Redesigning your Website: The Importance of Updating
In one of my previous blogs, I went over the importance of deciding whether to design your own website versus hiring a freelancer or agency to design a website for you, going into the pros and cons of each option. Today, I’d like to explore the factors you should consider when deciding whether to redesign your website.
I understand how frightening this idea can be, especially for small business owners. You’ve put so much time and money into building the website you already have, you’ve worked so hard on developing a consistent image for your brand, the last thing you’d want to do is change everything your customers have gotten used to, right?
Well, let’s stop and think about that.
Just because you’ve gotten used to something doesn’t mean it works as well as it could. Think of how many times a small issue has occurred, like a creaky step or a flickering lightbulb, that you simply got used to instead of fixing. Sure, it’s bothersome, but you feel it’s easier to put up with than to resolve, right? Well, just because you’re okay with it doesn’t mean your customers are.
A good entrepreneur knows that even a small inconvenience can be enough to ruin a sale, not to mention scare off what could’ve been a repeat customer. By settling for adequacy instead of striving for efficiency, you’re jeopardizing your own career. If you want your business venture to succeed, you have to be willing to put in the work, including updating what you’re familiar with.
Remember, even if it isn’t broken, you can probably still fix it.
Mind you, that’s not to say you should start over from scratch every other quarter. If you’ve put a great deal of effort into establishing your brand, then you need to enhance the image customers have of you, not replace it. Just as you should change the blinking lightbulb and fix the creaking step, you should also streamline your site’s navigation if it’s too cumbersome or update older low quality images of your products with newer high quality pictures. If your website takes too long to load, or if you don’t have a mobile friendly design for those viewing on their phones, then making the necessary changes will improve the users’ experience on your site. By removing or resolving as many inconveniences as you can, you will not only impress your current customers, but more than likely attract new ones as well.
Right then, now that you’re on board with the idea, let’s go over how to make it a reality.
First and foremost, you’ll want to start by analyzing your website from top to bottom. Go over all available data so that you can identify what works and what doesn’t, taking into account both your own analytics as well as any comments or reviews you can find. By identifying what your website’s strengths and weakness are, you’ll have the information you need to move forward.
Next up, establish a set of goals you want your new website to achieve. Once you’ve studied all that information you gathered, you’ll be able to see which areas are lacking, letting you plot out the kind of performance you want to see. Setting targets like this will aide immensely when it comes to the redesign process, steering you towards your objections rather than just pushing forward aimlessly.
Lastly, you’ll have to develop a sound strategy to make this all work. By studying the data planning a set of objectives, you’ll be able to make informed decisions on the nature of improvements that will be necessary. In turn, this will enable you to develop a timetable of how long it will take to resolve them, as well as calculate the amount of funds such an endeavor will cost.
Of course, an important factor to consider in all this is whether you can/should handle the redesign, or if you should hire a freelancer or an established agency. Depending on your budget and skill level, doing it yourself could be a wise decision, but if your website requires extensive updates that are beyond your own capabilities, then turning to a professional would be wiser.
Recognizing the best solutions is as important as recognizing the issues themselves, as is recognizing the results. After your redesign is in place, study the data and see if your goals are being met. By keeping up with the analytics, you’ll be able to identify other issues later on, making you more prepared for the next time you need to redesign. Change is the very nature of the internet, consumers crave the endless stream of new content, yet at the same time always turn to what they’re familiar with.
It takes a great deal of work to keep your site enticing, and balancing those updates without sacrificing what made it attractive in the first place is no easy feat, but follow my advice and your business will prosper.