Thanks to Jeff Foxworthy, we can recognize the signs that someone “might be a redneck,” but do you know the signs that indicate you might need a website redesign? Sooner or later it’s bound to happen: you’ll be faced with the uneasy feeling that your website might be due for a redesign.
Whether this feeling comes to you like a ton of breaks when you lose a prospective deal to a competitor or when it comes more subtly as your employees start sending you (hint-hint) examples of your competitors’ well-designed websites, this inevitable feeling will happen. When it does, you’ll want to know for sure if a website redesign is in order.
Here are the ways to determine if your website needs a redesign:
- Your website no longer reflects your business priorities. As a business grows and ages, changes in the business objectives, structure, and priorities are likely to occur. New products or services are introduced, old services are restructured or removed, and new markets appear. As this happens, the company’s website must keep pace. If not, you’ll soon find yourself with a website that no longer speaks to who you are, what you do, and what you stand for. The further afield this goes, the more pronounced is the need for a website redesign.
- Your business goals aren’t being met.
Think about why you have a website. What do you hope for your website to accomplish for your business? Is it a lead-generating tool? An e-commerce platform? A place to showcase the experience of your firm? Now think about the results your website is truly generating. Are the business goals of your website being met in no uncertain terms? If not, it’s very likely time to redesign your website.
- The look and feel is outdated.
With good website designs beginning to take up more and more of the webosphere, there is little excuse for having anything less than a website with an up-to-date look and feel. Think about what happens when you visit a website that is poorly designed as opposed to one that is well-designed and modern? Studies prove that the look and feel of a website is critical to keeping visitors engaged online.
- Your website isn’t compatible major browsers, including mobile.
Not more than five years ago we designed websites primarily to look good in Internet Explorer. That was fairly straightforward and simple. Today we find ourselves with the challenge of making sure our websites render well in browsers like Chrome and Firefox as well as the mobile browser Safari, and everything in between. There is no longer one primary browser. More and more internet surfing is happening across a wide range of screen sizes and internet browser environments. Your website has got to work well – no matter what.
- Your website takes too long to load
What happens when someone visits your website and has to wait longer than 2 seconds for the content and images to load? As you can probably guess, they’ll leave. With so many alternative and competing websites to choose from, very few people will wait around for a website that takes longer than 2 seconds to load – if not faster! And now that Google is including load time in its search engine ranking algorithm, website speed is more than just a “user” thing -- it’s a “Google” thing. If your website takes too long to load, it’s very likely time for a redesign. And by the way, when you’re testing load time don’t test from your own computer since your website is likely already cached and will load faster than most. Instead, check the speed of your site by checking your Google Webmaster tools or using a free online website speed testing tool.
- Your content is lackluster.
Let’s face it; no one wants to visit your website to read a few measly paragraphs about how great your company is. Nor do they want to sift through pages of content that do little more than list the features and components of your products. If your website leads visitors to abandon your website for in search of something better, you’re probably due for a website redesign. Today’s content-rich websites feature more than just written text. They feature video, recorded demos, valuable guides, blog posts, and benefit-oriented content that engage and reward a visitor for taking the time to explore the offerings. Adding this content to an outdated website usually requires that the structure and inner-workings of the website be redesigned to accommodate the enhanced content.
- You can’t update content yourself.
Updating content on your own website shouldn’t require you to pay a five-figure web development bill or to have years of experience in writing HTML. Instead, your website should be built with an intuitive, self-serve Content Management System (CMS) that enables you to add, edit, and update web content through a simple Word-like editor. If your website can’t do this, you might need a redesign.
- Your website can’t be found!
The single most popular way people shop for products and services is through the major Internet search engines – Google being number one. If your company’s products or services cannot be found, you have no chance of having a successful web presence. If, on the other hand, your website is designed and developed with the basics of search engine optimization in place, you have a much better shot at showing up in the search engine results for key terms and phrases related to what you offer. If your website cannot be found there is very likely something wrong with the basic design and structure of your website – not to mention the ongoing marketing of the site. Try searching for key words and phrases that most strongly define your business. If your company is nowhere to be found, it’s probably time for a website redesign.
- Your website isn’t socialized
Social media is probably the biggest buzzword to hit marketing in the past decade. But don’t be fooled. It’s much more than just a buzzword; it’s the actual umbrella under which all online activity takes place. And if you’re not under the umbrella, you’re sure to be left out in the rain (excuse the pun). Your website is the hub of your internet presence and the link between your prospects, customers, and your brand. If it’s not socialized – meaning, it’s not connected to social media through a blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Slideshare, YouTube, and/or other relevant social media, you’re missing out on some serious opportunities. If your website lacks socialization, it’s probably time for a redesign.
- Your website doesn’t generate quantifiable leads and/or sales.
You didn’t create a website for the fun of it. You created a website in the hopes that it would open up new sources of leads and/or sales for your organization. If it’s not accomplishing this task, you must redesign it. A website needs clear calls-to-action, compelling offers, lead conversion forms, and intuitive navigation. If your site lacks these basics, it’s time to get busy.
And the #1 way to tell if your website needs a redesign…
When you hand out a business card, you are so embarrassed by your company’s website that you tell the recipient the new website will be launching soon when in fact; you haven’t even begun.
A sure sign that your company needs a website redesign is when you become so embarrassed by the state of your website that you begin to make excuses to prospective customers and business associates. You might apologize for the out-of-datedness of the website. You might lie and say your new website is under construction. You might even remove your web address from your email signature line in the hopes that your website will go unnoticed. STOP!
Instead of going through all of this, take the steps to recognize when a website redesign is warranted and begin the process now before you get even further behind.
At ImageWorks, we’ve been designing websites for more than 15 years. Our websites are designed to look great and produce real business results. Find out how our custom web design services can benefit your brand. Explore our custom web design or request a custom quote.