Do you need to re-design?
As daunting of a task as it may seem, your website is your company’s image and needs to look presentable. Ask yourself, how long have I had my current web site design? If your answer is more than 3 years, then its time to start thinking redesign.
Web technology advancements are very rapid and every year the web breaks through with new and improved web applications, usability, design and back end programming. Car manufacturers often change their models every 3-5 years. Always introducing something new, more sleeker, faster, with better gas mileage etc� If the Honda Accord still looked the same as the one from the year 2000, their competition would definitely surpass them. But they still make minor changes every year to give their customers something new to look forward to. Just like cars, web sites also need a fresh design every once in a while. If you aren’t going to do it, your competitors will. Your site may look great to you, after all you approved on the design and paid for it, but in reality it may not be all that groovy.
You may ask, who is to say what looks good and what doesn’t. Well, nobody really. Even web designers differ in taste and may sometimes be on opposite ends of the spectrum. To do a quick reality check, look at some web sites throughout your industry. See what they offer, how they have designed it. Is it appealing to you? Do these sites give you ideas for your own? Does it bring out the competitive edge in you? Sure, some sites may make you feel just down right heroic inside. We aren’t saying your current website is super UGLY, although that maybe the case. That is why it is important to sit and evaluate your web site. No matter how great your product or service may be, if your web site doesn’t grab your potential customer’s attention within the first 3 seconds, they most likely will hit that infamous BACK button or close the browser all together. Sadly, web surfers aren�t very patient and need something stimulating to look at once they hit that GO button.
- Evaluate your site’s usability, the look and feel and most importantly content and it’s placement.
- Send a quick survey to some of your customers and gather their input. Your customer will appreciate that you value their opinion and will gladly provide you with constructive feedback.
- If possible, contact a professional web design firm and ask them what they think. Actually, contact a few. Most web design companies will usually give you their professional opinion for free, with hopes that you select them as your service provider.
- Look through your site, and see how well it conveys your products and services to someone who knows nothing about it.
- Take a peek at your competitor’s Websites in your industry and other industries to obtain ideas.
- Ask yourself, was your site launched just because everyone else had one and forgotten, or does it really do something tangible?
- Get your hands on a web analytics report that tells you how many users have visited your site. You can usually obtain this by logging into your host’s website or by calling them. This can give you needed information on how many hits your site gets, where most of your viewers go and how long they stay. This is also a great tool to gain some insight on your next big marketing campaign.
Once you have gathered all this data, evaluate your budget and see if there is some room for a web site redesign. If so, then please get it done. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make it the right one. Appearance is so important and will only continue to increase the demand of great designed sites, so stay with the flow. Don’t drown your organization in this sea of ugly web sites.