A website redesign is a tall order. Though challenging, it’s a popular topic that we’ve tackled previously on this blog. While a redesign certainly takes strategy, today we want to focus on whether or not you really need one.
From a pure marketing standpoint, your website should be judged on how good of a job it’s doing, and not necessarily on how good it looks. This is not just another case against vanity, but more of an argument for not fixing what isn’t broken. If your site is supporting your sales process with conversions into sales-qualified leads, then your site is doing its job.
Since a redesign is a project that will take a ton of time, manpower, and money, before embarking on that endeavor it’s important to make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. That’s why it’s important to discuss the wrong reasons so you don’t make a costly mistake. As we run through these scenarios, keep in mind we’re assuming that your lead cup runneth over.
“Let’s redesign because our competitor did.”
While you might gain from mimicking the inbound marketing successes of your competitors, redesigning a site is an entirely different animal. While everyone likes something shiny and new, that luster wears off quickly. Also, now you’re playing a game that’s an endless loop: if you switch up your website every time one of your competitors does, you’ll be redesigning your site constantly.
This is one case in inbound marketing where your focus should be based solely on your website’s performance. Is your last redesign doing what you hoped? Is it generating more leads than your previous iteration? If so, stand pat. Maybe bulk up your premium content offers and your landing pages instead. Keep in mind it’s entirely possible that your competitor is redesigning their site because it doesn’t support their sales process. If that’s the case, they’re the ones that are behind—not you. In fact, you’re ahead by default.
“Let’s redesign because upper management said we should.”
As a marketer, unfortunately this is a reason to redesign that you might not have much control over, no matter how irrational it might be. While many executives are not in the best position to be making such decisions since they’re not involved in the day-to-day marketing operations, they often still have the final say. Once again, like many they are lured by the shiny, and by the new. All you can do is appeal to the numbers (if you’re meeting your sales goals, of course).
If you’re using the right software, the right analytics dashboards, and a customer relationship management system (CRM) in conjunction with your site, you’ll probably have all the metric ammo you’ll need to make an airtight case against a redesign. That way, you can craft a rational pitch to your company’s upper management decision-makers. There’s only one thing a CEO likes more than something shiny and new: strong sales numbers.
“Let’s redesign so we can have a sleeker look.”
More white space. Extremely clean lines. Something that’s never been done before. These are all great ideals. If you absolutely need a redesign, shoot for the stars.
However, every website can’t be a cutting-edge work of art. More importantly, this is not what most businesses need. Like with most designs, you want to find a balance between form and function. Your site’s function is to convert visitors into customers.
Again, if you’re having success here there’s not necessarily a need to break the website design mold. While beauty is always appreciated, many customers simply seek a streamlined user experience. For example, if premium offers aren’t strong enough, a sleek design isn’t going to outweigh the value of strong content.
In the end, your site’s performance should always be based on measurable sales goals. It’s also important to note that even if your sales goals aren’t where you’d like them to be, there’s plenty of ways to improve without undergoing a design overhaul. Individual efforts around search engine optimization, content, and your inbound marketing channels can increase your sales numbers—and if those are lacking, they need to be fixed before attempting a redesign anyway. In other words, you can put the lipstick on that pig if you want to. But remember: it’s still a pig.
Are you contemplating a website redesign? If so, we’d love to know why.
Check out our website design and development service here.
Diona is a senior Internet marketing consultant at Knowmad. Her areas of expertise include digital marketing strategy, project management, brand management, search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click advertising, inbound marketing, content marketing, conversion rate optimization, social media marketing and website design.