A website redesign is more than a fresh new look for your business. It may mean the difference between the status quo and exciting new growth for your business! While the internet has been around for decades, today’s users expect a particularly streamlined and convenient experience.
Is your website up to par?
Read on to discover the key signs that you’re due for an upgrade — and how to redesign for optimal business success.
3 Reasons to Redesign Your Website
- Your website looks old-fashioned
- You’ve received complaints about your website
- Your website has inconsistencies
3 Tips for Successful Website Redesign
3 Reasons to Redesign Your Website
1. Your website looks old-fashioned.
Admittedly, website design and design as a whole, is a bit subjective, but here are some fairly reliable signs that your website is out-of-date.
It’s not mobile responsive.
Like it or not, most users are on their phones. If your site does not have a responsive design, it’s not going to appeal to — or convert — like many people. This means you may not be able to keep that elaborate grid layout, but honestly, a simpler design is almost always a better experience for your visitors. They are not there to marvel at your web design skills; they want answers and solutions, and they don’t want to dig around for them.
Mobile responsive web design uses code to automatically resize, hide, shrink, or enlarge a website, to make it look good on all devices (desktops, tablets, and phones).
It’s text heavy.
Text is important, it’s what search engine bots parse to determine the value of your content. However, if your website contains giant blocks of text and not much else, you’re probably scaring off many visitors. Modern websites use text intelligently to encourage interaction — which means using it sparingly and only where necessary.
It has a carousel.
For a while, carousels aka rotating banners were all the rage in website design. Soon, though, people realized the problems with them:
- They lowered conversion rates because visitors couldn’t immediately figure out what to do on a site.
- They raised bounce rates by offering too many options for visitors and creating confusion.
- They hurt SEO due to graphics-heavy design with no real content.
Powerful, static above-the-fold content is always more engaging than a carousel. In fact, one brand experienced an 18% conversion rate once they swapped out their carousel for a static header section!
2. You’ve received complaints about your website.
3. Your website has inconsistencies.
When you first launched your website, you probably set up just a few core pages to get things rolling. Over time, you may have added new static pages, blog posts, landing pages, and so on. All these various formats, microsites, and dated materials eventually lead to a mishmash of content with inconsistent visuals and user flows.
A comprehensive website redesign gives you a chance to clear the digital clutter and bring all your content into alignment.
3 Tips for Successful Redesign
So, your site needs a redesign. Don’t break out the code just yet — a massive redesign can be very jarring for visitors, especially if you’ve made sweeping visual or organizational changes. Follow these tips to safely redesign your site and get the results you want.
1. Know Your Audience
When you redesign your website, you may appeal to new users, but you could also isolate yourself from your target audience. Business success depends on recognizability. That’s why it’s crucial to keep your ideal customers in mind as you do your redesign and avoid making changes that are overly jarring or confusing.
2. Implement Redirects
Redesigns often come with structural changes, such as new permalinks (URLs) and navigation. Unfortunately, this destroys all backlinks to your site and leads to multiple 404 errors, which causes users to bounce and a negative effect on your SEO (how users find you by searching online for you). To avoid this, use 301 redirects to direct users to the new pages. Be sure to upload a new XML sitemap as well so that bots like Google, can accurately parse your site. Sites that used redirects saw only a 4% drop in organic traffic, while sites that didn’t experienced a whopping 34% decline.
3. Use Evolutionary Site Redesign
Evolutionary Site Redesign, or ESR, is a safer, more sustainable way to update your website. Traditional redesigns are massive undertakings that rely on a single plan — which may be irrelevant once the project is done! They’re cost-prohibitive for many businesses, which is why epic website redesigns only happen every 5 years, if that. Imagine how much changes in that time!
ESR is an iterative approach that heavily incorporates testing and user feedback. This ensures that each aesthetic, organizational, and messaging change to the website actually supports marketing goals. Plus, you’re less likely to fall for unsustainable design trends that will inevitably fail. (Looking at you, infinite scroll!)
The truth is, if your website is over 3 years old it probably needs a redesign, at least in part. The world of technology is changing quickly, as are your customers’ interests and preferences. It’s always a good idea to make your site as user-friendly and engaging as possible. This boosts your conversion rate, Google rankings — everything — which in turn increases your bottom line and ultimately your customer’s satisfaction.
However, a massive website redesign can destroy your organic traffic and confuse your visitors. It’s also expensive and hard to manage. You’re redesigning your site to improve our business, not hurt it. That’s why Evolutionary Site Redesign (ESR) is an excellent option! It draws upon real data and feedback from customers. Plus, you can roll out changes gradually to avoid shocking your audience.
To learn more about ESR or get started with your redesign, ask us about our GO! Website Care Plan—it’s effectively a website payment plan! Also check out our post about the Best Ways to Prepare for Your Website Redesign to get prepared.
We’d love to help you transform your website into the powerful marketing tool it can be! Book a complimentary, no-obligation discovery call with us at virtuallynat.com/chat to see if we’re a good fit to work together.