Is your small business website helping or hindering your restaurant or foodservice business?
If you’re like most small businesses, your website is outdated, and not helping you to increase revenues and sales.
Even worse, your website might be completely disconnected from the brand you’ve been building.
Here are 6 key reasons why you should consider redesigning your website:
- You aren’t getting the results you want
- You updated your brand or marketing strategy but not your site
- Your website is designed for you, not for your customers
- Your site isn’t responsive or mobile-friendly
- You want to incorporate a design trend or best practice
- Your site is slow or suffers from bad usability
Let’s look at each of these in detail to help you assess how you can make your custom site design work for you, rather than against you.
1. You aren’t getting the results you want
Probably one of the most straightforward reasons to revisit your website’s design is that it’s just not working the way you’d like it to.
Often you don’t need to redo the entire site to boost performance or address an issue. Redesigning just a section of your site, or reevaluating how your customers get from point A to point B (also known as a “user flow”) might be all you need.
Keep in mind that the potential effects of a website redesign on your conversion rate are unknown without testing the changes. It’s not enough to redesign – you should also consider how you’ll test the new elements to ensure that they’re performing better.
Marketers and business owners usually go into a website redesign without a process in place to test the page templates and landing page elements that are being changed.
For more about website design testing, we recommend you read How A/B Testing Can Help Your Small Business increase Conversions and Revenues.
2. You updated your brand or marketing strategy
Brand and marketing strategies are fluid, living things.
It’s important that they adapt to changes in the business environment and shifts in your audience’s demographics or desires.
If you’ve changed your company’s logo design and branding or overall marketing strategy, it is critical to update your website.
Many small businesses assume that brands start and end with their business name and logo, and overlook all of the other important marketing content that is a part of any substantial branding effort.
As we wrote previously:
A brand is more than logo design. But marketing efforts can fall flat if you lose credibility with your marketing collateral. You must keep an eye on branding (easier for the world’s biggest brands – they can spend billions building their brands) because it’s too easy to make a branding mistake that can cripple your small business. For example, if your branding is inconsistent or consistently poor in email and content marketing campaigns, people will notice.
Your website and your brand should work in tandem. A misalignment can damage not only your brand but also your customer’s trust.
3. Your website is designed for you, not your customers
A common issue for many sites is they were designed with the company’s needs first.
Your customers expect your site to clearly show them how to get to the things important to them. If your company’s forte is information, your site should be structured and designed to get customers in front of that information quickly.
If you sell products or services, your site should be optimized so customers can access these things with as little friction as possible.
Try to look at your site as if you were the customer.
Think about your customer’s goals and the reason they use your site.
How many clicks does it take for a customer to achieve their primary goal? Consider whether they are buying an item, signing up for an account, or reading an article.
4. Your site isn’t responsive or mobile-friendly
According to research by comscore, mobile users spend more than double the minutes online than desktop users.
If your website isn’t “responsive” – that is, if it doesn’t adapt its layout for screens of many different sizes (desktop, mobile, tablet, etc.), you may be presenting your users with a subpar experience.
Moreover, Google penalizes sites in its search results if those sites are not mobile-friendly.
5. You want to incorporate a new design trend or best practice
No one wants to be seen as out-of-date or behind the times, and leveraging design trends can be an excellent way to refresh the look of your website.
As we said in our look at this year’s web design trends:
A dated or poor looking website design can make even the best businesses appear non-professional and unreliable.
If you want your business to thrive, you have to stand out and one good way to do so is to take advantage of hot website design trends to give your website or landing page a sharp, contemporary feel.
Trends may be a great way to keep your site looking current, but adding one means committing to updating your site when the trend moves on. This isn’t a bad thing: you want your site design to stay fresh, after all.
6. Your site is slow
A site that plain doesn’t work or works terribly is one of the most critical reasons to redesign. You don’t want a poorly working site to weigh down your brand or lower your customer’s trust, do you?
According to studies by content distribution network provider Akamai, a two-second delay in webpage loading time increases “bounce rate” (the number of people who immediately leave a site) by a whopping 103%. Not only that: 53% of mobile site visitors will leave if a page takes longer than three seconds to load.
How your business website looks and works reflect on your business. It can either help or hurt your revenues and profits.
Your website may not be working as well as you’d like now, but you’re only one redesign away from one that does.
Amanda Bowman is in marketing/research for crowdspring, one of the world’s leading marketplaces for crowdsourced logo design, web design, graphic design, product design, and company naming services.