When was the last time you overhauled your business website with a website redesign? If your answer is “more than a couple years ago” — there is a good chance that your company’s website is being neglected.
And you’re not alone. Websites are consistently one of the most neglected parts of a digital strategy. Web standards change at a very quick pace. If you haven’t redesigned your site in years, it could be hurting your website’s marketing effectiveness.
Many corporate websites fall into this problem — failing to reach their full potential because they’ve been “carved in stone.” Slowly, these frozen-in-time websites erode the effectiveness of your business, hurting sales and your overall marketing strategy.
If this situation sounds familiar, it’s urgent that you take a closer look at your website to see if it’s time for a refresh. Consider these three issues.
Your Website Looks Like Frankenstein’s Monster
Business strategies change, causing products and services to change.
The question is: Have these kinds of changes just been arbitrarily bolted onto your corporate website?
If so, your website can start to look like Frankenstein’s monster. Slowly your website began to be a hodgepodge of disconnected stories and mixed messaging about your brand.
Here are five red flags that your site has become a patchwork quilt, instead of the seamless extension of your organization you envisioned:
- There are pages with discontinued or changed products and services.
- Website and page navigation is haphazard, illogical, or confusing.
- Old blog posts talk about your market in an antiquated or irrelevant way.
- Various links are broken or land visitors on weird pages.
- The design aesthetic varies from page to page, based on the publication date.
You get the picture. As you create and publish content on your website over time, it becomes a little freakish to outsiders. The problem? Those outsiders are your customers!
Instead, your site should always function as an open, easy-to-navigate pathway for new and continuing business — not a cluttered attic.
You’re Not Getting the Outcomes You Want
Marketing departments live and die by the revenue opportunities they drive for the business. More and more of those opportunities are primarily being generated online. (Just ask traditional brick-and-mortar retailers trying to compete with Amazon.com — do you have same-day national delivery yet? Because Amazon does.)
In today’s marketplace, you should be generating a significant portion of your total sales leads or direct revenue online. If that’s not happening, you probably need to do something to improve your website’s performance.
If your website isn’t producing — or has slowed in its production — look for one or more of these common causes which can slow your online marketing results:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Sure we could go really deep on the importance of SEO for sustained web traffic, but for this discussion, we don’t even need to go there. I’m just asking you to review some basic SEO. If the basic organization, structure, and technical arrangement of your website’s content become haphazard, then Google will be equally haphazard in its treatment of your content in its search index. This loose approach to SEO will hurt your website and content with less desirable search engine positions and will quickly slow your web traffic.
- Content Strategy – How you approach the content you produce and how you organize it for web visitors unifies your business and SEO strategies. When considering your editorial strategy, start with what you sell and then match that up with what people want to buy. Your content marketing strategy, done smartly, can funnel your web visitors to a desirable “product-to-customer fit” on your website. However, if you’re just slapping content up on a website without a plan, your web traffic and lead generation will suffer.
- Copywriting – Are you seeing the pattern yet? Planning and discipline are critical to your website performance. That same planning and discipline apply to the copy on your site. Show your customer consistency in how you talk about your business and its benefits to them. Over time, this language and messaging will change, but you don’t want that change to permeate your website in a distracting or confusing way. The disjointed copy can begin to impact the conversion of your web traffic into sales and leads.
- Compelling Design – Yes, design helps your website convert. Intentional and coherent design helps your website convert even better. Unfortunately, like SEO, content, and copywriting, the passage of time can dilute your design aesthetic. This is OK and can even be important to keep users engaged (design assets do fatigue), but make sure all those transitions aren’t randomly scattered throughout your website. It can become distracting and undermine overall consumer trust and confidence in your brand. And again, it can impact the rate at which web visitors convert into customers.
The bottom line: If your website isn’t producing results — regarding revenue or leads — then there’s a good chance one or more of these areas are in need of a website redesign.
Your Website Is Difficult to Use on Mobile Devices
In the past, mobile was nice to have. Today, it’s make or break.
We didn’t get here overnight. Web standards change, and web designs age over time. It’s an organic process that happens so slowly you may not have noticed. But put off noticing long enough, and you’ll find your business in a situation where a redesign is more urgent.
This is the case with Google’s mobile-friendly initiative and more recently Google’s mobile-first ultimatum. More and more traffic is going through tablets and smartphones, and less and less is coming through a desktop.
Google has decided to serve its search customers first and foremost by catering to mobile. So if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re going to have problems ranking in search and maintaining your traffic volume.
If your site is so dated that it doesn’t work well on mobile, there’s a good chance you’re losing more than half of your opportunities.
That’s a deep hole to dig out of if you’re trying to run a profitable online marketing channel.
Realizing It’s Time for a Redesign
There are many signs that it’s time for a website redesign. The key is noticing and realizing it’s time to do something about it.
So if you’re not getting the user signups, email subscriptions, sales leads or sales transactions you want, if you’re not hitting your overall revenue goals and expectations, if you’re not hitting your online objectives, then you’re a great candidate for a redesign.
And remember, a redesign isn’t a cosmetic patch-up. It’s a strategic reinvestment that will solve these problems so that you can hit your marketing goals, reach your sales targets, and grow your business.