Eventually, your website is going to need a face lift. Many businesses wait too long with this move for reasons of time, money or simply because they’re not sure whether change is necessary. The idea of revamping your site will invite some new riddles into your life, and it will prove to be a well worth adventure.
We’ve built a list of several tips and tools to make it easier for you to sense it’s time for a change.
What are your analytics telling you?
Website Analytics is a powerful tool and the amount of information it enables you to learn about your site is indispensable. Start by looking for input about the structure of your website. Is the navigation clear? Which pages are most often visited? Are they the pages you planned would be the focal point of your site? What’s the bounce rate (the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which a visitor leaves your site from the landing page)? Another important aspect to check is whether your traffic is converting. If you get nice traffic but very few visitors complete the action you asked them to do, it’s time to re-check your call-to-action.
The more clicks people need to make to find the info they seek, the less likely they are to stay on the site. Analytics can help you understand what’s killing your sales and how to fix it.
Splash Pages are out
Website design trends change by the year and we can note a clear shift in design that goes towards the minimal. For us today, less is more. The fashion leans towards the clear and simple to understand websites with logical and intuitive navigation. In 2007 we looked at informative websites and called them “content-rich”, today we say they look “text-heavy”. Other elements you should rethink: auto-play music, splash pages, pop ups, patterned backgrounds (no one’s fault, they just got old).
Your business changed, so should your website
Businesses develop, professionals grow. You’re not where you were 5 years ago in terms of expertise and your site should reflect that. Give your branding material a redo, if it needs it. It may be a good time to revisit your business strategy and make sure that your website resonates with your business goals. And hey, even if your business has not changed too significantly over the past few years in terms of offering, the industry has changed and so has the economy. It may be time to double check and make sure your site’s branding and copy is up to date with the latest trends in your industry.
MySpace is so 2006
Does your website announce an upcoming event for 2009? Employee of the month 2007?
This kind of information is a turn off for a visitor. Think about it, do you want to do business with a company that has last year’s calendar on the office wall? Staying up to date is important since it adds to your site’s credibility and shows your clients you’re in business. Also, it’s a good idea to get in line with latest social network trends and add that Twitter/Facebook link if you have them. In any case, Myspace is not the way to go…
Browser and mobile compatibility
If you’re still looking at your site only through one browser, it’s time to extend your familiarity with browsers. Browsers market share statistics for January 2012 are: IE – 20.1%, Firefox 37.1% and Chrome 35.3% (according to www.w3schools.com). Your site may look a little different in each browser so make sure to test it in the browsers most used by your visitors each time you update your site. Also, if you haven’t yet, it’s time you created a mobile-friendly website. Don’t miss out on good valuable traffic!