Now that we are firmly into 2017, you might be getting itchy feet about your business’s website – new year, new me, new website?
Before making the jump into completely overhauling your website, it is important to consider whether a completely new design is required or if subtle little changes might be best.
Avoiding the Temptation
When contemplating a new design for your website it is very easy to fall into the trap of completely ripping up your original design and starting again. Don’t, at least not entirely.
The best brands are recognisable by various colour schemes and features, and completely changing this can have a negative effect instead of a positive. Consider whether the changes you have in mind serve the purpose of the customer, or whether they are to fix what isn’t actually broken. More often than not, it is the latter.
Google is possibly the best example of where minor changes work best. The layout of the search engine has always predominantly remained the same and is recognisable around the world. It is a formula that works and works well.
Making small, but effective, changes to your website is often the best way to go. If your website is not suffering from a large bounce rate and the general feedback is positive, look into what features are not working and what can be improved.
If you have an e-commerce website, you might be able to modify the checkout process and improve customer experience, making it easier for them to purchase your products. Making the process as simple as possible for your customer to achieve their intended goals is the operative goal.
Deciding a New Website is required
Should you believe that a completely new website is needed after considering all of the finer aspects, you will want to want to sit down with your team, and/or possibly a web design agency, and brainstorm ideas for your new site.
If your website is three or more years older, the chances are that it was developed using defunct technology, meaning that this provides the opportunity to make vast improvements to your web presence.
Developing a new website must also take into consideration the emergence of mobile browsing – this is nothing new, however, web designers now consider a website’s layout on mobile and tablet devices before desktop computers. October 2016 saw mobile and tablet browsing (51.3%) overtake the desktop (48.7%), according to web analytics firm StatCounter.
It is only natural that web designers cater for the larger and growing market trend, especially with no signs of web browsing habits swinging back the other way. Of course, that does not mean disregarding a website’s desktop layout – this can be made simple with a responsive template, automatically optimising your website to the device which it is being viewed on.
Consider a Static Front Page
Computers have become more powerful and internet speeds have increased, so surely you can welcome visitors to your site with an animation produced by your graphic design team?
Yes, if you feel that your customers are willing to wait as the sizeable page opens up on their mobile device.
Last year saw a lot of web designers revert back to static front pages, and that trend is set to continue in 2017. A static front page will decrease the size of the landing page, making your website load a lot quicker than the average five seconds waiting time and improve user experience, potentially putting you ahead of your competitors and making you the first point of call.
Digital Marketing and SEO Strategy
There is no point is having an amazing website if nobody is going to see it. Your digital marketing and SEO strategies should be developed before your website in order to hit the ground running.
Google rewards website for having high quality and consistent content, so it may well be worth your time including a blog section and keeping this regularly updated (at least once or twice a week). Not only will this allow your company to discuss issues important to your customers, but will help to develop keywords and push your website further up Google’s rankings.
As well as producing written content, your website will benefit from making use of images and videos. Not only will this help to break up any text, but this can help to increase user experience, particularly when browsing on smaller mobile devices, and can also have a positive effect on a website’s SEO.