When it comes time to redesign your website, it can seem like a daunting task, particularly on larger, content heavy websites, but the good new is it doesn’t have to be. With the right planning up front, it’s a classic case of seeing the trees in the wood. Dividing it up into specific tasks gives the mind something to grasp, rather than rocking and gently weeping with despair. The first step in a website redesign is asking some very specific questions as to how your website looks from both your and your visitors point of view.
Design Success – When to redesign your website
The greater percentage of a redesign, once you look past graphical elements is a more structured approach, ease of use for the visitor and a solid framework from which to build. Once the basics are worked out, you can then approach the task of providing new functionality.
It’s not achieving the results you need
A business website has one specific goal – get visitors in and get those services or products sold. Is your website achieving this?
- Google Analytics – If you’ve not heard of google analytics yet, now’s the time to put it in place. Visitor data is absolutely vital; if you can’t measure quantifiable aspects of your website, you can’t formulate a plan to improve it.
- Do your call to actions convert? A call to action is simply that – a requirement for the visitor to click on a given process that carries them forward to a sign-up, purchase or phone call. A prime example would be a ‘contact us’ element.
- Do your web pages inspire people to dig deeper? Are they inviting? There’s an awful amount of websites that date back to over a decade – state of the art then is state of the bin now.
- Does your website as it stands now reflect the business you’ve become? Have you grown in the meantime and polished that air of professionalism?
Your website is confusing to visitors and difficult to find information
A confusing navigation system is a killer for visitor conversion. How many times have you clicked on a link and been taken somewhere unexpected, with no way back, other than the browser back button. A streamlined, well planned navigation system will let your visitors get to concise information in the minimum number of clicks.
- Does the colour scheme and imagery used reflect your business?
- Is SEO worthy content hidden from search engines? A good example would be a Q&A forum – if this is hidden behind a registration form, you’ve effectively blocked Google from viewing it.
- Outdated technologies hide content – there are still a ton of websites out there that rely on Adobe Flash to power them; You’ve just excluded everyone with an Apple IOS mobile device, as it will not handle Flash.
How easy is it to update your website?
In an ideal world, your website will be developed into a CMS (content management system), which allows you to log in and make updates to content yourself. Common, well supported examples of this would be Joomla and WordPress.
Never underestimate the power of a CMS driven website – in the bad old days, a hard coded website meant having to run back to your developer every time something needed replacing, and this will make your website much more cost effective in the long run.
At the same time, a CMS website can be easily taken over by another developer. If, (God forbid), you fall out with your current developer, or he wanders under a bus whilst starring at his phone, the whole caboodle can be passed onto another developer with the minimum of fuss. No more picking apart another developers esoteric code in order to get things up and running again, which at the same time will save you additional outlay!
A chance to rethink your online strategy
If your reason for having a website is any of the next, you need to rethink your web strategy.
- My competitors have one.
- Needed one for my business card.
A website should be a living, breathing digital entity. Fresh sources of business news and commentary, regular service/product updates and robust goal funnelling will keep the visitors coming in and at the same time establish you as an expert in your field. This in turn drives extra contacts, audience and sales.
Simply letting a few pages fester and rot on the internet will not achieve any of this.
Considering your mobile audience – responsive web design
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