Websites: Start Over or Revamp?
Should you start from scratch, or just revamp your existing website? Like a kid in a candy store with endless choices, we love the idea of starting from scratch. That new empty white canvas means endless possibilities for us as graphic designers to show off our newest bag of tricks, slick new banner animations, and the latest HTML techniques, so naturally we always wants to say, yes. Because we get judged on our ability to generate results and not design awards, like a famous little cricket once said “Let your analytics be your guide.”
Here is our simple checklist to help guide you in your decision to either start from scratch or just revamp:
- Do you still use Flash Player on your website? If the answer is yes, more than likely you should consider a new redesign. The reason is that many mobile devices do not show Flash Player anymore, so that means if your navigation, banners or buttons are in Flash, your users will not be able to navigate through your site — which means no leads.
- Is your website responsive? Before we tell you that you need to completely redesign your website because it’s not responsive, take a look at your analytics to see if traffic coming to your website is indeed from mobile phones and tablets. If you’re dealing with government or large-scale integrations, then chances are you’re not getting too many visits from mobile phones, and in that case you don’t need to worry about your site not being responsive. But, if you’re selling to small business, residential, and even light commercial, then you’ll definitely want to redesign your website. We find with our customers that around 40 percent to 50 percent of Web visits come from mobile phones and tablets. If your website is not responding to their device and making the user experience better, they may leave and buy with someone else. Last but not least, Google has stated that as of April 2015, if your website is not mobile friendly, your rankings will be negatively impacted.
- What do your analytics tell you? This will really help you determine which direction to take. We like to look at a few key factors that will guide us in telling a client to go new or revamp by looking at:
• How long is a Web visitor staying on your site? If the website is getting a good amount of traffic but has a high bounce rate, then no need to stress about a new redesign. Just change up your content, make it shorter, use more visuals of the product, and definitely use your provided videos from your manufacturers.
• Take a look at the flow of traffic. Where is most of your traffic landing on your website? And are they navigating to your most important pages? If the answer is no, remember the KISS rule (keep it simple stupid). Make sure the page your traffic is landing on is easy for the user to navigate to the most important areas, including home automation, intrusion or commercial security. Don’t clutter up this page, as you’re trying to funnel your traffic to your call-to-action pages for the lead. Also, make sure you don’t clutter up your navigation; we find less is better.
• Failing to generate the desired leads does not mean you need to start from scratch. If your analytics show that traffic is good and the flow of traffic is also good, then there is no need to throw away the existing site. It just means you should start to experiment with your call-to-action forms. We have rigorously tested multiple forms and found that keeping your form short — requiring the user to enter in his or her name, email and phone number — will generate many more leads than a form that asks the user to fill out too many fields. Also use arrows that point down to the form, use background colors on them (we find blue and red work best) and do not ask them to fill it out — tell them. For example, “Don’t wait to secure your home today; fill out the form now for a free estimate!”
If your business has gone through a rebranding or your site looks outdated, then yes, you’ll probably need a new website. But if your site is a bit low on generating leads, then chances are you can spruce it up to bring it back to life.