Is your business’s website long overdue for an upgrade?
Redesigning business websites is an important job, but it’s not an easy one. From content strategy to website loading time, there are many factors that a web design agency must consider. Creating a new website design from scratch certainly isn’t for the faint of heart.
Still, even the most challenging task can be managed as long as you’re prepared. The question is, what common web redesign mistakes do you need to watch out for?
To some extent, the answer depends on what kind of website you need to make. Different businesses face different challenges when they set up shop online. Redesigning an online store for an eCommerce business is a completely different process from setting up a simple blog or a photography portfolio site.
However, some challenges are common to most website redesigns. And those are the ones we’ll be looking at today. In this article, we’ll go over 10 different issues and challenges that frequently come up during website redesigns.
Whether you’re reimagining your online store or designing mobile websites, keep reading to find out what the biggest pitfalls are to avoid during redesigns.
1. Not Setting Goals for Your Redesign
A website redesign isn’t something you want to launch into without careful goal-setting first. It’s important to ask yourself why you’re redesigning your site in the first place. Are you hoping to boost your SEO, improve your lead generation, or increase sales?
Perhaps your website is visually unappealing or difficult to navigate. It may be that your site simply looks old and dated. Or your existing site could have a combination of problems that hold your business back from reaching the next level.
Whatever the reasons for your redesign, identifying them at the beginning will help you throughout the entire process. Knowing why you’re redesigning your site will show you what to focus on and what to ignore. Without setting these priorities first, you could end up distracted by a dozen different factors that aren’t important to your end result.
Take a few minutes to dial in on the exact reasons your site needs to be remade. Doing this will make the rest of the task easier.
2. Failing to Write a Redesign Strategy
It’s been said that failing to plan is planning to fail. And nowhere is that more true than in business and marketing. Before you take the first step in rethinking your website, make sure you identify the main tasks in the process.
Identifying your priorities for the redesign is the first step to creating a strategy. If you took our advice about setting goals for your new site, then you’ve already done this. Now, figure out how you’ll create the new site step-by-step in such a way that each of those objectives is reached.
Part of creating a redesign strategy should involve evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of your current site. Examine your analytics and feedback data from previous versions of your website (we’ll talk more about this later on). Knowing where you need to improve and what you’re already doing well is essential to directing your attention effectively.
3. Setting an Unrealistic Launch Date
It’s usually a good thing to be ambitious when starting a new business project. Setting a challenging goal for yourself to reach towards can stimulate new growth and improve success. But it’s important not to be too optimistic, especially where things like launch dates are concerned.
If your website redesign is part of a broader business relaunch or marketing tactic, you may be eager to tell the world about your plans. Planning a public launch, even for something as simple as a website, can be an exciting way to promote your brand. But remember to keep your intentions grounded.
Even if your website relaunch date is strictly for internal planning, it’s important to be realistic. You need to give your team plenty of time to get the job done well. Creating a tight deadline can result in unnecessary pressure and poor results.
4. Miscalculating the Necessary Budget
There’s no doubt about it: good web design costs money. Gimmicks like pre-made website templates that you can use for free rarely produce professional results. To get the website your brand deserves, you must be prepared to invest in it.
Fortunately, good web design services are within reach of just about any business’s budget. But it’s wise to be prepared to spend more than you expect, just in case. Much like setting an overly tight deadline, creating a needlessly limited budget can set you up for failure.
Of course, the final cost of website building will depend on the type of business you run. A simple freelancer portfolio will cost a lot less to set up than a complex eCommerce sales machine. The important thing is to have realistic cost expectations and to leave room in your budget for unforeseen expenses.
5. Not Optimizing for Lead Generation
Your business’s website should be its best salesperson. It shouldn’t just look nice and use the latest technology. It should also be an effective lead generation machine.
If you fail to optimize your new website for bringing in leads, you’ll be wasting its potential. One of the most important things a website can do is attract new prospects and get them to hand over their information for future sales. A website redesign is a perfect opportunity to optimize this side of your business.
The graphics, formatting, and text you use will all play a role in acquiring leads. The content your produce on your site will also have a big part to play, as we’ll talk about next. The important thing to remember is to make sure every element on your site works together cohesively.
