Heraclitus once said, “Change is the only constant in life.”
We move to a new neighborhood.
Meet new friends.
Find a better relationship.
Learn a new skill.
Gain weight – or lose some.
The same can be said with websites.
Soon, your business needs will outgrow your site’s capacity to serve.
Perhaps the design is outdated (FLASH player, anyone?).
Maybe some 404’s are already popping up. Worse, your site looks bizarre on your mobile device.
So today, I’m going to give you 5 obvious reasons why it’s time to redesign your site.
But before we proceed, I’d like to give you a quick reminder:
It’s important to think about the goals of a redesign. Based on my experience, not all websites are a lost cause. In fact, you may only need some tweaks and not a whole redo.
I’ll share how to nail this process down with you later.
In the meantime, let’s talk about the 5 reasons why it’s time for a website redesign.
Your website is pulling your sales down
Remember, your website is your #1 salesman.
However, your branding changes as well. And these changes should reflect on the way your website looks and feels; just like how a sales rep changes her sales presentations and product portfolio.
With that in mind, what’s your answer to these questions?
- Can you cater to a fresher market – the Millennials, perhaps?
- Does the site copy reflect the changes happening in the industry?
- Do you speak the language of your current customers?
- Is your lead magnet or tripwire enticing enough to attract a slew of traffic from different sources such as social media?
- Do you enjoy a spike in site visits while maintaining a low bounce rate in the past 2 to 3 years?
- Can you confidently say that your site far outranks your competitors in terms of functionality, conversion, and aesthetics?
If your answer is “no”, then it’s time to make a move by introducing fresher content and design layouts – something that entices a new generation of buyers and visitors alike.
Google is slapping you left and right
Ah, the almighty Google!
If you want to win, you’ve got to play by the rules.
And that means adhering to current search engine algorithms:
- It has to be mobile responsive
- Forget about Flash files and Java applets. Instead, choose HTML text format
- Using targeted keywords in your copy
- Preventing duplicate content
- Embedding rich snippets in the HTML code
- User-friendly navigation such as headings, subheadings, sidebars and navigation bars
- Readable URLs
- Fast page load time
I know this list is quite a handful.
However, with the help of a designer who understands the best SEO practices, you should be able to launch a website search engines will fall in love with.
There’s a growing threat of security breach
Imagine a thief who’s been planning a major museum heist for months.
He’s got everything at his disposal, including the museum layout and security codes.
A day before the heist, he decided to pay a visit for one last look …
… only to find out there’s an extra security officer on every floor, newly installed CCTVs and a pair of vicious security dogs watching his every move.
What would he probably say?
“Great, back to the drawing board!”
Your website is no different from an office building.
Sooner or later, you’ve got to fortify its defenses; otherwise, the bad guys will soon figure it all out.
And as much as we like to think of our website as eye candy, we shouldn’t forget about the safety and security of our business and our customers.
Certain plug-ins, although helpful, could potentially leave an opportunity for exploitation.
If you’ve been using the same set of plugins, themes or tools for at least 3 years, call your developer.
Make an audit of all the third party tools running under the site. Assess their worth and decide whether it’s time to look for a replacement or an upgrade.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Does it slow down your business?
- Is the design up to modern times?
- Are there new versions available?
- Is my site protected from a security breach and exploitation?
You can tell if your site is being hacked by looking for these signs:
- The page takes about 30 seconds to load
- You find content that isn’t yours
- Unknown plugins
- Alerts from browsers
- Unauthorized access
- Google says your site is harmful or hacked
- You’ve been blacklisted
So before this situation becomes a disaster, contact your consultant to address these threats.
Your competitors are leaving your site in the dust
Try this test: find your top 5 competitors for any search engine result. See it they’re outranking you. Visit each site. Study how each content is written.
Does it strike an emotional chord?
Were you impressed?
Can you hear yourself say, “Geez, I love this stuff?”
Does it have sharper images?
Do you find it easy to navigate from page to page?
If you answered, “Yes,” then it’s time to get back to the drawing board.
Find flaws in your design and work on how to upgrade your website to keep up with competitors.
Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. Work with your sales and marketing teams to figure out how to implement modern practices in your design.
Online Marketing Institute gave a quick overview of these principles.
Some of which are:
- Have a persona-based design (Note: probably the most important)
- Create a visual hierarchy
- Implementing the best usability practices
Your website doesn’t excite you anymore
How do you feel when you think about your website?
Are you frustrated because making changes or keeping it updated is like having a Monday Morning Hangover?
Do you keep on getting leads who are freeloaders and tire kickers?
Is your sales team not proud of the website?
Remember, business sites are company assets, too.
And if you don’t feel excited reporting to your office, something must be done to bring that mojo back.
Offices and stores have regular makeovers.
So why not your website?
Earlier, I promised to share how to make changes on your site.
Here’s how you do it:
- Have your team ready. This would include the HR, Sales, Marketing, Management, Support and workers in the field. Discuss how the website could help their duties and goals.
- Ask how they feel about your site. Is it becoming a detriment – rather than a vehicle – for business growth?
- Write down things you feel aren’t correct with the site. Are customers just not calling, or are they calling for the wrong reasons?
- Compare their list with yours.
- Separate the must-haves from just-wants.
- Once done, check the list again.
If the sheer amount of changes is mind-boggling (i.e. too many “must-haves”), it may be in your best interest to redo the whole site – top to bottom.
However, if the site is up to modern design standards and you’re just missing one or two things, maybe a redesign isn’t for you. All you have to do is find someone to add a few features.
If you’ve got one or two of these signs I just listed, it’s best to contact your web developer to work out a plan. Remember, prevention is better than cure. Don’t let your website compromise your business.
So how do you know when it’s time to do a website makeover?
Share your list in the comments section!
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