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How to Decide if You Need a Website Redesign

website redesign

Have you been thinking about doing a website redesign?

If you have, there’s a lot to consider.

You have to think about budget.

You have to consider whether or not you’ll use a custom web designer or template solutions offered by companies like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace.

In the changing marketing landscape of 2019 and beyond, you’ll have to consider how a potential website redesign fits into your content marketing strategy.

If you go through with a redesign, you’ll want to focus on elements that affect your site performance, ability to build your brand, and keeping up with Google’s ever-changing standards.

In today’s guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know if you’re considering a website redesign. By the end, you’ll have enough information to make the best decision for your business.

How to Think About Your Website Redesign Investment

If you’re on the fence about whether or not to do a site redesign, you can break down the decision into two separate buckets:

  • Definitely need a redesign
  • Potentially need a redesign

We’ll walk through each option. Depending on your business, revenue, marketing budget, and more, you’ll be guided through either of these three paths.

Before diving into each, let’s talk about the idea of investing in your own business, especially in marketing and design.

There’s a right and wrong way to think about investing in your business.

The right way? Carefully make a decision with the right mindset. Yes, you need to take things like cost into account, but you should never make it the sole criteria for your decision. Failing to invest in marketing out of fear can leave a lot of opportunity and profit on the table.

The Hidden Cost of ‘Cheap’ Marketing

Nathan Gotch of Gotch SEO talks about this in his post about Why You Should Never Choose ‘Affordable SEO Services’:

I get it. You want to squeeze as much profit out of your business as you can. But there are some things in life that you never want to go “cheap” on.

SEO is one of those things.

First, cheap SEO will likely land you a penalty. So, even if the low-quality tactics work in the short-term, you will end up getting nailed later on. If your site gets penalized, you will have to hire another agency just to get the penalty removed. Once your site gets a penalty, it’s a long road to recovery. In fact, your previous traffic levels may never recover.

And these are only the visible costs.

You also have to take into account opportunity and time costs. If your site gets penalized, you will have wasted precious time and capital.

The same thinking applies to design.

No, you don’t need to necessarily shell out top dollar for a website redesign, but failing to invest enough in your website design can lead to unintended consequences down the road:

  • Having to redo your design for performance issues
  • A site design that doesn’t reflect the quality of your business
  • Failing to meet the tastes and standards of your target audience

Think of the people in your audience. Think of the impression a well-designed and high-function website would have on them vs. a slapped together design that lacks originality?

Appearances in design matter for both your customers and the performance standards Google uses to rank websites. If you can afford to make a solid investment and the decision makes sense for your business, make the smart choice that pays off in the long run.

Signs You Need a Website Redesign

There are some clear cut signs to take the next step for your website. These signs include things that can definitely hurt the performance of your business on Google or lower the quality of your brand.

If any of these signs ring true for you, it’s time to level-up your website.

Your Site Isn’t Mobile Optimized or Responsive

Imagine you’re looking for a product online using your phone.

It’s tough to navigate because the site doesn’t fit on your screen.

It loads slowly.

Since the website doesn’t work well on your screen and you’ve had tons of experience with sites that do, you’re not impressed with the quality of the business, so you click away.

You move onto a website that loads quickly on your phone. You can tell the design was made for phones. The information you’re looking for is easy to find and shown in a professional way.

Which website are you more likely to buy from?

On top of the impression, you’re leaving on visitors, a site that isn’t mobile optimized leaves a bad taste in Google’s mouth.

Quite a while back, Google said it will use the mobile version of your website when deciding how high to rank it:

mobile-optimize-seo-results

When Google flat out tells you it’s doing something, take their word for it. We build all of our sites using responsive web design, meaning your site design looks great on any device. Ensuring a positive user experience for everyone means your site will perform better.

Your Website Is Just…Old

If you’ve had the same website design for more than five years, it’s almost certain you’re behind on either visitor preferences or search engine standards.

Old website designs miss the mark in many ways:

  • User experience – User experience (UX) has become a growing factor in not just design, but content marketing and SEO. Google continues to work on sites that do everything well, not just standard SEO techniques.
  • Preferences – Think about it. People use the internet now more than ever, especially on their devices. They see great looking websites every day, which means they expect quality businesses to have quality sites, period. Odds are, a site that’s half a decade old doesn’t exactly scream professionalism.
  • Brand – Has your business stayed the same in the past five years or has it grown? Shouldn’t you have a design that reflects the growth of your business and brand?

