These days, websites are no longer an optional asset to a company’s marketing budget. While “free lancers” and “do it yourself” website builders are bombarding the web, business owners are having a tough time seeing the value in an expensive website. While a $500 or less website may seem like a great deal, not investing in your website could be a big mistake.
Website design is not a simple process. A great web design takes time and money to be successful. More often than not, these low budget websites will not get the job done. They just don’t seem to meet business owners expectations. You really do get what you pay for when it comes to design and development on the web. If your website isn’t getting you the results you need, it is time to re-examine your website investment. Let’s take a look at the following information for things to examine your existing website to determine if it’s time for a redesign.
Dive deep into your Google Analytics account and examine the bounce rate for any pages that your sending traffic to from your social media, PPC campaigns, blog, and email. If the homepage bounce rate is high that could mean that your layout or navigation is not appealing. Users are becoming frustrated with your site’s usability instantly and backing out. If your landing pages have a high bounce rate, for example a specific product or service page, it most likely means your content isn’t engaging or not what they were expecting.
To determine if your layout for any page is effective, we can implement a heat mapping tool, or usability audit, that will show us where every user clicks and how far down they scroll on a page. If visitors aren’t scrolling down the page to your main content, or call to actions you will need reconstruct the layout of the page to make these items easier to find. Users are impatient, don’t make them scroll to the bottom of the page to get to the good stuff. Sprinkle the goods throughout the entire page to keep them intrigued.
The best, and quickest way to find out what a typical user will think when they land on your website is to have a visitor narrate their experience and voice their opinions out loud as they navigate the website. Sometimes you are too used to your website, so these fresh users might voice concerns or point things out that a regular user may have just gotten used to. Websites should be tailored to the lowest common denominator of users, not just people in your company or industry.
Why hire someone to do this when you can use your friends and family for free? Their initial feedback and opinions can be some of the most value input you receive. If they do their job, this should help you discover areas of confusion and any weaknesses in the design or navigation. Ask them tough questions and tell them not to be afraid to hurt your feelings. Swallow your ego and listen to their feedback.
One person’s feedback is great, but to find trends you should aim for at least 10 to 15 people to give you this instant feedback. If enough people are having trouble with the website in the same areas, it is definitely time for a revamp. These trends will help you fix the site to get better results.
If you actually completed the previous steps to finding your websites issues, you should have a pretty good idea of the improvements that need to be done. The most common issues are poor navigation, lack of engaging content, poor content structures, or just a plain bad design. So now that we know where your website has its weaknesses or points of frustration, let’s work on fixing it. Below are three steps to fixing your website.
Content is tough, but it is your key to success online. If your website’s content isn’t engaging enough, you will need to rework it to make it more inciting for your audience. In some cases, you may consider pulling in a professional copywriter to get the job done. Content isn’t easy to write and it takes time, sometimes you just can’t do it on your own. Your website’s content does the selling of your product or service on the web, if it sucks, visitors won’t turn into buyers.
Based on the heat mapping results, you may need to relocate your Call-to-Actions (CTAs) to a higher up place on the page if users aren’t scrolling down far enough. In some cases, you may need to move these down the page to areas where your content has already sold why a visitor should click the CTA. No matter where on the page these are, make sure that they are clearly visible. If a user can’t see it, they won’t click it.
Depending on technical skills, your website may be past the point of no return, and you’ll need to pull in a professional. Most of the clients that we end up doing a complete website redesign for either haven’t touched their website in years or had previously gone for a super cheap option first and ended up not happy with it. In most cases, those cheap options end up costing you more money in the long run. Not only are the designs just plain bad, but the structure and functionality needs to be trashed and rebuilt from scratch.
Earlier we talked about examining your user data. This is not a one time deal, you need to continue to examine and reexamine these statistics to keep up to date with visitors’ behaviors. If you notice any drastic changes, it may be time to reanalyze your content, layout, and design again.
Your website is your business’s number one marketing asset and will continue to grow in importance. It should be setup to get you results. If it’s not getting you the conversions you want, let’s talk!