Be honest: how many of these 10 poor design traits does your redesign have?
If you are a website owner, chances are that you are either trying to promote your business or figure out how to keep cash flowing so that you can maintain or grow your bottom line. Since you’re often focused on your business and not the specifics of your website, you should know that web design plays one of the most important roles in the success or failure of a site (and even a business).
Don’t think that if you have once chosen a design, you have to stick with it forever. You’re also off the mark if you think you’re “good to go” because your website was just updated 4 or 5 years ago.
Websites are not like Hondas. They need to be replaced!
You can always redesign your website. Move things around, install a new theme (affiliate), do whatever you think will make your site more attractive for visitors, increase your online appeal, increase your conversions and make you more money. But how do you know if it’s time to update your site? Below is my “top 10” list of signs you should re-design your website.
#10 – Your Website Screams “1994”
This is maybe the most valuable advice I could give to you. The purpose of website design is to bring the visitor closer, not to push them away. So, make a list of what things annoy the average user. Like what? How about glitter or scrolling / blinking text, for example.
The 1990’s called. They want their Internet back.
If your site looks like it was designed in that decade, it’s definitely time to replace it. Out-dated websites basically scream ‘amateur’ and you want people to perceive you as the professional that you are.
#9 Your Website is Way Too “Busy”
Simplicity is the new web 3.0. I know your instinct may challenge you to see how many widgets you can cram on one page or put up that 11th hero slide, but don’t do it.
I visit your site to get information, not to be assaulted with blinking ads about weight loss and teeth whitening products that are totally unrelated with the subject that I am actually looking for. Also, if you have videos and music that start playing on their own, change that. I’ll press the play button myself if I am interested in it.
#8 Your Navigation Stinks
The information needs to be accessed as fast as possible. Generally speaking, I’d get rid of the “Enter” page if you have one. It has little practical use. You are just making your visitors knock at two different doors before they enter.
Each page within your site structure should be accessed with the minimum amounts of clicks possible. Place a “Home” button on every page of the site and keep your global navigation consistent and…global.
#7 Your Topography Needs Help
Wait, what’s topography, anyway? Isn’t that a geography thing?
Topography in websites are the stylistic and usability / readability elements of your site that help or hinder users from understanding your message.
Generally speaking, sites that are easier to read are better for users and better for your bottom line. I’m not just talking about the size of your font, though. Modern websites have a lot more emphasis on usability and readability or topography.
You can increase the space between the lines and you could set a fixed width of the text. Pretty much everyone has 1024 x 768 pixel screens or larger so you should adapt your site to that width. A 700 pixel width of the text is good. Don’t be afraid of white space. Let your text breathe a little. Use a font typeface that is easy to read on all devices and don’t forget about mobile!
#6 You Have No Idea What Your Conversion Rate Is
Even worse, you haven’t even defined what a “conversion” is on your site. You may not need a website redesign if you haven’t defined goals or don’t have a clear picture of what strategic function(s) your site provides, but I bet if you go down the path of defining goals you’ll want to improve the look and feel as well.
#5 You Still Use a Hero Slider
This may just be mostly a matter of opinion but the multi-slide hero banner is dead. If your site still uses this function it’s probably time to reconsider your digital strategies and website design.
#4 Your Site Has ZERO Social Integration
Do you have any widgets that are pulling in your latest tweets? How about an Instagram feed? If your site isn’t integrated with your social presence, you’re missing out. It’s time to take a broader look at your digital footprint and help to integrate your “pieces and parts” into a solid digital hub.
#3 Your Site Doesn’t Use Basic Meta Tags
Meta tags are data that tells search engines what information is on a page. They’re critically important to SEO. If your site isn’t even using the most basic of tags, it’s time for a do-over. SEO isn’t always about what your competitors are doing or link-building. Most websites have plenty of room for improvement on their own pages of content.
#2 Your Website Doesn’t Use Structured Data
Building on #3, structure data such as Schema.org tags is a step up from the basic meta data all sites should have. Adding Schema.org tags to your locations, products, services and other content can really help you stand out in search engines. Don’t under-estimate the power of the data you can’t even see on the published content page!
#1 Your Website Isn’t Mobile
…or, your mobile website is separate from your desktop website. If you’re not mobile by now, you’re quickly losing ground on your competition. Having a responsive mobile presence is no longer something that should be a wish list item. Mobile experiences are a must-have. Don’t wait until 2016 to start turning your attention toward mobile. If you do, it may be too late.
What do you think?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this article. Please leave a comment below or feel free to contact me with your thoughts.