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So you now have the website of your dreams. It defines who you are as a brand and a professional, and perfectly portrays the image you’ve always been hoping to portray. You have all the right pieces of content, and the design is unparalleled. In fact, you see your number going up the first few days, weeks, and even months since your site launched.
It’s a huge success!
But how long do you think this success will last? Will your numbers be the same a few years or so down the road? Sadly, the answer is no.
Of course redesigning your website isn’t something you do every month or even every year. If you perform frequent redesigns, you’ll only end up losing your identity and a lot of your followers. A lot of people who frequently visit your website will become lost, confused, and eventually just stop returning.
What Does Redesign Affect?
Some people skip out on making redesigns just because they misunderstand what it actually involves. To help you gain a better understanding on whether a redesign will help you or not, here are the most basic elements on your website that will be affected the moment the slightest redesign takes place:
When it comes to the colors you use, the appearance of the elements on each page, the alignment of it all, and other similar design aspects, then you’re looking at user interface. You can easily conduct A/B testing to see what works best for your audience before deciding on one final design. Remember that your UI is not just something that works for itself, it also affects one other major element on your website – the user experience.
Are people leaving your website the moment they get there? Are any of your site visitors failing to revisit your pages? If you said yes to both questions, then there’s a huge chance that your UX needs work. The overall user experience of your site is dictated by how easy it is for people to find information on your pages or how painstaking it is to jump from one page to another. And the moment your UX fails, so does everything else.
When you consider a redesign on your website, your conversions will be one of the biggest things that get affected. If your previous call to action just wasn’t working, but the new one promises to do so, then expect your conversions to start increasing as well.
Of course, you probably know how important these elements are in achieving success on your website. So the moment you decide to redesign your website, think deeply about your goals.
How Often Should You be Redesigning Your Website?
Now this is one question that has gotten so many different answers, depending on who you’re talking to and what their experiences are. The good thing about it is that there are no right or wrong answers here.
Whether someone says that a redesign is needed as often as possible or as infrequently as possible, then you can go ahead and follow that piece of advice as longs as you have good reason to do so.
Yes, you need great reasons before you start redesigning your website. It’s not a routine checkup you do on your car every time your mileage hits a certain point. It’s something that you do when your site isn’t bringing in the conversions you initially wanted, or is failing to meet the goals that you initially set for it. It’s also something that you do when people just aren’t staying on your website anymore, moving on before they even see what you have to offer.
So how often do you need to redesign? The answer is this: as often as you need to.
Of course, a redesign is not exactly something you can do on a whim. Careful steps also need to be applied to make the redesign effective.
When Should You Redesign Your Website?
Why is there a need for you to redesign your website? When does this have to happen? Here are the most common reasons and instances.
You’re not getting the results you want.
You may have a unique and creative website in terms of overall design, but are you getting the numbers you initially aimed for? Sure, those numbers won’t be coming for the first few days, or even weeks. But if a few months have passed and you still aren’t attracting the customer base you’ve been hoping to reel in, then something might be very wrong.
The moment you feel that it’s been taking too long for you to get results, consider redesigning your website right away. Here are a few things that might be affecting your website’s success:
- You have a weak call to action.
- Your landing pages focus more on design but has little to say in terms of content.
- Your pages are filled with corporate jargon and are too text-heavy.
- Your website’s overall look and feel does not match who you are as a brand.
Analyze these points and consider what other weaknesses your website might have. When these weaknesses surface, revamp your pages right away and do everything you can to fix these issues so that you can see better numbers and better results from there.
Your strategies and goals have changed.
Nothing is constant in this world, and even goals and marketing strategies can change. Of course, your website must be patterned according to these two factors, so the moment they change, it only follows that your website should be overhauled as well.
Consider the changes you have made. For example, you may have aimed for more readership for your blog before, so your call to action focused mainly on asking people to read your blog. But if you are now hoping to entice people to start buying your new products, then your call to action should be changed into something that says just that.
