Is It Time to Redesign? 6 Smart Reasons for a Website Upgrade
A website redesign can be a game-changer for your business, but it can also take significant resources in time and money, so it’s not a decision to be made lightly. The average lifespan of a well-designed website is 3 to 7 years, but time alone shouldn’t be the main reason for a redesign. That decision should depend less on trends and more on whether your audience is effectively engaging with your site. Here are some good reasons to consider a website redesign and how to determine if they apply to you.
#1 You want your website to be a state-of-the-art representation of your brand and values
Having an updated website sends a message: Your company is healthy, forward-thinking, and ready to take on new customers. Good companies evolve and grow over the years and your website is the best way to showcase who you are. If you use modern website design elements to tell your story, you’re more likely to engage your audience and leave a strong impression.
Website Redesign Example:A manufacturing client of Web Solutions wanted to shift their product-based website to a format that was more consultative, touting their expertise in engineering custom solutions. Redesigning their website with lifestyle imagery, case studies, industries served, and value-based messaging was more impactful than simply adding a new “Consulting” page.
#2 You want to stay competitive in your market
Different industries support different website lifecycles. A consumer website needs to incorporate the latest design trends in order to keep its brand fresh and connect with early adopters. A more technical, manufacturing, or information-sharing site can often take a wait-and-see approach to new trends and focus on other redesign factors.
Check out the websites of your key competitors and compare them to your own site. If you’re considered a leader in your industry yet your site is the last to upgrade, it might be time to redesign. Need concrete examples? Check out these before and afters of Web Solutions' website redesign clients:
#3 You want to make your website easier to use and navigate
Look at your website through a user’s lens: A website has about four seconds to make an impression before users hit the back button, meaning your navigation must be well-organized and your content must be easy to understand with clear calls to action. Do a quick scan of your site with these questions in mind:
- Can you quickly sum up your core services?
- Can you find the information you’re looking for?
- Can you easily tell where you are on the site and see where you want to go next?
- When you’re on a service or product page, is there a clear call to action to take you to the next step?
- Can you easily use your site from a tablet or smartphone?
If you find yourself getting lost on your site and it takes you more than a few seconds to find the information you’re looking for, a redesign is probably in order. Mobile-friendliness is becoming a requirement with Google’s 2015 and 2016 algorithm updates, so if your website is older, it might not support an easy transition to mobile. Another sign it’s time to redesign.
#4 You’re launching a new service or product
Sometimes a new product or service doesn’t fit cleanly into your existing website structure or can’t be showcased appropriately. Redeveloping gives you a chance to reprioritize what your website focuses on and create a site designed around your current sales goals.
Website Redesign Example:
A longstanding Web Solutions client was transitioning to a software version of their product, but their existing product pages didn’t allow them to market the software with the attention it deserved. Redesigning the website with the software solution as a focal point highlighted their changing direction and invigorated their marketing efforts.
#5 You need to reinvigorate your marketing efforts
It’s 2016, and that means your marketing arsenal should be full of digital tools: search engine optimization (SEO), conversion-focused pages, content marketing, social media, compelling visuals, etc. Does your existing website have the technology or customizability to enable you to flex your marketing muscles? In order to serve as an effective foundation for your digital marketing plan (and make your job easier), your website should have:
- Landing page templates for paid advertisements and email campaigns
- Conversion-focused Products or Services pages
- Blog and news templates for content marketing
- Social media integration
- SEO-friendly URL structures and tools for keyword optimization
#6 You need to add new technology and functionality
Looking to add e-commerce, robust case studies, or a custom quoting engine? Investing in these tools often makes more sense on updated technology. Adding a bolt-on tool to an outdated website is often less effective and costs more than creating a new website with the functionality built in. Likewise, new Content Management Systems are easier for website administrators to update with content and tools.
While these reasons can serve as a guideline as you consider whether your website is ready for a redesign, every company is unique, and there may be other factors that influence your decision. Web Solutions is happy to work with you to review your current site to determine how a redesign might help you achieve your business goals.