A company’s website is one of those factors that could make or break sales. Often, a website provides a customer with their first impression of the brand. Having a polished website up and running gives customers the impression of credibility. And this is especially useful if you’re a smaller brand trying to break into the scene.
Before discussing redesigns, it’s important to first know what makes a website good. The information available should have a clear structure. It should look polished and be appealing to the target audience. The software should be up-to-date. And, the overall design of your website has to reflect the way visitors would use it.
If one of these factors doesn’t apply to the website, then a redesign is likely necessary. A bad website can only reflect badly on your business, after all. But these standards are rather vague. So, listed below is a checklist of 10 reasons why you should move on from your current web design:
1.) The website’s aesthetics isn’t attracting the target audience.
Image courtesy – pixelo.net
There is no need to keep up with design trends. But it is important to make a website attractive at least. According to a study, 94% of the reasons people mistrust a website relates to its design. Among the cited reasons regarding the website’s visual appeal are:
- boring design and use of colour
- small text
- large blocks of text
- “corporate” look and feel
Content is important for conversion, yes. However, the look of a website can immediately determine its trustworthiness for visitors. And they can choose to click out of a website before even seeing the content.
So, it’s important to adopt a look that both reflects the brand and appeals to the target audience. Religiously following trends isn’t necessary for a successful aesthetic. Instead, consider trends as a guide to know what elements may appeal to your audience. Some considerations when redesigning your website’s visuals are:
- Choosing a more effective hero image. The current trend expected to affect conversion rates is to use a cinemagraph as a hero image. A cinemagraph is mainly a still image, with movement on a small part of it.
- Using bold colours and colour transitions.
- Paying close attention to typography.
2.) The website doesn’t load fast enough.
In this busy and distracted modern world, patience has run short. According to studies, your website has a maximum of 3 seconds to load. 3 seconds, that is, before half of web users decide to abandon it. Not only that, 79% of web shoppers won’t come back to a website that they’ve had trouble with. In short, a website that has problems loading will definitely have problems converting.
There are methods to test your website’s loading speed. Among these are Google’s Page Speed Online and Google Webmaster Tools.
3.) The website is not competitive enough.
Cycling through website designs isn’t like a game of cat-and-mouse. However, there is some merit in keeping an eye on your competitors’ website changes. Especially if these changes result in increased rankings and better overall performance.
You can use your competitors’ websites as an inspiration of sorts. You won’t adopt everything they’re doing. But you can check every now and then. They could’ve installed a new function. Wherein, the addition of which would increase your website’s usability. And there could be a number of SEO adjustments that you can make to gain an edge.
4.) The website is difficult to navigate
Steve Krug, a user experience professional, is notable for saying:
What’s the most important thing I should do if I want to make sure my site or app is easy to use? The answer is simple. Don’t make me think! For as long I can remember, I’ve been telling people that this is my first law of usability.
Part of the reason visitors go to a brand website is to learn more about it. Today’s consumer makes buying choices driven by research. If they can’t easily find the information they need, it’s very likely that they won’t convert. Make sure that people always know where they are on the site. You can do this by navigating the site yourself or asking someone to look through it. If they have trouble with the interface, then it’s time for a redesign.
5.) The website can’t be properly accessed on mobile.
Or, to put it another way, the website doesn’t currently have a mobile version. Desktop versions of websites likely won’t show up properly on mobile. The call-to-action button may be obstructed. The layout elements may not be resizing well. Or the links might be difficult to click on mobile.
And this is a problem. There are various studies to support the need to optimize for mobile. A mobile optimized site gets additional traffic to your brand. After all, mobile phones account for 17% of web traffic according to study. You receive higher brand engagement. And, mobile sites expose your brand to different buying patterns.
6.) The website is no longer representative of the brand
The changes to the website should reflect the changes that occur within the company. There may have been a change in the company’s structure. Your company may be rebranding and shifting their focus and values. After extensive research, the brand may choose to change their target audience. The products or services may have changed. Whatever changes may have occurred, the website must evolve with the company.
7.) The website adopts new functions and tools.
Image courtesy – pixelo.net
Tools add a lot of bang to a website’s functionality. Shopping cart widgets are an example of a tool on a website. A way to portray that your website is modern is to keep it innovative. Some examples of trending functions to add to a website include:
- Chatbots that can engage with the visitors on your site and can help generate sales leads
- Call-to-action buttons such as Instagram’s “Shop Now” and “Install Now” buttons. For 2017, animated CTA buttons are on trend
- Value-based exit overlays
- Landing pages
- Scrolling as the primary method of navigation
It’s time to redesign when your current website can’t handle the new functions you want to add.
8.) The website needs a new marketing strategy.
A lot of things come with a marketing strategy. For one thing, you need to consider search engine optimization. This determines whether potential visitors can easily find your content. If you look at your site reporting, you’ll be able to see the traffic on your web pages.
Search algorithms change rather frequently and it’s important to keep up. Doing so would help increase your natural search traffic. If your current website isn’t bringing in enough traffic, it might be time for a redesign. A tip would be to conduct an SEO Technical Audit first to know which areas need improvement.
The second point has to do with social media marketing. You should link to your website to social media to increase the reach of your brand. If the resulting preview or copy is below average in quality, then you could consider a redesign.
Third, you may be updating your content strategy. In this case, your new content needs to be visible. You could consider a redesign to organize and better highlight your new content.
There are other aspects to a marketing strategy that you could consider when redesigning.
9.) Parts of the website aren’t displaying properly.
This could refer to broken images, overlapping content, or faulty tools. Sometimes, targeting the problematic element and updating it is the solution. But other times, it could be that the website elements you’re using just aren’t supported anymore. The script may be outdated. Your website might still be running on Flash. If the website was created with old technology, it might be time to start afresh.
10.) The website is not secure.
The danger of an unsecured website lies largely on its susceptibility to attack. An attack could mean that data might get stolen. It could also lead to the website being controlled by someone else. Now, an attack can be deadly for a brand, especially for a small business.
However, even before an attack, there’s a need to secure websites. The major web browsers now show whether a website is secure or not. Google Chrome is expected to mark any website without an SSL certificate as “Not Secure.” This is especially true if they collect passwords and credit cards. If potential customers see that, they’re less likely to trust your brand.
Redesigning a website is like building it from the ground up. Therefore, you’ll be able to address the current security problems.
The need for a redesign is, ultimately, dependent on the company and their needs. Other factors could influence the decision as well. These include the industry your company is a part of. It could also include the purpose of your website. Think of these as guidelines, though. You don’t have to panic if you’re experiencing them. But it is definitely something you would have to consider.