This is another area where you’ll want to look at your current and previous website designs and their performance. Where does your existing website excel at generating leads, and where does it need improvement? Make sure you learn from your successes and your failures alike as you create your new site.
6. Overlooking Content Strategy
A common mistake made by inexperienced web developers is choosing design over content. But the content you publish on your website is a key part of generating leads and making sales. To make the most of your website redesign, you’ve got to build it with your content strategy in mind.
There are different types of content that you can publish to attract leads and customers. Some businesses focus almost entirely on blogging to get attention, while others run podcasts or YouTube channels. The kinds of content your business creates should inform the design decisions you make for your website.
To take full advantage of your content marketing strategy, make sure you work with a design agency that knows what it’s doing. The last thing you want is to end up with a pretty website that doesn’t promote your content or capture new leads.
7. Failing to Simplify Your Site’s Design
One of the best things you can do with a website redesign is to simplify your site. Poorly made websites often suffer from an overabundance of features, options, and visual elements. For best results, you should try to give your site visitors as few options as possible while still getting desirable results.
Cluttered and overly complex webpages can overwhelm visitors. Websites like these often suffer from a high bounce rate, meaning people click onto the site from search results only to click the “back” button or navigate away. If your existing site has a high bounce rate, complexity might be its problem.
Once again, the best solution for avoiding an overly complex site is to work with an experienced developer. Ideally, find an agency that specializes in generating leads and sales through web design. This can ensure you get the results you need for your business.
8. Not Prioritizing the Mobile Experience
As you’re probably aware, most web browsing doesn’t take place on desktop computers these days. Instead, people often browse the web on their phones or other mobile devices. This trend towards mobile browsing has shaken up several industries, especially where digital marketing is concerned.
You’ve probably also heard about the importance of responsive web design. A responsive website automatically adjusts to fit the size and ratio of any screen. While responsive design is very important, it only scratches the surface when it comes to mobile-optimized web design.
To make the most of the traffic to your site, it needs to be optimized for viewing on mobile devices. This means little details, like text size and image placement, need to be altered to create a positive mobile browsing experience. You can’t accomplish this through responsive design alone—you need a skilled developer to optimize your site for all browsers.
9. Forgetting Previous Analytics and Feedback
Even when you’re designing a new website from scratch, you need to study any data you have from previous site designs. If you have a software tool like Google Analytics set up, it can tell you how people respond to and behave on your site. You can use this data, along with any user feedback you may have received, to improve your new website.
Analytics and visitor feedback can help you understand what’s already great about your existing website. They can shine a light on the expectations and experiences people have when they visit your site. This knowledge can be used to inform your redesign plans, ensuring you don’t leave out anything important.
With your new website, all the weak points that held previous versions of your site back should be eliminated. But any strengths and advantages your old site versions had should be carried over to the new design. This is critical for ensuring your existing customers have a positive experience on your new site.
10. Failing to Test the New Site
Last but not least, no business website redesign is complete without careful testing. Launching your new website and promoting it without testing it thoroughly first can lead to all kinds of problems. Even the most careful redesign is bound to have a few bugs at first, so testing is required to iron these out before it goes public.
Rigorous testing should involve browsing through every part of the website from many different kinds of browsers and devices. Each feature and element should be tried out to make sure it works. Ideally, this should be done by multiple people, and more than once, to ensure nothing gets overlooked.
The good news is, if you followed all the other advice on this list, you shouldn’t have many problems to work out by the time the new website is complete.
Avoid Web Redesign Mistakes With Fishhook Marketing
By now you know about 10 of the biggest web redesign mistakes businesses and web designers need to avoid. From failing to set appropriate goals to skipping adequate testing, these tips should help you get moving in the right direction.
However, this list only scratches the surface. The reality is, there are countless little errors and unforeseen mistakes that can wreck your redesign plans. Unless you’re an experienced web designer, it would be nearly impossible to avoid them all.
Fortunately, Fishhook Marketing can do the work for you. Contact us today and let us build a website your business deserves.