June 9, 2016
Website maintenance is a lot like the upkeep of a store’s physical location: expensive, time consuming, but completely necessary for a positive customer experience. The architecture and aesthetics of the web change at a rapid pace, making it easy to find your site antiquated and in dire need of updating. Users are now browsing the web from different devices, and the best practices of effectively reaching consumers are evolving at an equal pace.
Search engine algorithms are constantly updating to factor website design and usability into their rankings. So, if the internet is like a giant shopping mall, your website is your storefront. Thus, having a compelling website is a precondition for leads, conversions, clicks, and sales. Identifying whether or not your site is in need of a total overhaul or just updates can be tricky, but there are a few indicators that can point you in the right direction. Here are five signs it’s time to invest in a website redesign.
Aside from the load speed, the aesthetics of your website play a huge roll in a user’s initial impressions. If your website has an outdated look, it’s likely diminishing your authority and causing users to abandon the page. For example, look at the before and after pictures of Ambassadors to the Nations:
The updated look appears to be a higher quality resource and is much more click-friendly. Plus, it more clearly communicates the concept of the organization by employing effective visuals.
Tip: In creating a new look for your site, think critically about the service, good, or information you’re offering, and then determine what aesthetic would most effectively communicate that. Is it a simplistic, clean look, like Google? Or is it something more action-oriented, like a fundraising page? Then, take a look at the websites of your main competitors-especially those that are out performing you-and put yourself in the shoes of a user. What on their site works? Making observations like this will help you strategize your redesign.
Having the authority to manage your own content is a must for modern web design. If updating or adding content on your website is a difficult process or can’t even be done without contacting your developer, then it’s definitely time for a redesign. Not having a user-friendly website that allows you to access the backend of your site comfortably is a key indicator that you need an architectural overhaul.
Tip: When working with a web design agency/specialist on your website’s architecture, make sure you stress the importance of having administrative access to the backend. It’s crucial to have a functional website platform that gives you tools to keep your website fresh without having to routinely redesign. Plus, not having to deal with IT personnel every time you want to update and article or news feed is website bliss.
Bounce rate indicates the pace at which users are leaving your website, and be very telling of issues that need to be addressed. A number of things can affect the bounce rate of your website, including things like broken links, poor load speed, or a lousy design.
Tip: Get to know Google analytics on a personal level, and go through the factors of things that influence bounce rate like a checklist. Maintaining an enticing website that is inviting, optimized, and easy for users to browse through will keep your bounce rate low.
It may seem like I’m beating a dead horse by stressing the importance of having a mobile-friendly website, but it can’t be over-emphasized. As has been repeatedly reported, more searchers are being conducted from mobile devices than desktops, and a huge number of those searches result in a purchase or share. Bearing that knowledge in mind, you can’t expect your website to have that kind of success among consumers if it isn’t responsive to different devices.
If it isn’t already, mobile optimization should be a top priority in the redesign of your website. By having a website design that’s responsive to different devices, you won’t sell yourself short on any traffic.
Tip: Use Google’s new testing tool to see how mobile-friendly your website is. From there, you can determine whether or not users are able to access your website from a smart phone and the steps you need to take for further design optimization.
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