Figuring out when to redesign your website is not always the easiest thing to decide. When looking at business competitor websites, you may be thinking that your website could use a refresh compared to theirs. But there are other tell-tale signs that your website is in need of an update.
Here are some questions to ask yourself that can help you make this decision:
Is it mobile-friendly?
Approximately 50% of web searches come from mobile phones. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly you could be missing out on valuable leads and/or clients. It is now critical to make sure a website is easily accessible on a variety of small devices. If your website doesn’t scale appropriately across different sized devices, if it doesn’t load features correctly, or even if your website doesn’t offer mobile features such as a mobile-friendly menu then it is time to fix this and optimize your website for mobile use.
Are the visual elements outdated?
If your site still looks like it came from the 1990s then it may be time to redesign. You know what this looks like. Too many elements squashed together with flashing CTA’s and neon colors that aren’t ADA compliant nor are they pleasing to the eye. Pop-ups, while still used today in different forms, are now just an annoyance and should not have a place on your website. Studies show that most users will immediately leave a website when they are bombarded with numerous pop-ups right when they enter a website. If you’ve got these invasive pop-ups on your site, it’s time for an upgrade.
Current trends have drifted away from the cluttered website design of the ’90s and early 2000s. More simplistic layouts and allowing some space between various elements on a website are currently favored within the design community. The use of large, high-quality images and minimal text pinpoint an area that the eye should be drawn to. Color trends are constantly changing as well. Soft pastels and earth tones that have risen in popularity in recent years are a stark contrast to the old trends of neon and hard, bold colors. Overall, keeping up to date with current design trends is important and can mean the difference between your customers relating to the feel of your website or immediately leaving because it looks like your business didn’t survive past the ‘90s.
Is your written content out of date or full of old information?
Outdated design trends aren’t the only clue your website needs some attention. It is vital to check your written content, or ‘copy’, since that contains the majority of information for your website. No matter how old your website is, your copy needs to be regularly updated to stay relevant to your industry. Old copy is easily spotted, from vocabulary to events that occurred years ago. Depending on the nature of your business, terminology changes rapidly and so does every business’ language. For example, if you sell shoes, the language of the shoe industry is vastly different from that of 10 or even 5 years ago. Different styles of shoes gain popularity, certain brands are no longer in the market, and the way you advertise a shoe is different. Besides how the industry your business is in has changed, your business itself has also probably changed. Whether that be your staff, logo, or brand, users will quickly identify out-of-date content and may leave before exploring your business more.
Has your brand changed?
As companies grow over time it is always possible for a rebranding to take place. To redefine the business to something more appropriate for current times is often considered rebranding. When you initially think of rebranding, your website may not be high on your list of priorities. If the website is tossed to the side during a rebranding process, it may sit and not be updated until years later. This may have worked for you in the past, but with online shopping taking up the majority of the buying cycle, your website being up-to-date with your storefront is integral to gaining and keeping valuable leads. Something as small as your logo changing to colors being altered can mean the difference to your brand. Large scale changes should promote or lead to a redesign, such as a varying combination of fonts, colors, services/products offered, or even changing names. Let’s further explore the changes you can make to your website to keep it current.
Other Elements to Evaluate
As stated above, branding that never translates to your website will cause a disconnect from customers who see your storefront branding and visit your website. Not only does this alienate your customers, but it also reflects badly on your business by being inconsistent with your branding. Customers may find you untrustworthy if your current brand doesn’t match up with your current website. Updating your website to match your current logo, colors, mission statement, and business name will ensure that your customers won’t ever question the legitimacy of your business.
Search Engine Optimization Results
If you’re disappointed that your website hasn’t gotten the kind of traffic you initially hoped for it could be because you’re not showing up on relevant Google searches. There are many factors that affect search engine optimization(or SEO) results but poor content quality is a very common one. Content should be updated often and consistently so relevant keywords and phrases in your industry are being included. Some keywords that you had used throughout the content previously could be now irrelevant while new keywords may have surfaced and become more popular within your field. Google tends to prioritize websites that have the most accurate and searched for information. If your customers are now searching for a keyword that has just recently become popular within your industry, and your website doesn’t have this keyword prevalent throughout its pages, Google will rank your site lower than others that do have this keyword more often on their website. In other words, make sure your website content reflects the current terms related to your business and services so search engines know you’re good at what you do. The better search engines rank your content, the more they will show it to people searching for businesses like yours.
This one is a little obvious but we see it quite often. If your business has a physical location and you move, or add another location, it’s important to update your website to reflect those changes so customers can easily get in contact with you This is also important for good SEO results as Google won’t rank your business if the information on your website is incorrect or differs from information it finds on other websites (such as Yelp, Google, or Yellowpages). The same goes for phone number changes.
Available Products and Services
This is more so for businesses that sell physical products or provide physical services; if your products change, that should be changed on your website. This can also apply to sales, coupons, and other special offers. If your customers come to your store having seen something on the website that isn’t there in the store, that can cause problems and establish distrust in your customers that could have easily been avoided.
An example of this is a client of ours, Aaron Thomas & Associates. Prior to hiring 95Visual to redesign their website, the old website had the incorrect address. For two years, a previous address had been displayed on their website and for any person, incorrect information can be frustrating.
It can be daunting to approach an old website and get everything updated but this list outlines the elements that have a big impact so it’s a great starting point. Content is very important to the overall success of a website but keeping the design updated is what will help you attract new customers year after year. If your design feels stale or stuck in an old era reach out to a web agency to discuss a website redesign. You may find that they also offer content strategy services and can help you improve the copy and your SEO ranking. Good luck with your website redesign!