“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I’m not sure who offered that advice but clearly, they weren’t talking about your website.
Spoiler alert: At the rate consumer habits and technology evolve, relying on the same website you designed many moons ago isn’t going to get you the results you need. That shouldn’t come as much of a shock as your website is now your new shop window, especially with the impact COVID-19 has had.
Improving your website shouldn’t be something you do every five or ten years either. Adopt the mindset that your website is never finished so you can keep optimising and reworking your UX and UI to bring in visitors and convert them to customers. Here are the benefits of regularly improving your website.
1. Improve your image and authority
If your website copy explains how your products or services are innovative and modern yet the design looks like you’re still operating in 1997, don’t be surprised to see visitors sprint to your competitors. Your website reflects your business and your solutions. If your website looks anything like the image below – poor design, confusing structure, out of date – readers will make the same assumptions about your business.
Improve your website to highlight what you can do for the reader while making the layout consistent and harmonious.
2. Stand out from the crowd
Every business needs a competitive advantage. With so many options available, it’s easy for visitors to load a handful of websites instantly, compare the services or products and make a decision. Improve your website so you can highlight your value proposition to leave a bigger impact than your competitors.
3. Website ranking ???? Mobile-friendliness
Last year, 68.1% of all website visits came from smartphones with the rest coming from desktops and tablets. A lot goes into Google’s ever-changing algorithm and it plays a huge role in how your website ranks as Google looks at the mobile speed score of your website and your mobile page as a ranking factor.
Mobile-friendly and responsive websites are common practice now. In some cases, it might make more sense to design your website with mobile in mind first. If you haven’t updated your website in a while, there’s a good chance you’re driving mobile users and potential customers away.
4. Get more visitors via sharing…
Spending extra time optimising your website for conversions will increase the number of visitors to your website (along with other factors mentioned). If they love your website, it’s easy to use and also navigate, then they’re more likely to share with others who are looking for your services.
5. …and more returning visitors
If visitors have an excellent experience on your website but they aren’t ready to buy just yet, chances are they’ll visit your website again. Once they’re in purchase-mode, they’ll remember how much they loved browsing through your website and won’t go elsewhere to purchase.
6. Reduce bounce rate
Improve your website to make your navigation design better so it has a positive impact on the user experience. For example, revisit your website and determine whether your navigation disrupts or irritates the customer’s journey or if reaching checkout is a real chore.
If your website doesn’t offer a great UX, then there’s a greater chance visitors will leave – something Google considers as a bounce. If your website has a high bounce rate, it can have a negative impact on your rankings and future traffic.
7. Spot what’s slowing your website down
Nobody has the patience to wait minutes for a website to load. In fact, 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less and 40% abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load.
If that wasn’t enough to explain how important load time is, a one-second delay can result in a 7% reduction in conversions and if an eCommerce site makes £100,000 per day, a one-second page delay can potentially cost £2.5 million in lost sales each year.
8. Improve the user experience
This isn’t about how it looks, but more about the visitors’ experience when on your website. How easy is your website to use? How fast is it? How easy is it to find information? How little friction is there whenever someone tries to complete the desired action? If you’re scoring low on all of these factors, improve your website with the UX in mind so visitors leave satisfied.
9. Readdress how you communicate with visitors
Yes, website design, layout and UX are all key but so is the content on your website. Visitors aren’t on your website just to look at how well-designed it is – they need useful information. When improving your website, you have a chance to refocus on how you communicate with visitors. Was your content wordy five years ago? Tweak it to make it simple and more effective.
Go in with a content-first mindset, rather than trying to force a certain word count into a design. Your website content needs to leave an instant impact as it’ll determine how effective your website is. Keep it fresh and relevant as you only have less than three seconds to leave an impression.
10. Avoid falling in the search rankings
Don’t neglect SEO when it comes to refreshing your website. Improving the design is one thing, but if you don’t update your website’s copy, it’s sure to fall in the SERP. Search engines like Google regard websites with the most recent content as the most relevant to visitors.
Sure, your copy might be perfect, but in this case, we’re trying to impress search engine crawlers, not Shakespeare. Improving your website’s content ensures it’s relevant and gives you a chance to rethink your keyword strategy.
11. Measuring and improving
Do you know how effective your website actually is? If your website is old, it probably doesn’t have the tools used to track or measure how effective your website is among visitors. So, the first port of call should be to add user research and testing tools like Hotjar, Google Analytics and Lucky Orange.
Having these tools means you can constantly improve your website. With heat mapping, user recording and conversion tracking (to name a few), you’ll know exactly what your visitors are doing on your website. You can then use these insights and opportunities to adapt your website based on these results to add extra value.
12. Make your website more persuasive
If it’s been a while since you last updated your website, it’s likely your calls-to-action (CTAs) are outdated as well. Although they can be simple buttons and links, they’re the most crucial part of your website. They’re what you want visitors to click and eventually get in touch with you or buy directly from you.
When improving your website, go through every page to see if your CTAs have persuasive and engaging copy, whether they’re on-brand, if they highlight the USPs, if they’re easy to find and follow and if you’d be enticed to click. Make them interesting, actionable and unmissable to drive conversions.
13. Meet basic web standards
Web standards change frequently which means techniques to build websites become more advanced to comply with these standards. If your website was designed many moons ago, there’s a good chance it features a lot of unnecessary HTML code. The impact? Long load times and negative impact in search results.
If you need to switch up the technique and coding, adopting CSS means your pages will adapt to smartphone devices – another big ranking factor.
All of these improvements will lead to more conversions and ultimately more customers – that’s the end goal. However, if you’re using traditional web design methods, improving your website is only a short-term fix that will lead to a long-term headache. Why? Because your eggs are in one basket and you’re relying on getting your website perfect in one attempt.
It’s a huge gamble. Then after months or years, it’s time for another revamp and the headaches return. Upfront costs, going over budget, tight deadlines, the bottom line – these are all things that can be impacted with your number one marketing asset. But there’s an alternative: Growth-Driven Design (GDD).
Continuously improve your website with Growth-Driven Design
GDD is a more methodical approach. Although traditional web design is quicker on paper, there’s a quicker time to value with GDD. That’s because with the GDD approach, you need fewer, high impact pages to go live so your website (in reduced size) is up and running quicker. Then, using actual data, you continuously improve your website – so it’s always fresh and never finished.
That’s just a super simple, top-level explanation of what GDD is. If you’re tired of the broken traditional web design process and want a smarter way to drive optimal results – while reducing the risk and frustration that comes with designing and improving a brand-new website, contact us today!