It takes untold hours to come up with the perfect website design, and the thought of redoing even part of that work is something designers might be reluctant to consider until some considerable time has passed. However, there are some key advantages to re-evaluating your website and considering a redesign.
While the reasons for a redesign can vary, every six months or so, you should consider the following reasons you might want to consider reworking at least part of your site.
Over time, websites tend to pick up a bit of clutter. It’s easy to add multiple pages that aren’t linked up after the initial addition, to overload the landing page and even to use multiple copies of the same image. A redesign allows you to cut some of this clutter, saving space and even speeding up your landing page. Adding a ton of content on the homepage, for example, can be counter-intuitive. You have a short window to grab your site visitor. Keep it simple and to the point.
2. Increase Site Speed
A big reason you should consider a redesign is if your page takes more than a second or two to load. Forty-nine percent of people expect a website to load in no more than two seconds, and the faster the better. A slow-loading site can also cause your bounce rates to rise as site visitors go on to a competitor’s site.
There are several things you can do to increase the load time of your website. In addition to choosing a faster server and compressing images, use tools such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights to see just how fast your page is loading and get advice on some backend updates that will speed up the overall loading time and improve user experience.
3. Update the Design
A modern, visually pleasing design is a vital part of the user experience. Around 66 percent of people state they’d rather read content on a beautifully designed page than on a plain page, and as many as 38 percent will leave a website if they consider it to be ugly. While your design probably isn’t ugly, since you’re a professional, it may be outdated based on current trends, which can change in the blink of an eye.
4. Keeping up With the Competition
It’s also smart to analyze the websites of your competition every so often and see how your site stacks up. Start by looking at competitor sites with the same target audiences. What are their strengths and weaknesses? Now, you can avoid any of the weaknesses while improving on the strengths of your own designs. Doing so will make your website even better than that of your competitors.
5. Making the Design More Responsive
Recently, mobile devices overtook desktops as the preferred way people access the Internet, making it vital that your site is as mobile-friendly as possible. Even if you saw the trend and planned for this, it never hurts to revisit the issue and continue to improve your mobile users’ experiences on your site.
In addition to making sure the screen is adaptive, you want to test the site on multiple screen sizes and device types. Google offers a mobile-friendly test that will show you how well your site translates on a phone or tablet and offer suggestions for improvement.
6. Improving Your Sales Funnel
To determine the success of your site’s sales funnel, you first have to determine goals for your site. Maybe you want to convert visitors to mailing list subscribers, or see a certain percentage of sales. Whatever your goal for conversions, are you accomplishing it?
If not, you need to start adjusting your sales funnel from the landing page on through the process. Use A/B testing to see what elements work best, and test every little element on the page until you get the perfect mix that gives you a good overall conversion rate.
7. Improve Your Bounce Rate
Do visitors land on your page and then immediately bounce away to somewhere else? A high bounce rate — above 50 percent or so — means you need to dig deep and look at why visitors aren’t hanging around your site. Is there too much clutter, as mentioned above? Is the page loading too slowly? One of the biggest reasons to redesign is to improve this rate.
First, you need to consider whether your site’s overall bounce rate is high, or if the culprit is a single page. Your site analytics can tell you whether you need to focus your efforts on content or on fixing your landing page. You also may want to look at the target audience you are marketing to on each channel of your site. Are you providing content to each audience in a way that makes sense?
There are many reasons to re-evaluate your website periodically. Not only can you learn from your mistakes, but it is an opportunity to improve a site over time and keep it fine-tuned.