Radical overhauls to your site can be risky. You can loose a large portion of your return visitors if you completely shock them. Especially when your redesign doesn’t take into consideration the things that were working on your previous site. Changing where things are on certain pages, paths to critical information, etc, can throw regular visitors for a loop. But, you can make a case for radical website redesign if the following issues are a problem.
Radical Website Redesign is the Right Solution, when…
…your website does not qualify for Google’s Mobile-Friendly label.
The Google mobile-friendly label was launched November 2014. If your site was built prior to that, and doesn’t quality for the label, it is time to start over and invest in a responsive website. Without that label, Google will lower your rankings in mobile search. And, since there is a growing majority of users searching on mobile devices, this can mean the loss of a lot of leads and sales.
…your site no longer gives your visitors a consistent brand experience.
Aesthetics alone are never a good reason to do a major redesign. However, if the the costs of remedying your site’s look and feel is more expensive than starting over, it is a good decision.
This issue is typical in DIY or low cost sites that are built with cookie-cutter templates. These templates do not take the nuances and uniqueness of brands into consideration. You water down your brand when your site looks just like your competitors. The point of visual design is to stand out, while also performing in ways that bring in the most sales and leads.
…your website platform is no longer supported.
This happens a lot. Especially, with custom-built CMS’s (content managed systems).
This is also an issue with sites that continue to use the out-dated, unsupported version of the platform. You may be able to wobble along on crutches for a while in that old version, but sooner or later, you will need to add functionality or features, and your platform will not be able to handle it.
With eCommerce platforms needing to maintain PCI Compliance, only the latest versions should be used. Security and usability should always be the #1 goal of eCommerce sites.
Insist on these features in your next platform:
- Streaming (FREE) software updates
- Ease of plugin/module installation and updating
- English-speaking support
- Active, easy-to-access forum
- Responsive Themes
- Intuitive Social Integration
- Ability to control your own content
- Ability to fully control all aspects of SEO
…your site architecture looks like spaghetti on a highchair tray.
Messy, non-SEO, site architecture is a nightmare. Most of all for your SEO, but also for your webmaster.
This happens to a lot of businesses. Your site might have started out with a few pages, and the next thing you know, you have built a site with 30,000 words. Congratulations!
However, if you didn’t use good site architecture strategies from the beginning, your website files can end up all over the place on your host server. SEO and user navigation can be drastically affected. Depending on how much this is affecting your users and your relationship with Google, it might be time for an overhaul. Sometimes, before you can move forward, you have to move backwards.
…your site disobeys so many SEO rules, Google wants a divorce.
If your site is full of keyword stuffing, bad navigation, slow load times, big images, light content, and terrible meta tags, it is definitely time to start over. Usually this sort of thing is paired with one or more of the above issues, and trying to fix it will cost more than starting over.
…nothing about your website design is user-friendly.
You are tracking your users’ behavior on your site, right? Without seeing how your users interact with your current design, you have no idea if your site is succeeding or failing.
If you find that your current design, architecture and navigation are just not cutting the mustard, it is time to start over. Use what you learn from tracking users on your current site to build your new user-friendly site.
Keep in mind, that your work is not done there. You must continue to fix problems. Sometimes, the smallest changes bring the best returns.
Metrics of high concern:
- Extremely high exit rates
- Extremely high bounce rates
- Visitor paths that do not lead to conversions
- Extremely low traffic stats