Many people think (and suggest online) that your website needs a redesign every 3 or 5 or X number of years. The question to ask should not be “how often.” To base such a big decision on a timeline is as misguided as basing it on the personal opinions of every new executive that churns through the door, which is surprisingly the case too often. But for small and medium businesses that can’t afford to change websites like an outfit, there is a much more practical and effective way to determine whether you should redesign your website. Ultimately there is only one question it boils down to:

  1. Will Redesigning My Website Be Worth the Investment?

If you put the money into redesigning an existing website, you should know what you expect to get in return. And this should be specific. Goals like a “more modern website” or an “attractive website” are too vague. You should be able to identify specific factors that are impacting your ability to meet your business goals that a redesign will address.

For example, if your sales are disproportionate to the amount of traffic visiting your website, a redesign could address obstacles on your website that inhibit website visitors from becoming customers. Be aware, however, that your website may not necessarily be the problem. Business owners should base their decisions on data-backed conclusions. It could be that you’re driving the wrong traffic to your site via other marketing means.

Without doing an audit or actively monitoring the performance of all your digital marketing efforts, you’re just guessing what the root cause of your problem is and a web redesign may not be the right solution. Hiring a marketing consultant to assess your website’s performance before making a decision is a cost effective way to ascertain whether the investment makes sense for your business and if it does, the information acquired will help guide the direction of the redesign to make sure the reasons for doing the redesign are resolved.

Related: What the Right Marketing Audit Can Reveal to a Small Business

Even if obstacles on your website are identified, you may not need a full redesign to resolve them. You may get more for less by taking more focused steps such as:

  • Replacing outdated or amateur photos and images
  • Optimizing select key pages for conversion
  • Simplifying copy and adding headings
  • Adding a prominent call to action to your pages (tell web visitors what you want them to do)

On the other hand, there are many reasons for redesigning a website that if improved will actually help grow your business. Answering these additional questions can help you identify common reasons for a website design and decide if it’s worth the investment.

  1. Is Your Current Website on a Modern Platform like WordPress, Shopify or Squarespace?

If not, you may be facing technical issues that make maintaining and making changes to your website more difficult and costly than it needs to be. If your technology is outdated, you likely have other usability issues as well. Updating to a modern content management system (CMS) will provide many solutions out of the box. However, whether you should opt for a hosted or self-hosted CMS and what specific features matter most will depend on your individual business.

  1. Is Your Website Difficult to Navigate?

If you feel that your website structure is at all confusing, cumbersome or unnecessarily complicated, you can guarantee that for a first-time website visitor it’s even worse. You know your business and are familiar with the information on your website. Your website visitors do not/are not. The organization of content is fundamental to a website’s design. It is the foundation of a website so if it needs fixing, you need to rethink the entire design.

  1. Does Facebook (or other social platform) Have More Information about Your Business than Your Website?

If you use Facebook as your primary tool to communicate with your customers and prospective customers, you’re probably not reaching nearly as much of the market as you could and your website is clearly failing to provide you with the functionality that you require and your website visitors with the information they desire. Your website is the home base of your online presence. Fixing the shortfalls preventing you from maintaining it as such and moving content from 3rd party sites to your own could be addressed in a redesign.

  1. Do You Have a Long List of Obstacles on Your Website Requiring Updates and Optimizations?

If you have identified numerous issues with the performance of your website, it may be more effective to go back to the drawing board to design the best website for improved performance as opposed to taking individual steps to repair each issue. Sometimes it can be easier to do a redesign than to approach multiple issues in an isolated manner.

Are you contemplating or preparing for a website redesign? Don’t let it fall flat. I can help you make sure your redesign is a success and save your from committing to more than you need.

Contact me to schedule a free consultation