In 2013, redesigning your website isn’t just about swapping out one visual design for another. It might mean switching technology platforms, reimagining the strategy behind the architecture, or rebranding. But how do you know when it’s time? If you’ve got Google Analytics, or a similar reporting program on your website, here are 4 signs (and what they mean) to look for that indicate it’s time for a redesign.
1. Your conversions rate is low
Think about conversions as the thing your website is supposed to do—that might mean getting a user to request a demonstration, buy something, or sign up for an account. A conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who become conversions.
If these are on the decline it means your website isn’t doing its job. To understand why it’s not doing its job any more, there are several other factors to consider:
- Is there something technically wrong with your website? Think load times, broken links, and anything along those lines that might discourage a visitor from converting.
- Are you getting enough traffic? Obvious, I know, but if you’re not getting visitors to your website, you’re not going to get a high volume of conversions. More on this below.
- Are you getting the right traffic? If the people coming to your website don’t want your services, then it’s no surprise they aren’t converting! Consider retargeting your advertising or SEO efforts to match your ideal customer.
- How’s your pitch? If you’re getting people to your website, but they aren’t converting, it might be time to look at your message. Are you clearly stating what’s in it for the visitors who go to your site?
2. Your mobile conversions stink
Take a look to see how many of your mobile visitors are converting. If their conversion percentage is low, is it because your website’s mobile experience is terrible? Probably.
If you’re still on the fence on whether or not it’s time to invest in a mobile strategy, take a look at the number of users visit your site from a mobile or tablet device in a month. At this point, it’s rare to find a website without a significant number of mobile visitors which means “going mobile” is no longer just an option—it’s got to be a mandatory part of your digital presence.
We recommend building websites that are responsive. An easy way to check for that on your desktop computer is to drag the window size of your browser down. If the website scales with the size of the window, then the site is responsive. The great thing about this feature is that you don’t have to waste your time updating several different versions of your website (I once had a client that had their tablet site, iPhone site, Andriod site, etc. It was a nightmare to make any updates.) and you don’t have to live in fear of the next screen size release. Instead, you update one website once and then you’ve got something that looks great across all platforms regardless of the size of the screen. To see it in action, check out two of our favorites from our portfolio, Georgia Gov and Drupalcamp Atlanta.
3. Your bounce rate is very high
Bounce rates are the percentage of users who land on your website and then leave (or “bounce”) without clicking into any other pages. A high bounce rate means lots of visitors are leaving your site before doing what you want them to do—which could be another reason why your conversion rate is low.
If your bounce rate is high, it probably means any one or more of the following:
- Visitors aren’t finding what they’re looking for and then leaving: This usually happens in the first 7 seconds of landing on a page. Look at the keywords that people are using to get to your site and see if your landing pages are addressing those queries.
- You haven’t given users a “next step”: Put yourself in your potential customers’ shoes. What questions or concerns do they need you to speak to before they convert? Make sure your website is guiding users to find those answers (this is often called a conversion path) and then give them a way to contact you.
- Your technology is failing: If someone can’t get pages to load in a speedy manner or if your links are broken, they’re not going to wait. Period.
- Your message isn’t compelling: If users aren’t connecting to your company (they don’t get what you do, it’s not in their language, or it’s not a unique message compared to your competitors), then they’re not going to stick around.
4. You’re not getting any traffic
If you’re visitor numbers are low, then there’s a good chance you need to work on your search engine optimization. A key element to SEO nirvana is consistently publishing new, interesting content to your website. Each page you add to your website is an opportunity for a search engine ranking, which is going to bring more traffic to your website, which will give you more opportunities for conversions. Long story short: adding pages to your site is important to your bottom line.
Let’s talk about why you’re not updating your website. If you’re on a static site or you’ve got a junky content management system, then I can’t blame you for not wanting to update your site. But, I will blame you if you don’t do anything about it. Now is an excellent time to upgrade to Drupal. All of our Drupal websites are easy to update and search engine friendly. That includes making sure your URL’s are keyword rich and you’ve got modules installed that let you customize page titles, meta descriptions, and headlines for every page on your website.
If you’d like to get specific and talk about your website or your brand, feel free to email me or if you’re ready to roll now, request a proposal from Mediacurrent. We’d be delighted to talk about your specific issues with your website and how we can help you address them quickly.