Your website once stood at the pinnacle of Internet technology. It looked great, ran well, and your clients and prospects loved it.
But this was several years ago, and the once modern design now looks old and dated. The site itself has several bugs that haven’t been attended to, some pages don’t load quickly enough, and you’ve been dealing with a steady decline in traffic.
It’s definitely time for a complete overhaul. But how do you go about doing this and where do you start?
Many business owners are reluctant when it comes to updating their website because they immediately think about the costs involved and how much work it took to get it finished in the first place.
Here are a few pointers that can make the process of redesigning your website much easier.
You might already know who your target market is, but does your website still appeal to them? Over the past few years, you may have also pivoted your business and branding towards a different direction that isn’t reflected properly on your current site.
Whether you’re marketing to high net-worth individuals or the average Joe/Jane, it’s important to ensure your website can evolve along with their changing tastes. People get older and younger generations are climbing up the professional ladder, so you need to make sure your website’s design is still aligned with what people want to see from their ideal financial advisor.
To do this, put yourself in their shoes and really think about what type of brands appeal to them the most. This means using all the tools at your disposal to help you understand their lifestyles, culture, and the society in which they live in. Then you’ll have a better idea of how your website can meet their expectations.
Gathering feedback to better understand your audience is incredibly important. You can get a lot of data and additional information from simple surveys and user testing. This involves asking test users from your target market to go through your current website with a fine-tooth comb.
When you are too closely involved with a project, you will miss the tiny details that can make all the difference. Your test users, on the other hand, have no attachment to your website and can provide a fresh set of eyes. They’re more likely to find new issues and inefficiencies you weren’t aware of before.
Use their feedback to improve your website. The more feedback you get from your target market, the more you can customize the site to suit their needs.
Once you’ve come up with a redesign, you need to test it again to make sure there are no unforeseen hitches once it’s released.
The last thing you want is to alienate your existing audience, whether they’re prospects or clients. You don’t want your loyal followers to suddenly discover that features they’ve grown to love have been completely wiped out because of a redesign. If worse comes to worst, you also don’t want them to find an ‘Under Construction’ page when they visit your site. They might panic and think that you’ve gone out of business.
If your current web design is putting off potential customers, don’t keep your plans of redesigning it to yourself. Keeping loyal clients and customers informed about what you are doing is a courtesy, and will make them feel more valued.
You may even wish to go a step further and give them the low down of why you are redesigning the website. This can be an opportunity to demonstrate that you truly understand their needs and that you are willing to go the extra mile to meet their needs. This kind of detail can go a long way in keeping people interested and even make them excited about what’s coming next.
You can even turn your website overhaul into a marketing opportunity. Hold a webinar to introduce the new features of the website or have a Q&A session. Build it up to pique people’s curiosity and to ensure that come launch day, they’ll be logging on to see what all the fuss is about.
A website that looks good and runs smoothly just doesn’t cut it nowadays. If you’re branding and messaging aren’t aligned properly, you’re going to miss out on a lot of potential conversions.
Revisit your color schemes, images, and typography, and evaluate whether they’re still relevant to your branding goals. Review your content strategy and identify gaps that need to be addressed. Don’t make the fatal error of having out-of-date information about old products and services that are no longer available. In a heavily regulated area like finance, it is crucial that your product information is up-to-date and relevant at all times.
Like an old house with ancient wallpaper, refreshing the “décor” and the infrastructure of your site can give it new life and bring it into the modern age. It can make people who didn’t bother to give your website any consideration in the past, take a second look and reevaluate your brand and your offerings.
Since roughly half of the world’s Internet traffic happens on mobile devices and Google has completely switched over to mobile-first indexing, you don’t want to waste this opportunity by not carefully considering your mobile users’ needs.
Make sure to use responsive design so that your website shows up properly on mobile devices. It’s also better if you design your new site with a mobile-first philosophy. It’s much easier to adapt a mobile design to a larger desktop experience, than trying to squeeze graphic design elements and page layouts designed for desktops to fit a small mobile screen.
You also need to get rid of unnecessary plugins and large images that will significantly slow down your site on spotty mobile connections and older devices. If your current website still uses older tech like Adobe Flash, get rid of it right away. It’s no longer supported on modern browsers, and even less so on mobile devices. People won’t bother to install an app just to see your Flash content.
Another thing you want to carefully consider when catering to mobile users is local and voice search. Make sure you have content to address these search methods so that you’ll have an edge over your competition.
You don’t want to end up with an outdated website just a year after your last redesign. You can’t rest on your laurels and not maintain your new website for the next decade.
In order to properly maintain your website, you need to do the following on a regular basis:
You should make room in your budget for another redesign in the not too distant future. Most designers recommend a major website redesign or overhaul every 2 to 3 years. If you stay on top of your web design issues and make sure it’s consistently relevant to your customer base, you should always be seeing an upward trend in your conversion rates.
Any potential customer is going to want to spend more time browsing your website if every part of it is up to date. Website redesigns are a huge investment, but it’s one you can’t afford to delay, let alone forget.
If you’d like to discuss your redesign options, contact our team at AltaStreet through the contact form below.