If you search Google for “how often should I redesign my website?” the answer you’re most likely to get is every three years. Or, if you’re looking for more precise instructions regarding recommended website revamp frequencies, you’ll find that OrbitMedia researched the topic in detail in 2017, discovering that the average website lifespan falls at 2.66 years.
That’s a great starting guideline — knowing that you need to update your brand’s online presence every couple of years. Nonetheless, deciding if you genuinely need a website refresh isn’t as easy as measuring how long it’s been since you modernized its looks and performance.
After all, whether your site needs updating depends on how well it’s helping you achieve your goals. For instance, if you’re witnessing low conversion rates, high bounce rates, seeing lots of technical issues, or your brand’s online presentation looks outdated, then, yes, you should do a revamp. The same is true if you’ve changed your goals or if novel market demands are causing your current website design choices to underperform.
However, if you’re satisfied with how your site looks and converts, why change something that’s not broken?
So, if you’ve evaluated your site’s current looks and performance and concluded that you need a redesign, here’s how to ensure your website revamp attracts more customers, guarantees better conversion rates, and presents your brand in the best possible light.
Assess Before Making Changes
There are several critical steps you need to go through before you start the web redesign process. These include:
- Defining — or redefining — your target audience. This is particularly important if your target audience has changed over the past few years, which it probably has, seeing that consumers are continually exhibiting rapidly evolving shopping behavior.
- Setting short-term and long-term business goals, which your new website is supposed to help you achieve.
- Outlining the marketing strategies you intend to use to drive traffic to your website so that you can optimize every landing page to encourage as many conversions as possible.
But the first step you mustn’t forget is assessing your current site.
First and foremost, examine what’s working and what’s not. Take a close look at your Google Analytics, and see whether any pages are performing well. This should also include your website blog. For instance, if you identify a piece of content that’s super-effective at attracting web visitors from SERPs or has received many backlinks, it’s essential that you don’t delete it during the redesign process as that could harm your site’s authority and prevent you from attracting more customers.
Secondly, check the poor-performing pages — particularly those with a high bounce rate. See whether you can identify the cause of their subpar performance and whether improvements can be made through optimization or if they need a complete rehaul.
Remember, the average cost of a website redesign can range from $100 (if you do things yourself) to $15k or even more. So having a clear idea of what works and what doesn’t on your current site is super-important if you’re going to get your money’s worth during the process.
Aesthetic Website Improvements
As you approach your business website revamp, the most logical place to start will be its appearance. After all, website aesthetics have a tremendous impact on consumer behavior, with plenty of research conducted on the subject over the past two decades.
Here are a few good-to-know facts:
- When landing on a website, visitors form impressions in less than 50 ms.
- Interestingly enough, 94% of these first impressions are design-related.
- Beautiful website design can help brands earn consumer trust and boost web visitors’ purchase intention.
- Aesthetically pleasing web pages have higher engagement levels, as 59% of people prefer interacting with beautifully designed rather than plain-looking content.
It is true that, despite knowing that having a beautifully designed business website is crucial for the success of your business, it can be challenging to precisely pinpoint the highest-return aesthetic improvements you can make during the revamp process.
Nonetheless, there are a few areas of your site’s visual aspect that you can optimize to make it attractive to your audience. (As well as to boost its effectiveness at generating conversions.)
When redesigning your online presence, the most important thing you have to remember is that your business site’s core function will be to benefit your target audience. Whether this will be done via solving consumer pain points with content, presenting effective solutions, or directing people to a physical location isn’t as important (at this point).
What matters is that your pages are well-organized. Crucial information needs to be optimally positioned to attract user attention, effectively communicate information, and inspire consumer action.
To achieve this effect, your priority during the aesthetic redesign process should be to perfect the layout of your pages. Ideally, you’ll do this via a data-based approach by exploring studies on consumers’ online behavior and organizing the information on your site accordingly.
The Nielsen Norman Group website is an excellent resource, with dozens of freely accessible studies on internet user behavior. In 2018, scientists from the NN Group looked at eye-tracking data and discovered that internet users spend 57% of their page-viewing time above the fold and 74% of the viewing time in the first two screenfuls (up to 2160px).
