The question ‘how often should I redo my website,’ yields some questionable results on Google’s results page. Article after article told me I should redesign my website every 2-3 years to keep customers happy and engaged.

Asking when to redo your site is like asking how often you should call your mom. Well, how often do you call her now? Is she happy with the amount you call her? Are you happy with it? In what ways could you both benefit from talking more or less? The answer completely depends on your situation and can’t be answered reasonably without much more information from you.

So back to answering the question. How often should you redesign your website? It depends. But it all comes down to your answer to the following question.

“Is my website continually producing satisfactory results?”

 
If your answer to the question is “yes,” and you haven’t updated your site in 5 years, or just redesigned last month, your decision should be obvious. To put it plainly: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Most likely, your answer to the question is ‘no.’ Your sales could be declining or your leads could be lowering in quality. Maybe you’ve never gotten great results from your site. In which case, it’s probably time to redo it. Regardless, if your website isn’t yielding the results you want, you should make some changes.

This list of indicators can help you decide whether or not it’s time for an update, and help direct your focus to the parts of your site that need to be improved. If you’re suffering from any of the following, your site could use some improvements.

 

1. It’s not helping you drive demand

Like we mentioned earlier, if your lead generation is low, it’s time to revamp your website. If this is the case, find the source of the problem. A ‘redesign’ just for the sake of it won’t help anyone. Is your homepage lacking clear CTAs? Does your homepage pass the 5-second test? If someone seeing your site for the first time can’t guess what your company does from glancing at the homepage for 5 seconds, prioritize clarifying your value proposition on your site’s homepage. You should also examine your user journeys. Odds are, that experience could be improved upon to help drive demand.

 

2. Your visitors are bouncing

If you get decent traffic, but all your visitors are bouncing, it’s possible that your site’s appearing in irrelevant search results. For example, if you’re running Google AdWords for ‘dress shoes’ but only sell children’s dress shoes, you’d bring in visitors that don’t belong on your site. Make it clear what people will be getting before they get to your page by utilizing titles and meta descriptions and optimizing on AdWords.

Also, make sure your website passes the 5-second test mentioned earlier. If people are brought to the website they’re intending to visit and they land on an easy-to-navigate site with clear CTAs, they’ll be more likely to stay a while.

 

3. Your users aren’t converting

This is similar to the above issue, but in this case you know you’re targeting the right audience. Your site visitors spend time on your site on multiple pages but then never convert. This probably means that you need to focus on your customer journey when redesigning your site. Your customers should be able to navigate their way around your site in their preferred medium, at their preferred time, on their preferred device. Focus on your user’s experience to bump up that conversion rate. Your objective is to help users find what they didn’t know they were looking for, which can be accomplished by creating enticing content and improving your user experience.

 

4. Your buyers aren’t finding you in the first place

If you aren’t appearing in searches or are having trouble bringing in your target audience, it’s time to do some search engine optimization and persona research. First, do you know your buyer personas? This is required research before redoing a website. You must learn who’s visiting your site and why, and what interests and inspires those people in order to build a site that properly serves them. If this is news to you, have no fear. We’ve created an effective and actionable workbook that goes through the whole process of researching and building your buyer personas.

Complete the workbook
“How to Create a Purposeful Content Strategy” to build out your buyer personas.

Now you know your target audience. But you’re still having trouble getting them on your site. This is where SEO comes in. Google’s latest update favors original, high-quality content. Make sure your company has a quality blog that offers relevant thought leadership and be sure to update it often. If you think you’re behind in more ways than just a lack of fresh content, it may be that you need to redo your website with current SEO trends in mind to improve your site’s ranking.

Check out the comprehensive SEO checklist to see if your site is up to speed.

Search engine optimization and persona research can massively improve the quality of the leads you’re attracting on your site. But these both must be done before designing your site. Think about SEO and persona research like blueprints for your website. SEO will help determine your site’s architecture, while your personas will be who you build your website around.

 

5. Your site is not optimized for a mobile device

With Google’s recent updates expanding mobile friendliness as a ranking signal, it’s clear that mobile is the direction we all should be headed. Even if you have a B2B site and few users are tracking from mobile devices, your SEO is still going to suffer without an update. The time has come to bite the bullet and optimize your site for mobile, no matter where your customers are coming from.

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6. You can’t update your site easily

If you’re not using a Content Management System, it’s likely that your site isn’t updated with fresh content often, and there’s probably some outdated content on there too. When you redevelop your site, take a look at Umbraco or Drupal as CMS options. Because of Google’s tendency to favor sites that are updated often, switching to a CMS is necessary. Your site’s managers will be grateful for the ability to quickly and easily swap out content without needing to use code.

 

7. You aren’t using HTTPS

HTTPS used to only be used by e-commerce sites and other websites that handled secure information. Nowadays, however, it’s becoming increasingly important that every site use HTTPS for SEO, increased page speed, user perception, and security.

If you aren’t convinced your site should be using HTTPS, check out the 5 Reasons You Should be Using HTTPS.

While beginning to use HTTPS won’t require redoing your website, you will have to purchase an SSL certificate and set up 301 redirects, so it will require involving your tech team.

In short, it’s time to update your website if it isn’t accomplishing what you want it to accomplish.

And if it isn’t, pinpoint the problems and get down to the source of those problems. Your conversion rate might be lower than you’d like, so focus on improving the customer journey to solve that problem. Your redesign should revolve around fixing the problems you’re facing. With a clear direction and thorough research, the resources that go into redoing your site will be well worth it for your business.

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