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If you look around the internet for the answer to “ how often should I redesign my website ” you’ll get a few variations on the answer: every two to three years. Unfortunately, it isn’t really answering the question of why you need a redesign of your website. If it’s really old, not mobile friendly, and uses technology that’s outdated (Flash) then yes, it’s definitely time. But aside from that, the question of how often really depends on a number of factors. Most of which a redesign isn’t going to help.
Now this might sound just like the “Inbound marketing” methodology, and for that you’d be absolutely correct. Your website is a marketing piece. It should follow those same rules and if one is failing on your website, that area needs to be looked at.
Is your website attracting the right people in consistent amounts?
Are you seeing growth year over year in your visits?
Did you build your website and treat it like a living document?
If you can’t answer those three questions with affirmative answers a redesign may help you or it may not.
The reason it may help is that an agency may be able to look at what you’re doing currently in terms of keywords, content, and layout and make adjustments to your strategy in a redesign. This is especially true if your website falls under the “it looks like it was designed in the 90’s” category.
However, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. If you’re expecting a website redesign to suddenly grow your visitors and sustain them without management you’re going to be doing this Google search again in 2-3 years.
What’s your bounce rate?
How many pages are being visited on an average session?
What’s your average time on-site?
If these are starting to decline, it may be that you’re not attracting the right people anymore, or that the content isn’t engaging enough to have people visit more pages. There’s a host of reasons why this might occur.
Engagement may be one of the main reasons to consider a website redesign. Keywords can be changed, content enhanced, but increasing user engagement and time on-site often is a matter of leading the visitor down a journey.
This user experience can be adjusted through deeply diving into each visitor and then making changes to your site structure and internal linking. Often this is results in redesigning the website, especially when you don’t have a content management system that will allow for easy adjustments.
Are you still getting leads?
Leads can come in a variety of ways on a website. It could be downloadable content, contact forms, or newsletter sign-ups. Each way may be more qualified than the next, and they may be at different places in the buyer’s journey.
If you’ve had the same download available for the last few years, it has the same call-to-action and the number of leads has dipped, it may not be the full website. Sometimes just updating the call-to-action or the content to download will revive your lead generation without incurring the cost of a full website redesign. This goes back to one of the first questions, did you build your website as a living document or as your outdoor signage?
Learning more about your users and why they do or do not convert can help you understand why they do what they do. It will help you make the appropriate changes now and into the future.
What is the return visitor to new visitor average?
How many repeat customers do you have?
How many up-sells and cross-sells do you make?
When you provide your customers with reasons to return, and educated them on the full width of your product and service line, they often return to buy more. For example, this web design agency also offers user experience testing, marketing and advertising services, and custom development. If we don’t educate our past customers of this, how would they know? They’re only Googling “how often should I redesign my website” every few years.
We might lose business with customers we’ve built a reputation and trust with because we didn’t delight them with new information. You could be leaving money on the table by not blogging, emailing, and creating content on all of your products.
Does this mean you need to overhaul your website in order to bring them back? Possibly, but it would take knowing how well your website is positioned to add those features to know if that’s the case.
You came here asking how often should you redesign your website. I went over all the areas where it could mean you have to but I didn’t really answer it. Because here’s the truth.
You should always be redesigning your website. You should never stop redesigning your website.
The reason you should completely overhaul it is if you can’t make the changes that will impact the areas above. When you’ve built your website and can do those things it should be an ongoing matter of perfecting it.
The beauty of web versus print is that with the web, you can make changes on the fly if you’re not getting the results you want. People know this, but they still build websites like they’re creating a print piece. Your website isn’t a book. It won’t live forever in one form. It evolves with the needs of your users and changes in your organization.
So if you’re wondering – do I need a website redesign? Ask yourself why you want one, and ask a designer if they fix what you have to meet the goals. If they can’t, then yes. If they can with what you have, then don’t build something new, evolve what you have.