Your website is your best round the clock marketing tool, it is your store open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Thus, it needs to stay fresh and up-to-date. If you are finding that your conversion rate is low it may be an appropriate time to update your site.
Here are some ways you can know if it is time for a redesign.
Website design trends change over time and if your website has an older look that hasn’t been updated then it is time to consider what elements you could alter to give the site a fresh look.
One big tip off that your website needs a redesign is that is relies on Flash. The software is not being used in the web design industry anymore and in fact, Google plans to block it. This means any animation you have on your site that depends on Flash won’t be useful for users.
Another reason to update your site is that search engine rankings reward quality content and updated design, so if your rank has slipped over the past few years it is a good time to redesign.
How does your website look on a mobile device? Does it take a long time to load? Are the images resized to fit a smaller screen on a tablet or phone? Responsive design is the norm for website design as it allows for optimization of a site on mobile devices with different screen sizes. You can use Google’s mobile-friendly test to see if your website is optimized for mobile.
The UX depends heavily on how easy it is to navigate around your website. Navigation is more than just a menu, the site should be intuitive to the user. Customers want to get the information they are looking for in the fewest possible steps.
This allows affects usability of your website design. Do broken links need to be updated? Is it easy to navigate around and find answers to the common question a customer would have? Issues like this will prevent users from taking your site seriously.
As part of this process you will need to examine your target audience and follow their buying journey through your website. Try ensuring that they can make purchases in the fewest possible steps and that this process is clearly communicated to the user.
One way to gauge whether your websites navigation is doing its job is how many questions you get in the sales process that are answered on your website. There are online services like UserTesting.com that will track how users work through your site. You can use this information to fix any problems.
Do you have a high bounce rate? Do users tend to leave your site quickly? If your analytics show that users are not staying around long it may to time to update your website design. Start by looking at the load time of your site. Another reason users leave a website is there are too many distractions in the website design. Customers prefer websites that are simple and do not have many distractions.
If you find that your website does not have a strong conversion rate you should update your website design.
Don’t forget to rebrand your website if your company gets a face lift. Rebranding means more than just a logo or color changes, it also includes the language used to express the character of your company. When any of these features changes for your business it is time to adjust the website design.
Change of message – target audience
Your website should focus on the customer, not on your track record or how important you are. Tell consumers what you can do for them and making it a meaningful experience for the user. Rid your site of useless statements like, “We have over 40 years experience” or “we specialize in designing solutions to your problems”, etc.
If your website was designed years ago there is a chance that your target audience has changed and you may find your website no longer appeals to your demographic. Keep up-to-date research on your target audience and update your website design to appeal to them.
Does your content outdated? Is it relevant to the customer? It may be time to refresh the information on your website. If you have lots of pages try and fit them into fewer pages. You may also need to add some pages, particularly if your website has too many distractions. Try breaking down the information into more pages.
It is also recommended that you use your own personal images or photos. While stock photos are easy to find and relatively inexpensive, giving your site a more personal touch can go a long way in making your brand stand out.
Outdated information on your website can tell the customer that you don’t care to try and win their business. It leaves a bad mark on your business’ ability to meet customer needs or to put the customer first.
According to We Are Social, there are 2.3 billion active users on social media. You must incorporate social media platforms into your website design. Either in a feed or at least in helping the customer locate you on the major sites like Twitter and Facebook. It is also important to have a blog and create sharable content for your users.
What about the security of your website? When was the last time that was updated? This is something that needs to be constantly updated or you risk losing customer’s trust as well as their data.
While we often grow attached to the design on our sites, we need to be diligent in keeping them fresh and updated.
Depending on the industry you are in you may want to re-evaluate your website design every quarter or at the very least, every five years.