No website owner ever wants to hear that their website is difficult to navigate or that the site’s color schemes or content appear stale and dated. After all, websites are kind of expression, to some degree, of your brand – like your style of dress is an expression of your personality. Nevermind the fact that redesigning a functional website that has served the needs of the company for a number of years can be a frustrating and time-consuming endeavor. Updating and modernizing long-standing functionality and processes to improve the User-Experience (UX) or target new customers often comes at some cost and inconvenience no matter what the situation.
And there are risks as well. We all know the old adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The sloppy rollout of a new, and purportedly improved, website often negatively impacts a firm’s business – even minimally. According to Hubspot, 76% of consumers say the most important factor in a website’s design is “the website makes it easy for me to find what I want.” Therefore, it is imperative that companies have processes in place to review the effectiveness of their websites over time and take on the risk of redesigning sections of the site (or the entire site, if necessary) that no longer function in a manner conducive for conversion.
Some of the most common signs that your business website would benefit greatly from a wholesale redesign follow:
- High Bounce Rate: The bounce rate is the rate at which website users visit a single entry page and then “bounce” or click out to visit another, more suitable website for their search needs. The average bounce rate websites today enjoy is between 45-50%. Sites that have higher bounce rates are typically those with poor user-experiences.
- Stale and Dated Content: No one wants to read content that is outdated and irrelevant. Studies have shown that creating new content can as much as triple traffic to a site. If your site’s design is not conducive to the publishing of a massive library of content (via blog, for instance), it may be time to restructure your design.
- Inconsistent Performance Across Mobile Devices: Brand messaging and consistency within an optimized mobile site is essential in today’s marketplace, where nearly 60% of online users first access a website via their mobile device. If a company’s mobile site is frustrating to use, or it fails to load or display correctly across today’s variety of mobile devices, one can rest assured that the user-experience it provides will be a negative one, and your bounce rate will be high.
- Poor Site Navigation: An online user who cannot easily navigate a company’s website will likely become a frustrated one-time visitor. Studies have shown that users will exit a site within seconds if they encounter any type of usability issue. Navigation is one of the chief issues when surfing online. If yours frustrates users, it may be time to redesign at least that element of your website’s structure.
- Inconsistent Branding: Consistent branding and messaging across all platforms is essential for targeted audience acquisition, brand retention and online community development. If your branding is inconsistent, you may have difficulty getting customers to fully understand the value in your business or service or distinguish your business from others in the pack. If your brand elements are not clearly articulated in a consistent manner on your website, it may be time to consider a site redesign.
Just like anything, website get dated. Redesigning your business website is something you will have to do at one time or another. Yet, there are often elements of your site, your existing customers have come to expect and rely upon when they visit. Balancing modern design without diluting the brand’s most recognizable online experiences or elements is key to making that transition work. The bottom line, however, is if the overall site design of your brand’s online home frustrates new users, that may frustrate your business’ growth.
Consider your site’s current design and how it might benefit from an overhaul. Should you take the right approach and make the changes necessary to improve your users’ experience, attract new, targeted traffic and build your community online, you’ll find great value in new business, greater visibility and higher rates of conversion.
If you’d like to learn more about how a website redesign may improve your marketing and growth strategies, call the experts at Proctor Digital at 773.664.5819. We love helping brands reach for the stars in an online universe.