There are several reasons why you might decide that now is the time for a website redesign. From technical issues to realignment with your business, we’ve got you covered in this article. Even if a new website hasn’t crossed your mind, or you’ve recently had it built or updated, we’ll give you plenty of things to store in the back of your mind so you know what to look out for down the line.
Make sure you read to the end to get the detail on a special offer on our web design service.
If you’d like to jump to a specific reason you can use our handy index below:
- Mobile Friendly (Responsive Website)
- Changed Business Proposition
- Fresh Look
- No Blog
- Hard to Update
- Competitor Update
- Difficult to Navigate
- Poor Search Engine Rankings
- Low Conversions / High Bounce Rate
- Slow Load Time
- Company Rebrand
- Customer Feedback
- Not updated in 2-3 years
- Your Customer Base has Changed
- Poor Web Design Company
Mobile Friendly Website (Responsive Website)
For several years Google has reported that searches performed on mobile devices outstrip those on desktops/laptops, a trend that is continuing to grow. Due to this fact, Google now employs Mobile First indexing, which means it looks at the mobile version of your site to determine a lot of factors behind its indexing and ranking properties. Therefore, if organic search traffic is a key indicator of success for your website, it must be responsive (mobile-friendly) to work across desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
How can I tell if my website is mobile friendly?
Luckily, there’s a very easy answer for this – Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
Run your website through this official tool and it’ll give you a report which tells you if Google thinks your site is mobile-friendly or not. If it’s not, now is the time to update!
What if you’re not interested in organic search traffic? We still think this applies. Even if you’re not worried about Google, or rankings, it’ll tell you whether your visitors are getting a good experience when they land on your site using a mobile device.
Changed Business Proposition
As you’ll find throughout this article, some of these reasons will not be enough in their own right to tip the balance on the website design, however, some of them combined just might.
Take the changed business proposition for instance, where you’ve added a new service to your business. This would normally entail adding a new service page to your website, much in the same vein as the other pages on your site. No big issue, you or your web design company will add the new page, and you can shout about it on Social Media and add an update to your Google My Business listing.
However, if you’ve added a new service AND your website is hard to update, or you just don’t like it anymore, now could be time for the redesign.
On the other end of the scale, if your business has pivoted, or offers a substantially different proposition than before this can be enough to trigger a new website.
This one is more of a ‘soft’ reason, there’s no data or business decision around it, you just might not like your website anymore.
Not only is that fair enough (it’s your website, after all) but also may be incredibly important for your business.
With a new website that you’re happy with you’ll have a newfound confidence in your online presence, and be far more likely to scream and shout about it. Not only that, when you’re happy with the foundation, you’re far more likely to build upon it, which can be an important player in the growth of your business.
We live in an age now where pretty much everyone knows what a blog is.
However, what we continually find business owners confused about is why a blog is important.
Here are just a few of those reasons:
- It allows you to fill in the gaps around your products/services that perhaps don’t fit into the individual product/service page.
- If allows you to show your expertise in your given area, increasing trust in your brand
- It allows you to rank for more keywords, increasing site traffic
- It forces you to think about your proposition and target audience, fine-tuning your customer service
- It gives you the opportunity for internal links – signalling your most important pages to search engines
- It allows you to show off some of your previous projects if you don’t have a dedicated section on your site
As you can see, there’s a wealth of reasons why a blog can be a massive part of your strategy for business growth. Although blogging is inherently linked with trying to obtain more organic search engine traffic, just like mobile friendliness (see above), there’s plenty of justification to have a blog even if you’re not interested in rankings.
We see having a blog is an absolute must for your marketing strategy, so if you haven’t got one, it might be time for a redesign into a website that allows you to blog.
Hard to Update
It’s very rare in business that things stay the same. Products change, services change, customers change, prices change, you get the point.
Therefore it must be easy for your website to be updated, whether that’s through your web design company or something you do yourself.
If you can’t stay on top of your website because of your web company or because it takes too much time/effort to do t yourself, it may be time for a change.
Business is a competitive world in which you have to have eyes in every direction. Whilst we don’t subscribe to the ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ mentality, it’s also incredibly important to keep an eye on what the competition is doing.
This is true for both your long-established competitors and the new kids on the block. If a new player comes into the market with a faster, more modern website that ranks above you and converts, those potential clients are never going to find you, no matter how much experience you’ve got or how much better you are.
Likewise, if one (or all!) of your long-standing competitors make a big jump with their website that suddenly set them apart, it may force the issue for you to not be left behind.
Difficult to Navigate
Take an objective look at your website. Step back and ask yourself:
- It is obvious what my business does as soon as you land on your home page?
- Is the main navigation easy to see and use across all devices?
- Can you get to the most important content on your site in 2 clicks or less?
- How fast does your site load?
The key here is objectivity. There’s no room for ‘yeah but…’, new visitors don’t know your business, and they don’t know your website.
If any of the answers to the questions above are less than what you were expecting, you may need an update.
Poor Search Engine Rankings
For the large majority of website owners, getting organic traffic to their site is a key way to reach new customers.
If you’re on anything less than page one of Google for your key search terms the chances of you getting any significant amount of organic traffic are incredibly slim.
The first thing to do is look at what changes you can make, what do you have control of?
For example, if you’re on a WordPress web design running a fast, easy-to-use theme, chances are that there’s a wide range of things you can do to help with the rankings.
