If you’re like a lot of other marketers that we’ve been talking to lately, you’re considering your marketing initiatives for next year, building out your marketing budget and starting to think big picture marketing goals for the year.
And in doing that planning, I’m willing to bet that you’re finding issues that you have with your current website. We talk with clients all the time that are looking for a website redesign, and since it’s such a large project it’s so important that we truly understand the driving factors behind why you’re redesigning your website. So before you jump in head first and get right into a website redesign project, ask yourself these six questions.
Has My Business Shifted In Any Way?
If your business has changed—you’ve entered a new geographic market, you’ve launched a new product line, acquired another company, etc—you may want to consider a redesign to accompany the changes that the business has seen.
For example, let’s say you’re a service company that has historically leveraged your local city for search optimization on your website, but you just moved into a new territory and opened a new branch. It’s a good idea from a branding and SEO perspective to redesign your site to allow you to focus efforts on building brand equity in your new market.
Is My Current Site Helping Me Reach My Goals?
This one may go without saying, but if your website is not helping you reach your business goals, then something has to be done about that. After all, everything is meant to serve a purpose—and your website should serve a business purpose for you.
So think about what the purpose of your website is. Is it to drive sales? Do you want to focus on converting cold traffic into marketing leads? Or maybe you want your website to help your sales team close business after they’ve made contact with leads.
Whatever the purpose of your website is, make sure that you design and plan to serve that purpose. You’ll want to test your call-to-actions, forms, and other functionality so you feel confident that your goals will be met.
Is My Site Helping Visitors Find What They Want?
Pursuant to the point listed before, if your site is not helping people find what they are looking for, you need to rectify that issue, and a redesign may be the best way to do that.
How Do I Know If My Site Is Useful?
Almost every website these days has Google Analytics or some other tracking utility built into it. That’s a great place to start. Here are a few things in Google Analytics to check on:
- Bounce Rate
What is a bounce? In web terms, bounce is when someone lands on your page and leaves the site without completing some type of meaningful activity, such as going to another page, downloading something, filling out a form, or other. So check into the bounce rate on key pages of your website. A high bounce rate (say 60%+) may be indicative of the website not solving a need for your audience (or at the very least that they didn’t know what to do after reading that page).
- Search Rankings
A higher search rank for key pages of your site is indicative of a useful or helpful site. Google’s algorithm rewards pages that provide a great user experience. Sure, user experience is often thought of as a design and architecture thing, and it is, but if a website has a lot of visits and a lot of activity on it, it is indicative of a good experience.
- On-Site Search
If your website has a search function, check to see what people are looking for. The results may lead you to an understanding on if people are easily able to find content on the topic they want or if they need to search for it.
Is My Site Accessible?
Accessibility is an extremely important element of a website. This includes if the site is designed and built to be useful on a range of devices, from desktop to mobile, as well as if people with special needs like text-to-talk for vision impairment are able to access your content. You can check on your site’s accessibility ranking at the Web Accessibility Initiative’s website.
Can I Manage My Own Site?
A website is an ever-evolving part of your marketing ecosystem. If you’re tied to proprietary systems or need a specialist to manage you site for you, even for the most basic of updates, it is a good time to rethink the way it was developed. Website platforms like WordPress, Squarespace, or Shopify offer you great solutions that can be managed by almost anyone.
Where Is My Brand Heading?
This one is perhaps the most important, most strategic question you’ll want to ask yourself before starting a website redesign project. That’s because it forces you to think into the future, and not just react to what is happening now or in the past.
Where is your brand going? In what direction is the industry heading? What role does your company have in that and how does your website help you accomplish it?
Your site needs to be an extension of your team—the place that your sales team is proud to send prospects to, the part of your team that is eager to convert suspects into prospects and leads, and the place where business gets done. If your site isn’t helping you to get to where you want to be in the future, consider a redesign that will.
A Big, But Worthy Project to Take On
A website redesign doesn’t happen in a week. There is a good amount of planning, strategic discussions, content development, and time that you’ll have to put into it—even when working with an agency partner. However, it’s a worthwhile project to consider taking on if any of the questions above are making you question the efficacy of your current site.
So if you’re nodding your head in agreement with any of these questions then it is worth the time to chat with us about your marketing goals and website. We’ll help you set things straight!