Every 12 to 18 months your website needs to go through a redesign or a refresh to ensure your business remains at the top of its game.
Most people think that a redesign is solely based on appearance, but it includes other important aspects, in the same way that your mobile, video games or computers need to be kept up to date to maintain security and usability. The features and functions of your website need to be maintained too.
If you’re looking to completely ditch your current website and start from scratch, we think this list of factors you might want to know before you dive headfirst as it could be useful (before you do anything you don’t need to!)
Understanding your users
You have to put yourself in your customers’ shoes when it comes to website redesign. Asking yourself “what experience do I want my customers to have” (which should always result in a good one). Making a memorable good first impressions is key because if a user isn’t engaged after an average of 10 seconds, they’ll end up leaving. Our team uses practices including Human-Centred Design and User-Driven Development because we understand that a website isn’t made for you, it’s for your visitors in order to convert into paying customers. The point of these strategies is to understand the current website user experience, then using that research to produce a better experience that benefits both the business and customers.
Can users find what they need?
It’s not all about the appearance with a redesign. If your website has a hard to find or lack of navigation options, or it doesn’t render to different devices, your visitors are going to join the bounce rate percentage.
If the navigation is clear, visitors will find the content they’re looking for and potentially stay on your website for longer, directing them to your conversion points and leading to more business for you. If not, you could be sending away a potential customer.
Providing a great menu structure not only provides a better user experience but also enables you to guide users to your most important pages. A web usability report from KoMarketing states that 86% of visitors want to see information about that company’s products and services once they
reach the homepage, this means for 86% of users you will only have one chance to quickly direct your visitors to these pages as its unlikely that they will be willing to hunt through your website for this information.
Are there technical issues?
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”
There are many people who live by this quote and sometimes it works, but unfortunately for technology, it doesn’t. Yes, your app from 3 years ago could still work for you, but if you don’t keep your services fresh with regular maintenance and updates, your customers aren’t going to have a good experience.
Lightening quick loading, please!
We live in a digital age where technology moves fast, and we all get frustrated when we have to wait for anything. We want immediate results. As stated in the site Internetfacts, a single second delay in your website loading time can result in a 7% loss in conversion, and 40% of web users will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
These page loading times can be caused by a variety of things including large image files to outdated website plug-ins. “A slow loading website can increase bounce rate by 32%” – ThinkWithGoogle If your website is slow, it increases the chance of visitors leaving the website and adding to your bounce rate results.
As mentioned previously, a high bounce rate can affect your webpage ranking on search engines as it’ll be deemed as false content if the users aren’t finding what they want when they enter the website.
Manage your data across platforms and third-party tools
There are many website plug-ins available to help businesses keep track of various platforms in one space. Most popularly, WordPress allows seamless integration with email platforms, social media profiles and content scheduling resources (to name a few). You can easily keep your platforms intertwined and monitor your interactions through your integrations.
Social media tools are just one example of platform integration; An online user visits your website and makes their way to a blog post, finding a great quote from you, or even a great article. With social media integration you can provide the option to highlight the quote to share it to their own social profile (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook) or, offer the preference to share the full article to their accounts. It allows the visitors’ followers to become aware of your business and increase the opportunity for new followers and potential customers.
Integrations can be beneficial for your customers and your business.
Internally, it reduces the lengthy monitoring of customer data by allowing your platforms to link between the website, social platforms and data management such as Google Analytics. It saves time and provides a more accurate analysis.
For customers, all the information and sign-ups they need are all on one website and reduces the risk of them leaving for a website that provides a better experience.
Is your site responsive?
“46% of people say they would not purchase from a brand again if they had an interruptive mobile experience” – Google A seamless mobile experience is vital and nowadays users expect more. In fact, New Jersey Institute of Technology states 90% of consumers expect their experience with a brand will be similar across all platforms and devices. It’s crucial that your website can provide for desktop, mobile and tablet as over 40% of online transactions are now done on mobile.
Brand consistency is always important. It lets your visitors know that each page they visit, whether it is on desktop or mobile, is still your website. They can familiarise themselves with your page styles and visual elements.
Supplying responsive design is crucial for any modern-day website to help not only your customers, but it also improves your SEO rankings and audience reach to mobiles. We can help improve your next project with a responsive design and increase the capabilities from your current website.
Your business has evolved
It is likely that with more experience under your belt, your business’ branding and objectives will become more refined. As your business grows, your brand values and target audience will become more focused, allowing you to work on attracting the right users.
Nowadays, web users can quickly identify an authentic business through elements such as up-to-date business information (services/contact details), original portfolio imagery and brand consistency. Not surprisingly, Adweek research found that 91% of consumers are more likely to purchase from an authentic brand compared to a dishonest one.