So, when planning the layout for your website revamp, you’ll want to identify the highest-value elements on your future site and position them towards the top of the screen. This means your unique value proposition and CTAs should populate the header section. Furthermore, any additional engagement and conversion-driving components (like social proof) should be visible within the first few seconds of web visitors interacting with your site.
For example, if you look at the Thankbox homepage, you’ll see that the header section contains every necessary element that could potentially impact web visitors’ on-site behavior:
- It includes a compelling value proposition that tells web visitors what to expect from the brand’s solution.
- There are two highly-visible CTA buttons inviting prospects to convert.
- There’s a trust signal informing customers they’ll only pay once they’re ready to send.
- The hero section includes a “How it works” video and an overview of three of the product’s main benefits.
- A social proof section is visible, which communicates that the brand has an “Excellent” rating on Trustpilot.
When revamping your business site, it’s also not a bad idea to implement the design principle of visual hierarchy. This principle aims to prioritize the visibility of impactful components and requires all website elements to be organized in a way that aids engagement and comprehension.
In addition to positioning high-value design elements in visible places, you can further communicate importance via size, contrast, texture, and color. This is superbly done on the Nebula homepage, where all distractions are removed to help visitors understand the value of what the streaming platform offers — videos, podcasts, and classes made by their favorite creators.
Although the layout and visual hierarchy have the most impactful role in ensuring that web visitors perceive your business site as beautiful, it’s safe to say that aesthetic design is so much more than how website segments are organized. In fact, if you ask most people (at least those who aren’t professional web designers), they’ll tell you that, at its core, aesthetic design relates to elements like color and contrast (or, in some cases, the lack of these features).
So, when redesigning your business website, it might not be a bad idea to explore ways to use different hues to attract customers and successfully position your brand as an industry leader.
Often, designers start the entire design process by exploring inspiring color palettes. Some rely on color psychology, believing that particular hues carry meaning (like green being seen as the color of life and nature) to determine their aesthetic directions. And some set out to create attractive color combinations to define a brand’s visual identity, which may or may not also rely on associated meanings. That was the case of Whole Foods — a retail business selling natural and organic groceries.
But, of course, choosing the right colors for your business site revamp isn’t the end of the road when it comes to getting the aesthetic design just right.
Contrast and Negative Space
To boost web visitors’ visual experience, aim to provide adequate contrast between the background and elements (especially for text and high-value elements like CTA buttons).
Moreover, surround each site component with sufficient negative space, which will testify to its importance and remove unnecessary distractions.
Finally, don’t forget to practice common sense when deciding which aesthetic features make it onto your website and which don’t. After all, a cluttered homepage or product page won’t allow you to communicate more in a shorter amount of time. Contrarily, it will prevent your audience from noticing the important things you have to say about your brand and offer, automatically harming your conversion rates and potentially boosting bounce rates.
Are you still on the fence about adopting the “less is more” approach to web design? Well, consider that minimal design is still one of the more popular design directions in 2022. Multiple leading organizations (like Google) are opting for it to make their websites look more uniform.
Plus, a minimalistic appearance can be an excellent way to make your products pop. This is why brands like UnscrambleX opt for a pared-down look, minimizing visual distractions to encourage web visitors to interact with their solutions as soon as they land on the page.
Images & Videos
As you explore strategies for refreshing the looks of your website, don’t forget to take advantage of the positive impact visuals have on buyer behavior.
After all, humans are highly capable of processing visual information. For one, neuroscientists from MIT confirmed that people can process images in as little as 13ms. That’s why using visuals is one of the most effective ways to get a message across. Some research even suggests that as much as 90% of all human communication could be non-verbal. That being said, it’s essential for brands to employ images and videos when attempting to engage their target audience.
Add to this the fact that consumers are outspoken about wanting brands to substitute text with imagery and video, and it’s easy to conclude that, when updating your website, you need to pay attention to how you employ these assets.
If you want to create a site that appeals to your prospects, don’t make the mistake of simply including as many photos as possible (especially if you were thinking of utilizing stock photography). Instead, think about the value the visuals on your newly refreshed site bring to your audience.
For instance, if the solutions you offer are complex and require web visitors to have previous knowledge about what you do, you can employ visuals to make comprehension somewhat easier for prospects in the top stages of the sales funnel. This is what brands like Intercom do, choosing GIFs to present the benefits of a customer support platform instead of losing precious time attempting to explain through words.