Often, we have clients who ‘know it’s time.’ If this is you, what are you waiting for?

Your Website Gets Traffic, But Not Enough Leads

Many experts say the average conversion rate for a website is anywhere from 2-5 percent.

This means if your website receives 1,000 visits per month, 20-50 people should either sign-up to your e-mail list, fill out a form on your website, or call your business directly.

If you’re not getting this type of conversion rate, there are a few potential reasons why:

  • Calls to action – If you don’t use the right calls to action with your site copy and design, e.g., using buttons instead of hyperlinks, you’re not making the next step for your users obvious enough
  • Lack or lead capture elements – A ‘sign up for our newsletter’ form tucked away in the sidebar of your page isn’t going to do a great job of collecting leafs
  • Confusing design – If your website doesn’t make the next step clear and easy to take by doing things like having a simple menu, using forms, and properly placing CTAs, people are going to leave your website instead of convert

Our design philosophy includes the idea that you should make it as easy as possible to take the next step. This makes for a better user experience and an overall increase on the metrics that matter to business owners.

Signs You Might Need a Website Redesign

There are times where a website redesign isn’t urgent, but could still make a positive difference for your business. In these cases, it’s important to weigh the benefits of moving forward.

Some possible reasons you might need a new website redesign are:

  • Rebranding your business
  • You bought a new business
  • You’re entering a new market

Let’s take a look at each scenario.

Rebranding Your Business

Often, businesses will rebrand because they’re looking for a fresh start.

Maybe you founded your company and website a while ago and you need your brand to speak to the current market.

Maybe you want to rebrand because you’ve seen competitors in your space updating their brands with design, content marketing, and more.

In any case, there are some important questions to ask yourself before going through a rebrand:

  • Ask yourself ‘why’ – Simply articulating the reason behind wanting to change your brand can bring out great insights you can use in the design process
  • What does your audience want? – In our guide on B2c marketing, we touched on the idea of having a deep understanding of your audience — where they hang out, why they buy, and who they trust in your industry, knowing the answers to these questions makes sure you create a new design with a brand that matches the needs of your audience
  • What direction is your industry moving in? – Almost all audiences are moving toward preferring a professional, up to date, responsive web design. Your industry may be trending toward more online inquiries as opposed to phone calls. Pay attention to the actions of your current customers and potential customers to see how design trends are affecting their behavior and act accordingly.

You Bought A New Business

When you buy a new business, you have the option of retaining their brand and marketing or changing it. If you’re looking to update a brand with a website redesign, here are some important items to consider:

  • Business philosophy – Often, if you buy a business, you’re betting on being able to improve the quality because you see a new direction for the company. If this is the case, a new website with a new company and updated information about the company leadership makes sense.
  • Reputation – Each business has a reputation that impacts how it performs in an industry. This ties into the point above. If you want to reshape the reputation of the business you bought, a redesign helps you establish a new presence under your leadership.
  • Name  – Again, tying to the point above, if you’re looking to really change the identity of a business by changing the name, a web redesign may be a necessity.

You’re Entering a New Market

Maybe you’re adding products and services to your business to capture a new related market. You’ll definitely want to have a menu with pages and content that reflect the new market you’re trying to serve.

Often, a total website redesign can help you think holistically about the entirety of your new business, which can lead to many changes including design, content, and marketing strategy.

Entering a new market can mean hiring new employees, too. You’d want to update the employee information on your website and focus on design and copy that attracts the new employees you want if you’re still hiring.

Conclusion

A website redesign can help you move your business in the right direction. Working with a smart web design agency can mean the difference between a decent site and one with all the performance, style, and marketing techniques needed to move the needle for your brand and the bottom line at the same time.

Are you interested in taking the next step? If so, fill out the form below to get a free marketing proposal in 48 hours or less.

About The Author

Ayodeji is the Digital Marketing Director at MLT Group. His favorite hobbies are reading and eating copious amounts of food in one sitting including dishes like nachos, Buffalo wings, and greasy sandwiches.

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