Out with the old – is it time for a website redesign?

When was the last time your website had a redesign? If it’s been some time since your website last had a fresh coat of paint, it may be time to consider going for an all-out redesign. But how do we know when it’s time for a website redesign? Let’s find out…

Reasons for redesigning your website

Mobile, tablet and desktop displaying a responsive web design

Your website is your virtual storefront and it can have a significant impact on people’s impression of your brand. Making sure you have a website that is not only practical, but also helps enhance the user experience, is vital.

Better user experience

The main reason for redesigning your website is to improve the user experience. User experience is massive today. User experience plays a crucial role in determining how likely a customer is to convert, and it also has an impact on search engine rankings.

Sites that are difficult to navigate, load slowly and have a complex site structure can all impact user experience. A website experiencing these problems is likely to see 88% of visitors never returning.

Not mobile responsive

As more and more people browse the web on their mobile devices, having a website that’s not fully mobile optimised is going to lose you a lot of potential customers. Around 48% of customers believe that a company without a mobile-optimised site doesn’t care about them.

Older websites were not designed with mobile devices in mind, meaning these sites will appear the same on all devices. In this situation, text will be too be small to read and buttons are too small to click.

You’ll be losing yourself valuable leads as users go elsewhere to find solutions to their problems.

Features don’t work properly

A website may incorporate lots of different features to try and create a functional website and a positive user experience. But as these features get replaced or support dropped by browsers, they may stop working.

Even if you have a great design, that won’t be enough to stop customers from leaving your site when things stop working. It could be the smallest of features not working correctly that could be costing you big in terms of both money and customers.

Whether it’s embedded videos that don’t load or faulty shopping carts, features not working properly can affect customers throughout all stages of the buyer’s journey.

Website does not reflect latest business strategy

A business will change its strategy over time to adapt to changes within the market. Yet many businesses don’t update their websites to incorporate changes within their strategy.

Whether it’s a change in marketing goals or a new line of products, regularly updating a website to include these changes is essential in order to keep your customers and potential customers in tune with the latest developments.

Not optimised for search engines

Google is updating its search algorithms all the time to deliver relevant and meaningful search results that address searchers’ queries. As more changes to SEO algorithms take place, the less optimised your website could be for search engines.

Not keeping your website optimised for search engines can hit your visibility hard meaning you’ll receive much less traffic on your site. There can many reasons why your site is no longer optimised for search engines, from on-page optimisation to crawl errors preventing indexing of your site.

Whilst this isn’t strictly a ‘website redesign’ issue, older websites are less likely to be well optimised for the search engines. Aging frameworks and software are also more likely to convoluted, buggy and generally slower.

When to know it’s time for a redesign

Two people looking at design choices for a website

Now you know the reasons, here are the red flags to look out for that tell you it’s time to consider a website redesign.

Non-responsive website

We mentioned non-responsive websites already as a reason for redesigning your site, but it’s also a sign too. If your site is not responsive (meaning your site doesn’t adapt to different screen sizes) you are potentially losing around 54% of traffic.

Also, when Google now favours crawling your mobile site first, it seems a no brainer to get a brand-new spanking web design. Considering bounce rates are highest on mobile devices, making sure your site is responsive can help reduce that by making the content much easier to read.

High bounce rate

On the subject of bounce rate, if you are experiencing a high bounce rate, it could be another sign that a redesign is required. Bounce rate is determined by the percentage of users who visit a page on your site and then leave without visiting any other pages. Generally speaking the higher the bounce rate, the worse for your SEO.

A bounce rate below 20% and above 90% is a serious sign that something’s wrong with your website. If you have a bounce rate above 90%, it is time to consider a redesign quick as something is scaring people away from your site. Below 20% and there could be a problem with your analytics set up.

Bounce rates can be affected by poor design, slow loading times, or incompatibility with browsers causing site rendering issues. Getting that redesign ASAP can help to make your site much more appealing and engaging.

Slow loading speeds

Slow loading speeds are the pain of web users. The longer it takes to load your site, the more frustrated people become. If you’ve ever had the experience of clicking off a website that takes too long to load, you’ll know the pain only too well.

