Website redesigns can either be a boon or a bane for your business. Done right, they can attract more visitors, generate leads, and enhance your company's reputation. However, if not executed properly, they can damage your company's online presence and reputation. In this guide, we'll explore the seven most common mistakes in website redesign and provide practical solutions to avoid them.
Recent research has shown that poor website design is the primary reason users abandon a site, with 94% of respondents blaming design for their lack of trust in online businesses. Your website plays a crucial role in the success of your online business, affecting not only its visual appeal but also its usability. While aesthetics may influence first impressions, it's the usability that determines whether you succeed in engaging your intended audience.
To maintain your website's current search engine rankings, it's essential to incorporate search engine optimization (SEO) into the redesign process. Neglecting this aspect can lead to a drop in organic traffic and a decline in search engine rankings. Understanding what can hinder or improve your site's productivity is essential for a successful website revamp.
Putting Appearance Before Utility
When redesigning your website, it's natural to want it to look visually appealing. However, prioritizing appearance over utility can be a significant mistake. Visitors have certain expectations when navigating a website, and deviating too far from these norms can lead to a frustrating user experience.
Instead, focus on maintaining a conventional layout that prompts action. For example, using a two-column layout on your blog page can be both aesthetically pleasing and conversion-optimized. Prioritizing usability and aesthetics simultaneously can lead to more leads generated and technical issues like slow-loading websites avoided. Modifying your site to be more user-friendly will undoubtedly increase user engagement.
Calls to action (CTAs) are crucial elements in a website's design, yet they are often poorly executed or neglected. CTAs are meant to guide site visitors toward taking specific actions, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. When used effectively, CTAs can direct visitors to the information they need without being distracting.
To improve your CTAs, consider placing them:
- Near the beginning of each page
- After blog posts
- In the second column of articles
- In unobtrusive pop-up greetings
CTAs should be simple and direct, maximizing their effectiveness in persuading visitors to take action.
Ignoring Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a critical aspect of website redesign that is often overlooked. Neglecting SEO can result in a significant drop in organic traffic when you launch your revamped website. To maintain visibility and rankings, consider the following SEO strategies:
- Distribute your sitemap to search engines.
- Modify, but don't remove, outdated URLs.
- Implement SSL certificates and other security measures.
- Migrate content such as blogs, articles, and white papers to the new domain.
- Ensure that each page has unique meta titles and meta descriptions.
Investing time in SEO during your website revamp is essential to ensure that your efforts are not in vain.
Failing to Create a Mobile-Friendly Website
In today's digital landscape, it's crucial for websites to be mobile-friendly. Google reports that 75% of mobile users prefer mobile-friendly sites, and the majority of searches are conducted on mobile devices. Failing to make your redesigned website compatible with various mobile operating systems can lead to potential customers seeking alternatives.
A mobile-friendly website ensures that visitors can access your site seamlessly from any device, improving their overall experience and increasing the chances of engagement.
Your Web Design Is Difficult to Navigate
Ignoring the user experience, particularly in navigation, is a significant mistake during website redesign. Visitors expect easy and efficient navigation on modern websites. If they encounter delays or difficulties in finding information, they are likely to abandon your site in favor of a more user-friendly one.
To retain visitors, ensure that your new menu is simple to locate and use. Clear and intuitive navigation enhances the overall user experience and encourages visitors to explore your website further.
Ignoring Content Strategy
Engaging and informative content is the backbone of a successful website. Consistently posting content and using popular search terms are essential strategies to increase the visibility of your material. Various types of content can attract leads and customers, including online diaries, videos, ebooks, research papers, and white papers.
Before launching your redesigned website, establish a robust content strategy. Regardless of the type of content you plan to provide, having a well-defined strategy in place can increase the likelihood of generating high-quality leads and closing deals.
Failing to Maximize Prospecting Efforts
During a website redesign, it's crucial to focus not only on aesthetics but also on lead generation. Simply having an attractive website is not enough; you must optimize it to efficiently create new leads. By strategically using visuals, text, and layout, you can turn visitors into paying clients. Placing a prominent call-to-action (CTA) button in your site's primary navigation can draw attention to the most critical action you want visitors to take.
Strategies To Mitigate These Errors
It's crucial to prioritize utility over appearance. While visual appeal is important, it should not come at the expense of usability. To mitigate this mistake, stick to a conventional layout that encourages user action. Consider using a two-column layout, which balances aesthetics and conversion optimization. By maintaining usability while enhancing aesthetics, you can prevent user frustration and boost engagement.
One common mistake is using subpar or ineffective call-to-actions (CTAs). CTAs guide visitors towards specific actions, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. To address this issue, strategically place CTAs throughout your website:
- Position them near the beginning of each page to capture early attention.
- Include CTAs after blog posts to encourage further engagement.
- Utilize the second column of articles for well-placed CTAs.
- Implement unobtrusive pop-up greetings with CTAs.
Ensure that your CTAs are simple and direct to maximize their persuasive power.
Ignoring search engine optimization (SEO) can result in a drop in organic traffic after a website redesign. To prevent this, incorporate SEO strategies:
- Distribute your sitemap to search engines for improved indexing.
- Modify outdated URLs rather than removing them.
- Enhance security by setting up SSL certificates and other safeguards.
- Migrate valuable content like blogs, articles, and white papers to the new domain.
- Create unique meta titles and meta descriptions for each page to enhance visibility.
Investing time in SEO during the redesign process ensures that your website remains visible and ranks well in search engine results.
In an era dominated by mobile devices, failing to create a mobile-friendly website can be detrimental. To mitigate this mistake, ensure that your redesigned website is compatible with various mobile operating systems. By doing so, you cater to the preferences of the majority of users who access websites via mobile devices. This enhances their experience and increases the likelihood of engagement.
Neglecting user experience, especially in terms of navigation, can lead to lost traffic. To address this issue, prioritize intuitive navigation during your website redesign. Make sure the menu is easy to locate and use, minimizing visitor frustration and encouraging exploration. An efficient navigation system retains visitors and keeps them engaged.
Successful websites rely on engaging and informative content. To mitigate the mistake of ignoring content strategy, establish a robust plan before launching your redesigned website. Regardless of the content type (e.g., online diaries, videos, ebooks, research papers), having a clear strategy in place ensures consistent posting and the use of popular search terms. This, in turn, increases the visibility of your content and attracts leads and customers.
A common pitfall during website redesign is neglecting lead generation. To mitigate this mistake, focus on optimizing your website to efficiently create new leads. Strategically use visuals, text, and layout to convert visitors into paying clients. Placing prominent call-to-action (CTA) buttons in your site's primary navigation draws attention to the most critical actions you want visitors to take.
Understanding the critical elements that shape the user experience is paramount. By prioritizing usability over aesthetics, crafting effective CTAs, incorporating SEO strategies, ensuring mobile compatibility, streamlining navigation, developing a content strategy, and maximizing prospecting efforts, you lay the foundation for a website that not only looks good but also performs exceptionally.