August 24, 2022
13 min read
Website Redesign? It's easy if you do it smart
Your business website is the face of your business where potential buyers get to know about the service or product you provide, form their opinion, and make their buying decisions. Additionally, according to the UNCTAD report, recent global developments - think the global healthcare crisis - have redefined the ways users experience and consume digital solutions and e-commerce, particularly online shopping for goods and services.
In this scenario, postponing that website redesign to meet evolving consumer needs and expectations is no longer an option if you’re looking to generate more leads and boost your conversion rates. However, modernizing the “look and feel” will not automatically result in more meaningful traffic, i.e., more visitors that convert and take action on your website, such as making a purchase or subscribing. You need to adopt a strategic approach to increase conversions. In this article, we will take you through the know-how of a website redesign for CRO (conversion rate optimization), covering the following aspects:
- Reasons to redesign your current website (and why not to).
- 8-Step Guide to Building a Website Redesign Strategy
- Website Redesign: 5 Challenges to Overcome With Your New Site
Top reasons to redesign your current website (and why not to)
Why redesign your website
Let’s define what website redesign actually implies. It is the holistic process of revamping an existing website, including the visual elements, the user experience, the contents, and the developmental structure, with the general aim of facilitating the user journey and bringing more conversions, higher quality leads, and increased revenue.
There may be a handful of reasons why you desperately want to redesign your website. Yet, ‘want’ doesn’t always translate into “need.” Jumping to accommodate all the latest design trends into a performing website is tempting, but doing so just because "everyone else is doing it" can potentially break your business' digital strategy instead of making it.
The idea that you need to redesign your website every 3 years is a standard that verges on the edge of being a baseless myth. You need to redesign your website whenever it has “gone bad.” Below, we offer clear signs that signal whether you need a radical website redesign to witness more conversions or if a clever website refresh is the better solution for you.
High-traffic, low-conversion rate ratio
You’re satisfied with the monthly traffic volume to your website, but a considerable fraction of the visitors are not converting. This can be due to three problems, which can be solved with a well-thought-out website redesign:
- misrepresentation of your business - the visitors are tricked into thinking your website will provide something it doesn’t,
- underrepresentation of your business - business is what the visitors need, yet they’re held off from converting due to how your website positions and portrays the service or product,
- discrepancies between customer expectations and your service or product - at first glance, your business is what the visitors are looking for; however, they disapprove of a certain characteristic or value.
All three items above correlate with poor UX (user experience), so it only makes sense to discuss them separately.
Poor user experience
UX and conversions are inextricably linked. It means your redesign efforts should always adopt a user-centered approach revolving around improving your website for your customers with your customers in mind.
Remember that a bad experience on your website will cause most of the visitors to simply leave your service without voicing their concerns to you. But, they will probably talk about their bad experience to a dozen other people, costing you more loss in sales. Look at the UX red flags in the below checklist. A user-centric website redesign is pressing if any of the below criteria are applicable.
- Bounce rate: Track the bounce rate, find the bottlenecks, and consider user feedback to build a website redesign strategy wisely. If your service or product is of critical necessity and there is no alternative, you are lucky because, regardless of UX flaws, slow website, or bad performance, it will still have visitors who have chosen to stay and provide feedback. Still, if you are in a highly competitive market, it’s possible that you won’t be able to move forward from these criteria.
- Complaining users: “I can’t find what I’m looking for!” “The site glitched during X process, and Y went wrong.” If the frequency of such feedback is not bothering you, it’s probably bothering the support team. Customer complaints are a blessing in disguise as they provide solid, very generous proof of the disconnect between your customers’ expectations and how your business is positioned and portrayed on your website. The odds are in your favor when your customers raise their concerns rather than immediately jumping to your competitors’ websites.
- Complicated navigation: You know that your product or service is a good market fit: you have “the feeling,” and you’ve done the research. But somehow, the high interest in your business doesn’t evolve into conversions so much. It’s such a relief that you provide value to your customers, but it’s such a shame they have to work so hard to find that value on your website. The truth is, they won’t. The most your visitors will do to find what they’re looking for is a bounce from one page to the other, trying to fulfill their intent and, eventually, leave not finding what they were looking for. Redesign your website navigation with the following principle in mind: the visitor should be able to fulfill their intent from any place on any website page.
- Hard to contact: Whatever purpose your business serves, customers will always have questions about it. Sometimes the availability of a quick answer determines whether the visitor converts or not. A straightforward contact option is crucial in this regard. Live chats can be a hit or miss, chatbots are gaining popularity, contact forms remain a classic, while FAQs and similar resources are a minimum requirement. Whichever option of touchpoint your website provides to the visitors depends on their preferences and your technical resources.
