The first step is to assess the pain points of your current audience. Those weak spots that could be improved on. Especially if you already have a strong digital presence.
You might, on the other hand, be getting a lot of visitors but zero increase in your conversion rates. In which case you need to assess the effectiveness of the design.
However, a major website rebuild will rarely be the right solution, whatever the problems are.
Focus more on what is actually working really well first.
You can then save money on costly website rebuilds by making, smaller incremental changes during the lifetime of your website. You may also need to improve your content, make pages more searchable or calls to action clearer.
1. We Don’t Like Change
We often become frustrated when our favourite app or website introduces a new design feature. Or just simply moves things around, simply because they can, and have a sizeable budget. It doesn’t mean they are right to do so!
Big changes disturb our sense of reassurance.
We all want an easy life online when our time is limited. The web is stressful enough with so much competing for our attention. So make it your mission to ensure your own website is really easy and simple to use and changes are small and audience focused.
2. Audience Surveys and Feedback Forms
It’s really easy and can be fun to do some basic audience research.
For a start you should always include a permanent feedback form on your site. With a prominent link placed in the footer perhaps. This is crucial if you are selling products online or running customer services.
User feedback informs your design choices.
If there are deeper issues with usability you should run a web survey. Use the survey to gain feedback on the specific problems you want to solve. There are handy survey tools available including Survey Monkey.
Email the survey to your customer base or everyone on your mailing list. You’ll be surprised how well people respond when they are asked for an opinion on something! All feedback is helpful.
3. Does Your Content Need Improving?
Solutions to website failings or a lack of engagement can often be solved by addressing content issues. Are your pages easy to read? Not just in terms of spelling and grammar, but is the text big enough, are the headings clear and concise? Are the pages too busy?
You can instantly transform your negative bounce rates with more professional looking graphics. Ensure your calls to actions link to the right pages and are only one click away. In truth, make sure your pages are concise and not boring!
4. Keep Your CMS Updated
By keeping your CMS regularly updated with the latest security fixes you can prolong the life of your website for many years.
Think why you would want to endure the stress of a complicated rebuild when your existing website can easily be reconfigured like new. Any content management system can be reshaped and updated very easily.
This of course largely depends on how robust and well the original site was built. WordPress will even run updates for you, in the background.
5. Spread Out The Cost
Paying the price for cutting corners.
When developers have to cut corners to meet an impossible launch date, you will pay a substantial cost over the longer term. Any time-saving hacks applied to meet a strict launch date will need to be fixed at some point.
Allow breathing space when changing your website. Spread out your budget over a longer period. When people are under less pressure they are more likely to deliver a great customer experience. Invest more in the design process, getting to know your audience, before spending anything on development changes.
6. The Extra Mile For True Success
The savings you make can then be invested in marketing or staff.
The cost savings you gain from making smaller, incremental website updates can be redirected to your marketing efforts. Ultimately, for your website to really go the extra mile and be truly successful you sometimes need to invest in paid promotions.
This might include digital advertising or the hiring of social media staff and professional content creators. Eventually your time is then freed up to run your business and look after customers.