It is important to re evaluate your website every few years, is the design still appropriate for your business, does it stand out from your competitiors, is it modern enough for users to see your business as trustworthy and a good site. If not then a website redesign may be needed!
When you first have a website designed and built it can fit nicely within the industry and convey your busniess well, however a lot changes in a few short years, your business may have changed and I can guarantee your competitors will be improving their websites to fit with changes in fashions and benchmarks online.
A website re design can be a great chance to relaunch your brand, give your business to shout about and remind people you are there. It can also be a big improvement to online conversions, we have put together a few tips to help you re design your website.
1. Have a clear purpose/ goals for the website
When clients ask us to re deisgn their website we always ask “what do you want the site to do?” an Ecommerce website is easy as the main purpose is sales online, but other websites are built for enquiries, or as a brochure site.
A lot of people get carried away with colours and fonts and forget that the site needs to encourage new visitors, leads and potential customers. Always have your goals in mind when working through the website design process, will your target audiences like the site, can they navigate round the site, are there clear calls to actions to contact or buy? By knowing exactly what you need the site to do you will get a much better working design.
2. Protect your business brand
Your website is an extension of your brand and should tie in with any offline marketing as well as online marketing. If you already have a website, your visitor will already associate this website with your business so you need to identify the important factors that visitors tie in with your brand.
The most obvious way to do this is with a company logo, but it could also be the style of the content, the colours, font etc. You need to be aware of these elements so they can be included in the new design, this way you can encourage new visitors without losing your current visitors.
3. Make sure your website is user friendly
A lot of people (and web designers) get carried away with unique, fancy designs but although these designs can look great they can be hard for the average user to navigate around. If the site is hard to use then your visitors will go somewhere else.
Online visitors have a short attention span, we go by the 3 click rule, if it takes a user more than 3 clicks to get to the page or product they want to find, then they will go somewhere else.
Although you need your website to stand out from your competitors the structure may be similar to ither sites, this is because other sites have got the usability right and users don’t react well to change. We have participated in a lot of user studies and focus groups; it is from these results we base our designs.
4. Content, content and content
If you have a website, you should keep it up to date and evolving, it is important to keep the site fresh as both search engines and users will respond well to up to date and new content. If you can afford it you should get a content management system (CMS) so you can add news, updates and pages.
Every new page is an opportunity for a new way into the website and by having more pages and content you are more likely to get more traffic which with a good web design can convert into sales or leads.
5. Don’t forget the best practices of website design
All websites today should be built with the basic best practice elements such as basic SEO, HTML sitemap, xml sitemap, RSS feed, blog and robots.txt. These will help you do well in the search engines which will help people find your website and see the new design.