A complete website redesign means rebuilding your website from the ground up, starting with the code and ending with its appearance, features, and usability. Similar to how you would renovate your office or store, a website redesign improves the look and usability of your website, adds new features, and ultimately produces better business results.
You can also opt for a partial redesign of your website, where only the backend or frontend components are reworked (the backend is the code that drives the functionality of your website, and the frontend is the aesthetic interface that visitors connect with).
How often should you redesign your website?
Ideally, you should check every 2-5 years to see if you need a website redesign. However, this depends on what your website looks like, to begin with, as well as your industry, audience, and ever-changing technologies and designs.
Also, if your website is not performing as expected, you should consider whether you need a refresh or a complete website redesign.
Just by looking at your calendar, you can’t determine when a website redesign is in order. Even though a website from 2014 or 2017 probably needs a major overhaul today, that’s not a hard and fast rule.
Look at your analytics to identify issues with rankings, traffic, or conversions, and then make a data-driven decision about what to do next.
Benefits of a website redesign
As with any business expense, you’ll likely evaluate the requirement for a website redesign based on its returns to identify if it’s worth it.
Since an excellent website redesign requires a significant investment, here are five key business benefits that will justify the cost and help recoup it.
1. Improved branding
An updated website helps strengthen the consistency of your brand. With a modern design, your website promotes trust and brand recognition among clients, which is why a website overhaul can do marvels for your branding initiatives.
Potential customers who find your business online will use your website’s overall design and quality to gauge your business’s trustworthiness.
First impressions count, and 94% of them are influenced by the design of your website.
If your website looks cheap, outdated, doesn’t work well, or offers a poor user experience, it can discourage people from becoming your customers.
On the other hand, redesigning your website will help keep your business relevant and improve your brand image by making a solid impression.
2. Better search engine rankings
A well-designed website also means better search engine optimization. Search optimization should be considered from code to responsiveness when redesigning your website.
Ultimately, redesigning your website will help you rise in the SERPs and get more organic traffic.
When visitors click on your link and see your modern website, they are more likely to stay there. If your website structure is optimized, visitors will browse your website and look at more pages, which will reduce the bounce rate.
Finally, a well-designed website can attract more backlinks, giving you a substantial boost for even higher Google rankings and additional referral traffic.
3. Improved information flow
The primary purpose of the content and information on your website is to help potential customers learn more regarding your company and products/services and ultimately lead to a business transaction.
Whether it’s information about your company, your founder’s story, or simply information about your products and services, the primary purpose of a website is to provide information that will help visitors take the desired action (conversion).
Of course, people expect to have the desired information right in front of them at any given moment. And to convince visitors to consider your offer and become paying customers, you need to have an optimal flow of information.
Unfortunately, numerous websites fail to meet this high standard.
With a site redesign, you can do your best to framework and present your data to make it easy to find all the essential information while moving users organically from one page to the next.
4. More leads and sales
A website redesign leads to more leads and sales thanks to the implementation of advanced conversion optimization tactics and features.
Let’s face it, transforming visitors is the ultimate goal of any website. Whether you’re capturing visitors’ email addresses or phone numbers and getting them to book, purchase or subscribe, conversion is the game’s name.
With a website redesign, you can focus on conversion rates by presenting a flow of information that encourages clients to buy, sign up, or request more information. It is something that most older websites aren’t very good at.
5. Increase your sales and lower your costs
By enhancing brand consistency, boosting your rankings, and directing your visitors to a conversion event, a website redesign will assist in increasing your revenue.
But do you recognize that it can also lower your costs?
With a complete redesign, you have the opportunity to re-evaluate your hosting and CMS (content management system). Plus, a new website can run much more efficiently, take up less space on your server, and work faster for all your visitors.
A redesign is often less expensive than fixing functionality issues and adding more features over time. Instead of putting a few Band-Aids on your existing website, it’s better to do a complete overhaul and start fresh.
And most importantly, a website redesign lowered the cost of missed opportunities and lost revenue caused by your old, clunky website.
That’s a real win-win for everyone.
How to determine if you require a website redesign
Redesigning a website is a significant investment, so you shouldn’t decide on the off chance that you need it or not. You should thoroughly evaluate your current website and its performance and then decide on your next move based on accurate data.
Once you’ve gone through the long list of reasons that can inform whether or not it’s time for a redesign, you can think more objectively about your current site and get technical input that will help you determine the urgent need.
Perform seven critical assessments to determine if your website is ready for a complete redesign.
1. Measure the speed of your website
Measuring the loading speed is an essential part of assessing whether you need a website redesign.
Remember that almost half of your visitors expect your website to load in 2 seconds or less?
If your website is slow, it’s costing you valuable clicks and conversions. That implies a higher bounce rate and less time spent on your pages, leading to a drop in your Google rankings and a loss of conversions.
So, how do you know if your site is fast or slow?
Both provide a website speed rating and tell you how many seconds it takes for your website to load.
Once you know your site’s speed, you can look for ways to make it load faster.
Each tool will tell you which elements of a page cause slow load times and suggest how to fix the problems.
