions you should ask yourself to guide your redesign process:
- Does your website convert visitors into leads and customers?
- Do your landing pages inspire people to learn more by going deeper, or are they only pretty pages that give little value?
- Does your site have too much text or is it full of corporate speak?
- Do your site’s look and feel match your company’s strategy and “speak” to your target clients?
Your website isn’t generating enough traffic/leads, or website is slowly losing visitors over time
Your website’s primary function should be to provide information relevant to people and generate leads as a result of their interest. If your site’s only point of engagement is a generic “Contact Us” form, you seem to have a lot of work in front of you on increasing website traffic.
The conversion of visitors and lead into customers is low
If the conversion rate (the % of people that become customers after visiting your website) is less than 1 in 100 people that visit your website became a sales lead, then you need to fix your website.
Do you know how many new leads came from your website last month? How many new clients did you get via the website last month? If you consider it isn’t enough or something similar, then it’s probably time to redesign your website so that it becomes a bigger contributor to your business.
Your business goals have changed, or the purpose of your site has changed
Your business goals changed, and website needs to be as current as your latest business plan.
If your website’s purpose has changed, update its layout to be more in line with your goals.
Poor website’s usability
Do you know what the most important factor in the design of the website? Considerable numbers of clients (76%) say when a website makes it easy for them to find what they want.
Try a simple test: on your website, how long does it take you to find the information you’re looking for? Is it quick or is it difficult? See if it is easy to navigate the site and move from one side to another?
If your website visitors can’t find easily what they’re looking for, that means the website has been designed poor, without usability in mind. Visitors will leave your website very fast and they probably won’t come back. This represents a lost opportunity for you. If that’s the case, you’ll need a new website design that’s user-friendly and keeps your clients and prospects happy.
A good design is easy to navigate, helping visitors to find what they need and taking you closer to having a sale or getting in contact with you.
Answers to the following questions might help you head in right redesign direction:
- Can visitors easily find the most basic things on your website (e.g. your contact information)?
- Is your website navigation confusing?
- Is your vital content “hidden”?
- Are your products and services offers up to date?
- Do you need all the widgets on the website?
- Does your website have sufficient functionality?
- Is there too much functionality on your website?
Your website is not easy to use
Your website visitors want to be able to try to find what they are looking for on your website in as few clicks as possible. Remember that effective navigation is not just about having an easy to use menu bar that is the same on all pages. You should also study how people use your website, which will help you simplify your website navigation and help your sales.
Be aware that “unpleasant user experience” has an effect on your site’s reputation like food poisoning for a restaurant’s. That is why your content website architecture served by an intuitive navigation is very important.
Your website isn’t easily accessible to mobile users or better said your website is not “happy” on every device
4 out of 5 people search for some products/services information on their smartphones. Mobile Internet usage has overtaken PC usage. If your website is not optimized for smartphones/tablets, you could miss a lot of potential customers.
What does mobile optimization include? Responsive website design – which represents a coding technique that allows your website to appear on any device regardless of screen size (desktop, tablet or smartphone). Different from having a separate mobile website, responsive design allows you to have the same website look great on all devices, desktop, smartphone or tablet screens. This technique is furthered recommended by Google, which has been actively supporting the growth of mobile usage.
Therefore, if you cannot view your business website properly on your mobile devices, neither can your clients. If that’s the case, they are about to go elsewhere. There’s no time to “wait and see” on this one. For this reason alone, you may need a website redesign.
Here is how you can determine if you have a site with responsive design:
- open a browser on your computer
- type a website address in your browser
- shrink the screen to the size of your phone’s screen
- if you see how the website adjusts the layout to the change in screen dimensions, and you don’t see a scrollbar at the bottom of the screen, then it is a responsive site
Disadvantages of not having your website “happy” on every device:
- a visitor can’t fully explore your site easily and quickly
- no click to call the function
- no easy way to contact you through email submissions
- difficult to read your content because of scrolling and small text
You cannot edit your current site as it is too complicated to update it
Your phone number has changed, and you need to update it on your website. After clicking into several places (you swear they were the right places to do that), you find it, but you don’t have any idea what to do with it. Then you search for a web designer that will help you without charging an arm and a leg because now your phone number is still wrong and all of the text is now orange, Comic Sans font, size 22.
