7 Signs It’s Time For A Website Redesign

Worst Websites Ever

Uh oh, did the title of the article get you thinking? Go check your website, right now…

Do you fit the following description?

You just purchased a brand new, state of the art, 27” monitor. When you look at your website on it, you see that it is about 1/5 the size of the screen and dead center, top aligned. Oh, and that pattern you thought was popping when the site launched is overwhelming your screen like the hamster dance. Speaking of the hamster dance, your website is playing music in an attempt to attract the visitors to stay and browse around. Ok, you could tone it down a bit. Then you scroll over the menu, and animations pop up! Yeah, that was a cute idea. You decide to scroll down your homepage. You have your company name, contact info, core values, how you got started, what you do, why you do it, what makes you different, and photos of your staff and the office dog. Oh, and look over there! You included Aunt Betty’s life story on this page too! You finally get to the bottom and notice the copyright date is 2001. Whoops.

You’re website needs an update.

We get it. Technology is ever changing and it is hard to keep up. Maybe you have been thinking about a redesign, or wondering if your site is really that out of date. Even if you don’t fit the description above (well, not totally, right?), be sure to check your current site against the signs below to know if its time for a virtual makeover.

1. Your website isn’t responsive

It’s 2013. How do you browse the Internet? Chances are, your desktop isn’t the only place you access the web. If your website does not automatically adapt to the device it is being viewed on, you are losing valuable opportunities to capture business. Given that more than 80% of buying decisions begin online and 90% of smartphone users turn to their phone to search for information on local providers of goods and services, what business can afford not to have a website that works well on a mobile device? Responsive design is built to be intuitive. Your site will know exactly how to adapt to a user’s device so that they are able to view the best possible version of your site. In most cases, this eliminates the need to “pinch” the screen to resize a menu or toggle through options. This is ease of use at it’s finest.

2. You can’t update your website by yourself

If you aren’t able to manage your website from your office, you need a new system. Things change fast. Sometimes your website needs imemdiate updates and you, the layperson, need to be able to do that without knowledge of HTML or a licensed copy of Dreamweaver. Invest in a website that is built on a CMS (content management system) or the COS (HubSpot’s content optimization sytem). A content management system, like WordPress, allows the user to manage their website with a series of visual cues that are entirely code free. The content optimization system is a product offered exclusively through HubSpot and offers the ease of use and flexibility of a CMS, but incorporates a powerful inbound marketing strategy that can customize your site’s content based on the individual user. If you are interested in learning more about the differences of each, check out this article from our blog.

3. Your website doesn’t fit your brand

If your site is ten years old, is it accurately representing your brand? The key to a well-managed brand is consistency. If your business cards and sales slicks incorporate trendy, flat-design, but your website is still sporting gradients and loud patterns, it’s time to commit to a look and stick with it. The last thing you want to do is confuse potential clients/customers with mixed marketing messages. Your website is typically where your prospective customer forms their first impression, so make sure you are putting your best foot forward.

4. Your website isn’t outranking your competitors

If you try to search for your business on Google and the search returns random product links or your competitor’s websites, then your current site isn’t helping you out. Sites that use old technology (like Flash) or contain outdated content do not get to move to the head of the class (read more about this here). These sites receive negative marks in Google’s algorithm and the result is that they don’t make it to the first page of search results (and the reality is, if you aren’t on page one, you might as well not be there at all!). A CMS or COS allows the user to be hands on with SEO (search engine optimization), blog, and regularly update content – all key to improving your search engine rankings.

5. Your entire website was created in Flash

Flash had its day and just like crimped hair, it’s dead. Flash was once the go-to for slick animation, but it just isn’t relevant anymore. When Flash proved to be a notorious battery-drainer, mobile devices stopped supporting it. Yes, that is correct – mobile devices and tablets do not support Flash. If your site (or any portion of it) is currently in this format, there is an excellent chance the majority of users are not able to access your content.

6. Your website doesn’t have any calls to action

Your Google Analytics might be telling you that your site is receiving visitors, but what are they doing after they get there? Are you able to see any results from this traffic? Make sure you ask your users to purchase your product/service, ask for more information or download an eBook. Your visitors don’t mean much if they aren’t converting. A great solution in this case is to add clear calls to action to each page of your site. When a visitor clicks them, make sure they are redirected to a landing page witih a conversion form that allows you to capture (at a minimum) the visitor’s name and email address. At the very least, this will help you to build up a permission-based email list that you can use to nurture those leads through the sales cycle.

7. Your homepage tells your entire life story

This is my favorite piece of advice. Modern design is clean and simple. Your site does not have to be everything to everyone. Your homepage should be visual and engaging. Its purpose isn’t to tell your company’s entire history. The more a user has to read, the quicker they will become unengaged and eventually move on. Make it as easy as possible for them to find exactly what they are looking for by putting the bulk of the text on interior pages and using the homepage to help direct visitors to high value content.

So…how did your site stack up?

If any of the seven signs listed above describes your website, it’s probably time to consider a redesign. The good news is that platforms such as WordPress and HubSpot make it easy to create a site that is beautiful, functional, user-friendly, and search engine optimized with minimal investment. Really! Give us a ring if you are interested in learning more.

image credit