Here are 5 scenarios where a full redesign might not be appropriate with recommendations as to what should be done instead.
1. Your current website has low viewership
Depending on the nature of your industry, your website is likely to be the one of, if not the most powerful marketing tool you own. With that being said, you need more than just a single tool to build and grow a business. A beautiful website will retain viewers (see bounce rates in previous article), but those viewers must still be prompted to reach your website as it’s unlikely they’ll just think to visit the domain out of the blue.
There are numerous ways to link potential viewers to your site, from social media participation to guest blogging or even conventional print / broadcast advertising. If you aren’t making additional efforts to get people to visit your site other than having one, you’re not likely to get the attention you’re looking for no matter how beautiful your design is or could be.
2. Your search engine rankings aren’t spectacular.
A nicely designed, properly coded website will only get you so far in Google’s eyes. There are many factors that contribute to your search rankings, most of which pertain to the content of your website and how people are getting to it. If you’re not getting the results you’re wanting in Google, chances are the best first step to fixing this would be evaluating existing content and making modifications according to what search you’re wanting to show up in. This can be a challenging task, one that deserves more than this quick explanation.
To get a sense of how your current site stacks up with search engine marketing, try running it through HubSpot’s Marketing Grader. If it turns out your current site simply lacks for essential components of search engine visibility or if it’s not built in a content management system that allows you to make necessary adjustments when you’d like to, perhaps it’s time to give honest consideration to redesigning.
3. Your new hire has an itchy trigger finger
It’s easy to love the positivity and enthusiasm that comes with a new-hire. Often new employees want to make an immediate splash to establish themselves as integral parts of your company. Your office newbie might try to make a case for redesigning your website for any number of reasons from personal taste to an attempt to solidify their hold of your company’s online marketing efforts.
If your current website has done an admirable job serving as your business’s online hub, it’s important you think long and hard before interfering with the good thing you’ve got going. An ill-timed redesign can do harm to your overall brand and potentially confuse online viewers causing an expensive conundrum of wasted money and lost readership. Even worse, your new hire could move your site to a content management system only he or she understands, leaving your site entirely at this person’s mercy.
With all this taken into account a fresh prospective can help breathe new life into your website. If your new hire is able to offer specific recommendations for improvement, it might be worth discussing with your web design firm what might be done to implement said improvements and to weigh the cost/benefits of these modifications with a full redesign.
4. There’s a hot new trend in the design world
It seems like just yesterday the latest and greatest websites were seemingly popping out of your screen and into your awareness with a myriad of textures, gradients and shadows. Today, more designers are ditching the shiny buttons and drop-shadowed texts of yesteryear for more “flat” design (which might just be here to stay). If your website was designed fairly recently and is not up to snuff with current design trends, it might be best to leave it alone as the trends are liable to change again before your site commands another honest, full redesign.
This is not to say your brand should never stray into the realm of what is fresh and visually interesting. Often it’s better to capitalize on trends through smaller awareness projects like ads or social media blasts rather than redesigning one’s website every time a new trend pops up.
5. Occasional User Complaints
If your website gets a lot of traffic, congratulations, you’re doing something right! The more traffic you get, the more likely you are to have occasional users that have trouble browsing and understanding your website.
Everyone has that aunt or uncle who wandered into the Verizon store and signed up for a new iPhone despite lacking the technical know-how to operate one. They express their frustrations with the device verbally and often. “I can’t see the font!” “Where is my damn email!?” “How do I post this picture to Facebook?”.
Apple has heard these complaints and has done its best to solve them from 8 software versions since the iPhone’s debut in 2007 to modifications to the physical design of the phone. Even with arguably one of the best engineering and design teams in the world, there is still an element of user confusion and frustration.
If your website receives consistent complaints from diverse users, perhaps it’s time to consider a redesign or at least some modifications to problem areas, however, there will always be those users who will never understand how to use your website, no matter what you do to make it easier for them.
Thanks for reading! If you haven’t checked it out already, here’s our last post which discusses the reasons you should consider a website redesign.