Is this situation familiar to you? When was the last time you updated your site? Why? If the answer is because it is hard to update, then determine what the reason was for that. Is it because you simply don’t have the time or you just don’t have the knowledge? If you don’t have the time, then you should try to get time to help keep your site updated (because an updated site keeps visitors coming back). If you find that you just don’t know how then this could be an indication that your site needs a redesign. You must have control over your site’s content. If you don’t, you need to have a plan to make it.
Poor website’s search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO represents everything you do to “convince” search engines that your site should appear in the leading positions of their search results, to have more visitors to your website. SEO is the process of improving traffic to your website by increasing the site’s visibility in search engine results (e.g. Google). You can improve your website search engine optimization by improving content, making sure that the pages can be indexed correctly, and ensuring that the content is unique.
Your website is hard to find through Google searches
You can do the test: search for one of your products or services, or maybe your company name, e.g. “Freelancers Tools”. Can you find your desired search term on the first page of Google search results? If not, your website needs search engine optimization (SEO) which is very important for your business – clients must be able to find you on the Internet.
When you find your pages through Google search, do they have a nice heading and a nice two-line description that you wrote? Or not?
Websites of your competitors are outranking your website in the search engine results
If the answer to this question is yes – it’s time for a website redesign. If the competition is outranking you, it most likely means that they have implemented search engine optimization (SEO) best practices in contrary to your website. You probably need more or better content and a more efficient internal linking structure.
Your website doesn’t have a blog
One of the best ways to increase your SEO signals is to write blog posts. Creating quality content on your site gives visitors an incentive to come back more frequently to your website, and it stimulates Google and other search engines to index/find your website content.
There isn’t any social-media integration with your website
Your website promotion is necessary in order to increase its popularity. You need to promote your website by various means/channels. Nowadays, using the power of social-media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, etc.) is a must. If your website doesn’t support social-media promotion, e.g. doesn’t have social sharing tools (e.g. social-media icons) that make it easy for visitors to share, tweet, or pin your content, it’s a high time you get a redesign.
That will make it more convenient for visitors to connect with you socially and spread the word about your website and business through their social networks.
Website’s design issues
If you hesitate to share your website address with your friends, family or customers, then you already know you got a problem. Why suffer? Start a plan of action to get your site revamped.
Also, if it isn’t clear from a quick look at your website what your business is about, it’s time for a redesign, too. Design trends are constantly changing, so it is vital to keep up to date with latest trends.
Your current website looks outdated
Visitors know in a short period if your website is up to date or not, simply by the way that it looks. Websites with broken parts, amateurish look, etc. are often skipped as visitors automatically assume that the website is old and will have only outdated content or nothing valuable at all to offer.
Therefore, if your website visitors think your website looks out of date, they’ll take their business elsewhere and find someone with a trustworthy website.
Your website has poor typography
Reading content on the PC is much harder than reading it on paper. Therefore, the eyes of a visitor should be in a position to easily distinguish each word to provide a non-stressful reading. If the fonts used on your website’s content are too small (or even too big) or if the spacing of the text is not proper and optimal the content will look very crowded, and the visitors will avoid reading them.
Your website use improper images
Shiny or blinking or big images can give a good look to your website, but they also distract visitors attention from the content. Avoid using bombastic graphics to help visitor’s concentrate on your website’s content.
Your site content is static and rarely changing
Fresh content improves your site from a search engine optimization perspective and makes site visitors see you as agile.
If you think your content is stagnant and dated, or your website visitors don’t get your message, you may need to find a better way of saying the same thing – consider to redesign your website. For best results, get an outside opinion.
Your audience has changed
If your current website no longer serves the appropriate audience, then website content and its design deserve a review. Before you jump into a redesign though make sure that you define the persona(s) of your audience, their motivation to buy from you, and their perception that you are the right business to serve them. Your web marketing agency should be able to develop your buyer’s persona(s) before building the website.