However, if your website is hard to update, or you don’t have access to it, you may need a change to be able to work on those rankings. To see how this works in a real-world example, refer to our SEO case study.
Low Conversions / High Bounce Rate
So visitors are coming to your site, but are they doing the things you want them to do? Are they filling in a contact form, signing up for your newsletter, or heading to your contact page?
Analytics, along with your own internal and external analysis should be able to help you answer those questions. If you’re not getting enough conversions, it may mean that your website is not doing its job as well as it should.
As with many of the points in this article, some of these issues may be fixable with the site you’ve got – for example, a tweak in your messaging could be enough to bring your conversion rate up – which could be as simple as a text change.
However, if your site is difficult to navigate and slow to load, your website may no longer be fit for purpose.
The same applies to Bounce Rate – the percentage of people that only visit one page then navigate away from your site – if your website success is determined by filling in contact forms, making a purchase, etc (ie visiting multiple pages) you want your Bounce Rate to be as low as possible.
Just like with Low Conversions, you need to look at where you might be able to fix the problem and what you have control over to do so.
If fixing these issues is too difficult/cumbersome/expensive/time-consuming with your current setup, a new website could be the answer.
Slow Load Time
There are many reasons why your site may be slow to load. There are also many reasons why this can be bad for business.
Firstly, if your site isn’t quick to load and therefore get your message across quickly, you will be missing out on conversions. This effect is compounded if your competitors’ websites are more responsive.
Secondly, it’s well documented that site speed is used as a ranking factor, so if your site is really slow, you might not even get visitors in the first place.
The average attention span for web browsing is around 6-10 seconds – if your site takes 5 seconds to load, you’ve got 1-5 seconds to communicate to visitors that you can provide what they’re looking for.
This one is fairly self-explanatory, but changing your company branding is a perfect time to redesign your website and bring everything into line all at once.
Likewise, the same works in reverse, if you’re thinking about working towards a new website, that could be an opportunity to update your branding. Most web design companies will offer you a design package deal for getting multiple services at the same same, so you could save yourself some money at the same time!
Customer feedback on your marketing efforts can be incredibly insightful.
It’s all about perspective, as a business owner or marketing manager it can be very easy to look at things from the internal point of view, without considering the direction your customers will be coming from.
As and when you get the opportunity, we encourage you to try and get as much client feedback about your website as you can. Questions such as these can offer you valuable information that you won’t be able to source elsewhere:
- Does your website load fast for them?
- Is it obvious what your offering is?
- Could they find everything they were looking for?
- How did they find the site?
- (if the answer to the above is ‘Google’) What search term(s) did they use?
And so on. Similarly, some customers will offer you feedback on your site unprompted, especially if that feedback happens to be negative. And that’s where you have the decision to make.
Now obviously, if one customer mentions they found your website hard to navigate, that’s not a signal to go out and get a new website build. However, if you do get that feedback, you should try and unravel where the point of failure is, as they might not be the only ones experiencing it.
Not Updated in 2-3 Years
2 years is a long time on the internet. Design trends change, technology changes, functionality changes, etc. And that’s just the online world, within that time plenty might have changed about your business or your clients.
Now, if your website is working well how it is, ‘time’ on its own isn’t enough to warrant a change. However, some of the other elements mentioned in this article may likely start to become a factor, slow load time, lack of updates, the need for a fresh look, etc. If your website is a couple of years old, it’s certainly a good idea to assess if it’s still meeting your business needs, and aligned with your business goals.
There’s also the perception of your company to consider, particularly to both existing and potential clients. In your industry, is it important to look like you’re keeping up with the times, or staying creative with your solutions?
Your Customer Base Has Changed
This one can be a hard one to quantify but is an aspect that you most likely ‘get a feel for’ more than anything.
Has your customer base shifted to the point where they no longer need your product or service? This could be especially true of businesses that are offering fad and/or age-related offerings (does anyone remember fidget spinners?!)
If your core product/service meets a need that doesn’t change very often or is permanently satisfied in one hit, perhaps you might want to look at diversifying so you can support your clients further up and down the supply chain.
Or perhaps you just need to update the look and feel or messaging of your website to stay current with your customer base.
Poor Web Design Company
Now, we’re not here to throw any dirt(!) but it is worth assessing your relationship with your web design company to make sure you’re getting the most from your website.
This is especially true if they carry out your web updates for you.
If their response time is slow, updates are expensive, they charge you by the hour for doing 5 mins of work, etc, it could be time to move on.
This doesn’t mean that you need a new website necessarily, but there are a couple of things to consider. Firstly, it might be a good idea to make a clean break and start afresh, especially if the site is a few years old.
Secondly, something that’s more out of your control, is what access you have to the site once you part ways. Some companies try to lock you into them by forcing you to use their hosting or have the site on a proprietary content management system. If this is the case, sadly the only way to move on is to make a clean break and get a new site.
Summary – Time for a Website Redesign
There are many reasons why it might be time to consider a website redesign, and we hope this article has given you some insight into some of those. There may not be any one reason that is enough to consider taking the jump, however, when a couple of important factors can combine they can create a powerful case for the need for change.
At Designers Up North, web design is our first love and most popular service. If you’d like to have a friendly chat about any of the above get in touch on 0161 317 4270.
P.S. If you mention you’ve read this article, we’ll give you an additional 10% off your first order!