5 Signs That Your Website Needs A Redesign
Is your website the same one you put online five, over even ten years ago? If so, it might be time for you to consider a website redesign.
Many times people think they are fine with their website just the way it is,
however chances are a website that hasn’t had a major overhaul in many years may be steadily losing traffic,
and you might not even realize it.
Keep in mind, web traffic,
and browsing patterns, have changed a lot in just the past five years alone. More than 64% of adults owned smartphones in 2015, up from just 35% in 2011,
and approximately 50% of most websites’ traffic will come from a smartphone. That alone is a major deal for website owners who haven’t updated in five years or more.
the way search engines function these days is different from how they did five years ago. Google constantly updates how it is ranking web pages in their search engine,
and websites need to stay up-to-date with the latest Google algorithms to stay relevant in search.
So, what are some signs that your need to have a redesign done on your website?
Your Site Isn’t Mobile Friendly or Responsive
Today’s consumers spend more time accessing the web from a smartphone then they do from a desktop or laptop computer. It’s imperative that your website be responsive to the device that your visitors are coming to it on.
Visiting a website where the type is tiny and you have to “pinch-and-zoom,” just to read a paragraph, isn’t going to cut it anymore. The site must adapt from desktop to smartphone with ease, to offer the best viewing experience no matter where the visitor is looking at it from.
If you site isn’t responsive, it’s time to consider a website redesign.
Your Content Isn’t Being Updated
If the last time you added something to your site was even just a few months ago, it is outdated. Content is king and website owners who aren’t actively blogging, or at least adding content on a regular basis, are not keeping themselves relevant to their customers, or to the search engines.
Keeping your website updated with fresh content on a regular basis is a must these days. Going back and restructuring or updating old content is also a great way to increase traffic to your website.
If your content isn’t updated on a regular basis, it’s time to consider a website redesign.
Your Bounce Rate Is High
Bounce rates give you an idea of how long website visitors stay on your site after viewing one page. You can determine your bounce rate by checking your analytics. If you don’t have analytics installed for your site, you need to get them installed right away. They are imperative in order to keep a finger on the pulse of what is happening on your website! If you don’t know how to install analytics, give me a shout and we can get you set up.
If your bounce rate is high — let’s say 70% — that means 70% of the visitors coming to your website leave it without navigating deeper into your content. A bounce rate of over 50% should make any website owner start to wonder what’s going on. While there may be a lot of reasons for having a high bounce rate, such as bot traffic, you should also look at how your website is designed and structured.
Was it created with the user in mind and does it allow them to intuitively navigate through your site? Or, is it too difficult for them to figure out what moves to make next to learn more about your product your service?
If you bounce rate is high, it’s time to consider a website redesign.
No Opt-In Options
If you don’t have “a list,” you have nothing useful for the future of your company. Capturing emails and building a list of people interested in your products or services is essential for any business. Whether you are building the list through a subscription offer, a free e-book download, or just a contact form, you must be a building a list at all times.
Modern websites really need to have a way of capturing the names, addresses, phone numbers and/or emails of potential clients and customers. An opt-in box is an invitation to them to begin a relationship with your company. Without such a method of gathering this data, you are losing valuable leads for your company.
If you don’t have an opt-in option, it’s time to consider a website redesign.
Your Business Is Changing
All businesses go through transitions at certain times in their life-cycle. If your business is making changes, whether it is a rebranding, new name or ownership change, it is probably a good time to get the website updated to reflect the “new and improved” company.
Giving your website a new look will highlight your restructuring in a positive light, and encourage both customers and employees.
If your business is transitioning, it’s time to consider a website redesign.
Website Sliders Are Out and Hero Images Are In
Sliders, also called carousels or rotating banners, are those rotating text and images seen at the top of a website’s homepage have been all the rage for several years now. Almost every client who has wanted a website built in the past several years feels like they absolutely must have these on their homepage. And, every website designer and developer I know now cringes when they are asked for them.
The Great Slider Debate
There is even a slider debate among website professionals, with most feeling they are a waste of space, and that they give the impression that those using them can’t commit to a good single message to explain their website.
There have also been studies done to determine if they are effective or not. And, I have actually been hard pressed to find a study that says sliders are a good idea for a website and offer it substantial benefits.
According to Chris Goward, of Wider Funnel:
“We have tested rotating offers many times and have found it to be a poor way of presenting home page content.”
We can look as some statistics regarding the use of website sliders and come up with the following:
- They dilute your message since there are multiple message on your homepage.
- The give your visitors too many choice options, which makes it harder for the to take action on your site.
- They don’t work well on mobile devices.
- The moving objects make it harder for visitors to focus.
- They push your content down and Google has mentioned that is not a smart thing to do.
- They make your website load slower, which can impact your SEO in a negative way and hurt your conversion rate.
- Only 1% of people viewing a page that contains them will actually click on a slide, and of those 1% it is almost always the first slide that is clicked on.
- And, they tend to trigger “banner blindness,” so most people simply ignore them. Some people skip looking at them altogether because they look like advertisements.
behavioral scientist Thijs de Valk said in a post he wrote that sliders have proven to be terrible for SEO and are not user-friendly. He goes so far as to say:
“Simply having a slider on your website will get you less sales! If that’s not a deal-breaker, I seriously don’t know what is… It kills your rankings and your conversions!”
And, Google actually agrees with this. In their page layout algorithm improvement, as well as at other times before, they have said that pushing your actual content of the page further down basically ruins your search ranking and that’s what sliders at the top of a page do.
What’s The Alternative? Consider a Hero Image
While some may think sliders look pretty and have cool effects, homepage carousels are basically an ineffective use of space and more website owners are now finding that out and deciding to use a hero image on their homepage instead.
A hero image is a large banner image or graphic, placed prominently on the home page. It often has your company’s brand, name or logo superimposed on it, and it is the first visual a website visitor encounters on the site. It’s purpose is to present an overview of the website’s most important content, convey a brand, or evoke an emotion or feeling from your visitor.
Usually a hero image will be a hi-res photograph directly related to the company’s brand or the content of the website, but some designers have also worked with vector backgrounds, illustrations and even video. Hero images strongly focus on a visual, and many times feature simple typography and minimal color choices.
“Hero banners” are becoming a growing trend as well, replacing traditional navigational menus on home pages. They feature large “in your face” images, where branding, navigation and other tools are placed along the top, bottom of sides of the image, while still keeping the focus on the image itself.
Some examples of hero images and hero banners are:
While some pages may feature an image only, most pages with hero images also contain additional content and text below the image.
So, the next time you think you want a slider on your page, stop and think about if it is really necessary first? To add something to your page just because you can, doesn’t make it a good reason.