Your site lacking of Calls to action
Every page needs a call to action, or why is it there? You need to invite prospective clients to join an email list, sign up for a newsletter or download a white paper to engage your audience without challenging them to buy. As you gain their trust and loyalty, they will be led into your sales funnel where you can take them to a sale.
If you don’t have calls to action or your calls to action are weak, it’s time to redesign and make them strong. Providing a lead with excellent content is not enough to make them a customer. You just have to invite them in and take part. Calls to action are the way you do invitation, without piling on sales pressure.
Your Landing Page isn’t communicating your message
Is your landing page communicating your message in an effective way? You have only up to 10 sec to grab your reader’s attention. Make sure that they understand your message correctly and what you’re trying to communicate to them.
There are no interactions on your site
Your website needs not only to “speak” to your visitors but also to encourage actions:
- Do you have an opt-in box on your website?
- Can people subscribe to a newsletter?
Capturing visitors’ email addresses is a very important step if you want to build a client base and allow people to “tell” you their interest in particular products/services that you offer.
Poor website’s technology used
Your site is slow/lazy
How fast is “fast enough”? Half of the people expect websites to load in under 2 sec, and many will abandon a site if it doesn’t load in 3 sec. Most web developers agree that if your site takes up to 5 seconds to load, then you should look into optimizing your site.
However, if your site is taking longer than 5 seconds to load, the redesign is recommended to reduce loading of certain elements (like background images, textures, custom fonts, etc.) along with the website speed up optimization.
Parts of your website are not working correctly
Does your website have parts that are broken or giving you errors like “404 not found” message?
If you have broken links, various error messages, missing images, etc., then you should consider a complete website redesign as online users don’t have the patience for sites that don’t work correctly.
Therefore, if there are one or more features on your site that are currently malfunctioning, it’s time to deal with them through a redesign process.
Your customers are demanding a new website’s functionality
Perhaps the best reason of all to redesign your site is if your customers are demanding it, or, at least, requesting a new functionality or feature that asks for a redesign. If you need to add a blog, forums, e-commerce, or other major features or tools to your website, a redesign is a very probable option. Client input is invaluable when it comes to deciding whether it’s time for a redesign.
Your website has become a “monster”
Often, if you’ve had a website for a long time, you could notice a lot of additional stuff causing issues on your website, like multiple plugins, tons of blog posts, busy design including a lot of things on the homepage, etc. Sometimes our websites start out simple and then evolve into “Frankenstein” – in those cases redesign can help streamline your site.
Your website use automatic effects
Automatic effects on your website (e.g. auto-play videos, audios and similar) can give an interesting look to your website, but usually very much annoying your visitors. Therefore, generous use of these and similar effects can considerably reduce your visitors experience on your website. That is why we recommend you to reckon a website redesign.
Your third-party tools on website are outdated
If you’ve embedded or using third-party tools on your website that improve its functionality, such as shopping cart widgets and some (or all) of these tools aren’t up to modern functionality standards and design, you’re best of updating them.
Nothing drives visitors away like third-party tools that are outdated regarding function or design, so you should move to more modern ones that’ll not only appeal to your visitors but also turn them into leads.
Just because your website meets some of the signs yourmentioned above) doesn’t necessarily mean that your website needs an overhaul. For instance, just because your website takes a long time to load doesn’t mean that it is time to start from scratch and create a new website.
Also, if your website is losing visitors, it may not be because of the website design, but rather the content on the site.
Website redesign is a complex undertaking, but the benefits of high-quality redesign can transform a good business into a great business. In today’s business world, companies are required to adapt to changing demands to boost productivity. A website redesign benefits could be:
- promoting greater awareness of your company, products, and services
- increasing traffic to your site
- increasing lead generation
- delivering added value to your customers
- aid in growing your business
How to “convince” yourself that it’s time your website needs a redesign? Visit your website to see if any of mentioned signs thatapply. If you find some of the above signs, it could be that you need either to review the content and functionality of your website, or perhaps consider a complete review and redesign. The focus of a redesign should be the performance of the site although a fresh look can have a positive effect on your visitors and a positive effect on your company’s bottom line.
In the end, regardless of the
And if you decide to redesign the website – we are here for you! 🙂
Your Turn for the Checklist template with the signs your website needs a redesign comments
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