When was your last design or redesign?
Maybe not the best, but definitely a good starting place is when was the last time you had your website designed?
I say this first because there have been major design improvements overall in the last 5 to 10 years. If your site was designed many years ago, it’s likely your website is out of date. Now, I’m not talking mainly about aesthetics (although that is a big part of it) but along the lines of best practices that make your site easier to navigate and consume from a consumer standpoint.
I’m sure you can find a great web designer that can audit your site for best practices and let you know where you stand. The one thing you don’t want your customer thinking when they arrive at your site is “wow, this is ancient”.
How is your website converting?
A more practical (and profitable) thing to look at when considering redesigning your site is your current conversion rate. How well is your website turning visitors into buying customers?
Now website conversion rates vary greatly from industry to industry and even business to business, but I would take a baseline and ask yourself whether this is in line with your longterm and even short term goals.
If you are way off target, now may be a good time to start looking for a designer. In this case, I wouldn’t look for just a designer rather a consultant who can not only improve the look and feel of your site but also focus on improving conversion rates.
Have You Changed Your Target Customer?
If you have recently pivoted in your business model, it’s likely you have either added a new customer segment or chosen to redefine your target market.
This is a crucial time for a website redesign because your website will have to reflect a new message targeted at your newly defined customer persona.
It wouldn’t help if you decided to target millennials and your website is talking to baby boomers.
While definitely not an absolute reason and it has many pitfalls, if one of your main competitors recently redesigned their website it might be time to take stay competitive by updating your own.
I have to mention that this is can be more harmful than helpful if your primary focus is on your competitors. Every time you focus yourself away from improving your own business you are essentially playing catch-up.
In effect, you will always be behind the curve. I love the example of apple, they became a market leader by choosing exclusively to ignore their competition and focus making incremental improvements to their own products. In this way, they are the trend-setter.
But still, if you stick out like a sore thumb in your industry it still may be worthwhile to redesign your website.
Lastly, as mentioned previously you should consider the website design best practices for the industry your business is serving.
Different industries required different Call-To-Actions (CTAs), sales copy, colors, and much more to keep consistent conversions.
A simple Google search with “[YOUR INDUSTRY] website best practices” should be enough to get your research started.
For example, I searched up “doctor website best practices” and the second result was “I Analyzed 1100 Medical Websites And Here’s What I learned”. Great! Someone already did the work in looking at over a thousand different medical websites – let’s see what they have to say.
Mark Brinker does a great job at noting the most common problems heseen during his study, so if I owned a medical practice I could take his listand then examine my own site to see what category I fall into.
This could be a great starting point and might even lead to theconclusion you really don’t need to redesign your site because you’realready employing your industry best practices.
When NOT to redesign your website
Reason #1: You’re following a fad
I just want to share 3 reasons (although there are many) why you shouldn’t redesign your website. First, don’t follow a fad. I have often fell into the trap in my own businesses of coming across a site and saying to myself “Wow this is beautiful I want my site to look like this”.
While it’s probably true that this business did a great job at designing their site. There are other possible instances where it may just be a passing trend. Following trends isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can be costly because it often changes based on numerous unknown factors.
Why not focus more on addressing the aspects of your website that you’re not happy with, rather than looking at the successes of others.
Reason #2: “This is my last resort”
I have seen a certain frame of mind towards website redesigns that views them as a last resort that will save a failing business.
Kind of like “My revenue has been decreasing month after month, my website is probably to blame”. While this might be partially true, it’s even more likely that it has nothing to do with your website.
Maybe your product doesn’t have product-market fit, as in your target market is not interested in your product anymore. This happens, but if you went ahead and simply redesigned your website this wouldn’t be solving anything. You’d be pretty much throwing money away.
Focus first on adjusting your offering, this way if you do decide to update your website you will be able to revolve your new design around this new offering.
Reason #3: You Don’t Have Any Money
One last reason not to redesign your website is if you have no money or budget for the project. Quality website redesigns cost a significant amount of resources, both time and money.
While they are definitely worth it since if your working with a quality contractor they will focus on providing as much value to your business as possible so you see a significant ROI if you don’t have the money – don’t spend your last cash reserve on a website redesign.
Invest in other areas first, website designs should be looked at when your business is healthy and thriving and you’re looking to take it to the next level.