We strongly advocate that your website redesign strategy primarily focuses on improving user experiences. Still, first impressions are predominantly visual. Ultimately, relevant content is crucial when presented in a nice layout and has more chances of being noticed and used. A rule of thumb is if any visual elements look outdated, a light website refresh is sufficient. However, if bad visuals hinder the user from having a pleasant experience on the website, the cosmetic redesign should be part of a broader redesign strategy.
Badly managed website technicalities are killing your conversion volume. When witnessing technical issues on your website, the users will automatically have concerns about the security of the payment service, or any submission function, which will make them reconsider your competitors.
If your website checks at least two of the criteria in the below checklist, plan a tech-heavy redesign as soon as possible.
- Not responsive: A vast number of websites online still do not follow a responsive design - wherein the website retains its good look on different screen sizes, and all visual elements blend in within the device. A responsive website is visually more appealing and easier to navigate, resulting in high user satisfaction and better engagement.
- Not mobile-first: Mobile-first is different from mobile-friendly and mobile-optimized. The latter two are related to website responsiveness (but not the same), while the former, as the name suggests, is the initial device around which the design strategy is developed. Your website should be mobile-first, or at least mobile-friendly, to bring in more traffic and conversions due to three crucial factors: consistent growth in “desktopless” mobile-only users; mobile-first indexing; mobile devices amounting to around 50 % of web traffic.
- Slow load speed: Enter your website (with a clear cache folder) and count the seconds the website and the multimedia files take to load. Is it more than 2 seconds on desktop, more than 3 seconds on mobile? That’s bad for your conversion rate as more than 50% of the visits are abandoned because of low load speed, and you probably have a surprisingly high bounce rate or a frequent shopping cart abandonment rate too!
- Difficult to update content: Do you need to be ‘into’ IT or have a friendly IT guy to be able to update your website content, including multimedia files and copy? You badly need a more user-friendly, developer-free, perhaps custom-tailored CMS (content management system). However, choosing the right CMS can be tricky; in addition to being a necessity for your SEO (search engine optimization) strategy, up-to-date content is crucial to leading your visitors by providing value and engaging them.
- Hard to integrate external tools: Be it a CMS you need, an advanced analytics tool, or any other service, your website inevitably requires external integrations to meet the customers’ demand for ease and simplicity, saving your money on in-house development. If your website doesn’t feature a facilitation infrastructure to support seamless third-party integrations, you should consider a technical website redesign.
You keep ‘spying’ on competitor websites, wondering why their SERP strategy is working better. Let’s immediately hit the nail on the head. If you have overall lower than expected traffic to your website for the niche you work in, which results in low conversions, a website redesign on its own will not do the trick. In such cases, you need to work on your overall digital marketing strategy: spread your budget in a way that can amount to website redesign services powered by organic SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing), and SMO (social media optimization) services.
Pro tip: always focus on meaningful traffic that evolves into conversions. If you’re battling low traffic rates for the market-worthy service or products you provide, get a free consultation from our full-service digital team.
Rebranding your business
Rebranding is changing a business’s overall marketing strategy for various reasons: to better position your business in the market, to accommodate the evolving market needs, to expand, attract a new type of target audience, and change your public image. Whatever the goal behind your rebranding endeavors, it all revolves around generating more quality leads.
Bear in mind that if you have decided to rebrand your business, you need to be consistent across all channels where you have an established presence, primarily on your website, but not limited to it. Ultimately, hiring a professional digital team is not a luxury but a necessity to avoid the costly mistakes of a dysfunctional rebranding strategy.
8-Step Guide to Building a Website Redesign Strategy
How to redesign your website?
If you’ve gone this far into this article, chances are high you have set your mind on performing a website redesign with the end goal of increasing conversions. Redesigning a website is always a demanding project, irrespective of your business size, so it’s highly recommended that you have a fully documented strategy grounded in thorough research before committing. Below we offer you an actionable guideline with 8 steps on how to research, plan, and perform a CRO-focused website redesign.
1. Run analytics
Set up analytics tools, if you have magically gone away with not doing so already, and conduct an audit. Focus primarily on three aspects: the user behavior on your website overall and on each page individually; the performance of the website overall and on each page individually; and the correlation between the two.
Consider such measurable metrics as dwell time, time on page, bounce rate, exit rate, conversion rate, and near conversion (shopping cart) abandonment rate. Data-driven decisions on how to improve your website guarantee positive results.
2. Carry out a content audit
Assess the IA (information architecture) on your website. How relevant are the content structure and placement and the content itself to the users? How effective are the CTAs (call-to-action) in terms of placement and prompting action? First, focus on user-generated data such as UX reports and heat maps. Then think of SEO, and identify gaps such as irrelevant keywords and missing meta tags. Here is an updated SEO checklist for 2022.
3. Perform technical audit
Inspect if the website follows the latest web development standards and best practices. Is the functionality top-notch and free of bugs? Does the website lag or glitch? Are you following the industry standards for security and privacy? Is the website responsive, mobile-optimized, and cross-browser compatible? Look out for answers to these questions and make sure to fix all issues during the website redesign.