In case you haven’t really changed your strategies for a while or haven’t been getting the numbers you want, then it’s definitely not your website that needs the redesign. Consider changing your marketing strategies first, and the redesign will follow soon after.
People leave the moment they land.
This is an obvious cry for help. After all, people will always trust their senses. They will always feel it when something’s wrong. Even if you have a blog filled with relevant content in that website, if the audience does not see it at first glance, do you think they would stick around and dig deeper? If you have an amazing array of products, but weren’t able to promote those on your landing pages, do you think these people would even make the effort to go to one page after another just to find them? I don’t think so.
Here are a few possible scenarios that could be pushing people away from your website the moment they land:
- It’s hard to find even the most basic things on your website, such as contact information.
- It’s hard for people to navigate your website.
- Your powerful content remains hidden.
- The information you provide is outdated.
These are just some of the possibilities, of course. It’s up to you to assess what’s missing from your landing pages. From here, work on a redesign that would deliver what you’ve been missing out on.
Your web design team is efficient.
But if my web design team is efficient, wouldn’t there be no need for me to make any changes at all? Wrong. The most efficient and effective web design teams notice the slightest changes in trends and the smallest misstep in content and are ready to change anything the moment this happens.
Take any of your favorite websites and take a screenshot of some of their main pages every single day. After a month or so, try to compare all the screenshots you compiled and see if anything has changed. Remember that redesign does not always come with bright colors and confetti. Sometimes, a redesign is so subtle, you don’t even notice it. Need an example? Check Facebook out and the small changes they made in their font, the way the buttons are arranged, and so on.
Your third-party tools have been left behind.
A website cannot function well without third-party tools. These tools may be allowing your audiences to shop straight from your website, or go to any of your social media profiles. But there will always be newer and better tools emerging, and newer trends you may want to work with.
To find out whether your tools need to be changed, considering some of these factors:
- Are these third-party tools still doing what they’re supposed to be doing?
- Are these tools the cause why your site suddenly seems slower than you’d like it to be?
- Have these tools been updated to their latest versions?
Your site still isn’t responsive.
With the increased use in mobile devices and other gadgets to browse and surf the web, the need for a responsive website should not be underestimated. People just don’t have the patience to sit through slow-loading pages that they’re still supposed to resize just to see everything they need to see. More often than not, when people realize that your site is not mobile-friendly at all, they will just look for a different website that will adjust for them instead of the other way around. That alone should cost you tons of conversions regularly.
You want to improve your content strategies.
The moment SEO steps into the picture, expect that you’ll be redesigning your website more often than you initially thought you would. Search engine algorithms, after all, change more often than you want, which means that your entire website and all of its content would have to apply changes each tie that happens.
Here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself in case you feel that your content strategy needs work:
- Is your content easy to find?
- Do you have clear and relevant calls-to-action in your content?
- Is it easy for search engines to find your content and index them?
Once you have the answers to these questions, it will also be easier for you to figure out what changes you would have to implement to make this redesign successful.
Some Redesigning Tips
Here are a few tips for you to keep in mind as you consider redesigning your website:
- It does not have to be a radical change each time. Sometimes, the subtler the changes are, the better.
- Make sure you have enough resources before jumping into a redesign. You wouldn’t want to run out of juice in the middle of the project, leaving you with an unusable website.
- Be clear on what you want to happen. Without a clear list of goals and targets for this revamped website, it would be hard for you to measure success. Redesigns that have no clear direction will also incur a lot of waste in resources.
- Buyer personas are still everything. Despite what people say, you would still have to create and recreate what an ideal customer looks like and how they will react to the changes you will be implementing.
- Create an inventory of your assets. Just because you’re doing a redesign does not mean that you’re changing every single aspect of the old site. There are gems and treasures in that old website that you can always bring with you into the new design.
Once your redesign is over, you’ll notice a significant change in the reaction of your customers. Make sure you measure these reactions to effectively measure the success of your efforts.