Has it been ages since your website’s last update? If you’re struggling to recall the last time you double checked your website’s design or user experience features from your customer’s point of view, no time is better to do so than today!
Read on to learn more about how to tell when it’s time for a website update, along with the best practices to consider before launching a new one. We’ll also talk about features to avoid as well as upgrades that can enhance your upgraded website version.
Let’s get started!
Best Practices for Websites (and Signs You Need a New One)
The most important (but often overlooked) step in creating a new website is understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your current version. Once you have considered these, you can move on to assessing problematic areas that are typical of most older websites.
Keep in mind: what you perceive as a strength or weakness to your site may not match your customers’ opinions! If you can, survey existing members of your newsletters, mailing lists, etc. to get a feel for the features you offer that are useful, versus ones you can add that are missing.
Signs You Need a Website Redesign: Red Flags
- There are elements of your brand or service that are central to your messaging but absent from your website (or vice versa, such as a new logo or mascot)
- The color scheme, look and feel of your website are outdated or appear unprofessional
- Loading times for web pages are skewing increasingly longer, generating user frustration
- The URL / domain name you started with no longer makes sense for your brand
- You have received frequent calls for assistance navigating your site, or for information that is not listed on current web pages
- Your top competitors have recently updated their look and user experience
- As a rule of thumb, you should consider freshening your website content every 3 years
- There are signs users cannot find what information they need (ex. High bounce rates, low pages per session, drop-off in users over time)
- “Mobile first design, what’s that?” If you are entertaining this question to any degree, you should consider a site redesign
- You have added new products, services, or location areas not reflected on your site
Ditch Website Features That Can Decrease Conversion Rates
Now we’ll examine a few “no no’s” that you should avoid if your goal is to convert online visitors for key actions you and your business defines (note to self: it is!). Although not necessarily an uncommon practice when it comes to digital ads, for example, using stock photography on your dedicated business website will never get you bonus points when it comes to Google rank or online credibility. This section highlights the importance of dedicating the time needed to rebuild a quality website, or outsourcing those tasks to an expert who can.
In general, you should avoid the following in your newest website design:
Features That Can Hurt Conversion Traffic on Your Website:
- Not only should you avoid stock photography, but also images that are mega-sized or cranked up to high resolution (these can hurt credibility)
- Remove multiple options and simplify your call to actions
- Turn walls of text into blurbs of convenient information that your users actually want
- Use simple and to-the-point messaging in a uniform manner across every webpage
- Thread in “click cues” where it makes sense: headlines, subheads, copy and images
Need Help? Fear Not, Schweb Design Is Here!
At the end of the day, you may be aware of changes that must happen on your website but simply lack the time, expertise or knowledge to implement these yourself. No worries- that’s why we’re here. Contact one of our friendly experts today to discover how we can help your website’s health.