Have you taken a step back and analyzed your website lately? If it’s been a bit since you audited your website for content, user experience, navigation, SEO, and other factors, it’s time you take a look.
We live in an increasingly digital world. Your website can make or break your business. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re in the B2B or B2C space.
If your website doesn’t do a solid job of representing your brand, engaging visitors, and guiding them through to the purchase, you stand to lose out on a lot of business. Your competitors with amazing websites, however, stand to gain.
Is it time for a redesign for your site? Let’s take a look at a few considerations. First, let’s address an issue I see surprisingly often. Businesses that fail to design a website in the first place.
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Why does your business need a website?
Let’s address those of you who use something like Facebook in place of a website for your business.
Don’t do this.
Your website should be owned by you and your business. It’s a huge (the biggest actually) part of your digital marketing strategy. You should never leverage rented space online as your “website.”
When you design your own website, you carve out your own real estate online where you can display your brand and the value you bring to the market in full force. Your website is often the first impression one has of your business, and if someone searching for you finds you don’t have a site, you lose tons of credibility.
A well-designed website allows you to create SEO value and have your business show up high in relevant search results. You’re able to present your products, services, and thought leadership. Your website also serves as a powerful lead generation tool.
Without a website, you’re missing out on tons of opportunities. Enough said.
Beyond that, however, you can’t simply throw up a site online and expect the business to roll in. And many businesses that did just that regret doing so. So, if you got on board with needing a website, but the one you creating isn’t performing, there is an option.
Fortunately, even if your website is a certified disaster, it’s not too late. Rather than giving up, consider a website redesign.
What is a website redesign?
When you first launch your business, you’ll need to build a website from scratch or build one using a theme available via a CMS like WordPress. Whatever you choose and whatever you put together will be the first version of your website, and often, the first versions of websites that businesses slap together simply aren’t that great.
This is when a website redesign comes into play. As a business owner, you’ll want to be sure to assess your website every year or so to determine whether it’s time for a redesign. Web design trends and consumer needs change rapidly, and staying on top of those trends and needs may mean your website requires a complete makeover.
A website redesign involves developing an understanding of where the website in question is lacking and what issues and gaps exist. Then your design team or the website design agency you hire will update the look and feel of the site as well as the user experience and any other aspects that are lacking.
To really benefit and see results from your website redesign, you’ll want to be sure to focus in a few select areas. Let’s take a look at some of those areas.
The first thing you’ll want to focus on in redesigning your website is ensuring the updated design tells your brand’s story. You want to make sure the elements, both written and visual, that you use in your design are consistent and high-quality.
The look and feel as well as the tone and voice of your website play a powerful role in forming customers’ opinions of your brand.
Work in your branding, color scheme, messaging, and other elements consistently and with purpose. Allow them to become a part of the flow of your site and play into each page in a way that enhances the experience.
Take a look at Coca-Cola’s website, for example. As you navigate throughout the site, elements of the brand follow you, helping enhance and connect the various elements of the brand story.
Your website should be designed to create an optimal experience for your visitors. This means truly understanding the needs of your audience and the reasons why they might land on your website in the first place.
Your website should answer questions and solve problems, not create them. So, by understanding the needs of your audience, you can effectively create an online experience that helps your visitors easily find the information they need on your site. And when you guide your visitors easily to the content they seek, and you add enough value, they will come back for more, thus forging a lasting relationship with your audience.
To improve the user experience on your website, you’ll need to look at the following factors:
- Scannable content – Visitors need to be able to quickly discern what your site is about. Sites that are too cluttered with info and images turn visitors away quickly.
- Simplicity – There’s no need to get too clever with your site. Keep the design simple with ample white space and avoid overusing design elements.
- Accessibility – Your website needs to follow ADA guidelines for creating content that is accessible by people with disabilities.
- Easy navigation – As they say, your site visitors shouldn’t have to click more than three levels down on your site to find the content they’re seeking. Make your navigation intuitive and try not to go too deep.
- Searchable – Place a visible search bar on your site so visitors can simply type in a query and gain access to the content they want to see without having to click around.
- Get in touch – Make it easy for visitors to reach out to you. Set up ample opportunities for your visitors to send you a message via a form, a chat, social media, email, or another platform that’s easily accessible on your website.
These are just a few of the many things that go into creating a great user experience. Put yourself in the shoes of your visitors, and think about what you’d want to find when you land on a website. Create an optimal experience that makes things easy for your visitors and allows them to get the help they need quickly.
Take a look at this example of high-quality user experience from the Hubspot website. As you can see, the site offers ample opportunity to connect, as well as simple navigation, right from the home page.
Content is the cornerstone of all of your marketing. Without quality content, your website is doomed to spend its life in mediocrity, buried away in the deepest depths of search results.
The content on your website is a critical component of keeping visitors on your site and moving them through the flow to guide them to become customers.
Great content can create a powerful user experience. On the opposite site, poorly crafted content can turn visitors away, thus crushing your website’s stats, and along with it, Google’s opinion of your site.
When you create great content, your visitors appreciate it, and so do search engines like Google (and others). Ensuring that you create only top-notch content that’s informed by the needs of your audience can have a huge impact on your SEO. Which brings us to our next point.
When you redesign your website, SEO should always be a key focus. You’ll want to assess technical SEO factors, like site speed and image optimization to name just a couple. You’ll also want to assess on-page SEO to ensure your content, the copy, the visuals, and other elements on your site are optimized to appear in search results.
A tool like SEMrush or Ahrefs can help you uncover issues on your website that may be negatively impacting your SEO. The insights you uncover will help you in your redesign by allowing you to make targeted adjustments that will give your site a boost in search results.
First, you’ll need to determine what conversions are important to you. Signing up for a newsletter, downloading an eBook, buying a product are all types of conversions you may want your customers to make when they visit your site.
To setup your site to generate the optimal number of conversions, you’ll need to review each of your landings pages and other pages to ensure your calls-to-action (CTAs), forms, and communication options are properly functioning and set up to drive results by enticing visitors to take action.
Conversions are going to be the key to your business’ growth, so make sure to take steps to optimizing your site not just for search but also for conversions.
Wrapping it up
Your website is your owned property online. It can make or break your business, and you need to treat your website with care – nurturing it and updating it regularly to boost performance.
Conducting a website redesign can be an important step in ensuring your website performs consistently at an optimal level.
Build out an optimal user experience, optimize your website for search, create amazing content, and set your site up to convert visitors into customers.
Once your redesign is complete, you’ll start to see the results roll in. But don’t rest too easy. It’s important to understand that you’ll need to continue to revisit and redesign your website through the years.
I recommend considering a redesign every 1.5 to 2 years. Things change quickly in the digital world, and if you aren’t staying on top of the changes, you’ll miss out on tons of opportunities for business growth.
Your website is the key to driving business online and boosting your brand’s recognition, so treat it with care and give your website the attention it deserves with a website redesign.