Does your business website need a website refresh?
Often, I hear people say statements like, “Hmmmm, I think my website is fine.” A moment of consideration leads me to question, are they really certain?
When I hear someone label their website as “fine” or “satisfactory”, it signals that it might be time for a website refresh. If you’re describing your website as less than amazing, chances are, it could use a boost. But does that mean you should completely replace your current website?
Let’s be real. While your site may be functional, it might not be operating at its full potential. I’ve had several clients that were astounded to see their website refresh leading to tripled, or even higher, inquiry rates. They might be shocked. I’m not.
Your website is your head honcho driver of sales. Regardless of how people first discover you, your website is where they look for validation. Is this business real? Are they up to date? Do they provide a QUALITY service or product?
A report by Stanford found that 75% of people judge a company by how its website looks. And 94% of people say that poor web design is the reason they mistrust a website – you betcha that translates to lost sales.
So, here are some questions that may help you evaluate whether your website needs a bit of TLC. And, before you ask, YES, these affect your Google rankings / SEO! Let’s dive in:
Answer the 9 Questions to see if you need a brand refresh:
- Do you have even one image that is low quality or pixelated? Do images get cut off in odd places on different screen sizes? Poor images are one of the first things that people notice and chances are that even one low quality image can affect viewer’s perceptions (sad, but true).
- When was the last website refresh? If it’s been five years, your site isn’t merely “fine”! Google tends to demote stagnant websites in search results.
- Does it look just as good on mobile devices – is it designed with different screen sizes in mind? Mobile accounts for just over half of website traffic. Does it require your viewer to do any screen pinching or horizontal scrolling? Eeek, no good my friend.
- Does it match your branding in EVERY way – colours, fonts, textures, logos, treatment of photos? See stats above! A perfectly on-brand website will create trust in your viewers.
- Do you get lots of website visits but no conversions? There are lots of tricks and tips to help funnel your viewers where you want them without being overly “salesy”. It’s often simply knowing what content to put on what page. (Hint: my free Website Content Creation Guide can help with that)
- Does it match the quality of love, care and passion that you put into your products or services? (Hint: what people see here is what they will expect from your product).
- Can people even find your site? How’s your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) doing? There are 4.8 billion internet users in the world. Make sure they can discover you! Hone in on your keywords and make sure they are all over inside your site.
- Have you DIYed your site? I’m sure you did a great job at the time. Of course not everyone is is a position to invest in a good website at the start of their business. But if it’s lasted a few years and your business is cranking along, it may be time to release the DIY reigns. Let’s be honest, particularly if it is self-designed, there are likely design holes that you don’t even see. I’d almost guarantee that there are bits that are a wee bit fugly (sorry, not sorry). You may not see if if it’s your own child, but having some other eyes on it to assess can be a great idea (particularly from a designer – see below!).
- Are you proud to call it home? We’ll end on this one. Your website is your home online. It is your foundation. You should be proud of it. You should want to show it off and shout it from the rooftops. It is also the only bit of online presence that belongs to you – the only thing you can control. You have no handle over Instagram changing its algorithms again or someone leaving you a bad review. If your website (and branding) is strong and something you show with head held high, the little glow of pride will translate to sales.
What is a website refresh?
What exactly is a ‘website refresh’? This is a term used to describe a series of updates that improve your website’s appearance, functionality, or content without changing its fundamental structure or navigation.
Imagine Google changing its logo for a day, while the functioning of the search engine remains intact. Similarly, a website refresh might involve updating your branding elements, such as colours and graphics, but retaining your current website. Your navigation menu, all your existing pages, and blog posts remain within the same hierarchy.
The scope of a website refresh can range from simple to complex. It could be as straightforward as selecting a more modern typography, or as involved as an extensive overhaul of your company’s colour palette. The changes can be introduced all at once, or one at a time to measure each update’s impact on your SEO.
Importantly, a website refresh is about breathing new life into your site, making it more visually appealing, user-friendly, and engaging, without requiring a complete rebuild. It’s about enhancing what works, and improving what doesn’t. It’s the online equivalent of a home renovation, where you might change the decor, add some new furniture, and maybe knock down a wall or two, but you’re not moving to a new address.
So, if your website could use a bit of a sprucing up, it might be time for a website refresh. Remember, a fresh, up-to-date website is crucial for attracting and retaining your target audience, as well as improving your SEO and conversion rates.
Website Refresh Vs. Website Redesign
A ‘website redesign’ is more radical than a ‘website refresh’. Think of it as a complete overhaul of how your website works, including the way it organizes and displays content. A redesign often involves changing the core system, maybe switching to a different content management system, or shifting from a static to a responsive design, perhaps even adopting WordPress for the first time.
Such substantial alterations mean that a redesign is usually a much more intricate and time-consuming project, often requiring some form of training for you to manage and maintain the new system effectively.
But a redesign isn’t always about radical structural changes. It could also be a simpler project, such as creating a fresh theme or skin for your existing content management system. It might involve altering the layout of your website or introducing a new colour scheme.
It’s crucial to understand that a website refresh can sometimes overlap with a redesign. A fresh layout and colour palette might be considered a ‘refresh’, but when it fundamentally alters how the site operates, it crosses into the territory of a ‘redesign’.
In essence, a website refresh is like giving your online presence a facelift, while a redesign is more akin to a full-blown reconstructive surgery. Each has its place, and the choice between them depends on your unique needs, goals, and the current state of your website.
Website Refresh Outcome
If your website doesn’t seem as “fine” as you thought, don’t worry. A website refresh can be a beneficial investment rather than a daunting task. A website redesigned with strategy, purpose, functionality, and branding can streamline your operations. It’s possible to have a user-friendly website that you can easily keep fresh and SEO-friendly.
And here’s another thing – you won’t regret it. No one ever regrets it. You are about to fall in love with your business all over again!
Ready for a Website Refresh?
If you’re ready to take the leap and have your website refreshed, let’s talk. Hop on my Work With Me page and fill in the form for a free 20-minute Zoom coffee meeting with me. I offer fully custom site builds designed to be gorgeous and functional. I am proud to also offer site builds in the amazing Showit platform. Head to: https://studio8design.com/work-with-me
While some ask if a total website refresh is necessary or if an update will suffice, I generally recommend a complete overhaul. Working on a fresh canvas is often easier and more liberating than being bound by pre-existing templates.
However, if you feel you may just need a professional eye over your website, I offer consultation by the hour and can have a look over your existing site to see what it may need to amp it up just that little bit more.
Free Website Content Creation Guide
Is this the year for a new website refresh? Great news! I’ve got a value-packed freebie that will help you create the perfect copy, images and messaging. My Website Content Creation Guide will assist you with tips, tricks and tools to help your website really work for you. With page-by-page breakdowns, checklists, and guided tips for choosing images, getting keywords and solidifying your message, it is packed to the brim with value.
You’ll find 27 pages of simple, bite-sized plans, worksheets and all the basics to give you a website that truly converts, whether working with a designer or doing it on your own.
This is the exact guide that I send my web design clients! All yours. You can thank me later!