Discover why website redesigns are important and how you can make yours count when it comes to targeting customers
Do you know the answer to this question: How long has your current website been live? If you have to think about this and the answer is you are not sure – then that tells us it has already been too long!
Did you know that for a website to remain current and have the best chance of performing well, it should be updated every two to three years? And by that, we mean don’t just add some new text and images to a few pages to freshen it up – we’re talking about a complete overhaul – also known as a redesign.
In this article, we’ll be discussing just that, as well as guiding you through the process. As experts in website design, we share our top 10 considerations when redesigning your website, and we’ll also talk you through how the whole process works from the people who make it their job – it’s time to take notes!
What is a website redesign?
First things first then, let’s explain what a website redesign is. As we alluded to in the opening paragraph of the article, a website redesign refers to the process of significantly changing the appearance, content, structure, and functionality of an existing website. This means your current website will receive a complete overhaul of every single page – no stone is left unturned.
The purpose of a website redesign is to not only make visual changes but to improve the overall user experience too so the whole site is as effective as possible, no matter what the messaging may be. Ultimately, depending on the services you offer, you’ll want to turn browsers into buyers so you need to factor that into your redesign – the buying journey is so important when it comes to increasing conversion rates and ticking the e-commerce box.
A website redesign provides a great opportunity to dig deeper beyond surface-level cosmetic changes – these of course need to hit the mark – but should come after a review of the technology, architecture, and features that should provide the foundations of your website.
Why is a website redesign important?
There are many reasons why a website redesign is important and should form part of any long-term business and/or marketing strategy. After all, first impressions online really do count! Here we outline why you should consider your next website redesign:
IMPROVES USER EXPERIENCE
An outdated or poorly designed website can frustrate users by making it hard for them to find the information they need or complete desired actions around the site. A redesign provides the opportunity to enhance navigation, improve the layout, strengthen visual content, and share clear messaging to create an altogether smoother user journey.
INCREASES CONVERSION RATES
Improving website user experience will align with the intentions of users and as such, correlate with your goals to attract more customers. A redesign can iron out any bumps in the road that users currently experience on your existing site, therefore removing those obstacles in a bid to create seamless conversions. It’s all about optimisation and presenting clear calls to action on every page.
ENHANCES BRAND IMAGE
When you think of a website as a digital embodiment of your brand, then things suddenly get serious – and so they should. Why have an all-singing and dancing shop or showroom, but a budget online presence that may put potential customers off of ever stepping through your doors? A redesign allows you to refine and communicate your business’s brand identity in a way that feels current and relevant in today’s market. It also helps you respond accordingly to changes within your industry – always aim to go one better than your competitors!
SUPPORTS NEW BUSINESS OBJECTIVES
It will probably come as no surprise that your business needs will likely change over time – yet another reason to invest in your website. A redesign enables you to position the site towards new goals that shift with your needs, no matter what those may be. It’s not all just about increasing sales either, consider other important company objectives, such as presentation of stock, distribution logistics, and e-commerce desires to name a few.
IMPROVES SEARCH VISIBILITY
How visible is your existing website online? Do you appear for the search queries that relate to your brand? And if so, whereabouts does your business appear? A redesign is all about standing out from the crowd, which is where the design and content come in. Visual presentation, structural set-up, and on-page changes can boost SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) presence to increase organic search traffic when executed properly.
ADDS NEW FUNCTIONALITY
As we know, technology improves and develops at a rapid rate – and that can be hard to keep up with. A redesign provides you with the chance to take advantage of technological advances not only in your industry – but in the world of website design – to leverage new website capabilities. Consider customisable elements, speed of the site, responsiveness, and interactivity.
FUTURE-PROOFS YOUR WEBSITE
No website is ageless and all technology evolves and markets move on, your existing site will be left trailing in the dark – and then no one will see you. As we mentioned earlier, a website is more than skin deep, so this is where the structural integrity of a redesign comes into play; this process can help stave off the inevitable need for a complete rebuild by extending the life of the underlying site architecture.
Essential factors for redesigning a website
A website redesign doesn’t just happen, it takes careful thought and a creative approach. To help steer you in the right direction, here are our top 10 considerations when redesigning a website:
- PURPOSE – What is the main goal or purpose of your website? Is it an e-commerce site to sell products or a content site to share information? Defining this will help inform other major redesign decisions before you proceed.
- AUDIENCE – Do you know who your target audience is? Understanding your audience will help you create a website that suits their needs – which is the single most important purpose of the redesign.
- FUNCTIONALITY – Review the key functions and features your website needs to have to serve its purpose and target audience. If you’re sticking to a strict redesign budget, then prioritise the must-have essentials.
- NAVIGATION – Structure the website’s architecture intuitively with easy navigation that aligns with user expectations. Always strive for simplicity when it comes to communicating key information with your audience.
- VISUAL DESIGN – Use appealing visuals that align with your brand identity. Consider complementary colour schemes, use of fonts, text layout, and image placement throughout the website.
- CONTENT – Ensure all the text content is well-written, relevant, and optimised for SEO to maximise the user experience. Always refresh outdated or poorly performing content as part of the redesign.
- MOBILE FRIENDLY – With increasing mobile usage, ensure your website is responsive across all devices and make sure this is the case during the testing phase before launch.
- PAGE SPEED – Fast page loads are essential and should not be overlooked when it comes to your website redesign. Review ways to optimise and reduce file sizes and server response times – speak to your developer if you’re not sure how.
- ANALYTICS – Use web analytics tools to identify poorly performing areas to improve across the website. Set goals and track the performance so redesign improvements are measurable.
- TESTING – Before relaunching the website, test your redesign with real users (such as employees, colleagues, close friends, and family) early in the process and often enough to get helpful feedback and insight before releasing the final version.
How often should you redesign your website?
There’s no definitive timeline for how often to redesign a website, as it depends on several factors. When reviewing your current website, ask yourself these key five questions:
1) Does the website meet your business needs and match its goals? 2) Does your website drive traffic and appear engaging? 3) Does your website perform well and is responsive? 4) Does your website contain old or outdated content? 5) Does your website meet or exceed those of your competitors?
While minor changes can be made more often, major website redesigns require a sizable investment, so should be factored into your marketing budget every two to three years. In the meantime, several smaller updates can be performed on your website to bridge the gap while you plan a redesign – these include:
- Annual photography sessions to update images
- Six monthly audits to refresh text copy and associated assets
- Quarterly reviews of analytics to address any underperforming pages
- Ongoing A/B testing for incremental user experience (UX) improvements
- Regular technology maintenance and security updates
Award-winning automotive website design for all types of dealerships
Is your dealership ready to accelerate sales into the fast lane? As an award-winning website design agency exclusively serving the automotive industry, here at 67 Degrees, we create high-performance websites engineered specifically for car dealerships.
With sleek designs optimised for conversions, we build fully responsive sites complemented by compelling visuals and intuitive navigation so customers can easily find the vehicles they want. Let us put your dealership in pole position thanks to our e-commerce solutions that can be integrated into your online platform for a seamless sales process – we’ll put you ahead of the competition!
Get in touch to find out more.