Websites don’t last forever. As the times change, technology advances and the way businesses market their products and services also change. When it comes to keeping a competitive edge on the internet and generating sales and leads, a current website is a valuable tool.
Sooner or later you’ll need to make some changes to your website. Some of these changes may be accomplished by applying simple updates to your site, but there’s only so far patching and revising your site can do. If your site is particularly outdated, or if it’s not working well for you, it’s probably time to consider a complete site redesign.
Working with a designer and going through the process of creating a site that looks unique and works well is generally less stressful then trying to do it all on your own.
Some signs that it’s time to redesign your site may include:
Your Site Looks Like It Was Designed in the 90’s
Do you get embarrassed when someone asks you for your website address because you feel like it was built in the Stone Age? Some signs of an outdated web site include: slow-loading graphics, huge text, old-style “framed” coding, where the site is divided up into panes that load separately, little animated cartoon clip-art throughout the site, and text created as images instead of in HTML, text that spreads across the page and overlaps images where it’s not supposed to. Having any of these on your site could reflect poorly on your business, making you look ‘behind the times’. It can also make you look like you don’t care enough about your business or about technological advances to keep on top of them. Keeping your company’s website looking modern will improve your credibility. If your competitors have more current and attractive websites than you do, it’s time to upgrade!
The Information on Your Site Isn’t User-Friendly
If you cringe when you read your site text, or if you regularly get questions on your site’s content or how to find things on your site from visitors, re-structuring your website or rewriting the copy can help to fix these problems. If you’ve been adding more information to your site over time and the navigation has become confusing, restructuring your navigation could be another pressing reason to redesign your site. You want visitors to be able to easily find their way around your site and access all the information you have within a few clicks. A user-friendly site will encourage visitors to stay on your site and make their experience on your site a lot more enjoyable.
You find Yourself Apologizing for your Site
Your website should be a representation of your business and a source of pride. It should provide your clients and prospects a glimpse of what your business is all about, and be an easy way to get current information about your business. When you apologize for out-of-date information, broken images and links, poor design, difficult navigation or anything else on your site, it makes you look unprofessional and unprepared. Make sure your site is in top shape and looks impressive, so your clients will have confidence in doing business with you.
You’re Not Getting Good Results in the Search Engines
If your site is not properly optimized for the search engines then your prospective customers won’t find you! Low page ranking in major Search Engines can be a result of not optimizing your site well. Poor search engine ranking can also be a result of inadequate page design choices, content or coding on your site. Sites designed using frames and Flash based sites can actually hurt your rankings. Redesigning your site with optimized content and structure is one way to boost your results in the Search Engines.
Your Site is Not Generating Sales
If your website was is more than a couple years old, then chances are that it was designed as an online brochure. Recently, businesses have realized that a website can do a lot more than just provide basic information- it can act as a tool to help you close sales, bring in new prospects and make your business easier to run.
Consider including the following when you redesign your site in order to bring in more sales:
- Calls to action: encourage your visitors to take specific actions – like purchasing a product, contacting you, or signing up for a newsletter.
- Include interactive functionality such as forms, estimating tools and shopping carts to make your business easier and make things convenient for your clients.
- Include downloadable information packets, articles and white papers that answer a prospect’s questions about your products or services and help them to move closer to buying. If you require the prospect to enter their email address or other contact information, it can help you to grow your prospect list as well.
These are just a few of the many different functions that your site can perform for your business. To get ideas for other ways that your site can help you improve your business, take a look at your competitors sites and see what functions and features they offer that may attract potential clients and incorporate those things into your new site.
Your Business Has Grown or Changed
If the focus of your business has changed from when you first built your site, chances are that you should redesign your website to reflect your current business offerings. If you’ve changed the focus of your business, decided to provide new products or services, or if your company has grown significantly, a redesign website will pay off. Consider your strategy for attracting your target audience, and consider how the structure, design and content of your website address your business goals.
Your Site is Costing You a Fortune to Update
If you’re racking up huge bills because of changes and still have a lot to go, it might be time to consider a whole website redesign. Make a list of everything that you want to do on your site and consult a web designer about redesigning your site with those changes in mind. Often, if you have extensive changes to make to your site, it can be less expensive to just start over.
If you build your site in WordPress or a similar content management system that let you make changes yourself, you can often eliminate much of your maintenance costs. If your site is designed in Flash or coded in such a way that you can’t maintain it yourself, redesigning and re-coding your site could allow you to do so. Having the ability to make changes and update your own text will let you make revisions quickly, at no expense. And you can play with your site, add content and make changes to see what will work best for your business and clients.
If your site exhibits any of the characteristics mentioned here, it’s time to redesign. The steps needed to update and revise will differ depending on the problems and issues that your site has – you may not have to start from scratch. But, do make sure that you address all of the problems that your site has so that you won’t have to redesign again any time soon!