Read This Before Considering a Web Redesign
By Marcus Johnson-Smith
Experiencing a season of poor sales is definitely a good reason to consider a website redesign. If you’ve hired a new team or if you’re looking to shake things up with a new look, these are also good reasons to consider a website redesign.
You’ve landed here because you’re likely in the process of or considering redesigning your website, correct?
But you’re curious about exactly where to start?
A good place to start with your website redesign is to consider designing around your business goals and the goals of your customers. Good website design requires good strategy. You’ll want to plan your content, navigation, colors and key words accordingly so these assets support your business outcomes and best leverage your website as an ongoing marketing tool.
Before you begin your website redesign project, it’s important to clarify why you are considering a website redesign.
You’ll want to be clear on your “why” so you can produce the best outcome/s.
Consider these reasons why you might need a new website:
- Your business sales are in a slump
- You hired a new team; you’re looking to go in a new direction
- You’re brand is old and stale; you’re looking to give things a new look
Let’s start with determining if the reason for redesigning your website has to do with a slump in sales.
Business Sales Are in a Slump
Answer these questions when deciding whether or not to redesign a website:
- Are you an e-commerce business seeing a decline in business?
- Are your sales in decline and your website is your main marketing tool?
- Have you received complaints about user experience from customers?
If you can answer yes to any of these questions, it’s best that you prioritize your website redesign sooner rather than later.
If you’re in an e-commerce business, your website is your primary marketing tool and point-of-sale for your customers. Unless you’re using integrated e-commerce tools like Shopify’s Instagram button, you’re likely missing out on business because of a poorly designed website.
For businesses who utilize their website as their main marketing tool (i.e. marketing activities are limited to just a stand alone website) it may also be in your best interest to prioritize a website redesign.
Because the speed of technology and design move at alarming rates. The trends in website design best practices change based on enhancements in hardware and software.
For example, take the trend of artificial intelligence. AI website integrations weren’t a popular, widely accessible feature on websites a few years ago. Today, AI tools and features help enhance a company’s ability to communicate in real time with customers for customer service related issues. Platforms such as Facebook Messenger and Manychat provide easy-to-use, low fee options to automate outreach and communication with customers on the Facebook platform and on the website.
As far as advances in hardware, more websites are designed around mobile friendly devices because users are more and more shifting towards experiencing websites and website properties on their mobile devices.
If you’ve received feedback from customers directly about how hard it might be to navigate your website, or on the data analytics side of things, if you see major increases in your bounce rate or a decrease in the number of website visitors coming to your site, these are all valid signs pointing to why you might want to consider a website redesign as a priority.
New Hires. New Direction.
Your company is going in a new direction and has hired new staff. Leadership has a vision for the future that’s different from the past. This is a good time to consider a website redesign.
If you’re looking to redesign your website because of an internal change of staff and leadership, here’s a few things to consider as you being:
- Website redesign reflects existing mission of organization
- Pivot from messaging; only if necessary
- Don’t divorce from core messaging
A change in website design direction for the purposes of a leadership or team change is different from a change in website design for the purposes of an overall brand redesign. These two motivations shouldn’t be confused.
If a change in website design direction is motivated by a change in team or leadership, it is important to maintain how the values and principles are communicated on the website. Team members come and go but the mission of the organization, which has given the organization a foundation to thrive on, must not change due to these motivations.
You’ll only want to pivot from existing messaging if it is clear that need is there. A good example of pivoting from messaging might be if you no longer sell a certain item, or are looking to introduce a new service offering. This is a good place to consider pivoting from your message. What you don’t want to do is run the risk of alienating your customers who already patron your business, especially if your existing message is clear and resonates with them.
Don’t divorce from core messaging unless your committing to a complete brand refresh or branding redesign.
Which leads to the next section.
Your brand is old and stale and in need of updating. You’re looking to step into a 21st century look, but your still tied to trends of the past. This is one more good reason to consider a website redesign.
A brand refresh usually starts with an update of a logo, an update of a brands’ messaging and social graphics. It can also include an update/redesign of a brands website. Doing these activities at the same time will help with keeping messaging tight, consistent. However, they can be done separately with the right care and considerations for quality.
As you’re redesigning or refreshing your brand beyond the logo on the website, here’s a few tidbits to consider for your brand redesign:
- Design for user experience
- Design for device
- Design to be discovered (SEO)
What are you selling? What are you offering? What do your customers need? What do they NEED to see?
These are the questions you’ll want to ask yourself (or your website designer) as you’re thinking about how your website visitors will experience your website. Your website needs to be intuitive and adaptable for your users needs. Whether it be a mobile phone, a laptop or desktop computer, or a tablet, you need to consider how one might want to navigate your site by anticipating their needs.
Just in 2018 alone, mobile usage currently accounts for over 52% of global traffic. This trend has increased annually to 50% in 2017, 43.6% in 2016 and 35.1% in 2015.
Doing this ensures your website is optimized for google search index, one of the key features responsible for your website ranking on the google search platform.
Which leads to the next recommendation around designing to be discovered.
One of the great functions your website can serve beyond showcasing to potential customers what you offer and/or what you sell, is to bring in new customers who are searching for your products or serves. This practice is referred to as search engine optimization (SEO). Good SEO practices on your website, such as key words in your content meta data, help to rank your website higher on the Google search platform.
A good website redesign takes planning, focused design and testing. While an increase in revenue is the most likely end goal of any website redesign, improving user experience and flow will keep customers coming back, which is always a good thing.