This is the fifth part in our ongoing series, A Better Agency, which looks at many of the difficulties that can arise when working with an agency, and what Forthea is doing to overcome it.
While simple on its face, here’s a deceivingly tricky question for you:
Is it time for a website redesign?
Depending on the size of a company, a new website could easily cost tens of thousands of dollars. Whether you’re working with an in-house team or working with a digital marketing firm, it can be difficult to trust other people’s advice. This decision could change the direction of your company, or at the very least, be a massive project that’ll define the year.
While a good rule of thumb recommends a redesign every two or three years, it’s best to look at what you need from your website and do a unbiased assessment on if the site is accomplishing that goal.
The Case For a New Site
As a digital design agency, we consistantly see websites that are five, and even ten, years old and the effects can begin to negatively impact a business. With technology rapidly evolving and the majority of people now browsing the internet on their tablets and mobile devices, it is more important than ever to have a mobile-friendly website.
Google recently released the mobile-frendly test, and if your website doesn’t pass, you could be missing out on significant traffic. Check out this helpful resource to learn more about the mobile-friendly criteria and how it may affect Google’s search results.
Another good indicator to consider when contemplating a new website is what your competitor is doing. If all other elements are equal, a potential customer will lean more towards a company with an updated online presence. Try doing a quick analysis of your competitors and try to put yourself in the mind of your target audience. Which would you choose?
Branding or rebranding is another great reason for the need of a new website redesign. Branding is a basic fundamental which builds immense value for companies. This goes beyond just a logo or graphic element. Brands convey a uniform quality, credibility, and experience, which are critical for all companies to adapt and express through their website and print material. In short, your brand is the way your client perceives your company. If your company has undergone a large shift in brand idenity, then your website is no longer an accurate representation of the company, just be careful, you never want a website redesign to be leading your rebranding effort. First, identify the change, then build a website around it.
Finally, is your content outdated or poorly reflects how far your company has grown over the past decade? Content and imagery are key factors to consider when deciding whether or not you need a website redesign. As ongoing maintenance, we continue to add and optimize our clients’ websites to keep ahead of the game, while also helping with their Google rankings. The Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors begins with content “elements”, with the first element being about content quality. Good website content is vital component in customer retention and marketing. Your site may be completely SEO optimized already, but there’s nothing wrong with making sure you’re maximizing the benefit of strong content while deciding to make changes.
The Case Against a New Site
But do you really need a new site? There’s plenty of resources that help you decide it’s time to pull the trigger, but there are a few instances where it might not be a good investment in your time or money. Some examples:
There are still some companies out there (hard to believe, I know), that still operate in a pre-digital age. Not only is digital not driving new business, but there’s no business to be had online. Perhaps your new customers are driven entirely through referrals or maybe you work in a field that’s notoriously behind the times. These fields are becoming as rare as an endangered animal, but they still exist. If this fits your description and you have a website that may be a few years old, but is still perfectly serviceable, don’t let yourself get talked into the newest and shiniest.
Perhaps everything still works. It’s entirely possible that you chose a forward-looking, yet conservative web design that’s still producing good results for you a few years down the line. Now, maybe all you need is a refresh to keep everything looking good or add new functionality, but sometimes it’s okay to stick with what’s working.
If you think that a new website is a priority for your business, then there is no better time to start. Don’t let time and budget interfere with the value that a website redesign can provide to the growth of your company. Budget for a redesign like you would anything else. Marketing is a continuous process, and your website should always reflect that. Don’t hesitate to contact Forthea directly with any questions or concerns you might have with the status of your current website.
This is the fourth part in our new series, A Better Agency, which looks at many of the difficulties that can arise when working with an agency, and what Forthea is doing to overcome it.