Once upon a time, your website met business needs and served as an asset to your company. As time passed, the web changed and your website, which once supported your organization’s objectives became outdated and now prevents you from achieving business goals.
On a regular basis, take a hard and objective look at your website as it’s critically important to the success of your business. On the Internet, think of your website as a direct representation of your business, your “face”, public persona, and company image on the web. This is especially crucial for websites that are the primary sales agent for goods and services. Your company’s website is also a serious first impression to prospective clients and customers, and plays a critical part in determining whether or not they decide to research or purchase your products, offerings, or services.
The bottom line is that it’s foolish to neglect your website—a well designed website contributes to company growth whereas a neglected site can potentially work against you. Sometimes, a good website is all that sets you apart from the competition, who have know idea whose services to choose or whose similar products to buy. To help you decide if it’s time for a website redesign, we’ve come up with several important questions.
- First and foremost, has your business or company undergone a significant change since the creation of your website? If you’ve adjusted your business model, modified core positioning, added a new product line, additional services, etc, it may be time for a redesign. As businesses change over the years, expand, and improve upon themselves, the biggest mistake a company can make is to leave their website as is. As mentioned before, in instances like these the website ceases to be an ally and now works against business goals. You’ll need a redesign if your website is promoting products and services incorrectly, no longer supporting your goals as an organization, or your company has undergone a significant change or restructuring, a website redesign is crucial.
- If you aren’t showing up in the search engine results or if all competitors outrank you/have greater web visibility, it’s time for a redesign. Other than peer to peer and word of mouth recommendation, search engines are the greatest referrals around. They serve as the best avenue for traffic to your website and delivering important new customer acquisitions that result from increased volume of traffic. If competition is outranking you, they’ve no doubt implemented Search Engine Optimization best practices. You’ll need a new website platform that’s inherently SEO friendly (think WordPress, Joomla, Drupal) with free SEO plugins, better internal linking structure, easy categorization and organization, SEO-friendly URL creation, one that’ll support content, SEO-friendly alt and image tags, and more. If it’s time for a redesign for SEO, an Internet Marketing company with web design and SEO savvy will get the job done best. The organic SEO results you can achieve with a well optimized website are long lasting when maintained and can deliver significant amounts of natural traffic.
- Speaking of SEO traffic turned customers, is your website generating a desirable amount of business leads or sales? If you answered “no”, it’s time for a redesign. If your site isn’t delivering the leads that it should be, it’s time to redesign so your website will contribute more to business.
- If your website looks and feels dated, it probably is. Which would mean you’re in dire need of a redesign. Something that worked well in 2001 isn’t going to have the same punch in 2011. Design standards and trends change with the times, and you want your website to sand out for its successes, not for being out of sync. Much research indicates that customers and visitors will turn to the competition and spend less time on your site should you have a significantly dated website.
- Navigation. If your website isn’t laid out well and easy to navigate, it’s definitely time for a redesign. Older websites do not have intuitive or user-friendly web design (both qualities appreciated by search engines and users), but do have slower page load time which search engines will penalize for.
- Is all information laid out clearly and easy to get to?
- Are none of your pages hidden or deeply rooted?
- Do search engines have access to all the pages they need to?
- Have you made use of menus, mininavs, footers, hyperlinks, and sidebars?
If you’ve answered “yes” to the aforementioned questions, you pass. You DO however need a redesign if your site navigation is complicated, frustrating, or not search engine friendly.
- Does your site work/display properly for all browsers on the web? If not, it may be time for a redesign. The older your site, the more likely that it’s not displaying all content accurately to visitors. This can mean lost opportunities—a compelling reason to redesign. Designers now keep in mind the variety of web browsers used by visitors and ensure websites work properly on any new or modified browser.
- When you need to make a routine change, is it a DIY job? If you can’t make a simple change to your website without calling your designer, it’s time to get an easy to use content management system. If your site is static or if not built on top of a robust CMS system, it’s time for a redesign. The same is true if site content is stagnant and rarely changes. The web moves quickly and you need to be able to change with the times—new content makes you seem in touch with your market and is highly valued by search engines. If you’re showing dated or stagnant content, it’s time for a redesign. While you’re at it, write new content (with appropriate keyword density) for SEO benefits.
Your website is a direct representation of you, and a professional, well-designed one will convey to your prospectives that you’re competent, whereas a dated one can negatively impact visitor opinions. Assess your need for a redesign, and if the time is right, an Internet marketing company that specializes in both SEO and web design can create a professional website that aligns with business objectives and strategy, but provides all the natural benefits of SEO.