A website redesign is a big task and a big investment; and it does pay out in the long run. Just like brand building, it doesn’t always bring results straight away like hiring a sales rep can.
So, in this article I will give you some signs that could be a determining factor for a website redesign
Defining the customer journey is a crucial part in marketing because it proposes a vision to what your customer goes through to make the purchase. It is quite similar to your sales process plan in the way that you outline each touchpoint with different steps to get your prospects hooked. For example, you make a cold call, you follow up with an email, you come say ‘hi’ in their office, you share something useful with them, you follow up asking for business, you follow up again, you send direct mail etc…
With a customer journey plan, you also start off with outlining the steps your prospects take to make a purchase, which is always different depending on who your customer is of course. B2C retail, will be different from ecommerce and B2B manufacturers will be different from B2B services like us at Zurek Designs.
For example, if you are an ecommerce store, your prospect might start their journey by finding out about your amazing product through an influencer, after which they go to your website to get a better feeling what your brand is about. Since they visited your website, you captured their data with Pixel and you push Facebook and Instagram ads for enhanced repetition. They start bonding with the idea, and talk about the new product with their friends. Their friends are also interested in the brand and it becomes one of the topics when they go out. Finally, you get a call to action with Facebook advertising and they buy.
This would just be a very quick outline of the steps a customer may take and to keep it short, and I missed a lot of potential touchpoints that could be also included.
Something that is often talked about is the customer journey map, which can look similar to this:
Source: Iris Tong Wu
User experience is related in part to the Customer Journey. If your website does not follow the clear map, plan and path for the customer journey you should consider redesigning your website. On top of that, if users have a hard time locating important links, pages and products, it is definitely time to redesign your website. If you do not know how your users experience the website, you can sample a small population and do some small-scale research that will give you a better idea of what the problems are (aka, exploratory research).
Why User Experience is important:
User experience deals with the emotional experience a visitor has and it is closely linked to the customer journey. your website shouldn’t just be a list of features and benefits. It MUST tell a story and engage the visitor emotionally. There are a lot of psychology and marketing aspects to UX design that determine the locations of sections and why they are there – what do they lead to, what will the visitor feel, what do they need to see next to take action and trust us more?
There are also a lot of technicalities like filtering posts or products and whether these filters are sophisticated enough. How many times have you been on an e-commerce website, that has a tone of products with a despicable filtering and sorting system? If you are an online shopper, you probably came across a few of those. The more steps towards an action (purchase), the less likelihood of a conversion.
With any industry that develops, there are new and improved ways to optimize productivity. While user experience in web design is quite old in concept, it only started to play a big role in web design in the last 10 years. For this reason, some design agencies don’t keep this in mind when designing a website especially if they are cheap. If you needed a quick and cheap website for starters, it was probably a good and strategic decision. However, as your company grows, you need to find ways to compete on a higher level – details matter.
Chances are that when you started your business, you were looking for the cheapest but best services possible. Maybe you outsourced worked on UpWork or Fiverr which would only cost you a few hundred at a maximum.
If that was the case, what was likely to happen was that you had a graphic designer for your brand visuals and a web developer for your website design. The problem that often occurs is that cheaper services are not concerned with the bigger picture and how your entire brand will feel like. With no brand strategy, there is a messaging and visual gap. Just because the website has the same brand colours as your logo or print material/social media material, does not guarantee brand consistency.
If your brand shows inconsistencies, an overall redesign could be considered - not just a website redesign. Businesses with consistent messaging and visuals will ALWAYS have the upper hand in the long run.
Website CMS is short for “Content Management System”, which allows for people with no web development experience to manage, create and edit content like blog posts, products, collections and even pages without coding knowledge. Some of the most popular CMSes are Wordpress, Shopify, Squarespace and Wix.
However, as you expand your brand, your visuals and the way the brand feels, you will notice that the templates in Shopify and other CMS platforms are repetitive and hard to customize. It is hard to make your website stand out when you are using a CMS. Just look at most ecommerce websites and notice how similar they are. And yes, there are elements that are crucial to the ecommerce website build and thus they are similar, however, the structures, layouts and graphic usage is quite repetitive.
While a web developer can go into the code and make changes easily within the CMS, and create new elements and new sections, it is not an efficient way for spending your budget, because you may end up paying the same amount as you would for paying a developer to build a website from scratch with everything tailored custom to you.
If you are getting tired of the limitations that your CMS comes with, it might be time for you to invest in to a new website built from scratch that will be customized to your brand, making it original and more memorable with better user experience, minified code and better overall optimization.
If your website is does not have at least one page ranking on the first page of Google after 3 years, SEO may need some attention. It is also good to look at the technical optimization, so usually if the website is large in size with over 7 MB, with loading times over 5 seconds loading time and wrong heading distribution, it could be time for a fundamental redesign of the website.
While you can optimize what you already have, if the website was build wrong from the get-go, consider redesigning.
Why website optimization is important:
While SEO has a lot of factors in how you rank, such as your competition, your niche and your keywords, often the website structure and optimization is neglected. Website structure which is making sure it is easy to crawl by Search Engines, making sure the content is easy to read and making sure the website is hosted on the correct server in the correct location with optimized files and images. While this is a fundamental part of SEO, it is the easiest of them all and it hurts to see how many businesses try hard to rank with keywords while they are missing the basics.
The hard truth is that most people will leave a website in the first 10 seconds of it. There are many different studies and opinions to the exact duration, however, this article from Time.com articulates it well and provides good supporting visuals.
Now, if your landing page is full of 4k images, and you are not a photographer showcasing a portfolio, then you are probably at least 40 MB over the average of your industry – which may seem like a small number, but keep in mind that the average landing page size is about 3.28 MB according to GTmetrix.com. Most people who must wait 5 seconds or more for the page to load, will just click ‘back’ and go to the next website. If you are lucky enough to keep those people waiting, you still only have a few seconds left to grab their attention.
Graphic design is expensive so often someone in the company will handle the graphgic design work. So, here are the top 5 graphic design mistakes to avoid.