Should I Redesign My Website?

There’s no questioning the importance of having a web presence. Websites make and break our purchasing decisions everyday. 75% of people judge the credibility of a company based on the design of its website.  Not having a website at all is so damaging to your business’ credibility, you may as well go around saying “I don’t have a real business.” But what does having a bad website say about your business?

Right about now you’re thinking, “Whoa now….who said my website was bad? Wait…is it bad?” Well, that’s neither here nor there because it isn’t about us. It’s about you and your customers – or would-be customers.

Maybe you’ve been thinking about a website renovation, but you aren’t sure if you really need it? We get it, it’s a big commitment of time and money so you want to be sure.

Maybe you’re on the fence. You like how it looks, so why wouldn’t your customers. But come to think of it, you haven’t gotten a single online order or web contact submission since gas was under $1.50/gallon. Nah, probably just a coincidence.

So for all of you I’m-sure-its-fine-but-I-don’t-really-know-for-sure-on-the-fencers out there, we’ve assembled a short list of questions to help you get off the fence and into the grass.

1. How does it look on your phone/tablet?

Over 20% of Google searches are performed on a mobile device, and when it comes to local searches, more than half are performed on mobile devices. Maybe it doesn’t seem like a lot, but think about the last time YOU (yes, you) whipped out your smart phone and looked up a business. Oh you just did that this morning? We thought so.

Now pull your smartphone back out and Google your own business. Click the link and really assess what you see through the eyes of your ideal customer. Can you easily find the information your ideal customer wants to find? Is there a “click to call” link? A “click to email/contact” link? If the answers are no, you may want to consider a few tweaks at the very least.

Remember that time we said making your site look mobile-lovely was one of the top things you could do for your brand in 2015? Well, we meant it.

2. Where do you rank?

When 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, you can’t afford to neglect your search rankings. Open a web browser and go into “private” or “incognito” mode to get an unbiased search. Now do a Google search for the top 2-3 terms you want to be found for. Where do you rank?

If your organic search engine rankings are low, it could mean it’s time for an update. The role that design and content plays in today’s Google and Bing search algorithms is often underplayed and misunderstood.

Great web design doesn’t just look “pretty”, it plays nice, too. Great web design has organic keywords placed within quality, optimized content that is placed on the right areas of each page. Did that sound like greek? Ok, let’s break it down: If the content on your site wasn’t written with current SEO trends in mind, or it’s buried within Flash elements or on images, it may be time for an update.

3. Do you like what your site analytics are saying?

Log into your Google Analytics. Look at the past 6 months and determine the following:

  • What is your Bounce Rate (the number of people leaving your site without clicking through to another page)?
  • What is the average amount of time people are staying on your website?
  • What is the average number of pages people are viewing on your website?
  • How many total visitors have you had to your website?

If you don’t have Google Analytics, open a new browser tab right now and sign up. We promise we’ll still be right here when you’re done.

 4. Does it look cheap or outdated?

According to a study by ResearchGate, 94% of people say that websites with good designs are more trustworthy. Web design has evolved from the days of dial-up internet when animated backgrounds, millions of text links and awful music you couldn’t figure out how to turn off were the norm. Thank goodness for evolution.

  • Is there branding from an outside company (ex: GoDaddy, Wix, etc)?
  • Are there crazy color combinations and hard to read fonts?
  • Does the navigation consist of dozens of randomly placed text links?

Today, it’s all about clean design and easy navigation. This plays into #1 – clean & easy works best for mobile.

 5. Is your website doing what you want it to do?

As a business owner, you obviously have goals. Revenue goals. Client rentention rate goals. New sale goals. What about website goals? Hopefully you have some. What are they? Are you getting the amount of traffic you want? What about your conversion rate?

Refer to #3 – divide the total number of visitors your website has had by the number of new clients or sales to get a rough estimate of your ROI. Are you happy with the number? If not, read on to #6…things are about to get interesting…

 6. Is it slow to load?

According to KISSmetrics, 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% of people will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load! So essentially, if your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load, you’re losing 40% of your potential business right off the top. As technology continues to increase, that percent is only going to go up.

There’s two ways to see how abandonment is affecting your website.

  1. Visit  http://www.webpagetest.org/ and pop in your URL for them to test your site load speed.
  2. Look in Google Analytics to see what your bounce rate is. A bounce rate of 26-40% is generally considered good and around 55% is the average.

Ok Math word problem time…

Let’s say you have 1000 visitors to your site in a given month. Your site takes over 3 seconds to load. Your site has the average bounce rate of 55%. The number of visitors actually engaging with your page is 450. If your average conversion rate on a sale is 2%, then you would have made 9 sales

Now, let’s imagine your site takes 1 second to load an din a perfect world you immediately gain back that 40% of people who abandoned your site due to load time. Out of that same 1000 visitors, the number of visitors engaging with your page just went up to 600. At the same 2% conversion rate, you’ve now made 12 sales.

What’s your average sale total? Would you willingly turn away 3 additional sales per month? I don’t know many business owners who would. Now just imagine how that number will grow exponentially as you improve your organic search rankings (#2) and your site traffic increases, as you increase your mobile-lovely compatibility (#1) for customers to engage on their smart phones and with an updated, trustworthy design (#4). That’s quite a beautiful picture of ROI if you ask us. Who knew those pesky math word problems would actually help us in real life someday?

7. Have you outgrown it?

Odds are, you weren’t thinking about growth, scalability and sitemaps when your current site was built. So what happens 1, 2, 3 years later when your product or service offerings have expanded…but your website hasn’t.

  • Do you have the outdated or inaccurate calls to action?
  • Is your homepage cluttered because you don’t know where to put new info?
  • Do visitors have trouble finding the information they’re looking for?
  • Is your best selling product or service offering missing from your homepage or primary menu navigation?

If you can answer yes to any of the questions above, you my lovely internet friend, may have outgrown your current website.

8. Have you changed your brand position or messaging?

Remember #4  where we said 94% of people believe a website with good design is more trustworthy? Your website is how you establish credibility as a business, make sure you’re saying the right things!

Let’s say you own a home-cleaning business and your market differentiation from your competitors is that you have the most professional staff in town. But a prospective customer hits your website and after taking 5 seconds to load they see an animated broom sweeping across their screen and music is thumping from their computer. Is your brand position being portrayed accurately? Probably not.

9. Is it hard to make updates to your site?

If you are still suffering PTSD from initially creating your website, then odds are it was so difficult, cumbersome, confusing and frustrating you haven’t updated it since. We get it. But it shouldn’t be that way.

Did you know that Google’s algorithm includes a “freshness” factor? Users crave fresh, new content. And Google rewards handsomely for it by way of higher organic search rankings. Remember the math problem from #6? Well, we won’t put you through that again…but I think you get the website traffic possibilities by now.

The right web platform, set up the right way, should be easy for you to manage updating a few keywords or adding new blog posts. If you need a therapy appointment after trying to get a new blog post up, it may be time to switch things up and go more user friendly. Why not make it mobile-lovely and user friendly while your at it, eh?

10. Are you embarrassed to give out your URL? If so, why?

This question is pretty personal. If your answer is yes, then odds are you know your website needs a makeover, you just aren’t ready to do it. Maybe you’ve gone into paralysis from trying to figure out how to do it yourself. Maybe your sister’s brother-in-law’s cousin you paid $200 bucks to redesign it has taken a year-and-a-half. Maybe you just haven’t been able to justify the costs. Maybe you have no idea what you need.