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10 reasons to consider a website redesign

Would you prefer to do business with someone whose website was dowdy and outdated, or with a company whose site is professional, easy-to-use and up-to-date?! Read on, though we already know the answer!

1. Your current site looks outdated.
Websites are like any other type of marketing, or like your physical storefront itself. After a while they start to look dated, and out of touch with the rapidly moving online marketplace. Like a lick offresh paint, revamping your website can instil new life into your business and show your visitors that you're as fresh and dynamic as ever. Remember, first impressions count!

2. Your business has changed direction.
Businesses evolve over time, and if it's been more than a couple of years since your site was designed, then chances are it may no longer reflect your business accurately. This might be due to changes in your products or services since the site was launched, or completely different streams within the business which aren't mentioned at all on the site.

3. You need to keep up with the competition.
In business no-one stands still for very long, for fear of getting left behind. Almost all businesses now rely on the Internet to some degree, from providing product and service information, to accepting online orders. Visit your competitors' sites and see how your online presence compares. If your website isn't as good as or better than theirs, then you've work to do - it needs to be!

4. Your site content has grown unwieldy. Lots of websites were initially designed with a small amount of content in mind, and the menu and navigation reflects this. However, over time new products and services have been added to your portfolio, recent projects added to your gallery, and after a while your site can descend into unstructured chaos. The solution is usually to redesign the site from scratch to suit the evolving content, making it much easier for your visitors to quickly find what they're looking for.

5. Your site is too hard to navigate.
One of the most common complaints from website users is that sites are hard to navigate, due to confusing or inappropriate navigation menus, or lack of suitable search facilities. Usually the site owner is too close to the everyday operations to spot these problems. Encourage feedback from your users, or employ web analytics to identify potential problems within your web pages, such as abandoned orders, unfinished product tours, or unvisited pages. Finding and resolving the underlying problems will inevitably result in happier visitors and more sales.

6. You need to introduce a content management system.
If your site content needs updated regularly, e.g. with product details or prices, latest news, upcoming events, or details of your latest projects, then a content management system (CMS) is the answer. A CMS allows business owners and individuals to keep website content up to date quickly and easily, with no technical knowledge required. Your site will still look as unique as ever, but it will be a dream to maintain.

7. Your site has lots of broken or out of date links.
New content is often added to existing websites in a disorganised, ad-hoc manner, and old content is moved about or removed altogether. This can result in broken links or links pointing to out-ofdate information. Not only does this confuse and annoy visitors, but search engines, which use these links to index your site, get lost and move on without listing your site. The answer is often to re-organise the site's content, fixing all links in the process.

8. Your site doesn't appear on the search engines.
People usually invest in websites to publicise their products and services, but often their sites are nowhere to be found on the search engines. There are lots of reasons why sites fail to rank highly (or at all!), but frequently basic design flaws are at fault. If search engines find your site hard to navigate they will most likely ignore it. Many of the elements of effective search marketing, such as effective use of titles, keywords and headings, are best addressed as part of a site revamp.

9. Your customers have told you to redesign it.
As a business owner you will appreciate the value of customer feedback. If someone told you that your shop smelt bad, you'd certainly get it sorted promptly. Similarly, listen carefully to what your online visitors say about their experiences within your website. In fact, ask them what they like and dislike about it. A simple feedback exercise can yield surprising results, and if you quickly and effectively address any issues then you'll win more custom, instead of losing it by ignoring them.

10. Your company brand has changed.
Company branding changes over time, whether it's a tweak to your logo, your colour scheme, or your tag line. Just as you get letterheads updated and your signs reworked to reflect any brand changes, it's important that your website is in tune with the rest of your business. Take a fresh look at your website and ensure that it all looks as inspiring as it should. If not, consider a fresh design to bring it back in line with your core business.

Web analytics play a crucial role in identifying potential problems within your website, by analysing the activity and behaviour of your visitors across all the pages within the site. Webmax Solutions can help you introduce web analytics into your business processes, and assist with interpreting the data so that you can address any usability problems or design issues.

A website redesign probably doesn't cost as much as you think. In this current tough economic climate, business owners have to work hard to convince people to spend their hard-earned cash with them. Investing wisely on revamping your online presence will reassure potential customers that you are a successful, dynamic business and that your customers' buying experience is important to you.

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