Five questions to ask before you redesign your website

Today, your Web site is your first impression for most prospective clients. Online marketing has become the most popular and effective method of marketing services, products, sharing information in the form of news, campaigns, contests, blog articles, forum discussions, communities instant messages.

Here are five questions to ask in determining if you may need to redesign your site:

1. Does your website attract the right people?

In order to attract the right people, you have to attract the search engines that will index the site up high on their list of sites if it has the content people are searching for. This is called Search Engine Optimization or SEO. The first thing you have to do is to write content that search engines will index. To attract targeted traffic that translates into sales you have to put in the customer-attracting keywords on each page.

Preferably, these keywords are not used by every other site offering the same services, because then your site would have to deal with a lot of competition!

2. Is the information targeted to the right audience?

Identify the target audience of your website and develop the information that directly communicates with them. Ignore the irrelevant information from your website. If you have more than one audience then you must categorize the information and navigate them accordingly. Start structuring your information now.

3. Does your website convert visitors to customers?

To convert browsers into buyers, you need a website that

  • Is quick-loading
  • Presents content that communicates clearly
  • Is user-friendly
  • Is easy to read
  • Has a clear call to action for the browser to buy
  • Offers payment options that are easy for the buyer to use

4. How quickly does your website load?

“I want a Flash site”, you may say. Yes, Flash sites are attractive but for people who don’t have high-speed internet access and still use dial-up services, sites designed in Flash take long to load. Also, search engines prefer text content and so Flash sites will lose out on optimization and conversion factors.

Other factors that affect loading time are:

  • Low upload speed from the host site
  • Too much scripting and comments in the HTML code

Remember, if your site takes more than 7 or 8 minutes to load, you’ve lost your potential customers. Keep it simple.

5. Is your website user-friendly?

A user-friendly site will ensure that a browser will quickly find what s/he is looking for, or you’ve soon lost a potential customer. Simple, clean navigation is important. People are impatient and studies show that they will leave the site in less than two minutes if they don’t find what they are looking for.

6. Does your website text include a call to action?

Prompting the user to action with a button or link that says “Buy now” or “Contact us today” and leading her to the page on the site that offers several easy payment options is the right way to close the sale.

7. Does your website offer different payment options?

Having done all that you can on your website to keep customers engaged and interested in buying, you need to offer a variety of payment options to close the sale:

  • Paypal
  • Credit card
  • Mail order
  • Cheque by mail…is some of them.

Redesigning your website is a big task so it’s important that your efforts are targeted and relevant to the needs of your site visitors. Investigating the needs of your website visitors and evaluating your offline Communications strategies are important precursors to determining if a website redesign is necessary and Assuring that yours will be a successful one.

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