The last couple of years have changed the way that we interact with others. People are researching more online before engaging with businesses, so, more than ever, your website needs to be on point.
Not only has human behaviour changed – technology has too. Software updates and Google algorithm changes have driven improvements in customer experience, site speed, ease of website management and functionality. Your site visitors are expecting more than ever.
Why rethink your website design?
Strong brands create emotional connections with people.
People form a first impression in just 1/10th of a second – whether that’s of another person, or a website. When you consider that the average time spent on a website is less than 15 seconds, you can see where the famed “8 second rule” comes from – if you haven’t captured your reader’s attention within 8 seconds, chances are that they will bounce away.
A fresh design gives you the opportunity to express your brand personality in new and engaging ways so that you make the most of your 8 seconds.
Drive more Traffic
Rethinking your pages prompts you to optimize your site speed, content and metadata. Launching a new site or design is a great time to refresh your content plan.
Optimisation is all about setting your site up to showcase what you want to be famous for. The more you come up in search for highly relevant subject matter, the more chances are that the visitors that click through will engage with you.
Better User Experience
Once your visitors have got past the first 8 seconds, you need to get them to the information or outcome they are looking for quickly and efficiently. A redesign gives you the opportunity to review your user journey, removing any steps or onsite experiences which are not value-add to the reader.
Improve Conversion Rates
The combined impact of better showcased Brand, being found online for highly relevant terms and improved User Experience invariably lead to better conversion rates.
How do you know it’s time for a website design refresh?
1. You haven’t updated it for ages
Best practise website hygiene is a site review and redesign of areas of concern every 2-3 years. You probably don’t need to redesign the whole site, but you should check that your branding still looks fresh, that functionality is up to date and that the user experience is at least as good as your competitors’.
2. Customer behaviour has changed
Use your analytics to spot and research changes in consumer behaviour. If your bounce rate suddenly goes up, time on site changes significantly, different pages are being visited, or there is a marked change in user demographics over time, it may be time to dig deeper.
Revisit your customer personas, and research your customer behaviour to determine if your user experience still meets their needs.
3. Your business has evolved
Businesses grow and refocus over time, so you should regularly stand back and check that you are showcasing the products or services you expect to make you the most money over the next couple of years. Your website is the best place to launch and nurture a new product or service as well – “new” is still a big hook for many people. It’s important to be future focused in this activity.
4. Your competitor’s site looks better than yours
According to WSI research, 70% of purchase decisions are influenced by a business website, so if your competitors have upped their game significantly, you need to raise the bar even higher. Follow branding sites to keep up to date with the latest trends on look and feel from the experts.
5. Your content is out of date
Some businesses have new products launching all of the time, whilst others have more or less evergreen services. Neither is an excuse for not auditing your content!
Checking that supporting imagery is relevant and up to date (and alt-tagged), and that any broken links are fixed is as important as checking your copy. If this all sounds painful, it may be time to invest in a new site with an integrated Content Management System (CMS).
6. Functionality has moved on
There have been significant moves forward in video, data visualisation and augmented reality over the last few years – if your site is all static content, bring it to life with some on screen movement, interactivity or gamification to engage your readers.
Also, increasingly, B2B companies are adding ecommerce modules to their sites to make it easier for their clients to buy from them.
7. Your team are frustrated by how long things take
Consider the back end of the website as part of your review – new website formats are much easier to maintain than old ones, so there could be opportunity for significant gains in efficiency. If your content management process is complicated, or you can’t update categories easily, it’s time to look at a new website.
8. You’ve been ignoring social media
There are 57.6 million active social media users in the UK, so chances are that your customers are active on at least one platform. Use your research to understand which platforms your customers are most active on, and use that platform to update your audience with news and engaging updates. See what kind of posts people respond to, and use that insight to inform your website tone of voice. Most importantly, have social buttons easily findable on your site.
9. Your website isn’t device responsive
Google reports that 58.16% of global web traffic originates from mobile devices (July 2022), so if your site doesn’t format itself correctly on a wide variety of phone sizes, you are compromising your opportunities to convert visitors into customers. Modern website platforms support automated mobile responsiveness, so there is no need to create a separate mobile website.
10. You love your site, but you aren’t coming up in search
Ranking highly in search engines requires constant content updates and technical adjustment. This starts with keyword research, and continues with weaving those phrases through your content in a natural way that is relevant and engaging for your readers. You also need to use the research to maintain your metadata – some CMS systems make this relatively easy, but if not, you probably need a little help from your web developer. Search engines consider freshness of relevant content in their ranking factors, so consider how to keep your content fresh – it may be as simple as adding a blog!
If any of these 10 points resonate with you, it’s time to consider a website refresh. The answer maybe some layout tweaks, or a theme update, or a completely new website, but doing nothing is not an option!
If you’d like to stand out more online, contact us for a no obligation chat about your ideas.