It is hard to admit that your website is ugly or isn't performing. Your digital baby, if you will, took hours of thought and development, you labored over color choices and photos, either paid exorbitant amounts of money to a designer or slogged your way through books and webpages to do it yourself and all of it was fairly exhaustive. The thought of starting this process over again can be daunting to anyone. However, having a website that misses the mark with visitors is not only a poor decision in regards to the aesthetic quality of your site, but also is a poor decision in terms of conversion rate opportunities and overall ROI.
Deciding to go through a redesign is no easy process. However, if your site is not showing year-over-year growth then chances are that you are long overdue for an overhaul. The goal of any ecommerce website is to convert visitors into customers and if your site design and/or structure is a barrier in that, it needs fixed. Identifying the problems that hinder your site from being conducive to conversion and visitor engagement is an important step in the right direction. Much of this can be done be just deciding what isn't working with your site and finding strategies for making it work and work well with your audience. Below are a few reasons why a redesign should become a priority for your company's web presence and some negative effects you could face by not taking action now. If any of these statements are true about your site, consider a redesign to recapture your audience and remain relevant in today's vast world of the internet.
Poor user experience
If users don't like your site - they won't use your site. Sometimes we create things thinking that they will work great but our visitors have other opinions when sites are glitchy, broken or nonsensical to them. Not all users think like a designer so they can become lost when navigation is unclear or unspoken. Sometimes the best way to identify usability problems is to ask your visitors to identify the pain points of your site and barriers between them and completing a transaction. You can get valuable quantitative information through Analytics information by looking at bounce rates and exit points, but user surveys and targeted market research can guide you in the right direction with qualitative information. Don't invest a large amount of money on the design your site until you have spent a large amount of time investigating your customers - what they like, what they are attracted to, and what they need to be confident in making a transaction with you. If the site usability problems are a barrier to your sales or lead generation, than a site redesign can potentially not only fix your sales deficits, but also increase the value of your company as a whole.
Your site doesn't play well with mobile traffic
If your site does not support mobile traffic you are missing out on a huge customer potential. More and more internet users access pages through a web-enabled device and if you don't have a site version that is optimized for that experience, chances are those visitors are going to go somewhere else that allows them to browse or buy on the go. Mobile sites require different coding and frameworks so keep that in mind when scoping your site's redesign.
A mobile friendly website will rank higher in mobile search results and provide a great user experience.
The only thing worse than no branding is poor branding and your site plays an integral part in that. Your website and its design should reflect the personality and nature of your company while also helping it stand out from the competition. Do the colors fit well together into a scheme and are they consistent throughout all brand and marketing materials? Are your photos clear, crisp and relevant to the information they represent? Is your logo effectively displayed? Does all of the copy and textual information flow together and present a consistent voice? Is your website fun? A website that does not support your brand will not be effective in turning visitors on to what you have to offer and will not lead to a relevant and long-lasting business.
Too much time is spent troubleshooting the technical end of your site
There is a major problem when instead of providing better customer support you spend time troubleshooting and serving as technical support. If you spend more time fixing technical aspects your site than you do optimizing it then it's time to start looking into new hosting options, content management systems, shopping cart programs, or even the entire framework and navigation of your site. It can be exhaustive to continually have to look into error messages and field emails asking why a certain feature of your site doesn't work as intuitively as it should. Also, if scalability was not a priority the first time you designed your site, then you might be having problems in the future with finding ways and places to put important product and company information. If your site does not have the ability to grow with content and pages then chances are that your profits and sales don't have a favorable chance to grow either.
Google and other search engines cannot find you
If search engine robots can't find you, real-life people cannot, either. Are your landing pages, or the gateways to your site, well designed and optimized in a way that encourages customers to click to your site and eventually convert? Does your site match the expectation of query-based searches and messages found in your paid ads? Does your page structure and navigation match your top searched keywords? Is your site SEO friendly? Keep in mind that object such as flash is not crawled Google or other search engine robots and that keeping a stream of informative and interesting content will help the most with optimizing your organic search results. Make sure your top-selling products are represented well with good photos, good information about them and helpful customer reviews.
Only 6% of search engine users go to the second page of search results. Ranking on the first page is a must through organic or paid search marketing.
Adding value to an already valuable asset
Site redesign is not only for those with decreasing sales and leads - even a website that brings in net profit can benefit in the long run from a well thought out redesign. Consider what your net profit could be a year down the road if you did a site redesign or if you just kept things the same. Consider the higher conversion rate your site could potentially have and the sales and/or lead generation you could influence with some design tweaks. If your growth potential outweighs the immediate costs of pulling the trigger and doing a site overhaul, chances are you're going to be making a good business decision that will pay out in the end.
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