As businesses continue to grow, it's important for their website and online presence to evolve along with them. Trends change over time, and in order for your company to remain ahead of the curve, your website design requires regular updates to maintain that modernity. However, often websites require full redesigns. Your design may not only be dated, but it could be performing poorly, or preventing your visitors from becoming customers easily enough. So how do you know when a website redesign is what your business needs? Here are some questions to ask yourself when your brand is facing this important conversation:
Is your website design on-brand?
Businesses face both small and large changes on a regular basis. Through growth, mergers, and acquisitions, companies have to go through rebranding efforts at some point in time. It's crucial for your website to work cohesively with any rebranding efforts your business may be experiencing. If people are visiting your site, and it doesn't reflect your offline branding, it will not only lead to confusion amongst your audience, but it could prevent them from doing business with you at all. If you know your business is going to be going through a period of transition or a rebrand will be taking place, coordinating a website redesign along with this occasion can be beneficial. Having these efforts launch in tandem with one another will present audiences with a unified, omni-channel marketing and design strategy.
What makes your business unique?
Your website is one of the most influential platforms to set your business apart from competitors within your specific industry. Ultimately the design of your website should illustrate the unique value that you offer to customers that other companies simply can't do. Analyze your competition, see what is working and not working for them, and use that information to create a plan for your own website. Look past just the design elements that you like, and determine how you can highlight your brand's unique capabilities. Use this redesign as a chance to make your business stand out in a way that is different from your peers, yet still in line with your industry and overall branding.
Is your website easy to navigate?
This goes beyond visitors just being able to find the information they are looking for when they come to your site. A clear and easy navigation includes a well thought-out strategy and design that makes your website an online resource, but also an online experience for visitors. Individuals should be able to navigate their way through your website through buttons and calls to action that are engaging and prominently placed so that they intuitively make their way from one page to another. It's also important to consider how your website design and navigation is affected based on the different screens or devices from which people are visiting your website. Which brings us to the importance of a responsive website design…
Is your website responsive?
In today's mobile world, people are consuming online content from different devices while on-the-go. Websites that are only designed to perform on desktop computers will no longer succeed in the digital world. Your website should be designed to adjust to screens of different desktop and mobile devices. You want customers to easily be able to access your site from any device at all times, and a responsive design is essential to making this happen today. This not only provides visitors with an optimal user experience on desktop and mobile devices, but it also provides your business with a higher level of authority as you start to make yourself stand out more amongst competitors. Showing customers that you care about performing customized experiences for each of them, individually, online will show how unique your company is.
What is your budget?
It's important to remember that at the end of the day, redesigning your website is an investment in your own business. Therefore it is crucial for your team to have a conversation regarding a budget for the project. This will not only make sure everyone is on the same page, but it also manages expectations as the project carries on. Agencies will provide different levels of service at varying price points, and it's important for your company to have a solid understanding of how much this project will cost. After gathering quotes and speaking with professionals from a few different agencies, you may get a better understanding of how much this project is going to cost your company, and adjust your budget accordingly.
What are your goals?
What do you want your new website to accomplish that your current design isn't? Do you simply want an updated look for your brand? Or are there deeper issues in your current design that a new layout could fix? A new design for your website can directly and indirectly improve your business by creating an overall optimized online experience for your visitors. Make sure your goals are clearly defined so that designers and information architects can work to meet those goals. A website redesign should be an improved business step for your company and an improved online experience for your customers.
How are you going to track those goals?
Now that you know what you want your website to accomplish for your business, how do you want to keep track of these goals to determine how your website is performing? Different analytics platforms can provide detailed insight as to how your customers are converting, and what actions are being taken by different visitors. Analyzing onsite user behavior can be incredibly helpful in learning how to market to these individuals in the future. Consider what you want to learn from your audience's actions, and determine how you can incorporate the design features necessary to gaining that information. The more you understand about your online traffic and user behavior, the more information you will have when moving forward with your new website.
What new features do you want to add?
Advanced features can be integrated into your new website that may not have been available when your original page was designed. Live chat options, social media feeds, audio and video capabilities, and more can be unique additions to your website's redesign. These features can give you an edge against competitors, and push your brand forward in your industry. But make sure that the things you want to include in your new design are things that users will actually benefit from, and that you aren't incorporating them just because you think you should. Each industry is different, and the needs of each demographic are different as well. Make sure you are providing your audience with design elements that will only improve their online experience. These are just a few of the questions you and your business should be addressing before moving forward with a website redesign. Analyze what you current website does well, and where there is room for improvement. Determine what goals you hope to achieve with a new design, and how you would like to make your brand stand out as a unique leader in your industry. To learn more about website redesigns, or to provide some insight on any recent projects you have worked on, visit our website, leave a comment below, or tweet us @BFMweb.