Guest post by: Beth Williams
Just how important is website design? Some research indicates that a whopping 81 percent of internet visitors would think less of your business if it is not up-to-date. Another 39 percent of visitors would hesitate to use your product or service if your website is not user-friendly and current.
Apart from ensuring you have a modern web design, it is ideal that your site is updated every three years. Updated sites can generate more visitors and can dramatically impact your click-thru and conversion rates. Undeniably, your online presence is crucial if you want to grow your brand and increase your bottom line.
Glaring Signs You Need to Change Your Website Design
Changing your web design is no easy feat. However, if your site is no longer showing year-over-year growth, then a redesign is overdue. Below are other glaring signs you need to redesign your website.
1. Your website takes forever to load.
One of the typical indicators you need a new design is when your site takes too long to load. With online competition now more fierce than ever, people have infinite options available at their disposal. Most people don't have the patience to wait for slow pages to load completely. They would rather find other sites to visit.
Some studies indicate that most visitors are only willing to wait for 1.0 second for a page to load. If loading time goes over 2.0 seconds, visitors are likely to bounce off from your page. It might not be common knowledge, but Google considers page load speed a crucial factor when ranking pages.
In other words, if your site is slow, you will likely rank lower in the search engine result pages (SERPs). Use Google's Page Speed Insights test to assess how your site is performing in terms of speed. Be sure you also try it on mobile devices and desktops so you can check if it loads quickly on different devices.
If you can't do a website redesign right away, the following are some of the temporary remedies you can look into:
● Optimizing your images
● Avoiding too many redirects
● Optimizing your content and combining them into single scripts
● Making your components cacheable
2. You have a high bounce rate.
Bounce rate is defined as the percentage of single-page visitors to your website. Simply put, it is the percentage of visitors who visit your site and only visit the page they land on. Rather than exploring your site, they leave right away. Some of the common reasons visitors leave your website right away include:
● They did not find what they were looking for
● They did not find anything interesting
● They find your site too difficult to navigate
● They find your site too slow
A website redesign can dramatically improve your bounce rates and can help convince your visitors to stay around longer. If your bounce rate is 70 to 90 percent (throughout your site), consider content and copy updates. It is also a good idea to create a new website.
3. Your website no longer reflects your brand.
Your products, brand, and messaging can evolve over time. That said, your website has to keep up. The first impression you provide visitors can mean the difference between earning another bounce or another customer. As a general rule of thumb, ensure you have a well-designed site that aligns with your message.
If you claim your brand is on the leading edge, but your website is obsolete, there is a significant disconnect. In similar instances, a website redesign is recommended.
4. Your website is not responsive or mobile-friendly.
Mobile website traffic now makes up more than half of the web visits around the globe. If your site is not compatible with mobile devices, you will be missing out on all those potential visitors. However, even if your site is mobile-friendly because it is responsive, it won't always suffice.
It is crucial to keep in mind that mobile-first websites load faster, and search engines now gauge the search results from mobiles and not desktops. If you are creating a website for the first time, consider a mobile-first web design since user engagement on mobile devices is expected to increase over time.
5. Your website looks dated.
Old and obsolete sites are typically non-scrollable, have massive texts and one solid background color to boot. They're not only unsightly, they won't also do much for your conversions. Essentially, old websites often have too much text, no photos, no straightforward navigation, and old and stale content.
Nowadays, new websites tend to have minimal texts, large background images, and flat graphics. They are also often scrollable and include links to different pages throughout your site. To create a great first impression, your website should have:
For content to be relevant, it should be created with the target audience in mind. The value proposition should also be stated. It should clearly tell visitors and prospective customers what they stand to gain and what sets you apart from the competition.
Visitors to your page should not have a hard time looking for your site's important pages. At all times, make sure visitors can navigate your site with ease. Ideally, you should have easy and straightforward navigation either along the sidebar or at the top of your site so you can quickly point visitors in the right direction.
Your call-to-action tells visitors specifically what you want them to do so they can take immediate action on your site. Call-to-actions can vary from one brand or industry to another. Whatever your call-to-action may be, ensure you always test it, and you put thought into all aspects, including the placement, color, and text.
6. Your conversion rates are low.
Low conversion rates are one of the red flags of an under-performing website. There are various reasons for low conversions, and not all of them might merit a redesign. However, just like bounce rate, low conversion rates can be attributed to bad user experience.
If your conversion rate is exceptionally low, conduct a conversion analysis audit and set up Google goal tracking. Some of the things you should focus on include:
You can find this in Google analytics. This will show you how people behave as they navigate through your site.
This is something you can also find in the behavior section of Google analytics. This will give you an insight into how well your landing pages are converting. At times, revamping your landing page can already do wonders.
Top exit pages
Top exit pages are the pages most visitors abandon. They are also the ones that should be given more attention during a redesign.
If you notice any of the glaring signs mentioned above, website redesign should rank high in your list of priorities. If anything, ensure you don't overlook any of the warning signs. Otherwise, you won't be able to keep up with the competition. Also, if you have not done a redesign in 3 years or more, you are already overdue.
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Desirae Haluk is passionate about marketing for startups and small businesses. For the last 15 years she has held marketing executive positions for organizations both large and small. She realizes that her true passion is helping establish, grow and evolve startups and small businesses to make them successful and help achieve their goals.