Director of Web Services | VP of Events and Community, 10+ Years of Sales & Marketing Experience, 12+ Years of Development Experience, 14+ Years of Project Management Expertise
December 13th, 2016
There comes a time in every website’s life when you take a look at it and ask yourself, “Do I need a redesign?”
There are many things to consider when thinking about a website redesign for your business, but the most important question to ask is, “Does my current website help me reach my goals?”
If the answer is no, then the next question to ask should be why?
Usually there are a few root causes of an ineffective website, but in this article, we’ll take a look at five major signs you need a website redesign and why you should consider making an update.
Going through a website redesign (if done properly) can help you reach your goals including better creating a user experience, improved lead generation, and beyond.
Note: If you know you think your website may be in need of a redesign, let’s have a conversation! We’ll help you determine the best steps.
1. Not Mobile-Optimized or Responsive
We’ve all encountered a website that isn’t mobile-friendly and it’s usually extremely frustrating. But many companies, even with this knowledge (and personal experience), still have yet to optimize for the mobile audience.
Many companies will say, “Well, my audience doesn’t use mobile devices so we put our focus elsewhere,” but this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
When you consider the changing landscape of the Internet and the shift that has occurred in buyer behavior, this mindset can be a huge problem (especially when you’re trying to hit ambitious traffic, lead, and sales goals).
According to HostingFacts.com, today “There are more mobile internet users than desktop internet users; 52.7% of global internet users access the internet via mobile, and 75.1% of U.S. internet users access the internet via mobile.”
These statistics completely change the game. With 75.1% of U.S. users accessing and searching via mobile, the first impression someone gets of your brand and company will likely be from a mobile view -- and we all know how first impressions can make or break a relationship.
Still not convinced not having a mobile optimized site is important?
CWS recently tested two non-mobile optimized sites and found that after Google’s Mobile Update one of the sites dropped roughly 27 places in the Search Engine Ranking Page (SERP).
That’s a pretty significant drop simply from an algorithm change.
With the emphasis on delivering the best possible experience to your users, regardless of device, having an awesome mobile experience is critical to the success of your website.
If mobile isn’t as strong as it should be on your website (just ask a few of your customers), that’s a huge sign that you need a website redesign.
That means the user came onto your homepage, for example, scrolled for a few seconds, and immediately left without clicking a single link. No bueno.
According to GoRocketFuel, an average bounce rate for a site falls between 40-55%, with really good bounce rates landing between 25-40%. You’ll want to fine tune your pages to reduce your rates as much as possible and ensure that users are staying on your site and digesting your content.
It’s important to really dig into this data to understand where and why the bounce rate is coming from. For example, if users are frequenting your contact us page to get your phone number or address, then immediately leaving, you’ll have a high bounce rate on that page.
That would be a false indicator of a problem, when in fact the user is getting exactly what they want.
If your bounce rates are extremely high, that may be a sign that the UX and UI of the site needs an overhaul (which would warrant a website redesign) or that the content of the site isn’t engaging and valuable enough to keep the reader on the page.
A great way to see where and why people are leaving your page, and if the content/design is the real issue, is to implement a heatmap/click map software such as Hotjar, CrazyEgg or Lucky Orange.
In the end, you should monitor bounce rates sitewide and on important pages to make sure there aren’t major issues that should be addressed.
Using a heat-mapping software can give you great insight into how users are interacting with the header and navigation of your site.
Another great way to understand how it’s performing is to talk with your happiest customers and get their candid feedback on how the experience on how easy or hard your website is to navigate. You could always throw in a $10 coffee gift card for their time :).
We all know the frustration of landing on a site, only to be greeted with a white page and a loading icon. It’s miserable and we usually hit the back button right away.
So why are you serving this experience to your users?
Long load times have a negative impact on your overall user experience and can lead to people leaving your site before it even loads and increasing your bounce rate (see what I did there?). Google takes all of this into consideration when ranking websites.
40%! That means if your load time is above 3 seconds, only 60% of your audience will wasted when 40% of your viewers don’t stick around. That’s a pretty big chunk to be losing over just a few seconds.
Now, there could be a variety of reasons why your page is slow, from extremely large images and scripts in the background making external calls, to simply not having an optimized hosting/server environment.
Many issues like these can be fixed short term (Moz.com has a great page on ways you can improve your page load times in a more DIY approach), but if the website is old, and on an antiquated platform a full redesign may be necessary to ensure the best experience for your users and results for your company.
5. It Looks Outdated or Not on Brand
Possibly the biggest and most common reason for a website redesign is if it’s visually dated or not presenting your brand or company in the best way possible.
The truth of the matter is that most people judge books by their cover, and if your website looks outdated, isn’t maintained, or doesn’t match your brand elsewhere, it’s going to chip away at the trust your users should be building with you and your organization.
In fact, a 2011 UK Poll found that, 70% of the people polled wouldn’t trust a poorly designed website, as it comes off as unprofessional and out of touch.
Again, this is a huge percentage of users that may not give you a second change purely based on the aesthetics of your website and how it represents your brand.
Take an objective look at your website -- and not just your homepage; Many users will land on an inner page, such as a blog post or product page first.
I’m sure you’ve had an experience where you’ve landed on a blog post that is so outdated or poorly-designed that you’ve written it off in your mind.
Don’t let outdated designs and branding do the same for your business. Take the right steps to ensure your online presence matches how awesome your company really is with a redesign.
Wrapping Things Up
Ok, so I’m sure your head is spinning.
There are a lot of signs that you may need a website redesign even beyond the ones I shared here, but by focusing on user experience and seeing if your current site has any of these tell-tale issues, you should be able to determine if you’re in need of a full website redesign, some small changes, or if you’re set up for success.
Still not sure? Let’s talk! I’m happy to help you figure things out.
Know another major sign that it’s time for a website redesign? Let me know in the comments!
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