Your official web portal is your business’ unofficial ‘shopfront’ and ‘business card’ and a reflection of your professionalism. Up to 75% of people judge the credibility of a business based on the design of its website (Stanford University). Your site is also where your target audience get their information and engage with your products or services. It is vital that business sites are designed with a good user experience to capture leads on every step of the marketing funnel. What’s more, the digital realm has progressed by leaps and bounds over the past 5 years, and your site needs to keep up with the changes and you will probably need a website redesign. But redesigning a company web portal is a long time process and deciding whether you ultimately want to undergo a website revamp is not an easy task – you will need to set aside a certain amount of resources such as staff, but holding on to a website that drives away traffic can be a huge cost to your business.
Another alternative way is to sieve out areas of your site that needs changes, for instance, your brand logo, modifications to your marketing strategies, or a combination of these elements, and just work on them. And it’s not only the older companies that might need a website redesign – you could need one too even if you’re a new startup, if you feel that there are certain elements missing from your business strategy, or your customers are not getting what they need from your website. In more details, here is a comprehensive website redesign checklist.
Website Redesign Checklist
(1) Your Site Has An Outdated Look and Feel
Due to constantly changing technology, frequent updates of website design trends and innovations, it is important to make constant updates to the look and feel of your website to ensure that it functions properly. Also, it is important to keep your site fresh so that your customers can feel that you are trustworthy, still active in business, or worth their business at all. It is always easy for customers to just click elsewhere and visit another competitor’s better designed website, with so many brands, products and services around. A study by ResearchGate, according to a report on Hubspot, said that as much as 94% of people said that websites with good designs are more trustworthy.
So don’t let a badly designed or outdated website get into the way of your business leads – if it’s time for a website redesign, you just have to do it! As a guideline, if your site is more than five years’ old, you probably need a redesign.
(2) Your Site Is Not Mobile Responsive
These days, if your website is not mobile responsive yet, which means it can be viewed easily on smaller devices such as smartphones and tablets, then you definitely need to do a total redesign to make sure that customers will be able to use your site easily no matter which device they are using, and every call-to-action on your pages can be easily seen and clicked on these smaller devices.
Smartphones and tablets have revolutionised the way we access information. Currently 1 out of every 4 users of the Internet in the US accesses it via a mobile device. Research also shows that more than 60% of smartphone shoppers will switch to a competitor’s website if their eCommerce checkout procedure is faster. Obviously, customers want everything to be as smooth as possible, and the answer to that is a responsive website with a great user experience.
And that’s not all. One most important factor is that Google will penalise your website in the search engine ranks if it is not mobile friendly for smartphones and tablets, because it wants a better user experience for users.
So if your site is not mobile responsive, it’s time for a website redesign. One good news, 62% of businesses said that for them, having a responsive website led to increased sales, according to EConsultancy.
Google has created the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (AMP), an online publishing format that is optimized for web browsing. It is quite user-friendly so do check it out too and discuss with your web programmer on its usefulness.
(3) Your Site Still Uses Adobe Flash
The number one sign that your website needs a redevelopment is when it still uses Adobe Flash, a multimedia platform for creating vector graphics and animation. This technology makes your site practically unreadable for search engines – this means that it’s not possible for your target audience to find you online, as it’s not ranking for the search engines at all. Websites built in Flash are also slow and present many security vulnerabilities. Major browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox have also blocked it completely due to various problems. iPhones and iPads also do not support Flash anymore.
Users also have to install the latest plugin to view such Flash sites, which are currently difficult to use and maintain. Developers and creators of animation technology have switched to HTML5 now, and do not use Flash to create their storyboard anymore. HTML5 is compatible across browsers and smartphones.
(4) Your Site Loads Slowly
Go to Google’s Page Speed Insights Tool or Pingdom’s website speed test to check how long it takes for your site to load on both mobile and desktop because page speed is one of the factors that affects your search engine ranking now. It can turn away impatient users like me, because I would just click off the website if I can’t get it within a few seconds. If there are more users like me, it will result in your website having a high bounce rate, and ultimately, result in a low conversion rate when customer satisfaction drops.
A slow page speed can be attributed to many reasons, among them images that are not optimised, erroneous scripts, too many videos, or outdated codes. As a general rule of thumb, your site should load in under 3 seconds, nothing more. Therefore, if your site is not loading in such a way, it is time to consider a website redevelopment.
(5) Your Site Has a High Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is a metric in Google Analytics that indicates the percentage of single-page sessions where a visitor came and left without interacting on your site. If your bounce rate is high, it might be time for a website redesign. As a general guideline, a bounce rate of between 26% to 40% is excellent, anything in between is acceptable, while anything that is more than 70% is cause for concern. According to Google Analytics Benchmark Averages for Bounce Rate, these are the estimated percentages for normal bounce rates for different kinds of sites:
Blogs: 70 – 98%
Landing Pages: 70 – 90%
Content or News Sites: 40 – 60%
Lead Generation Sites: 30 – 50%
Retail or eCommerce Sites: 20 – 40%
Service Sites: 10 – 30%
Check out which are the top landing pages, which pages are getting the most traffic, and on which page are people leaving your site? For example, if your home page is getting the most traffic, but it does not result in traffic to the other inner pages, it could be that your site gives a poor user experience or it is not giving visitors what they want. Other reasons include a poorly designed site, which is a big turnoff, confusing content and layout or a combination of all these factors. If you are not getting the conversions that you want, it is also an indication that you need to check out your bounce rate and adjust accordingly.