Alternatively, you could use video product explainers to help your audience become familiar with your product’s benefits. And you might even use visuals to add a dose of much-needed authenticity to your brand-new website. For example, take a look at how they did it on the Menlo Coaching homepage.
After all, knowing that 70% of people feel that brands need to work harder to connect with their prospects on a more personal level, producing a short “about us” or “what we do” is a super-simple way to encourage connection and, consequently, conversions.
User Experience Improvements
OK, so you’ve perfected how your business website looks. But, if you want web visitors to stick around (and hopefully return), you also have to ensure that your site offers a stellar user experience.
Research has found that website UX plays a crucial role in driving the success of a business:
- According to Adobe, 89% of people will stop interacting with a site if they start experiencing content issues.
- Google found that people are 62% less likely to make a future purchase after a negative mobile browsing experience.
- 69.99% of buyers don’t complete an online purchase due to complicated checkout processes, unclear total cost calculations, and website crashes and errors, all of which can be solved with UX optimization.
The good news is, optimizing the user experience on your website — especially when you’re redesigning and have the ability to make every single consumer-brand interaction as seamless as possible — doesn’t have to be rocket science.
In fact, the following hacks can help you hugely boost UX during your business website revamp, allowing you to attract, convert, and retain more customers and directly drive the success of your brand.
People have zero patience for slow-loading websites. According to a 2022 survey from Digital:
- 53% of people expect websites to load in 3 seconds or less.
- 21% of online shoppers get frustrated because of slow load times.
- 45% of web visitors form negative impressions about brands whose sites load slowly. And;
- 32% of people wouldn’t be likely to revisit a website after an initially negative experience.
It’s also important to understand that Google uses site speed as a ranking factor. So, if your website underperforms in this area, your chances of attracting more website visits (and converting customers) are considerably lowered.
Fortunately, guaranteeing your revamped business website loads fast isn’t rocket science. By making tweaks like optimizing images and videos, reducing all instances of unnecessary code, and choosing a reliable web host, you can tremendously boost your site’s UX and the likelihood of visitors turning into satisfied customers.
As of July 2022, mobile traffic accounts for 58.99% of all web traffic worldwide. So, knowing that more than half of your website visitors are likely looking at your site on a small screen, it’s crucial that you create a pleasant mobile browsing experience.
The easiest way to do this is to choose a mobile-responsive theme or template when redesigning.
However, if you’re set on a custom-made website look (or need it due to specific functionalities), you can still guarantee a pleasant mobile browsing experience. Just make sure to implement a responsive layout, remove unnecessary content from all pages, optimize visuals to load fast, eliminate invasive elements like pop-ups, and test the end result on multiple handheld devices.
Readability & Accessibility
There are three leading reasons for prioritizing readability and accessibility when revamping your business website:
- Research shows that a high readability score drives conversions, especially on SaaS websites trying to present complex solutions to non-expert buyers.
- Findings from the NN Group show that only a portion of people read word-by-word when browsing content online. Instead, they scan web pages until they’ve identified information relevant to their experience.
- 54% of US adults read below the equivalent of a sixth-grade level, making it that much more important to prioritize clarity on your business website.
- According to the Web Accessibility Initiative, 15% of the world’s population (1 billion people) live with a disability. Inaccessible web design means these individuals are prevented from accessing information and products. In turn, businesses that don’t prioritize accessibility are actively failing to reach a substantial percentage of their target audiences.
The great thing is, improving readability and making content more accessible are relatively easy feats. And there are several strategies you can choose to implement to improve your site’s UX performance.
For example, to guarantee the success of your website revamp, make sure to:
- choose an easily-readable font
- use a sufficiently large text size
- ensure enough contrast between the letters and the background
If you’re ready to further optimize content, you can play around with web tools such as Hemingway or Readable. These will measure the readability score of your copy and provide tips on making the text understandable to a larger audience.
Finally, don’t forget to use formatting to your advantage:
- Break up website copy into easily-understandable short sections.
- Try to separate and label your sections with subheadings.
- Use images to allow web visitors to process the presented information and maximize their chances of retaining what they read.