On average, a website should load within 2-3 seconds. Anything longer and you could be giving 40% of users a good reason to leave your site.

A website’s speed and performance can be affected by many different things, including bulky site code, images that aren’t optimised, too many plugins or outdated plugins and overcrowded designs.

Find out more about factors that could be affecting your site’s performance

Low traffic

Another sign to be on the lookout for is low traffic. Low traffic is usually a result of an SEO problem, meaning your site is struggling for visibility within the search engine rankings.

Whether your site is not optimised correctly for keywords, on-page optimisation errors, or your site is full of broken links, these can also cause SEO problems. If no one’s coming to your site, it’s time to consider a fresh redesign to fix these problems. Unfortunately, the saying “if you build it, they will come” just doesn’t work for websites.

Conducting an SEO audit alongside a redesign can help you identify problematic areas and get you on the road to create a killer SEO strategy.

Low conversion rate

Another tell-tale sign that you could need a website redesign is a low conversion rate. Conversions are the pinnacle of your marketing strategy, and if you aren’t getting many, there could be something wrong with your web design.

There may be lots of traffic to your site but if nobody converts, that’s a serious problem. If you experience a low conversion rate, you could be a victim of unclear call-to-actions, unappealing content, poor first impressions, or you haven’t created your marketing strategy around your buyer personas.

Going for an all-out redesign of your website could help to make it much more engaging. The more engaging your website, the more you should start to see those conversion rates increase.

Drawbacks of having an old website

A vintage computer with Game Over displayed on the screen

So, we’ve covered why you should consider a website redesign and we’ve given you the signs to look out for. But if you’re still not convinced, now is the time to find out why you shouldn’t be sticking with an old website.

1.      Your site becomes more exposed to hackers

Keeping your site regularly updated and maintained helps keep it more secure. Removing old features with security vulnerabilities and keeping themes, plugins and core files updated are ways you can help minimise exposure to hackers.

But if you have an outdated website without outdated security features, you become a prime target. Not only does it make it much easier for them to get access to your site, but you also risk putting your customer’s data at risk too.

Some features, such as Flash and Silverlight, are outdated and are no longer supported by many browsers since HTML 5 superseded these. Continuing to use these features makes your site much more vulnerable to security threats.

A fresh website redesign will eliminate outdated features on your site and use the latest, most secure features, to help keep your site and your customers safe.

2.      Customers feel unappreciated

Customers search for businesses that can provide them with a solution to a problem. Given that your website is one of the most important online marketing tools you have, it’s important to make sure your customers feel appreciated.

An old and outdated website will not be doing your brand image any favours! Using designs that were so last decade, will have a massive impact on traffic retention, user experience and conversions. You only need to look at the Gates N Fences websites to see why:

Gates N Fences homepage

It looks even worse on a mobile device:

Gates N Fences homepage viewed on mobile

Having dated website design is the same as having a shop front that looks uncared for and untidy. Customers will be reluctant to go anywhere except away from your site, feeling that your products and services are likely to be just as bad.

3.      Google will forget you

If you have a website that has not been updated for years, the chances are your site won’t be showing up in the search results. To provide searchers with quality results that help to address their queries, old and outdated websites are falling by the wayside.

In 2021 alone, Google Search received 3 core updates and 2 product review updates. Not only that, but older websites will be slowly falling in search results due to previous updates too:

  • Hummingbird in 2013 was the first Google algorithm update to anticipate mobile device search needs by enabling conversational search.
  • Mobilegeddon in 2015 shifted the priority of websites that were optimised for mobile by giving ranking priority to responsive web designs.
  • Mobile-first in 2016 continued to favour mobile responsive websites by giving greater ranking signals to sites that provided a mobile-friendly user experience

If your website was designed before these significant Google algorithm updates, chances are you’ll be falling further down the rankings. The further you slip in rankings; the less likely searchers will find you.

If your website hasn’t seen a redesign in quite some time, now is the time to change that. With so much at stake, you could end up losing much more than the cost of a redesign.

Hiring a professional web design agency will make sure the web design you receive is both professional, up-to-date, and search engine optimised. If you feel it’s time for a website redesign, get in touch today with our friendly team at Dreamscape to find out how we can help grow your business and deliver results.

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