You know that a website is critical for your business, but did you know that a poorly designed or outdated website can actually result in lost customers and missed sales?Today’s customers expect businesses to have a well-designed, modern, and responsive website. If visitors to your website find it difficult to use, they could end up at your competitors website.It can be difficult for business owners to objectively assess their own websites.So, that is why we have put together a list of questions for you to ask yourself to determine if your website is in need of a redesign:
1. Can you find your website?
Gone are the days when a local search for a local business meant that, as long as you had a website, your customers could find you.Today, even local searches can turn up businesses from distant locations and generalized searches can have hundreds of thousands if not millions of results.It can make it impossible to find your website.Use Google to search for your website and see where you are ranked, then ask yourself if you were a potential customer, would you have found your site?The reality is that most people do not make it past the first page or two of search results.Then use other search engines to run the same test.While Google is the most popular search engine available, people still use other search engines an tools like Yahoo!, Bing, Go, Ask.com, and AOL. There are a number of tactics that can improve your chances of being found in both general and location-specific searches.For example, using Google Plus in addition to your website can help increase your rank in local Google searches.You may also consider paying for advertising if you are in a highly competitive business and your search results are low.
2. Can you find your business?
Once visitors have found your website, can they use that website to find your business?If you have a brick and mortar location, they should be able to find your address, a map and/or directions, hours of operation, and a local phone number without engaging in an extensive search.If you were an out-of-town visitor searching for your location on-line, would your website give you the information you need to be an in-person customer?
3. Is your website responsive?
The “responsive” in responsive website design refers to your site’s ability to respond to the device that the visitor is using to access your site.Can your website adapt to the device (computer, tablet, smartphone, or other mobile devices) being used to look at the website in a way that maximizes the user’s experience?If not, then visitors may think you are not customer-friendly and move on to a competitor with an easier-to-use site, even if your products and pricing are superior.
4. Does your website accurately reflect your business?
As businesses grow, they frequently change, and with brick and mortar locations, these changes tend to be naturally reflected in the environment.Websites do not naturally change and may not incorporate changes in products, services, or a company’s evolving values, mission, and vision.Information on your website needs to be accurate and informative, and any changes in the business, such as changes to location, phone number, hours of operation, should be updated.
5. Does your website highlight why you are a better choice than your competition?
Are your prices consistently lower than your competitors?Do you have any type of special guarantee?Are you a green company?Do you source products from special locations or have human resource policies that are likely to appeal to your customers?The reality is that the modern web-based consumer has an abundance of choices.Can they look at your website and tell what sets you apart from your competition?
6. Does your website feel old?
What was current in website designs and trends a decade ago can feel dated and irrelevant today.Even worse using old technology can delay loading and make it difficult for visitors to find and purchase goods and services.
7. Is your website content Search Engine Optimized?
Even more of a problem than a website that feels old is one without SEO content.The terms and content that may have helped your website’s search ranking in the past may no longer align with what modern search engines consider when tabulating search rankings.Combine that with increased competition and an outdated site could mean that potential customers cannot find you.
8. Does your website help you meet
your business goals?
Different businesses have different goals for their websites.For service providers, websites may need to provide information, generate sales leads, or allow customers to schedule appointments.For retailers, it is critical that a website allow customers to complete a purchase.What are your business goals?Does your website help you meet those goals?Could the website be structured in a way that is better-suited to reaching those goals?
9. Does your website work with social media?
Your website is not going to run your social media accounts, but your web presence should incorporate social media.Does your website reflect the same content as your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social media accounts?Do you use social media to drive visitors and potential customers to your website?Do your links to and from social media take you to the right part of your website?The reality is that modern internet users are likely to use social media, rather than a web search, to find your website.
10. Can you update your own website?
Professional website development and content management can be crucial to improving your website and ensuring great quality content.However, you should be able to easily update your own content, so that you can make immediate changes to your website when the need arises.
11. Does your website track visitors in
a meaningful way?
While your visitors see the front-end of your website, you should be able to find out valuable information about who visits your website.Does your website generate leads or sales?What percentage of people who look at your website go on to become customers?What is creating your traffic?Who is visiting you?What advertising is working for you?Without knowing those answers, it is impossible for you to structure your marketing and advertising strategies.
12. Does your website work with all browsers?
At first, the answer to this might seem to be an obvious “yes,” since you can probably use all browsers to access your website.However, many of us have a default browser that we prefer.Have you looked at your website using other browsers?Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari are all popular ways to access the internet.How does your website look when accessed with each of these browsers?More importantly, is functionality impaired using any of these browsers?
13. Is your content interesting?
Some websites are naturally more content-heavy than others.The right amount of content for your site is a personal decision, but websites with more of the right type of content are likely to rank higher in searches.Is the content on your site relevant, informative, and entertaining?Does it speak to your target audience?Is the tone appropriate for your site?
14. Does your website load quickly?
Graphics and formatting can seriously impact loading speeds.Visit your competitors’ websites and compare your loading speeds. Visitors will frequently abandon a website if it appears to be loading slowly.Moreover, since loading speeds can vary based on the browser and device-type used to access the page, check loading speed on several different devices.Perhaps most important, loading speed impacts search ranking, at least on Google.
And the #1 way to tell if your website needs a redesign...
When you hand out a business card, are embarrassed of your company’s website? Do you tell the recipient the new website will be launching soon when in fact; you haven’t even begun.
Beyond reasonable doubt that your company needs a website redesign is the point at which you are so humiliated by the condition of your website that you start to rationalize to prospective clients and business partners. You may apologize for the out-of-datedness of the site. You may even lie and say your new site is under development. You may even remove your web address from your email signature line in the hopes that your website will go unnoticed. Instead of going through this experience, take the steps needed to redesign your website now before you get considerably further behind.
At Raxa Design, we've been designing websites for more than 10 years. Our websites are intended to look great and generate results. Discover how our custom website design services can improve your brand and improve your business. Explore our website design services or request a quote.