Well if you’ve been asking yourself these or similar questions perhaps it’s time to commission a redesign for your beloved website.
Here are some benefits of a website redesign and why you should consider it.
Improve brand perception
This is a no brainer. We’re talking about design, we’re talking about functionality and above all we’re talking about the user experience. Your website is your shop front, your corporate face, your digital presence online and it should look and operate the best it can.
Your website needs to portray your brand positively and consistently with your other brand channels. It typically determines the aesthetic of your other channels, so get this right and everything else should follow.
Directly linked with brand perception is consumer trust. If you have a clean, professional website that provides a succinct user journey with clear messaging and calls-to-action, your visitors will not only have a better experience, they will develop deeper respect and trust for your brand.
Improve the user experience
Visitors come to your site to answer a question. That question might be where do I buy the latest Converse All Star Ox in Sunset Red? Or, what is an explainer video? Or even, what is the relationship between exercise and angiogenesis in racehorses? Thanks to my wife for that one! The point is, if your visitors can’t easily find the answer to their question they will go elsewhere and you will lose that sale, client or future research grant.
Improving the User Experience helps reduce bounce rates and increase retention. Signposting key content, creating intuitive navigational structures and giving visitors clear call-to-actions are all part of improving the UX.
Increase sales and conversions
Redesigning your company website gives you the opportunity to review and improve your sales funnels inline with your digital marketing strategy. This will form part of your UX overhaul and will highlight areas where customers might be dropping off such as overly complicated forms, too many clicks or convoluted checkout processes. Take the opportunity to resolve these issues and you should see an increase in sales and conversions.
During a redesign, you should also take the opportunity to refocus the site, especially around new products or services.
Improve SEO & site performance
You can have the most gorgeous and interactive site in the world but if it isn’t working for search engines and people cannot find your website then what is the point of all that effort?
Search Engine Optimisation is a continuous and ever-evolving process which involves constant attention and incremental steps but more often than not your SEO efforts might get put aside for more important business goals. Therefore a redesign is a good time to address any SEO deficit and bring your site up to speed with current SEO best practices.
But it’s not just about speed, content is still hugely important as it’s the words, imagery and other media on a page which a search engine will read and index. The more regularly you create well written, unique and informative content the more likely you will see positive results and an increase in your page positions in search engine results pages.
Improve functionality and content management
Redesigning your website gives you the opportunity to properly review the current functionality it provides, both for visitors and for the business (front-end/back-end), with the aim of making everyone's life faster and easier. Technology and trends change and providing relevant features to your visitors is important.
For example, your current e-commerce site might require all customers to create an account or login before purchasing, but adjusting this functionality to allow guest purchases may well increase sales by providing a much faster checkout process.
Alternatively, you might have to export your orders manually and import them into your financial software for reconciliation - perhaps not a complex task but one that takes 15 minutes every day. By improving the functionality and integrating your in-house finance platform with your website directly this data can synchronise automatically, saving you 15 mins a day; 75 mins a week; 65 hours a year (not excluding holidays). What would you do with an additional 65 hours?
Control over content is important for a business as it minimises the need to have a developer on hand for day to day updates and support. This reduces your monthly running costs and increases your flexibility and lead time when it comes to important updates such as blog posts or the creation of campaign pages. So if you need to make regular updates or create new pages (which you should for SEO reasons) then you need a solid and reliable Content Management System such as WordPress or Umbraco to handle that.
If your current content management process is not easy to use, perhaps it’s time to look at new options during your redesign project.
Proper security follows on from SEO in a way, particularly as Google favours sites utilising HTTPS via secure SSL Certification. However it’s more about the user experience and ensuring your site encrypts any data it processes, especially if it’s handling payment details.
Customers want to know that when they make a purchase from your e-commerce website, it’s secure and their credit card details are not being passed across an open connection and available for all the world to see. This then becomes about brand perception and trust.
Your current site might also be on an open source platform which receives regular updates to both it’s core code base and plugins - think WordPress above all else. If you’re not keeping the core up to date with regular updates as they become available your site becomes ever more at risk from malicious attack.
Making sure your new site is secure and up to date is about more than just security, but SEO and brand perception as well.
As you can see redesigning your website is about so much more than just an aesthetic update and making it more visually appealing. Focus on the key areas above with a synergistic approach and the overall effect will be a fundamental boost for your business.