When is it time to redesign?
At Rare Earth we have about a half-dozen core maxims that guide our business practices. Among them is:
- "Even the best-designed websites will outgrow their usefulness if they aren't regularly updated, and an obsolete design implies that the site owner isn't paying attention to its market. This damages the organization or the brand."
This has nothing to do with the quality of the original work or who does it. Rather, it has much more to do with the fact that the way people interact with you and your organization, also changes over time.
This doesn't just apply to websites. I was watching the lead-up to this year's Super Bowl on CBS Sunday morning, when they compared commercials from years past to the current breed of $2M spots, and showed how the 1979 Coke ad featuring Mean Joe Green (iconic at the time) is lampooned today.
The same comparison can be drawn between websites from 2005 and web sites from 2010, even though the period in question is only 1/6th as long. Such is the warp-speed nature of web site marketing and your audience's expectations.
You work hard, and your website
should show it.
The people whose business you're trying to earn through your website (and other marketing efforts) work hard, evolve and grow. By the same token, those same people want to see that you're also working hard, evolving and growing right along with them.
A site whose design doesn't change gives viewers an impression that your organization probably doesn't deserve; it gives the impression that you're standing still. In the present economic climate, such an impression can be very detrimental to your success...and your survival.
These are among the reasons that we recommend every website be redesigned, every 12-to-18 months.
If your current website design has been in place for more than two years, it's a good idea to take an objective look at your site and then compare it to the websites of your competition. If your site was once leading the field, chances are that your competitors borrowed some of your ideas, made changes to their own site and are now siphoning off some of the business that used to come your way.
Consider: a website redesign is a dividend-yielding investment.
So here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Has your website's traffic has diminished over time?
- Have your bounce rates increased?
- Have your conversions have declined?
- Has the money your website generates dwindled?
If the answers to more than two of these questions is "yes," then the hard truth is that your website has crossed the line from working for you, to working against you.
Now, we're not too proud to blow our own horn when it comes to our redesigns. We pride ourselves on the "e-turnaround" that we routinely accomplish for clients who compare their post-redesign metrics with those of the preceding year. In fact, nearly all of the websites that we have redesigned over the past 18 months have realized an average 20% to 30% increase, in one or more of the following metrics: traffic, conversion rates, bounce rates, average time on the site, and pages viewed. Some customers have doubled or even tripled their results in these areas.
To good to be true, you say? That's fine, we expect you to be skeptical.
That's why we'll be happy to show you the proof. Just ask us!
Better yet, we invite you to ask Alethea's Chocolates, Kolken Law, DSE Healthcare, WNY Labor Today, The Family Foundation School, or Serotte Law what their website traffic is like. Ask them if they're earning more revenue through their website. They'll tell you that what they've gotten back in terms of new business has more than paid for the redesign.
That's what we call: "return on investment," and what our customers call "success."
The Take Aways:
If you take nothing else away from this article, understand this:
- If you're tired of looking at your website, so is your audience. And, if they're tired of looking at your website (or if your website looks tired), they're not going to give you their business, no matter how good you are at what you do.
Think about it: if you interviewed a job candidate who came to the meeting dressed in poorly-fitting or visibly old, worn clothing, would you extend a job offer?
Moreover, would you hesitate to replace an underperforming employee, or an employee that is making you look bad for even one second?
Of course not, and you should regard your website the very same way. If it's underperforming or making you look bad, introduce some new blood and a fresh face to your online presence.
Your business will thank you (and so will your bottom line).