However, if your speed is meager (as in the screenshot above), you probably need to redesign your site entirely, as standard speed optimization tactics won’t improve performance.
2. Check your Google Search Console
Another tool you should use to determine if you need a redesign of your website is Google Search Console. If you’re not already familiar with it, it’s a tool that allows you to submit pages directly to Google to optimize your SEO efforts.
Google Search Console is a functional tool that lets you evaluate your rankings, view indexing and coverage issues, and identify other issues that could lead to SEO problems.
Google is the most significant search engine in the world, and you should use these insights to your advantage. If you notice too many errors, warnings, and problems, it’s probably time to contact a web design agency to have your website redesigned.
3. Go through your Google Analytics
Google Analytics is another tool you should use to evaluate your website and determine if it may need to be redesigned.
Your bounce rate is one of the first metrics you should look at in your Google Analytics dashboard.
A bounce is when a client lands on your page but does not interact with any elements and does not visit another page on your site.
A slow loading or unattractive website often causes bounce rates, so take this to heart.
Integrate your bounce rate analysis with the average variety of pages visited per session and the average time spent to understand how long visitors stay on your site and each page.
4. Analyze your competitors
Competitors are another vital point to consider when deciding if you need a website redesign. Perform a competitive analysis to see how your website compares to your competitors.
It’s simple: if your website is of lower quality than your competitors, you’re most likely losing customers and sales to them!
Your competitors performing the best are certainly doing something right; therefore, they are good role models for how your website needs to look and function.
Below are a few points you should check:
- Check your competitors’ SEO rankings.
- Look at the design of the competitor’s website
- Examine their pages, content, and structure
- Analyze how they are optimized for conversions, etc
Pay attention to anything that gives your competitors an advantage and try replicating that. If your website lacks features, it might be the right time for an overhaul.
Even if you don’t want to be a copycat, take the time to look at several competitors’ websites and take notes on what’s the same about them.
Then look for ways to improve their performance so you can do even better.
5. Survey your website
Surveying your website can help you gain valuable insight and help you decide if you need a redesign of your website.
One of the best methods to give your users what they want (and make them feel listened to) is to conduct surveys on your website.
Surveys can help you better understand what drives your customers to take the action you want and what stops them in their tracks.
Analyzing your survey responses will help you determine if your website is due for a redesign or what you should be looking at.
6. Check for accessibility issues
Older websites created before the AODA went into effect rarely meet all of the WCAG criteria. It’s understandable because there wasn’t enough awareness back then, and most websites weren’t created with accessibility in mind.
That’s why it’s so important to do an accessibility assessment of your website.
Remember, an accessible website is essential (and even mandatory in some countries) to serve all users equally.
Of course, many website owners are not even aware of how accessible, or rather, inaccessible, their website is.
Therefore, an accessibility assessment can help determine if a complete website redesign is needed to improve accessibility and avoid hefty fines.
7. Conduct a complete website audit
When evaluating your website, the last item on your to-do list should be a complete website audit.
Performing an SEO audit isn’t too tricky, but reviewing all the checks and results can be time-consuming.
However, it will be worth it when you have an actionable audit checklist in hand that shows you all the areas where your website could be improved.
A comprehensive audit includes
- Checking for critical issues
- Ranking check
- Technical SEO audit
- On-page SEO audit
- UX signals analysis
- Backlink analysis
What to consider when redesigning your website
If you’ve gotten this far and determined that a website redesign is in order, you should make some essential considerations before moving on to the next steps.
1. Set clear goals and KPIs for the redesign
As with any business investment, you need to establish a plan that ensures you minimize costs and maximize returns.
By setting clear goals for the redesign that address any issues you discover and defining KPIs (key performance indicators), you will ensure that your website redesign is a success.
2. Create a strategy and roadmap for your website redesign
After establishing your goals, you’ll want to delve deeper into this list and turn it into an entire strategy and roadmap. That will assist you in identifying your priorities and setting a timeline for completion.
You can also mark milestones along the way to help you keep your redesign on track.
As you develop your strategy and timeline, think about the most important things to your business (and your visitors).
Also, think about dependencies. For example, you can’t start on the menu structure until you know all the pages you’ll have.
3. Consider your target audience
One of the significant mistakes you can make when planning a redesign is not assessing or reassessing your target audience. After all, if your business or its requirements have changed, so has your target audience. There is a far better time than now to search for and consider such changes.
4. Look at your current high-performing pages
In the previous step, you evaluated your website to review its performance and find areas for improvement. However, it would be fantastic if you also made notes about your high-performing pages so that you can maintain or even improve their performance after the redesign.
Analyze these pages to find out why they perform so well, and then try to achieve the same results across your entire site.
It would be great if you also played with split testing to see how you can further improve the performance of these pages as you redesign.
5. Make sure you understand what problems exist
If you go through the steps and tools above, you may spend a lot of time trying to find all the problems with your current site, but that time is well spent.
There’s no point in investing in a redesign if you haven’t managed to figure out all the areas that need redesigning.
In other words, don’t invest money into redesigning your website until you’re sure you understand all the issues affecting your current website’s performance or usability. If you’re paying for your website redesign, you want to ensure it’s done right.
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