The last couple of years have seen rapid changes in technology, how websites are used and an increased focus on social media and community interaction. All these factors shape how a website is used and should look and function, and changes within these areas have compelled many companies to look at a redesign of their websites.
The redesign of a website in the current climate is no longer about simply refreshing the look and feel. With changes in technology different problems need to be addressed and the redesign goes much deeper than looks alone. Functionality, presentation in different devices, interaction with your audience and how easily it can be updated are all things to be taken into consideration when designing your new website.
When deciding whether your company website requires a redesign some questions to consider are listed below:
Websites are no longer just viewed on desktop computers, with millions of people browsing the Web via their smartphones, tablets, TVs, gaming, and music devices the way your websites displays on these devices is an ever growing consideration.
Test your website across devices and if it displays in a way that impedes functionality or navigation, or grossly impacts the design, it could well be time to look at a redesign.
Google now rates quality content as the single most important factor in finding a website. Being able to regularly update your website with the most uptodate information for your company and industry will be of benefit to both users and your search engine positions.
If you haven’t updated your website for a while then ask yourself why? If the answer is you can’t, it’s difficult, or you don’t know how then this is something which needs to be addressed. It could be you keep the website as it is but have a content management system installed as a back-end to allow you to do quick and easy updates. Or it could be that you have a redesign and rebuild with a content management system included as part of this project.
To assess this you will need software such as Google Analytics running on you website, something which hopefully your last web developer should have done for you. Look through your stats to see if people are navigating deeper into your site.
If you find users are coming to your website’s homepage and then leaving the website straightaway you should take a look at your home page’s design and content to see if you can make it more enticing. Maybe even consider a complete redesign of your site to make visitors want to navigate further and discover more about your business.
Download time is an important influencing factor in your SEO. Also, as more people are accessing websites using devices such as smartphones, where their data bandwidth could be limited, the load time of your website is now considered an important factor in its makeup.
It has been shown that if your website takes more than five seconds to load people become disinterested and will leave your web site. If this is the case you should look into having your website optimised, perhaps as part of a new design and build.
Very closely related to finding out if visitors are navigating past your home page is to see if there is a slowing trend in visitors coming to your website at all. If you find that the number of visitors to your website has dropped off over the years you may want to consider a revamp of your content or complete website.
A slowing trend in visitor numbers does not necessarily mean that a redesign is required, however it is a very good indicator that either your SEO is no longer working or your website has lost its relevance/become stale.
Both search engines and users are put off by outdated looking websites with little or no new content. They both like websites that are constantly being updated with new content.
Does your web site have things that are broken or constantly giving you errors like the dreaded “404 not found” message? While it is often a simple fix to correct these broken elements, it could indicate that your website has become disorganised over time.
If you have lots of broken links, error messages, and missing images, then you should consider a complete website redesign that will include the installation and use of a content management system. If you only have one or two broken links here or there, then take some time to fix those as soon as you can.
Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo will rank websites that have content that is constantly changing, coded properly, and isn’t heavily based on images, higher that those which aren’t. While you can can give your website a boost yourself by keeping your website’s content new and fresh, things like making sure the site is coded properly may need to be investigated by a web developer with SEO experience. They will be able to see if there are any coding elements that could be causing problems for you when it comes to search engine optimization.
If you are nowhere to be found on search engines, then it may be time for a new website to help boost your SEO and search engine visits. It is up to you to make your visitors stay, however, through fresh content and a nice looking site.
If a few of the above factors are true for your website it could be that you either need to review the content and functionality of your website, or perhaps consider a complete review and redesign.
It is likely that if several of the situations above are happening to your website, then it is time to hire a good web designer and revamp your site so that you can continue to grow your business effectively through the web.
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