The website is slowly becoming the signboard of the digital era – it’s hard to call your business a business if it doesn’t have one. Even small business owners are on board with the idea, which is why 71% of small businesses have a website.
Some would argue that a Facebook page is the digital equivalent of a signboard. But surveys show that less than a half of small businesses use it. A website has a lot of advantages over a Facebook page. But if you don’t take care of your website, it won’t be worth much to you. Here are some ways your website might be telling you it needs some attention in the form of a redesign.
People Can’t Seem to Find It
One of the main functions of a website is to help your business get discovered by potential customers. You also want them to keep coming when they become paying customers, sure, but bringing in new business is still a major goal of any website.
If you’re seeing low traffic numbers, it means that your website is having issues reaching that goal. A major design flaw that might be a culprit is the lack of mobile-friendliness. People are increasingly using mobile devices for online browsing, and they don’t like websites that don’t look good on their devices. You should redesign your website to be responsive, and maybe even install some plugins mobile visitors will appreciate.
Too Many Errors
There’s nothing that will put a stop to your customers’ journey through your website as an error page. You can try to minimize the damage by designing appealing error pages, but that won’t go a long way in damage-control.
In some cases, you might need to look under the hood of your website to find out what’s causing so many errors. Maybe it’s something you can fix by revisiting your hosting options, or changing a link or two, or removing some plugins. Other times, however, you will need to redesign the structure of your website, and that’s not an easy task.
It Lacks an Obvious Purpose
When creating a business website, you need to constantly have your mind on its purpose. If the purpose is to sell a product, the people who visit the website have to understand that as soon as they land on the website. If you’re using the website to promote your business, visitors should immediately get at least some idea about what your business is and what it offers.
The more obfuscated the purpose of your website is, the worse the website will perform. Bring your major offerings, selling points, and elements of your business’ identity front and center. Use design to create a hierarchy of information that will not leave the visitors in the dark.
It’s Using Obsolete Design Features
Web design trends change with time. You don’t have to follow every new trend that pops up if it requires an expensive overhaul of your website. But you have to periodically assess your website against the most successful ones in your industry and see how far back you are design-wise. And then you need to catch up.
The one trap you can fall into is to stick with some features that look great to you, but that are clearly a relic of old-timey web design. You shouldn’t use Flash anymore. You can never have a hit counter. Flashing elements are a hazard to health and an insult to good taste. Don’t get nostalgic with web design.
It Doesn’t Stand Out
Line up a couple of laptops. Go to your website on one of them. Use the rest to access your competitor’s website. If you can’t see why your website is any better than the competitors, you’re in trouble. If you have trouble figuring out which one of the websites is yours without looking at the logo, it’s even worse.
There are industry-wide best practices for designing a website. There’s also the time-honored tradition of replicating what’s working well for the competition. But neither is a valid excuse for building a website that can easily be mistaken for a competitor’s website. Redesign it to make it reflect what’s unique about your business.
A business website can be a relatively hassle-free asset. But if you want to get the most out of it, you will need to take it seriously. You should think about copy, design elements, content, structure, navigation, security, and many more things that need to be just right if you want a high-performing website. And once in a while, you need to think about investing in a thorough redesign of your website. Unless, of course, you notice one of the signs your website needs a redesign quickly. In that case, you shouldn’t wait for too long.