If your website is missing the core branding elements that represents you, it doesn’t hold your latest products and services, or it simply looks outdated; you need to consider a redesign. We work closely with each of our clients by holding a discovery meeting to help the business update their goals and stay on track.
How’s your website looking?
There are number of different reasons why companies may want to redesign their website, but upgrading an old looking site is one of the most popular. It isn’t a bad thing to do and regular maintenance is just as important as a fresh lick of paint at home.
Even visitors that have no experience in design can tell an outdated website to a newer and better maintained one. Around 48% of people cited that a website’s design is the number one factor in determining the credibility of a business, and that it takes 0.5 seconds for a visitor to create an opinion on your page. So not only does a well design interface keep users venturing deeper into your website, but it also helps establish your website as a trustworthy and reputable source.
Factors you need to consider for web design include;
· Easy and effective navigation.
· A strong colour pallet.
· Don’t forget about the importance of white space!
· Easy to read font, especially if it’s against a busy background.
· Use the right images that align with your brand (try to avoid obvious stock images!)
Luckily, our expert team build design strategies which are tailored to your unique audience base to find the best solution and maximise sales from new & returning customers.
Are you Search Engine friendly?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) plays a large role in bringing organic traffic to the website from search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. Many people, whether they’re in marketing or not, will have heard of SEO and for a business, successful SEO is vitally important!
SEO is what brings users to your website when they search keywords, phrases or queries related to your business. Usually during a redesign or a refresh, many businesses will completely change pages that hold an amazing search ranking results, and this means they end up having to restart their keyword targeting from scratch.
Carefully planning changes to the information architecture, sitemap, and overall content plan in the redesign is key. You can focus on the pages that hold a good hierarchy for SEO and simply refine these keywords through additional pages.
Speaking of the practices you use In the marketing world, there is a term known as ‘Writing for SEO’ which involves content writing techniques to not only provide an insight to the relatable content on the results page, as stated above, but it also affects the way that search engines rank your webpages as to how relevant they are. Pages with bad SEO practices (including keyword stuffing, multiple pop-up ads, different content for users and Googlebot’s) can be blacklisted by search engines which makes you lose your place in Googles page index. This means your website will show warning to visitors, telling them your site is untrustworthy and should be avoided.
How fresh is your marketing strategy?
It is vital for companies to adapt their marketing strategy in line with their industry and own KPI’s. Updating the website to reflect these new strategies isn’t something that is always remembered.
For example, there’s point implementing an awesome contents strategy if your customers can’t find your great blog posts, showcase images, eBooks, and other quality content. How are you expecting to generate leads from this amazing content? It is natural that your website evolves to align with your targets. Surprisingly, a study in 2018 from CMI & Marketing shows only 75% of content marketers report using technology to gain insight into how their content is performing. Why spend time writing content if you don’t even know if it’s gaining attention?
As a results-driven agency, we sit one to one to understand where your business is currently at and what drives your business to plan an effective marketing strategy, tailored to your specific objectives and budget.
Are you achieving your goal?
Online users are more than likely visiting your website for a specific reason, and achieving conversions is an important metric that highlights the success of a business website.
A Conversion Centred Design (CCD) aims to point your customers in the right direction, this could be what you need to help achieve a specific business goal. Psychological principles and persuasive design are used to drive visitors into performing a distinct action to increase conversions.
Conversion data can be easily tracked using platforms such as Google Analytics and can be broken down to offer insights to your customers journey through your website. This helps to determine whether your business is going in the right direction or if customers are getting lost and leaving your site.
Monitoring your results is essential to decide whether your website is working for you or not, and to identify outcomes or goals that are not being achieved, if you are getting poor or unsuccessful results in this area, it can mean you’re in need of a website refresh.
Is the competition in the lead?
“A competitive industry has its benefits; it provides you with a comparison.”
If your website is not at least on par with your competitors, your potential customers could choose their website over yours, simply because it looks nicer and is easier to use.
However, it isn’t solely based on how pretty your site is.
The way you sell your business and provide a stress-free user experience can help you win customers over your competition. Example, 70% of small business websites lack a Call to Action (CTA) on their homepage. If the consumer visits and likes what they see, you want them to convert there and then rather than have a bad experience, leave and choose a competitor.
We previously mentioned about Search Engine Optimisation, and this is where SEO becomes one of the most important factors for your website. Performing successful techniques for SEO will rank your webpages higher on the results page, increasing your visibility for customers who search your targeted key phrases and keywords.
Are you happy with your current website?
A regular website refresh is important to help your business to remain up to date and engage your visitors. If you don’t feel that your website is achieving any of the above points and you’re considering a refresh or redesign for your business, call us on 0333 121 21013, fill out our request form or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.