4 Considerations To Make Before Redesigning Your Site In 2018
As an Inbound Writer for Lean Labs, Melissa writes about high-converting websites and customer-centric marketing. She's an avid traveler, with trips to Iceland, Ukraine, and Portugal under her belt. She currently resides in Wilmington, North Carolina with her dog, Morrie.
Your website sucks!
Traffic is stagnate. Leads are nonexistent. And you're going to fix that this year by launching a brand new website. This new design will jumpstart performance and bring in more customers in 2018.
Well, hold on there buckaroo. Your website design may not actually be the problem.
Is It Time For A Website Redesign?
People come to us all the time wanting to give their website a facelift. Most of the time, design is not the real problem.
The truth is, if your message or buyer journey isn't right, the most beautiful design in the world isn't going to increase the performance of your website.
You know the expression about putting lipstick on the pig? Well, putting prettier image on a website with bad messaging and disjointed buyer journey just makes it a prettier pig.
Pinpointing the issues contributing to the low performance of a site can be difficult. In this article, we're going to explore the signs that point to a design problem. That way you can get a better idea of whether or not a redesign is the right move for your company.
4 Questions to Ask Before Redesigning Your Website
#1. Does Your Website Look Dated?
Design styles change. If you're not making changes consistently, elements of the site can easily start looking outdated. While it's not really indicative of product or message quality, if your site feels old and cheap, those terms get associated with your product as well.
Here are indicators that your poor website performance could design related:
- The site isn't responsive. At least 56% of consumer traffic comes from mobile devices such as cell phones and tablets, so optimizing a website for mobile is no longer optional.
- There are a lot of outdated elements. Design elements that look better than they function can negatively impact the usability of your site. (We're talking about you, sliders)
- Design style is old. Remember when Apple changed from semi-realism design style to flat? This came after Microsoft launched Windows 8 with it's flat design style. Flat was in, and 3d-ish design was out.. Those styles included everything, from department store advertisements to your mobile phone. If your website features outdated design styles, your visitors can feel it.
#2. Does Your Website Need More Traffic?
If you need more traffic, design is probably not the only problem. Low website traffic may be due to a confusing structure, as well as old, thin, or inferior content.
If you're considering a redesign, and have low traffic, review:
- The information architecture. If your team produces content regularly, but it still doesn’t perform well, a refresh on the content layout and strategy can make all the difference. By performing an audit of content architecture and hierarchy, your team can determine if it's easy for users to find and makes logical sense.
- Older content isn't updated. Updating and optimizing old posts can give them new life. Be proactive about updating old content.
- Content isn't optimized. When it comes to content, following SEO best practices will increase traffic over time. That includes having a solid keyword strategy, regularly building links, and optimizing headlines and sub-headers.
#3. Does Your Website Need More Leads?
If you have a healthy amount of traffic, but not enough leads, a misalignment of design, content or messaging can be to blame.
Here are the common reasons leads don't convert on a site:
- Buyer personas aren’t accurate, or need to be refreshed. If site leads aren’t converting, it’s possible that the content on the site isn’t actually addressing their real challenges and pain points.
- The wrong content is gated. If a site isn’t gating their most valuable content, there’s a missed opportunity capture higher quality leads. Aside from getting their contact information, requiring a visitor to complete a form for content that focuses on a particular challenge indicates what their specific need or interest is.
- The content just isn’t valuable. Content needs to help solve challenges to be considered useful. If the content on your site isn’t executed well, visitors may doubt your expertise in the area, or even how useful your product is. If you can't produce good content, how can they trust your service?
Content issues impact more than just your website. In addition to low-performing content on a site, there may not be enough quality content to help sales teams close.
#4. Does Your Website Convert Customers?
If you're generating qualified leads, but you're still not closing sales, your website is not the problem. Here are some considerations to make if qualified leads are not becoming customers.
- The product or service is off. Redesigning your site will not fix a lackluster product, or a product that does not fit the needs or desires of the market it's being sold in.
- The sales team is not performing, and you haven't figured out why. If your sales team can't close, the website isn't going to help. Whether it's a lack of knowledge about the product, or the inability to explain the value of the product, you need to assess why your team isn't selling and resolve it.
- The sales process is broken. If your sales process is breaking down, the quality of your site will not matter. For example, sales teams that all create their own scripts, different methods for on-boarding new customers, and inconsistently update your CRM are misaligned and require a structured, streamlined sales process to help them succeed.
Before Starting A Site Redesign, Do This First
It's true that visitors judge your value based on the appearance of your site. While building a functional, aesthetically pleasing site to support the buyer journey is productive, it may not solve your particular performance issue. There's no point in redesigning a website in order to fix a performance issue that could have been resolved in less time, for less money.
Before making a decision on a redesign, take a step back. Determine what the real causes of your issues are and assess performance issues fairly. You'll set a solid foundation for your site that doesn't require a brand new look and a big budget.
Take our simple health exam, just 12 questions, to help you identify whether now is the correct time to redesign your website.