Website Redesigns – Part 1: Why You Need One
So you’ve had your site for a few years, and not much has changed. Maybe you’re getting a lot of traffic. Maybe you get little to none.
Time for a website redesign.
And you ask: “Why? Why do I need to spend time and money on a website redesign, when mine is just fine. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
Well, that’s the thing: YOU think it’s not broke. But odds are good, if it’s sat there with the same look and code for a few years, it’s broke.
1. SEO Changes Constantly
What were best practices for coding your site for SEO a year ago, or 3 or 5 years ago, no longer apply. SEO is a moving target. If you want to keep up with page rankings, a redesign is a good way to go. Additionally, if you have a WordPress site, there are new and improved plugins for SEO. My favorite, for all sites, is WordPress SEO by Yoast. This plugin developer is constantly updating his plugin to keep up with search engine algorithm changes. He also provides lots of excellent features for SEO. It’s also very easy to use.
2. Your Site Looks Dated
If your site looks like it was made 5 of 10 years ago, or even 3 years ago, it looks unprofessional. You look like you don’t keep up with trends or pay any attention to your site or online business. It also looks like you have no attention to detail and aren’t very savvy regarding web design trends. Your average customers have noticed how sites start looking different over time. Younger customer especially see the trends. Anyone that works in the tech industry definitely will look at your site and say “bleah” and hit the Back button.
3. Your Site is Not Responsive
In other words, your site was made before everyone was looking at websites on phones and tablets. A website redesign should include a responsive design, so it functions well and looks great on any device. Otherwise, you only frustrate and drive away customers.
4. Your Site Isn’t Getting Results
Maybe it’s time for a new designer to step in. Or maybe your old designer has gained more experience, and can make your site much more user-friendly. When it comes time to redesign, you’ll first need to determine what you want to accomplish with your site (more on that in the next post, Part 2). If your site isn’t getting what you want, then it needs to be examined as to WHY you aren’t getting the results you want.
BTW, did you know we offer website design critiques? These come with a full report on what to fix to improve your ability to meet your goals. We even check things like SEO best practices and page load times. As an aside: did you know page load time figures into SEO ranking?
5. Your Branding Has Changed
So you have a new logo and color scheme. It’s on your business cards, pamphlets…everywhere except your website. This inconsistent experience leaves customers confused. If you hand them a business card, and they go to a site that in no way matches you new branding, your customer won’t be sure they’re even on the right website.
6. Your Competitors are Redesigning Their Websites
It doesn’t look good if you’re the only one not doing it. They’re keep up with trends, make the site be the best it can be. Your’s still looks like it was made 3, 5, or 10 years ago. No bueno.
7. To Add New Content
You may want to add more content for customers and SEO purposes. It’s a bad idea to keep slapping more info into a site, without a redesign. For new web designs and website redesigns, I always recommend my clients give me their content FIRST, and we design around that. Otherwise, you end up with a jumbled mess with hard-to-find information that will only frustrate your customers. Even doing things like adding social media icons isn’t always just a “quick fix”. There may not be enough decent real estate on your current site for those to fit on, without the site looking uglier.
All this said, your redesign does not have to be radical. It can be just enough change to look better, but not annoy your customers. Or, it may be time for you to go a whole new direction, especially if you have re-branded your business, non-profit, or yourself as an individual.
Next up: HOW to go about getting a good redesign.
- What to ask yourself
- What to consider
- How to do A/B testing (user testing)
- Making sure you do things like redirect old page names to new pages (so you don’t lose traffic)