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By John Eberhard

How often a business website should be redesigned is a vital question every business owner or marketing director needs to answer. I think as a general rule that a business website should be fully redesigned every 3-4 years.

But here are a number of more concrete signs it is time to redesign your site:

  1. When the site looks old or unattractive compared to competitors

Over time, the style of design for various websites changes dramatically. You should look at competitor websites in your industry and see what they are doing, what types of graphics, colo9r schemes, and features they have, then compare that to your site. If your site looks old in comparison, or the competitors are using newer bells and whistles, then it is definitely time to redesign.

  1. When the site loading speed is too slow

This has become critically important over the last two years, since Google made page loading speed a primary criteria in ranking sites. Some features which were very popular before this, such as video backgrounds that are 30 seconds or more long and big slideshows with 10-12 slides, have become less popular as designers and search engine optimization consultants have had to abandon features that slowed down page loading too much. Basically today page loading speed has become one of the primary considerations in site design.

Google says that the top part of your site that displays before you start scrolling, should finish loading in 2.5 seconds or less.

You may also discover that your hosting company has slow servers that slow down loading speed. Some really well known hosting companies today do a terrible job with server speed. If you’re doing a redesign, it is vital to check the loading speed and if your hosting is too slow, switch over to a faster hosting company at the same time.

  1. When the site stops working for you

There can be various functionality on your site that just stops working. Sometimes the technology used to accomplish various things on websites becomes outmoded or is no longer supported by the company that built it. When tech is no longer supported, eventually it’s going to stop working.

  1. When the navigation isn’t intuitive or functional

How navigation is structured on a site is very important, and the typical way this is done also changes over time. The navigation should be intuitive and easy to use. Also today I would say that any page of your site should be able to be reached from any other page (not including blog posts).

  1. The site doesn’t display well on mobile phones

This is incredibly important today because over half of all visitors to your site are doing so on a mobile phone. In fact, I was creating a monthly report for a client recently and over 75% of their visitors were coming from a mobile. If your site does not display correctly on a mobile – meaning the text is large enough to be readable and visitors don’t have to scroll right and left to read it – the search engines will penalize the site in their rankings.

I have found that some design features have to have two versions – one that works well on a desktop and another version that is just for mobile.

  1. The company info, photos or bios are out of date

Often the information about your company and its products and services can become out of date. So you may need to do a whole rewrite of site content or a good chunk of it, and it may be necessary to do a redesign at the same time, or minimally add new pages or photos and graphics.

  1. The site has no SEO (search engine optimization) content

If your site has never had search engine optimization done to it, then it’s likely that a good portion of the site content should be rewritten. This process involves identifying keyword phrases that you want to rank well for, then rewriting the page content to be optimized for those keyword phrases.

8. The site isn’t getting much response

Now this is tricky because there are two very different scenarios that cause this. One is that the site just isn’t getting much traffic. You don’t necessarily have to do a redesign for this. It is vital to have Google Analytics or some other web statistics program on your site so you can see how much traffic is coming. I recommend checking the number of web visits at least monthly, and even doing a graph of this. If your site isn’t getting much traffic, you have to do some campaigns to drive people to the site.

The other cause of not enough response to the website is simply that there are not enough “identity capture” devices on the site. By identity capture devices I mean things on the site where people are enticed to give you their name and contact info. This includes more information forms. These more info forms should minimally be on your contact page, and on every single product page or service page of the site.

Depending on your industry, it is often also a good idea to offer some kind of information product, such as a free ebook or “free report.” Depending on the public that you are targeting, these can be very popular and can get you lots of new identities.

If you send out a regular newsletter, you should have a form offering free signups for that.

Summary

If you see some factors relating to your website above, it is probably time to pull the trigger.

If you’d like a quote on a website redesign or would like a free consultation on any marketing matter, call us at 877-758-7797 or fill out a form here.