“Sometimes, change is what we need.”-unknown
Change is inevitable. Technology and design move quickly. It’s no surprise that companies, even when they are innovative, have a tough time keeping up. Most business owners or Marketing Directors have gone through at least one web redesign project. Many have gone through at least two or more redesign projects. Even when taking the proper precautions, this trend of designing and redesigning isn’t likely to ease. Why not? Simply put, it’s because a website has to take technology, user experience, company mission and initiatives, as well as branding and messaging to task. These and many other facets of the business are pulled together under the “website umbrella”. These factors ebb and flow- or pivot altogether; thus instigating a redesign.
What is the average shelf life of a website?
For many years, we’ve been hearing websites last between 2-5 years. That’s a pretty large span. According to Orbit Media’s Strategic Director, Andy Crestodina and his latest research, it’s 2 years 6 months. Like any average, there are companies on both sides of the spectrum. Most of the clients I find myself working with have updated about every 3 years.
When is it time for a website redesign?
When your competitors are outranking you. Have they redesigned recently? If they are soaring and you are snoring, a redesign might be just what you need to shake things up. Keep in mind that a redesign isn’t just about design, but also technology, messaging and conversion.
- When your bounce rate is high. Numbers don’t lie. If people are leaving your site in droves, they aren’t finding what they need.
- When your conversion rate is falling. Users are growing more sophisticated by the day. Unless your site experiencing constant updates and improvements, conversions may drop. Optimizing site design may reverse that slump.
- When the primary objectives of the business or content strategy has adjusted.
- When your website design isn’t keeping up with current design trends.
In other words, if you’ve said these things… it’s time for a redesign:
- “I have a website, but don’t look at it.”
- “It’s been awhile since anyone has touched our website.”
- “We don’t get as many leads to our website as we used to.”
- “I keep slipping on Google.”
- “(Referring to competition) They do a better job than we do. They must spend more time and money than we have.”
What can you do to help website longevity?
- Cross reference company mission, vision, and objectives. Are these consistent with the messaging on your site? Are there places where it might make sense to refresh the language without a redesign on your most static and trafficked pages?
- Invest in solid visuals. Images, video and solid audio transcend web design and platform choice. These investments can be used on an existing site and repurposed on a future site.
- Be nimble. Maybe a redesign isn’t in the cards for your company in the immediate future. Do your best to work with what you have. Eliminate irrelevant pages, consolidate menu items and add new writing, images or video that make a site feel updated.
We live in a digital world, that moves quickly. Businesses who plan to thrive have to keep up on the web. As your business and your visitors change, so too must your website. Your business has to keep the pulse on its customer base and remain in sync. As soon as it’s missing the mark, embrace the necessary change.