4. Define areas of improvement and KPIs
Contextualize the generated data from the previous research, clearly define what website assets need to be improved, and set KPIs (key performance indicators) to measure the website redesign’s impact on the conversion rate.
5. Deploy a user-centered approach
Rethink the website navigation and CTAs on your website to reflect a more intuitive user journey. Focus on usability and KISS (keep it simple, stupid) to ensure the website provides the shortest and simplest path to conversion.
6. Prepare a blueprint
At this stage, you should have a full picture of the improvement areas and a clear strategy in place. Get all the involved teams together - design, development, content, SEO, and management to work on mockups, wireframes, and content prototyping.
7. Design and Develop
When all the blueprints are ready, it’s time to finally work on the actual website; design and develop the front-end and back-end. Experimentation is the only way to find the best solution, so remember to keep everything flexible for further adjustments.
8. Test and Release
Before the final deployment, rigorously test the website to pinpoint technical errors and usability drawbacks. After fixing the issues, it’s time to present your brainchild to the world. However, it’s not time to relax yet. Keep an eye on the new website’s performance, occasionally check the analytics data, and run tests to ensure the KPIs are met, and everything is working as per plan. Keep an open mind and work towards continuous improvement based on the data from real-life customers’ interactions with the website.
Website Redesign: 5 Challenges to Overcome With Your New Site
Website redesign challenges
Sticking to a strategic research-backed actionable plan and achieving the goal of a redesigned website that helps increase conversions is not that difficult. However, no web project is ever risk-free. Below, we identify the most common challenges of the website redesign process. Addressing these challenges promptly can help you mitigate such associated risks as going over budget, harming the SEO of the website, and losing loyal customers while gaining new ones.
Harming the good pages
Unlike one-page websites with a single conversion rate for the entire web page, multi-page websites that fulfill different user intents on each page (purchasing, downloading, subscribing, etc.) can have pages with high conversion rates alongside pages with low conversion rates. Depending on the current traffic volume to conversion rate ratio, some pages may be riskier to redesign and require extra thought, while other pages provide immense room for improvement.
-High traffic pages accompanied by relatively high conversions are the “good pages.” They must be treated with extra caution in terms of redesign, as testing and experimenting can decrease conversions before you find the right solution.
-High-traffic pages that result in low conversions may be why you needed a website redesign in the first place. Such pages are less risky as your website redesign strategy is likely planned ‘around’ them, and it’s hardly possible to significantly harm those pages during testing.
Alienation of previous customers
When you significantly repurpose your business by trying to fill a different niche, you risk losing the previous loyal customers. If complete rebranding is your end goal, this is a risk taken on purpose. In any other case, when trying to reposition your business, you should adopt the on-site messaging in a way that increases customer loyalty, customer retention rates, and customer lifetime value.
Exceeding the allocated budget and time resources is possible when you don’t have a well-researched and clearly defined plan for the website redesign process. Trying to DIY some of the phases - usually, the research and analytics phase - instead of trusting expertise and hiring external talents, will likely lead to more errors and end up over budget.
Making the redesign just about Design
It may sound misleading, but the redesign is not just about design. We have talked about it before, and we still want to make sure you keep focused on design and performance. Make sure the website performance is as flawless as the design, because, after all, those cool buttons will mean nothing if they lag.
Requirements for mixed expertise
It’s impossible to stress it enough times: a website redesign should be viewed as a holistic process that includes heavy technical and creative work. For a successful website redesign project, you will need a dedicated team of at least one of the following specialists: marketers, designers, developers, quality engineers, research and analytics specialists, SEO content creators, and management.
Trusting expertise and outsourcing the website redesign process to a full-service digital marketing agency is your best bet if you don’t have resources for in-house teams. The global talent pool is open with infinite opportunities to find a partner and trust your website redesign to true professionals.
Want to outsource your website redesign?Get a free quotation
Should I outsource a website redesign?
Yes. If you’re asking this question, you probably don’t have an available in-house team. Hiring an external digital service provider will save you time and money and ensure the overall success of the website redesign project.
How long does it take to redesign a website?
The time required for a website redesign project depends on the experience of the people working on the project and the load of work. With our full-service digital team, a website redesign typically follows a timeline of 4-6 months. Contact us to get an exact estimate.
How much does a website redesign cost?
The website redesign cost will vary depending on whether you’re doing it yourself, hiring a freelancer, or using a full redesign service.
If you have creative content and product development team, the cost is calculated based on the salary of the employees involved.
If you have decided to hire a freelancer, they may charge you anywhere from $300 to $30,000 or more.
If you’re hiring an external digital agency to cover multiple aspects of a website redesign, the cost depends on what aspects and how much work you need, as well as the size of your business.