Okay, this may sound a bit surprising, but it’s true. Contrary to what you might initially be thinking, you may not need a new website. Your current website might not be doing it for you any more, but you shouldn’t be too quick to toss it out.
Often when things aren’t working like you had hoped with your business or your website, the first response is to start talking to your designer about a new website. You don’t hop in your car, drive to the dealership and say, “I need a new car,” just because your current car needs a good cleaning.
Well your website may not need a good cleaning, but the idea is the same. Before you decide you need a new website or a redesign, you should first take some time to determine what exactly isn’t working. Do you feel sales are down? Not enough people contacting you from your website? Are people complaining that they can’t find what they are looking for on your website? Are you just tired of your current design?
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a new design. The beauty of your website, unlike a traditional physical location, is that you can expand, remodel and completely change things whenever you want. But you need to make sure that you are changing for the right reasons.
Believe it or not, a better looking or a new site isn’t necessarily going to bring more people to your site and increase your business. Just like any other aspect of business, there is a lot more to your website than just looks.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization may be more important than a new design. SEO, in a nutshell, is a form of marketing for your website. SEO can be a very powerful tool that can greatly impact your business.
The basic idea behind SEO is to help improve your website’s ranking in search engines for important search terms. People search everyday for businesses, information, services and products. If you aren’t showing up for those searches that relate to what you have to offer, you may be missing out on business opportunities right there.
Usability may help visitors find what they are looking for. Your site, hopefully, makes perfect sense to you. You are able to find any information on your site that you need with ease. If you can’t, then we may have a problem.
There is a pretty good chance that if you can’t find things, neither can your visitors. Usability involves an evaluation of your current website and how the pages are laid out, the way navigation is named, where information is placed within your site and more. Your site may be great visually, but if visitors have a hard time finding things or are unable to use your website correctly, then a new design may not help.
Not that content development is simple… it’s often one of the most challenging aspects, but you may find that developing new and more content will help. You may have a great design and are getting tons of traffic, but there isn’t enough information to get people to take that next step, or they may not be finding what they are looking for simply because it isn’t there.
Your website provides a great opportunity to provide your visitors with a near unlimited amount of information. If your current site is nothing more than an online “business card,” this is an important element to consider, with or without a new design.
Evaluate Your Needs
These are only a few elements that go into your website. Hopefully though, they’ve helped to identify that the initial “we need a new website” may not be the answer, or at least not the entire answer. Before heading down that road, you should sit down with your web provider and evaluate where you are today, where you want to go and what you feel is missing. And if you want a new website simply because you are tired of your current site, that’s okay too.