If you're like most businesses, you're considering a website redesign. From the earliest-stage startups to the largest enterprises, the company website is always subject of critique and frustration.
A website today should be your best salesman. It should have the vocabulary, people skills, and ability to turn strangers into customers just as your most seasoned sales rep. If your website isn't converting customers, it's a waste of digital space and a redesign is more than likely needed. However, in many cases, we run into companies where a redesign simply will not do them any good.
Why Your Website Redesign Won't Do Any Good
There are so many businesses who think a website redesign will cure all their problems, however, there are many times a redesign will not help; like putting lipstick on a pig. No matter how much you invest into the cosmetics, it's still a pig.
So, before you go spending money to tweak something that isn’t the real problem, you need to have a look at these 10 reasons why your customers are not responding to your website or opting into your sales funnels.
1. Bad Product-Market Fit
Before you invest more capital into your website, perhaps you should consider what you are offering.
Your website design may not be the problem.
The problem you could be having is the products you are producing do not meet consumer’s standards, or the service you are providing is not worth the price you are asking for. If you're not providing what the customers want, no amount of lipstick will get that pig into the Synagogue.
If no one wants your product or service, having a website redesign is not going to help you.
2. Your Content is Irrelevant
Your website design may be the best thing on the planet, but it won’t make a difference if the content doesn't speak to your audience. Your website messaging needs to speak to your target personas, it needs to be compelling to them and communicate how your product or service benefits them.
You need to know about coming up with compelling headlines and sub-headlines that keep website visitors reading. Your content has to be persuasive, not just to get prospects to opt into your sales funnel or to buy your products or services, but to keep a website visitor on your site longer.
If your content is failing at communicating your unique value proposition, making it prettier won't bring any return on your investment. You'll need to first figure out your content before worrying about the package it comes in.
When it comes to developing and growing a popular website/blog your design is extremely important, but it isn’t the most important. If the content you are producing is too sales-y visitors are not going to trust your message. This even goes for websites that have the greatest design possible.
Website visitors don’t want to be sold to, they want to be informed.
Save your sales pitches until they give you permission to present it or ask you directly. Don’t start giving your sales pitches until the prospect has arrived at the very bottom of the funnel and has arrived at the decision point. Any sales pitch before they're ready will run them off into the arms of a more helpful brand.
4. You Want a Website in 1999
Surprisingly, there are a ton of very intelligent business people who think their customers are still using websites like they did 20 years ago. Back then, websites were virtual brochures - a nice-to-have. If you're wanting a set-it-and-forget-it site, the best design money can buy will be antiquated before you write the check.
Think of it like this: a website that does not have frequent fresh content being published is considered deceased (or dead) in the eyes of Google. How much top-of-the-funnel traffic does a graveyard get?
5. You Don't Want to Invest in Content Creation
Let’s face it, content is still king on the internet. If your website does not have fresh, helpful, and informative content, investing in a redesign will only bring temporary results.
Customers are going online for information, and your customers want information about your product or service. This means, you should be producing the kind of content they're looking for if you want to attract them to your company.
You need content in order for your website to be noticed and stand out among the 100,000+ websites online today.
6. You Won't Invest in A/B Testing
There are some who may not even know what an a/b test even is. For those that have never heard about this type of marketing strategy before, here is a brief description and example of what a/b testing is all about.
A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a method where you compare a base sample with another test sample, changing one specific variable within that sample to discover which sample performs better.
For example, you could have a base landing page which you would compare against a new landing page. The only difference between the old and new landing page would be the main headline. If you were selling a product on that landing page, you would then compare the conversion results of page A against page B. This will give you scientific data on the best headline.
There are other testing methods out there, but the a/b testing strategies are easy to implement, easy to interpret, and they can be applied on a wide range of situations. This is why you should always use them. Nevertheless, some business owners do not see the value in this type of marketing analysis. They find it as being a waste of time. If this is your thinking, then a website redesign is not going to cut it for you.
Obviously you should not split test every single element on your site, else you would not have time for anything else. But it is very important to take the time to split test the important sections ( i.e., landing pages that sell your products, or pages where you get email subscribers and so on).
Even if you invest thousands into a new website, that website should be a/b tested to increase the conversion rates, and ultimately, the revenue your website generates. As an example, testing a new form increased the B2B for one company almost 400%. Who wouldn't want 400% more leads converting through their website?
If you're looking for a new website, you can get one as cheap as $100. You can even get a template website cheaper than that. However, when it comes to converting strangers into leads and leads into customers, you really get what you pay for.
Redesigning a website on the cheap would be like trying to make a cheap car look expensive (yes, “Pimp my Ride” show, I'm talking about you). While your new paint job might be shiny, the car is still cheap. When you really need it to perform, it will probably let you down.
8. You Know Design Better Than Designers
A professional designer’s job is to know and master the art of user experience, and your job as a business owner or CEO is to make the best decisions for your company. When you step out of your role, you end up causing more harm than good.
Lean Labs has come across plenty of customers who want to design by committee. They want to get their entire team, and spouse, and grandmother involved in tweaking all the design elements. We've learned these customers usually have BAD ideas, and their websites always end up poorly and ineffective, and we've chosen not to work with them.
If you're going to invest good money on a website design, you need to know when to trust the professionals, and when to demand tweaks. This article from the satire cartoon site, The Oatmeal, is a great example of this principle. Read it and laugh... we've experienced it and cried.
9. You Believe the Myths of Website Design
There are several website design myths out there, but here is list of just five:
More Features = Better Design
Design Cures All
People Read on the Web
You View Your Website Like Your Users Do (Refer back to previous point)
If it “Works On Your Computer”, Than it is Ready to Launch (I hope this is not something you have said)
Did you read any of these and feel like they were true statements? If so, then you are a victim of believing in the myths of website design. To read more about these myths including others consider reading this article by HubSpot.
If you believe these myths chances are you are already practicing these things and so you are probably already “designing” the death of your website.
10. Your Business is Always the Exception
We've found this one to be a powerful indicator of the success of your redesign project. There are proven principles in business, startups, marketing, and design. These principles have been hashed out, tested, and proven over years of hard work by thousands of people. However, we still come in contact with business leaders who have reasons proven concepts won't for their company because - insert any number of excuses here.
It's these business leaders who never invest in content marketing the right way, they never approve the right a/b tests, and they end up stunting the growth of every marketing strategy out of stubbornness or fear. These are the people who usually end up bringing #8 to the table.
If this is you, you need to take a vacation, not a website redesign.
In order to succeed in business you have to be willing to try new things and evaluate what works and what doesn't work and capitalize on the things that do work. Business leaders who assume something won't work for no reason other than self-infused opinions, will hold back any marketing efforts. A website redesign will be the least of your worries in this instance.
Before you go putting your money towards a website redesign, carefully consider this article and think again about putting your main attention on quality content and providing the information and user experience that your customers want.
Get your customers involved with the growing process of your website. In other words, get their feedback. Actually listen to what they are saying and let your customers dictate how your website should be designed.
After all, the only people truly qualified to say whether your website design is good or bad are the customers who use it.
Jason Thomas has been helping launch and develop start ups for 10 years. Jason's passion is working with motivated entrepreneurs to validate and implement ideas that grow their business.
Jason is a husband, father, and homesteader in training. In his spare time he's generally outside working with his hands and getting dirty.