8 Excellent Reasons to Redesign Your Website

    by Jessica Hill

    Date

    January 30, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    website_redesign_2These days, your audience's first impression of your business is based almost exclusively on your website ... so redesigning your website isn’t a task to take lightly. It requires a good deal of thought, time, and potentially money, but the upside can be enormous.

    It’s important to note here that "redesign" doesn’t necessarily mean you need to change every single one of your branding and graphic design elements. In fact, redesigns can just entail making functional modifications that help your website work better and assist you in reaching your marketing goals. After all, your website is one of the foundational elements of your marketing strategy, right?

    While you can find many excellent reasons not to revamp your site, here are eight great reasons why you should get your redesign plans off the ground.

    8 Reasons to Give Your Website a Redesign

    1) You aren’t getting the results you want.

    Is your website gorgeous, functional, and pixel-perfect? Awesome! But if you still aren’t getting the results you want, it’s just useless web real estate. Your website exists to build your customer base, and your data should show you're trending toward that goal. 

     

     

    If you aren’t happy with your results, it’s time to redesign. Examining your site's conversion rates -- visitor-to-lead and lead-to-customer typically being the most important -- can provide you with a clear idea of what needs to be adjusted on it. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself to guide your redesign process:

    • Does your call-to-action convert visitors into leads and customers?
    • Do your landing pages inspire people to learn more by digging deeper, or are they simply aesthetically pleasing pages that convey little value?
    • Is your site too text-heavy or riddled with corporate speak?
    • Does your site's look and feel match your company's voice and speak directly to your target audience?

    2) The purpose of your site has changed.

    If you’re like most companies, your marketing strategy is fairly fluid and reflects changes in results. While you clearly don’t need to do a full site redesign each time you adjust your marketing goals, it’s a good idea to check every so often to be sure your site is still aligned with your newest marketing plans. Ask yourself questions like:

    • How often do you modify your marketing strategy?
    • Do marketing strategy updates affect your conversion funnel?

    Of course, if you haven’t altered your marketing strategy in a while, it might not be your website that is the problem. ;)

    If your site’s purpose has changed, update its layout to be more in line with your goals. For instance, if you're new goals are now to provide more lead generation content (perhaps some "how-to" blog posts and ebooks), ensure you include CTAs on your homepage and other popular webpages.

    3) Your website just doesn’t work.

    This might seem obvious, but you’ve probably stumbled on websites every now and then that are dysfunctional, to put it lightly. Your site might not be on that level ... but it might still not be as user-friendly as it could be. The truth is there can be elements of a site that aren’t effective -- and you may not realize they're making your site less effective.

    Functionality should be a paramount focus for you -- if it's not, your traffic and lead gen efforts could suffer. How you -- and others you ask to test the site -- answer these questions might point you in the clear direction of a redesign:

    • Can a visitor readily find the most basic things on your site, such as contact information?
    • Is your site navigation confusing?
    • Is your important content hidden?
    • Are your product and service offers completely up-to-date?

    4) You have an effective web design strategy.

    If you’re already considering a redesign, it’s likely you’ve learned a fair amount along the way about what doesn’t work well in the design process. Instead of having one massive goal of a website redesign, take an iterative approach. Having this approach can help you use the information you've gathered about what works on your current site and plan accordingly. In other words, you'll be able to tell if your current users' needs are being met.

    You probably don’t even notice the small changes some of the sites you visit frequently make on a regular basis -- major brands have entire teams dedicated to iterating on every little detail. Since you may not have as many resources as these big brands, be sure every change you make has a clear purpose and solves a problem. Questions like these can help you decide if you have a clear purpose and problem to solve:

    • Will customers be upset by a major overhaul?
    • Do you have all the answers you need from your customers to make a significant change?
    • Can you reduce costs by making small changes to a major feature? 

    5) Your site isn’t responsive.

    More than 17% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. If your site isn’t responsive yet (some content management systems like HubSpot's COS are responsive out-of-the-box), the chances you're losing leads and maybe even customers are high. Mobile users have made it clear they want to have a great UX on their devices -- the same ones they have on desktops -- so this should be a chief priority for your company if it hasn't already been made one. 

    6) You want to incorporate a better content strategy.

    Having fantastic content on your site can improve everything from customer retention to SEO -- and with continuing changes to the algorithms of search engines, you’d be smart to implement a solid content plan. That said, quality content is useless if your visitors can’t readily find it.

    So, if you’re planning to make some big changes to your content strategy (perhaps boosting your blog production?), a web redesign may be wise. That way, your great posts, ebooks, and other content are easily findable (and your leads database will grow the way you want it to). If you're on the fence about a redesign in the name of your content strategy, ask yourself these questions:

    • Can your customers easily find your content?
    • Does your content incorporate calls-to-action?
    • Can the search engines find and index your content?

    7) Your competitors changed their site.

    Obviously, you don’t need to give your site an overhaul every time one of your competitors changes theirs. Having said that, if they make changes that improve their rankings substantially and end up pushing you down in searches, it's likely time to make some alterations to your site.

    If you spend some time on a competitor’s site and realize it could meet your goals far better than your own site does, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get busy. Maintaining an edge in search shouldn't be your only goal, but if you're not near the top of SERPs because competing business is keeping you from there, analyze what SEO adjustments you can make to your site.

    8) Your third-party tools are outdated.

    If your site is like most out there, you’ve embedded third-party tools that improve its functionality, such as shopping cart widgets. But, if some (or all) of these tools on your site aren't up to modern functionality standards, you're best off updating them. Ask yourself these questions to determine whether you need to replace or remove some tools:

    • How are these third-party tools working?
    • Are they slowing your site speed down?
    • Are new-and-improved versions now available?

    Nothing drives customers away like third-party tools that are outdated in terms of function or design or just don’t work correctly, so make the move to more modern ones that'll not only appeal to your visitors, but also turn them into leads.

    Identifying with one of the eight scenarios above shouldn’t cause you to go into panic mode and dive deep into a redesign, but realizing a few hit close to home might mean it’s time to get cracking on a new design.

    Your website is meant to bring you business. If it's not doing that, it’s time to determine why not and make necessary changes.

    Do you think you're in need of a website redesign? Which parts of your site do you want to update most?

                                         

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    Written by Jessica Hill

    Jessica Hill is the SEO Manager at 99designs. She can be followed on Twitter: @jesshill.

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