Does your site need a makeover? It does?
Take a very good look at it and the returns it is bringing to the table. Now, ask yourself this question again. Do you really think your website needs redesign?
The reason why you need to ask yourself this question again and again before you actually take the website through a process of redesign is that your website might not need redesign at all. You might have founded your decision to redesign your site on some awful reasons; this means you haven’t really thought your decision through and it won’t deliver the returns you are looking for. Actually, in some cases, the returns can go down if there is no solid case for redesign. It can turn out to be amongst the worst decisions you will ever take with respect to your website.
The idea is to know when to embark and when not to embark on the redesign journey.
Here are 8 wrong reasons why some people redesign their websites:
Yes, it might look visually impressive and you might think your website is not as good looking, but that is not the reason why you should take a call on redesigning your website. If you go this route there is no end it, because there will always be a website that will look better than yours. This essentially is one of the flimsiest reasons for redesign.
But wait! If you are thinking aesthetics are not important in the scheme of things, don’t. A fantastic article on yoast.com, Beautiful or Usable: What’s Important while Designing your Website is a great read and makes a very valid and important point – website design must appeal to its audience, but at the same time, it must not lose sight of its usability. So, before you start berating your website for its lack of visual appeal, why not think about its functional appeal as well. If it delivers tremendous functional value to its target users, there is absolutely no reason to rework the design of your site.
Here’s the thing – The visual appeal of a site is also a result of its usability. An ugly looking site is not usable. So, if your site is usable it figures that it doesn’t actually need redesign.
This is opposed to your thinking the competitor’s website looks better than your site. So, what do you do if you think your website is found wanting aesthetically? Well, there might be some substance to your thought, but that still doesn’t mean you should redesign your site. Yes, there is a relation between aesthetics and usability and attractive things do work better, but the fact that you think your website is ugly looking is not reason enough to go for redesign. Why not get somebody else’s opinion before you commit to redesigning your site. Taking the opinion of other stakeholders like your marketing team, web design team, sales personnel etc. will help. You might have money to burn but that doesn’t mean you redesign purely based on your whims and fancies. The money you spend can deliver better returns if you invest it elsewhere in other revenue generation activities.
At the outset, this looks like a pretty good reason to redesign; after all, most marketers redesign a website after a year or so. But we come back to the same point. You should only take your website through redesign if you desperately need it and the move will be well worth the effort. If your website is delivering solid returns, and the feedback about the site’s functionality is good, why rework it unnecessarily. Of course, if your team has come up with a brilliant new idea for design that it believes will take website conversions northwards, it’s a no brainier that you must redesign your site. The whole idea is to make an informed decision about your website, rather than a misinformed one.
Your competitors might have redesigned their site because it wasn’t delivering the returns expected of it, or because they wanted to use a newer version of a particular platform for their site. The thing is they might have had a valid reason to give their site’s design a makeover. But if you redesign your site just because they’ve redesigned theirs, that’s a frivolous reason for redesigning your site. It actually smacks of insecurity in your own website and its design.
Don’t go this route, because on this route tragedy lies. If you are not confident about your design, you will always look at it with a jaundiced eye. This is why it’s always important to keep an eye on your website’s ROI. Keep measuring returns so that you are confident about your site and its ability to meet your business goals. This will help get rid of your insecurities and also ensure you take your site through redesign only if there is a good reason for you to do so.
Now here’s the thing. If your business is seeing a dip in sales figures, the website might or might not be the reason for this dip. Maybe it is your faulty order processing that is to be blamed or the fact that your internet marketing campaign is just not good enough or something else. The point is that blaming your website (immediately) for falling or stagnating sales figures is a simplistic answer to your problem. Before you give orders for redesigning your site, you need to dig a little deeper into the reasons for flagging sales. You might just find that your website is doing its job but there are other business activities that are not doing theirs and are the root cause of your problems.
There is absolutely no doubt that social media adds value to the user experience of a website. But this doesn’t call for a wholesale redesign of your site. If your website is working fine, all you need to do is implement a few social media plugins on your site to improve its social media friendliness. If push comes to the shove, you can even think about adding a blog section to your website; a blog these days is considered par for the course on sites and a great way of generating website traffic and user engagement.
So, yes, bring social media experiences to your website, but this doesn’t mean your website needs redesign. There are plenty of options available on the market that help your site leverage the immense potential of social media, explore them.
Maybe, just maybe, the problem is not your site, but the ability of the SEOs who are in charge of optimizing the site. SEO is not easy and Google is making it tougher for websites to survive with ordinary SEO tactics, so make sure you are using a really high quality SEO campaign to rank your website. In an effort to boost your website rankings on SERPs, don’t take a wrong decision with respect to website redesign. First take a look at your SEO strategy and check if there’s something wrong with it. Don’t straightaway blame your site’s design for the fall in your website rankings.
There is another danger to redesigning your site without a valid reason. In the event there is nothing wrong with your on-site SEO, there is chance that redesign might adversely impact existing SEO. You will need to make doubly sure that the onsite SEO remains strong in spite of the redesign.
If your business reputation has taken a hit for some reason or other, and you think giving your website a makeover will go a long way in restoring it, you’ve got your priorities wrong. A website won’t directly have a positive impact on your reputation. For that, you need to implement a reputation management strategy that will bring back lost credibility. Giving your website a fresh look is not a bad idea, but it is one of the many ways that you can increase brand reputation and not the only way.
On a scale of one to ten where one represents the least important and ten represent the most important tactic to salvage and improve reputation, website redesign gets a 3. So, it really doesn’t make sense for you to see redesign as a means of salvaging your reputation.
Saying yes to website redesign for the right reasons helps your business experience solid and sustainable returns from the decision. On the other hand, if you go for redesign backed by all the wrong reasons, the results will not be to your liking. In fact, it will be a sheer waste of time, money and effort.