The design of your website is just as important as its functionality, so it’s important to keep constantly tweaking and evolving.
However, there’s no hard and fast rule to determine whether your site needs a reboot. It varies from industry to industry, and from purpose to purpose.
Ciaran Ryan, commercial manager at design agency Wave Digital, says many of the company’s clients refresh their website every two years – but it depends on the nature of the business and the kind of information presented on the site.
“If you are the business owner, unfortunately you are probably in the worst position to judge when the site should be refreshed. Like watching a close family member you see often grow up, you won’t notice the general signs of ageing if you are looking at your site every day.”
Fortunately, there are some starting points to determine whether your look needs a refresh.
Firstly, checking out what your competitors are doing is a great way to get a feel for whether your website is helping your business achieve its goals. Analysing the top companies in your field will give you the first indication that something might be falling behind.
“Competitor analysis is always a good starting point as it provides a good baseline for judging how your site compares. How obvious was their call to action on the site, what’s your overall impression of them that you get from their site, how easy is it to navigate compared to yours?” asks Ryan.
If you are an SME aspiring to growing to the size and scope of the large multinationals that operate in your industry, it’s not a bad idea to visit their sites and compare them with yours.
Regardless of the elements you hold important – the things you are looking at when you click on your site, and when you research the sites of other businesses’ – there are some general situations when undergoing a redesign is essential:
Your business has rebranded
Are you giving your business a facelift? Do you have a new logo, signature colours or mission statement? Then it’s important to ensure your site is up to date with all the latest branding and messaging associated with your business.
People aren’t staying on your site
Examine your website bounce rate. If it’s too high, you should consider whether people are able to find what they need on your website quickly enough. It might be worth putting essential information on the landing page so people can easily access it instead of clicking somewhere else.
Your site isn’t mobile-friendly
This one is a no-brainer. If your website doesn’t load quickly on tablets and smartphones, and isn’t responsive, then it’s time to give it a complete overhaul. Make sure your website is optimised for mobile.
Your conversions are too low
If your sales rate is dropping, examine your user interface (UI) – it could very well be the culprit. Put in the simplest terms, if your website looks and feels messy, with information presented in no real order, people aren’t going to want to shop there.