Continuously Testing for Errors
Lastly, as you explore ways to improve the usability of your website, you have to remember that errors and bugs are natural occurrences. Particularly if your brand’s online presentation includes advanced functions or if you regularly update your content (as you should).
With this in mind, it’s essential that you continuously test for errors and perform page performance audits. That way, you’ll be able to catch issues before they can harm your brand’s credibility or cause your website visitors to have a poor user experience while interacting with your business website.
And, of course, it’s not a bad idea to design a charming 404 page, like the one below by Healthline. It will let your audience know that there’s been an error and direct them toward website sections where they’ll be able to solve their pain points.
Advanced Customer Experience Improvements
For most businesses, applying the aesthetic and UX design upgrades discussed above will be more than enough to boost website performance.
However, if you’re looking to take your site to the next level, it’s not a bad idea to explore a few ways to use your business website revamp to improve the customer experience you offer.
The great thing is that any of the following hacks can help maximize your site’s conversion potential. But, perhaps more importantly, including these elements will help you better address your audience’s pain points and conversion obstacles, maximizing your site’s potential for driving your organization’s growth and success.
Your brand’s trustworthiness is directly related to your target audience’s willingness to invest in your solutions. In fact, recently published surveys revealed that consumers don’t trust companies with a rating below four stars. Furthermore, 77% of people regularly read online reviews before making a purchase decision.
One of the easiest ways to boost the customer experience — and show your target audience they can have confidence in your brand to deliver on its promises — is to enrich your website with trust-building elements.
But, in addition to displaying standard customer reviews and star ratings on your site, consider alternative social proof formats.
For example, if you have an active business blog, it’s a good idea to end each article with a short section outlining the author’s bio. Moreover, you can dedicate this element to outlining the writer’s professional credentials, like in this example from Zoma. Doing this will not only boost your content’s authority but also help position your organization as a go-to resource for verified advice in your niche.
Alternatively, you could play around with video customer testimonials (which are an excellent way to boost engagement rates for social proof elements).
Or employ UGC, which is seen as the key to authenticity by as many as 60% of consumers. This is what businesses like Yogalicious do, making it super-easy for web visitors to imagine themselves wearing the activewear products and making them that much closer to making a positive buying decision.
Optimize Content for Search Intent
Another high-value improvement you can make that will significantly improve web visitors’ customer experience on your site is to optimize your content for search intent.
Essentially, optimizing for search intent means ensuring that your website content presents your audience with information that aligns with their goals, regardless of whether these goals include finding information, getting directions to a physical business location, or making an online purchase.
Guaranteeing that what website visitors get on your site is what they want will tremendously benefit your business. For starters, it will help site visitors walk away with a positive CX (which ensures they perceive your brand as a topic authority). Plus, meeting user intent allows you to improve your rankings on Google and reach specific segments of your target audience, helping you get the absolute most out of your marketing and SEO efforts.
Features That Improve the Shopping Experience
Finally, if you run an eCommerce business, don’t forget that boosting CX can be as simple as helping your customers have a seamless purchasing experience.
Do your best to empower buyers with as much product information as you can. Make it easy for prospects to choose your products with free shipping and secure payment options. And try to employ website features, like the size guide on the Auralee product pages, that will help you manage their expectations and guarantee a satisfactory shopping experience.
Furthermore, make it super-easy for people to get in touch with your customer service or sales team to ensure that all questions and issues are answered promptly and efficiently. After all, adding a live chat, email, phone contact, or even a chatbot to your homepage only takes a few minutes. But the benefits to your customers (and therefore to your brand) can be tremendous.
Remember: even incremental CX improvements can have huge benefits — both for your customers and your brand’s bottom line.
Implementing your website revamp
Revamping your business website can be an intimidating task. Especially if you’ve decided to do the majority of the work on your own.
However, as long as you follow the recommendations summarized in this guide, you’re sure to see positive results. They will be reflected in more website visits, higher conversion rates, lower bounce rates, and, ideally, in a higher average order value and customer retention rate.
As you approach the redesign process, don’t forget that every single business is an entity of its own. So don’t follow any advice blindly. Instead, make sure you’ve considered whether it aligns with your brand’s identity and your business goals. And don’t be afraid to make small changes one by one so you can be confident that the changes you’re making deliver the outcomes you’re after.