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Should I redesign or fix my website?

I heard this question from a business owner the other day: “Should I redesign my site or can it be fixed?

The site wasn’t creating sales nor was there as much traffic to it. When the site was built, they had it optimized for the search engines. However, they did little additional online marketing. The content on the site hadn’t been updated in years. This is not unusual. Many businesses have limited time and budget and plan to do more when they can.

When a site isn’t getting enough traffic nor converting the traffic it does get, a website redesign is often thought to be the answer. But before you go spending the time and money on a redesign, it might be a wise investment to look at your website from several perspectives, including some based on the concepts of usability and SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Does your current site address:

1. Specifically who are the targeted visitors who will be coming to your site? What are they hoping to accomplish and can they easily find this information or product? Is your information up-to-date?
2. Why are your visitors there? Why did they feel the need to find your site in the first place? What motivation are you providing them to stay at your site? How are you persuading them to buy your product or service; how are you helping them to make that decision?
3. Has your website been built so that the search engines can “read” and index it? Has it been optimized?
4. How are people going to know about your website? “Build it and they will come” only works in the movies. Do you have a strategy for how to improve your website’s visibility and presence in the search engines and in the off-line world? Have you taken advantage of local search opportunities such as Google Local, email campaigns to current clients, social media opportunities and online press release services? Do you have digital assets, such as pictures or press releases that can be used in new ways to promote your site?

If your current site doesn’t do these well, a newly redesigned site won’t work much better unless you plan on addressing these issues. In many cases, a new website design isn’t needed. What is needed is a fresh look at your site from your visitors’ point of view and an assessment of your current online marketing, much of which costs more in time than in actual dollars.

Often an investment in better content – copy, images, video clips, that addresses your audience’s needs and wants will provide a better result as will a targeted plan to increase your website’s visibility through the Web.

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