A website redesign can be a hard sell. It’s costly and time-consuming, and it requires that your staff spend time away from their usual responsibilities.
But if your site is in dire need of some updates, the end result will more than make up for the effort. So how do you get your boss or the rest of your team on board? It depends on the specific problems you’re currently experiencing with your site, but the tips and resources below are a great place to start.
Prove that your navigation confuses users
Poor navigation results in a bad user experience. When a user lands on your site, they should immediately know where to click to find the information they’re looking for. Menus with a lot of drop-downs aren’t efficient and tend to annoy users. An overabundance of calls to action make it unclear where a site visitor should go next.
To make a case for poor navigation, take a look at your Google Analytics account. Are your bounce rates high? Are there certain pages where users frequently drop off? How do actual behavior flows differ from the user journeys you want to establish?
If you have the means to do so, conduct user testing to learn more about what users find confusing. Ask them to navigate to different areas of your website and note where they struggle or take longer than necessary.
Make the case for mobile
This is a big one. It’s critical that your website is optimized for all devices. Google has already started rolling out mobile-first indexing, meaning it will crawl the mobile version of your website before the desktop version. A site that’s mobile responsive has clear CTAs and navigation, large buttons, and font sizes between 16 and 20 pixels.
Present your team with some data from Google Analytics on how many of your users access your site from a mobile device. Pull up your site on mobile screens of different sizes and identify usability issues. Note areas where you have to pinch and zoom in, any sideways scroll bars, or buttons that are difficult to click.
Run some speed tests
No one likes having to wait for a web page to load. More than half of users will abandon a mobile page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
Check out some of the speed optimization tools in this blog post to determine how fast your site loads and where you can make improvements. You might be able to fix some issues without doing a redesign, but if it’s a more serious issue, it’s better to start fresh.
Talk to your content team
Do you have to ask a developer for help every time you want to make a change to the content on your website? If so, it’s time for an upgrade. Content management systems exist to make it easier for non-developers to manage a website’s content. If your content team is pulling their hair out during every copy update, it’s time to redesign.
Talk to your team to see what their main frustrations are. How long does it take them to make simple changes? Do they have all the formatting options they need? Taking the time to improve the content editing process will make your organization more efficient in the long run.
Check your conversion rates
There are a number of factors that influence how many users convert on your website. If conversion rates are low, it could be poor design, ineffective calls to action, or unclear messaging.
A site redesign is an optimal time to focus on conversion optimization. It provides an opportunity to rethink your strategy and implement specific components that will drive the user behavior that you want. Present some conversion data to your team and include some suggestions for how you could make improvements. Check out these conversion optimization tips to get some ideas.
Keep track of user issues
If your website primarily serves as a way for users to accomplish a specific task, such as registering for an event or filling out a form, users may contact you with questions or issues using your site. Keep a log of issues that users call about and present this as cause for some site updates. Many of our clients have experienced this issue, and after a redesign, troubleshooting calls significantly decreased.
Scope out the competition
What do your competitors’ websites do well that yours could be doing better? A competitive analysis can serve as a convincing argument to make some improvements.
This article by Orbit Media provides a list of tools for comparing various aspects of your competitors’ websites with your own. It’s also beneficial to perform a more qualitative analysis to assess things like their messaging and marketing strategies.
A website redesign provides an opportunity to reassess your digital strategy and look for areas you can improve. Use the tips in this post to present your case to your organization’s decision makers. The project may be time-consuming, but it will be well worth it when it’s finished.