How do you know when it’s time to redesign your site? For some businesses, it’s about staying competitive, which means frequent site updates and regular refreshes. Others like to ride it until the wheels fall off, since updates can often represent a good portion of the marketing budget.
So, when is the right time to begin your website redesign? And how do you know your website is due for refresh?
Here’s your answer: The second you ask, “Should I update my website?” is the exact moment when you should start.
If you can answer ‘yes’ to any of the next 6 questions, you should be considering a site update:
1. Is your website over 3 years old?
This is a good indicator to consider a refresh. The usability aspect of web design is continuously improving. Websites from 3 years ago may function much less effectively than those of the present. Every year, web standards change and techniques to build sites become more advanced in order to comply with the those standards. If your site was developed several years ago, it probably has a lot of unnecessary HTML code, and may be slowing down your loads speeds – which may in turn impact your ranking in Google search results.
Speaking of Google search results, if your site doesn’t have a responsive design, it’s potentially being penalized and given a lower ranking than your competitors (see #2, below). Plus, chances are, the general look and feel is just outdated at this point.
2. Is your website responsive?
Responsive web design just means that the website reacts to the size of a user’s device, allowing the content to fit nicely on-screen no matter if it’s a phone, tablet, or laptop. A responsive website has a fluid and flexible layout which adjusts according to screen size. Waaaay back in 2015, Google rolled out a change to the search engine algorithms which now factor in a website’s mobile presence as a ranking signal. Websites that are not optimized to be responsive for smaller screens can experience a decline in their search rankings. This reason alone justifies the need for responsive design!
Throw in the fact that over 60% of searches now come from a mobile device, and it becomes clear that your website MUST be easy to use and read for all of your visitors. It would be a shame to lose a customer before you even had one due to a non-mobile friendly website.
3. Is your website intuitive and user-friendly?
How many times have you left a site after just a few moments because of a confusing and frustrating layout and navigation? This quick exit is something no one wants for their website visitors. Don’t make potential customers waste their time! Sites with good structure and navigation are consistent, intuitive, and transparent. Good navigation gets your visitors where they want to go quickly, and offers them easy access to the breadth and depth of your site’s content. In the same vein, good structure and navigation gets your visitors to go where YOU want them to go, whether that’s to sign up for your e-newsletter, check out your latest product release, or head over to an online sale you’re promoting.
4. Is your website in line with your current brand?
Each time your company makes a change, your website should reflect that. No matter how major or minor, neglecting to update your site can turn people away. How often do you land on a site, only to discover the content, imagery, and even the brand is stale and out of date?
So, do you have a new logo and brand guidelines? Are you offering new products or services? Have you revised the company vision, mission statement or value proposition? The world needs to know! Put it on your website!
5. Does your website keep up with your competitors’ sites?
It’s a good idea to look at refreshing your site if you have fallen behind your competitors’ online presence. Sometimes, it isn’t that anything has changed within your company, but within the market you serve. If all of your competitors have improved websites, then it’s probably the right time to make a new investment in your online marketing strategy.
6. Finally, what does the nagging voice in your head say?
Sometimes, you just know when it’s time for a new site. Call it a gut feeling, or your savvy marketing intuition kicking in. Even if you can’t quite put a finger on it, you and the rest of your company probably know that your site is out of date, or isn’t reaching its full potential.
The longer you put off needed changes and improvements, the bigger and more costly the job is going to be when you finally commit to something new. If you’re read through this post, chances are you might already know your business needs a new site. If that’s the case, feel free to reach out to us here and we’ll be happy to discuss ways we can improve your online presence!