A high bounce rate and low conversion rate are definite signs that you need a website redesign immediately, re-evaluating your new site with your target audience and goals in mind.
(6) Your Site Is Not Ranking Well In the Search Engines
As mentioned above, your site will suffer a fall in search engine ranking if it is not mobile responsive, still uses Flash, or loads slowly. Above all, the search engine optimization (SEO) that is built into your web structure might be outdated and needs to be changed. When you logged into your Analytics or Google Search Console, or just type your products or services into one of the search engines and can’t find your presence, or you can only find it on the 3rd page onwards, it might be time for you to change your website because Google is constantly changing its algorithms, and what worked last year might already not be working this year.
More than 90% of online experiences start with search engines, especially Google. It is hence very important to be ranked on the first page of for a few vital keywords in your niche, because customers almost always check out the first page only, effectively only about 5 to 6%, according to recent statistics. A ranking on the first page can drastically boost traffic to your site, and increase your sales. If you are having problems in this area, it is time for a website redevelopment.
(7) Your Site Is Not Easy to Navigate
Sometimes, visitors to your website cannot find the information that they are looking for, and have difficulty navigating through the various pages on your site. This will make them frustrated and exit the site. Websites that are difficult to navigate often have many pages of content, but a poor content structure or interface to help visitors find the information that they want. If that is the case, it is time for you to embark on a website redesign.
A site’s navigation is also important to the search engines, as Google wants its customers to have a good user experience, and will try to rank poorly sites which are confusing or have a bad navigation structure. In general, the easier it is for Google’s ‘spider’ crawler to find your content, the better it is. Focus on simplicity and ease of use, with the concentration on end users of that niche that your business is in. Redesign your portal with better navigation, easier to find call to action buttons, less clutter and more internal links.
(8) You Have Rebranded Your Business
Another factor for you to consider seriously a website redesign is when you have rebranded your business, perhaps with a change in overall identity, brand values, value proposition, mission statement and logo, for instance. Sometimes, it can be the case that your company is growing rapidly and has evolved into another stage, and you need to add on more products, services or functionality, or even more content. It can also be that there are mergers or acquisitions, a change in leadership or even be a change in your overall business direction, in which case your website should reflect your business and brand’s overall vision and mission.
The message that you are conveying to your target audience offline should gel with the message on your site too. Overall, your brand should just convey one message and reflect the same look and feel across the board, and will allow you to attract the correct group of target audience.
Also, your site might not be structured properly to help reach your marketing objectives and general targeted leads. This is definitely a factor to take into account when looking into whether to revamp your website. Brainstorm among your team and check whether your website is contributing to your overall business objectives and if it is not, it is compulsory to do a web redesign.
(9) You Have a New Set or Additional Set(s) of Target Audience
It can be the case that you have a new set of audience with new products or services, or you have additional set(s) of target audience that are vastly different from your current one. Such a change calls for a website redevelopment, as your new website will need to cater to these new buyer personas and increased loads of traffic.
(10) Your Site Does Not Have A Content Management System
With the current elevated status of content as the main focus of any marketing strategy nowadays, it is important that your web portal holds a proper content management system (CMS) that let you make amendments easily and quickly, and by any internal staff. It is best that you can manage your website and update your content without having to change lots of confusing programming codes, or even hire web developers to change the website. A professional CMS like WordPress, Joomla or Magento will allow you to save time and cost, and it’s very useful when you have to make immediate changes to short-term campaigns, special promotions or offers, rewards or contests.
A CMS is also important if you have an inhouse content management team to oversee your content marketing. This makes sure that they can be educated to take charge of updating the articles, videos or infographics daily, without the need for any external vendor or programmer’s help to do so, as it will incur additional costs if so. Google loves fresh content, so it is important for your marketing team to be able to update the website frequently. If your website currently does not have a CMS, then it’s really time to redesign your website.
All the above 10 factors are indications of whether you should look to a website redesign. If ultimately, they lead to an overall poor user experience, it’s time to plan a revamp as it’s the first thing that your customers see when they get to know your business. Look to incorporating a solid navigation and page structure, with information presented in a user-friendly way, with excellent page speed, and it could mean the difference between your customers choosing you over your competitors.
Finally, there’s no definite guideline on when and how often you should redesign your site, but as a general guide, you should look at doing a major revamp every 2 to 3 years, or when a particular problem is bugging you, and causing your to fall short of your expectations drastically. So when it’s time to redesign, just do it!
If you would like to talk to someone about website redesign, we would love to have a chat with you! Just fill out the form below and we will get in touch with you.