Having a visually appealing website is no longer a choice for companies – it is a business imperative. You have merely 50 milliseconds to appeal to their website visitors and form a solid and positive opinion.
It takes them only half a second to decide if they want to do business with you. Research confirms that 94% of visitors’ first impressions are related to a company’s website design.
For visitors, the quality of the site design can speak of the quality of your services. 48% of people cite the website’s design as a critical aspect determining a brand’s credibility. A user-centric approach to web design makes the page experience a significant ranking by Google.
So when transitioning to a new business model or implementing a different strategy, it is vital to overhaul your website. This redesign can play an important role in enhancing the user experience.
However, sometimes web designers overlook critical issues, resulting in the following design mistakes.
1. Redesigning your website without a mind map
It may seem appealing to get done with a website redesign using a cookie-cutter site theme. Many managers believe planning to design your website is overkill.
However, having a mind map and a blueprint is critical to a successful website redesign.
Set aside time, efforts, and resources to create a robust strategy and plan. The result will be a website that’s intuitive and easy to use for your intended audiences.
For starters, you should understand your target audience so your investment in content development pays off. This will help you create content that appeals to them and keeps them hooked to your website. Also, evaluate what goals you aim to achieve and how you will reach them. Based on this information, create a comprehensive plan and design strategy.
Here’s a quick list of things you need to do when starting your website redesign process:
- Backup current data on your site before making any changes
- Create an appealing website icon
- Generate new forms for your website
- Add your company and business information
- Include social media icons to enable easy sharing
- Create subscription forms and invitations
Also, list down all the essential elements that you would want to see on your new website. You might have a bunch of new ideas and concepts that you want to experiment with. This is where a mind map can come in handy.
But what is a mind map, and how can it help in the website redesign process?
A mind map is a great tool to boost your creativity and organize your thoughts and ideas. Mind maps are also easy to contribute to, and several people can contribute their ideas at once.
Things to include in a practical mind map:
- Your website’s name
- The key elements surrounding your website are menus, categories, subpages, header, footer, etc.
- Flesh out each element
- Highlight each area/element of your website and refer to departments responsible for working on that element
- Use visuals and colors to differentiate ideas
2. Not conducting enough research for your site structure
Businesses are often in such a hurry and make redesign without researching their target market. However, this is not a sustainable approach as it often fails.
Therefore, it is paramount to carry out extensive research before redesigning a website.
Also, consider researching your target audience, including community mapping and keyword research. Use all garnered information in your redesign. Industry statistics help you understand your clients and competitors better.
Once you garner all the essential information, leverage and implement it into your website redesign. Industry statistics help you understand your clients and competitors better. These metrics can aid your design decisions and predict user behavior to a great degree.
These facts and data will let you know what is trending in your niche and use it while devising your strategy.
Additionally, analyze the effectiveness of your current website. Assess which elements worked and which parts didn’t work. Don’t forget to build a list of the best-performing pages that convert effectively and generate more leads and revenue. Make sure you know:
- Which pages had the highest bounce rate?
- Which pages converted the most customers?
- What devices are customers using to visit your website?
Answers to these questions can help you design your website structure efficiently. So you make considerable changes to it for bona fide results.
3. Not optimizing media elements
The website experience is mostly the first interaction a visitor makes with your company. Amping up your redesign game and keeping it at the forefront is imperative for businesses.
A site that works efficiently and looks appealing on different devices is supreme to maintaining consistency. Failure to do this can be a dreadful mistake in the website redesign process.
For example, web pages with a loading time of two seconds usually have a 9% bounce rate on average. In contrast, pages that take up to five seconds saw a 38% bounce rate. Large image sizes and formats can also cause your website to slow down and increase its loading time, specifically for mobile users.
Ensure all the media – images, videos, and other visual content – is optimized to load on all devices.
Research reports that 53% of users will instantly leave a mobile page when its loading time takes more than 3 seconds. Optimizing media elements on your website helps converts your random visitors into potential clients.
When visitors leave without looking at other pages, Google sees that your site is of little value. As a result, it may rank your competitors above you. That explains why slow-loading websites lead to $2.6 billion in lost revenue for companies.
Customers need to get access to information fast. When you redesign your website, you should ensure you are on the right track to satisfy this need.
4. Forgetting to set up webmaster accounts
One of the most common slip-ups made by website developers and owners is forgetting to set up webmaster accounts on their new website.
However, Bing and Google both offer webmaster tools that you can leverage for free. Furthermore, all you need to do is set up a webmaster account, submit your site and validate it; that’s it.
Here are some of the noticeable advantages of leveraging webmaster tool accounts:
- Search related statistics on search engines
- Find information about internal links and incoming traffic
- Receive direct alerts from Bing and Google if your website has issues like crawl errors, malware, etc.
- Show relevant keywords that your visitors search for when finding your website. You can leverage those keywords and integrate them into your landing page URL or content
- Receive a direct message/notification from Google stating, “Your Site May Be Hacked” in case your site security is sensitive
- Target and set different locations to get specific traffic from a particular location
This account is where you inform Google that you’ll be moving your site to a new location.
You might also want to register for Bing webmaster tools to gauge your website’s traffic, health, and other essential aspects.
5. Ignoring your website security
Without the user’s security, all that hard work put into redesigning your website might go to waste. They won’t be able to trust your website as a result of that.
There is always the possibility of phishing attacks, hacking, and other malicious activities. It is your job to ensure visitor security by implementing measures to secure your site.
If you don’t do this proactively, Google will let your potential visitors know that your site is a risk. It is effectively driving them away before they’ve even arrived at your site.
So, you need to make some security changes before the redesign process. Here are some ways to ensure your website’s security:
- Don’t leverage the default username
- Restrict wp-admin to your site’s IP address
- Implement multi-factor authentication
- Limit user login attempts
- Reduce plugins
- Keep your WordPress plugins up to date
The redesign is a necessary part of business restructuring. You are updating everything else; why should your website look old and outdated?
Timely and relevant updates can improve your brand’s influence and visibility. It positively impacts your bottom line while making your site more functional and optimized.
Redesigning a website can be a tricky process, and you have important elements to consider. Make sure you don’t make the typical mistakes described above, and your new website will be a success.
Author’s bio: Petra is an internet marketing specialist at Point Visible, a digital marketing agency providing custom blogger outreach services. In her free time, you can find her on a tatami trying to improve her aikido techniques or in the local pub with her friends. Also, she’s a coffee & chocolate addict.