Website design trends and technology are in a constant state of evolution.
That means the website you create today (you know, the one you love deeply) will probably only last you a few years. While the content may still resonate with you and your visitors, odds are the design and layout won’t,
A website is not something you create and then let sit.
Like a shiny penny, it will fade with time. Theoretically, it still has the same value, but people just aren’t going to pay as much attention to it.
Without regular website redesign, your site loses traction. When you don’t get the attention that you need for your site, you lose potential clients. Investing a little bit of time, money, and energy into regular website redesign is well worth it.
When Should You Redesign Your Website?
If more than one year has passed since your last web redesign, then it’s time to give it a once-over. You may not have to tweak it much, depending on how much time has passed. Those small tweaks can make a big difference, though.
Time passing is only one clue that you might need a fresh web design. Here are some other signs that it’s time for a website redesign:
1. Your Keyword Rankings Have Dropped
Hopefully, when you designed your site you did so with smart SEO practices. If you’ve kept up with that over time, then you know how you’re doing in online searches for your keywords.
For example, if you are a therapist working with behavioral addiction issues in San Francisco then you might have set up your website to rank high for keywords such as:
- San Francisco behavioral addiction therapy
- Bay area therapist for behavior addiction
- SF behavioral addiction counselor
Track how you rank with those keywords over time. Studies show that if rankings have dropped then it’s a big sign that to do a website redesign. This is also a smart time to review your keywords to see if there are any you’d like to add or omit.
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2. The Site’s Traffic Is Declining
Keywords are one of the many ways that people find your website. Take a look not only at how your site’s doing in terms of that but also what your traffic levels are overall.
Has there been a sudden drop in the number of people visiting your website? Alternatively, do you see a small but steady decline over time?
The fewer people that come to your website, the fewer potential clients are seeing your information. Therefore, if traffic is declining, then you probably need a site redesign.
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3. The Site’s Bounce Rate Has Increased
Perhaps you’ll discover that people are still coming to your website in about the same numbers. However, the bounce rate has gone up. People are clicking away from the site as soon as they see it. Something that they see there is quickly causing them to go away.
Imagine if you were set up to have potential clients walk in through the front door of your office to see if they wanted to work with you. If a large number of those people walked in, looked around, and then quickly left, you would recognize that there was something wrong. You’d make a change to the office. Similarly, if your bounce rate is going up then you need to make a change to your website.
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4. Your Conversion Rate Drops
Your conversation rate is the percentage of people that take the desired action on your website. For example, one desired action might be that they contact you for a free consultation. Another might be that they download your free ebook. You need to set goals for the site and pay attention to the conversation rate.
There can be any number of reasons that a conversion rate drops. If it drops dramatically, then something might be wrong with your website. For example, an update to the site might have messed something up so that people can’t easily download the ebook. Therefore, you need to make site changes that correct problems.
Things also change in the marketplace around you. If you aren’t updating your website to reflect important changes in your industry, then you may see your conversion rate drop. If people aren’t doing what you want them to do on your website then your website does not work. You need a website redesign.
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5. You’re Getting Clients, But They’re Not the Right Ones
Maybe people are finding the site, staying on it, and even calling you to become a client. However, upon first meeting, either you or they (or both) realize that it’s not a good fit. Something about the website and what you actually offer are not in alignment.
Don’t waste your time or theirs; instead, overhaul your site with fresh web design in order to make sure it draws in the clients that you’re the perfect fit for.
6. You Have Out-of-Date Content
Hopefully, you always remember to update your website when you change any critical information such as your address, phone number, social media connections, and payment policies. If you have a new specialty or certification, you should update the site.
You might also have other content on the site that you’ve forgotten can go out of date. For example, perhaps you have a page of information that includes some scientific information that is relevant to your industry. However, the information has changed thanks to new studies that have been done over the years. If you don’t update that page accordingly, then you’re going to lose credibility. Updating outdated content is one of the most important aspects of web redesign.
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7. Something Somewhere is Off
It’s not just the content that people will see that must be kept up to date. It’s also the technical stuff in the background.
Websites consist of many moving parts. Each part gets updates. For example, if you use WordPress, then you’ll know that WordPress itself gets regular updates. Furthermore, people use plugins with WordPress that are updated individually. Without those updates, things on your website might stop working.
Moreover, the technology people use to see your website keeps changing. If your site isn’t mobile-responsive, then it’s out of date. Oh, and if you still have Flash on your site, then you definitely need to update to replace that.
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8. You Have Made a Lot of Disjointed Website Updates Over the Years
In an effort to keep your site up to date, perhaps you’ve added things willy-nilly. You wanted to get the content up there, and that’s great. But you made a bunch of changes at different times. The result could be that your site feels disjointed to those who visit.
Alternatively, you may discover that you have an increasing number of technical issues because something that works over here is messing up things over there. A complete website redesign can retain all of that great content while making it more cohesive and effective.
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9. People, Especially Clients, Mention Problems with Your Site
Pay attention to the feedback that people have about your website. You might even ask clients you trust for their opinion on the site. Look for subtler clues as well. If a potential client calls for a consultation and mentions that they were confused by something on the website, then that’s a red flag. Also check for mentions about your website across social media. When others criticize your site, it shows you where there might be room for improvement. Sometimes it’s a clue that you need a complete website redesign.
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10. You Don’t Feel Proud of Your Website
Many when you first put up your website, you were happy just to get that part of the job done. You were building your business and you wanted to focus on other things.
But you never really felt completely happy with the site. You aren’t proud to share it with people. Well, you should be.
A good site redesign will help you refocus on your business goals and bring in the kind of clients that you truly want to work with. You’ll be proud to attract their attention.
Website Redesign Checklist
There are several core things that you want to make sure to look at when you’re updating your website. The tips on this web design checklist can get you started:
- Identify your dream client so that you know exactly who you are making this site for.
- Identify both small and big goals for the site. Every page should achieve a goal.
- Do a deep analysis into your keyword ranking, traffic, conversion rate, etc. so you know where you’re starting.
- Then you’ll need to use that information to make updates including updates to SEO, content, CTAs, visual design, internal linking, etc.
- Update the images on your website so that they are cohesive, relevant, and send a clear message. Is your own photo somewhere on your website? Make sure that’s up to date as well.
- If necessary, update font and other visual design features to align with current industry best practices as well as what feels right for the message of your site.
- Make sure all contact information is current and complete. That includes social media links.
- Update your site so that speed, performance, searchability, and all other functions are working optimally. A sitemap is one key part of this.
- Double-check that everything works exactly as it should on every browser on all devices.
- Before you wrap things up, imagine that you’re your own ideal client. Go through each page of the site one more time with that client’s eye. Make any final changes accordingly.
A successful website redesign can be tough work. Let us help you. Learn more about our web services here.