10 Benefits of a Website Redesign
Your website is your best marketing asset – always working to support your sales team and provide value for your customers. But if it’s overdue for a redesign, you may not be extracting as much value as you can, leaving dollars on the table. In the age of tighter marketing budgets, you need to maximize each communication and marketing channel, starting with a hard look at your website to determine if it’s time for a redesign.
Benefit 1: Make your site viewable across more platforms and devices
Browsers and devices change at a rapid pace, so if you last redesigned your site more than two years ago, there is a high probability that it does not display properly on all browsers today. Does the site “break”in the latest desktop browser? Is the site legible on an iPad or smartphone? As browsers evolve, your website may get left in the dust as old code is abandoned or no longer supported. During a redesign, a site is tested on all current target platforms and devices to ensure that your visitors experience the site as intended.
Benefit 2: Enhance your site’s performance
Pages and code can become bloated over time from layers of updates. Even pages that load speedily on a desktop may not perform as well on a mobile device using cellular reception. A redesign has to be more than just a facelift. By looking “under the hood” into the site’s technology and using the opportunity to update the technology platform, you’ll see that your pages load faster than ever before. Hint: Search engines grade fast loading pages more favorably, which brings us to …
Benefit 3: Elevate your search engine rankings
When was the last time you updated your content to incorporate strategic keywords? Or for that matter, when did you last research which keywords you should be using on your site? If there is one thing a redesign does, it forces you to take a hard look at the content. Search engines not only love fresh content, but what matters more is fresh, relevant content. If during your redesign you take a look at your site from a search engine’s perspective, you will find that your site will move up in search engine rankings for terms that matter to you.
Benefit 4: Create more “shareable” content
Millions of pages are shared every day through social networks. Shouldn’t your website be one of them? During your last redesign, did you require content sharing buttons as part of your specifications? This is a basic requirement now, even if your company has yet to establish a social media publishing channel of it’s own. Not adding social sharing links (AddThis and ShareThis are popular tools) warrants the adage, “you miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.” If you don’t add social sharing tools, then you’re setting barriers for visitors who want to share your content with their network, which could be a big missed opportunity.
Benefit 5: Improve your goal conversations
Websites can become a veritable jungle over time, if not managed properly. The downside is that the more tangled your navigation structure, the more confused your site visitors. Viewers visit pages for particular purposes and when they don’t know where (or what) to do next, your ultimate goal can be lost. If you see that you’re losing visitors along a critical path to get to a goal page, such as the ability to contact someone for information or place an order, usability testing during a redesign can help you identify problem areas or weed back unnecessary pages.
Benefit 6: Make your site easier (and more pleasant) to read
Website content should be clear and concise, not to mention easy-to-scan for quick online reading. If you approach the redesign with a great content strategy, you’ll find the pages will be more purposeful afterward, resulting in digestible content that accomplishes your goals around messaging and information. Additionally, web typography tools have greatly improved over the last year, giving you more options to better match your online typography to your brand guidelines.
Benefit 7: Step-up your content to make it more dynamic
Speaking of content, not all online content needs to be in written form. In fact, viewers are a hundred times more likely to internalize content when presented in a visual format over a written one. As you consider the content strategy during a redesign, think about which content can be visuals, videos or more. The barrier to providing rich content has been lowered, and even when dealing with multiple delivery platforms, there are plenty of options that make dynamic content possible across a wide variety of platforms.
Benefit 8: Make the site easier to maintain
A website is a living, breathing channel and as such, should be updated frequently. We often hear that website administrators let the site get out of date because it is too cumbersome to maintain. This is the time to not only evaluate a content management system (CMS) but also to look at the guidelines and processes that guide your content owners and administrators. Making the site updating process frictionless translates into a site that will stay fresh and relevant longer.
Benefit 9: Mine more data and “visitor intelligence”
What is your current site telling you about your visitors? Are you just tracking the standard metrics or extending them to include data that provides more intelligence? Your website is only one piece of your marketing mix, so it’s often more important to know if a piece of social media marketing is driving targeted traffic, or if your email targets are reacting to the messages and following through to the site pages. Just looking at analytics alone won’t give you this insight, and this is where marketing automation tools fit in. Whether it’s integrating with your customer relationship management (CRM) tool or other lead tracking insights, metrics can tell you that it’s time for a redesign. This brings us to the last benefit …
Benefit 10: Increase the engagement of your visitors
If your site has gotten old and out-of-date, you’ll find that certain site engagement metrics are poor. Metrics such as bounce rates, average time on site and average pages per visits are all valuable indicators of how useful your site is to your visitors – how well they are engaged with your content. If you’ve considered all of the above and done them well, those three indicators are the ones to watch. Set a goal for each and monitor them monthly. If you see bounce rates rising, then it’s time to improve your landing pages again. If the average time and pages per visits are reducing, then it’s time for a more comprehensive content audit.
If you’ve decided it’s time to consider a website redesign, we hope these ten short benefits help guide your company to gain more website conversions, create greater opportunities for customer engagement and maximize your overall marketing efforts.