Website Redesign or Refresh?
We tend to overcomplicate the concept of user experience. In the end, the difference between outstanding user experience and junk comes down to a few simple concepts. First, a great design will allow a visitor to easily find the information they need. The user experience is made up of three main pieces, look, feel, and functionality.
A website redesign will boost organic search, reduce bounce rates, and improve the user experience.
A redesign is more than a refresh. While a refresh is a great option, if your site is looking outdated, has old content, not optimized for SEO with current keywords, then it’s time to redesign it to better meet your brand’s needs.
Start by Answering These Questions
As a digital marketing agency, when we are hired to help with a website redesign, we ask the brand a series of questions to begin the research on what needs to change.
- Who is your target audience?
- Why do they come to your website? What are their pain points?
- What are your most valuable pages?
- What is the bounce rate?
- Which pages get the most traffic and conversions?
- Have you received complaints about experience or design-related issues?
Once we have the brands answers, our team goes to the website and looks at the visuals, the content, the search rankings. We check links to see if they are broken, page loading time, and how easy it is for a user to navigate the site.
New graphics, fonts, colors are exciting when working on a redesign. But……first you want to make sure that the website is functional. Study your analytics around site navigation and content. Both look and feel are key to having a site that feels good to your visitor.
The home page is the page that most visitors will land on first. It is the main page for messaging, branding, and navigation. In our experience, this is where we find the first set of problems. The most common mistake is that the home page is overloaded with content and tries to say everything about the brand all in one place. This can be overwhelming and cover so many areas that a visitor never clicks to another page and just leaves without learning more. Keep the content simple and concise, and make sure to include calls to action (CTA’s).
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important part of the website redesign. Making a website SEO friendly allows the search engine to crawl each page, interpret it, and then index it into their database. Once a site has been indexed, it can give visitors your page when they search for specific topics. The better your content on each page, the more likely your site will get onto the first page of search results.
Start with keyword research and find the keywords that your target audience is entering into the search engines (Google) to get information. Once you have a list of keywords, use them appropriately throughout your pages content. Keep in mind that the keywords need to make sense within the text, stuffing is not going to get you better ratings.
Remember to use title tags, header tags, alt image text, and meta descriptions on every page.
These days more and more people are looking at sites on mobile devices. When designing a site, you want to create a mobile-friendly version of the site. The mobile design needs to be cleaner and less cluttered than the desktop version. You will need to minimize page elements and scale down some of the assets.
Website page speed not only keeps visitors engaged, but also serves as a ranking signal for Google. Visitors will bounce (leave) a slow website, bringing your bounce rate up and your search engine rankings down. A few ways to improve a page’s speed is to optimize images, get rid of needless plugins, and permit browser caching.
Website Work is Never Really Done
Once the new website goes live, many brands think the work is done. However, customer’s preferences change, browser technologies improve, and SEO changes. Website work is never really done, there is always the need to check in on how the website is working and what needs to be adjusted.