Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Do you know just frustrating it is to visit a website that just doesn’t work? You see, your website is the first point of contact between you and a potential customer or client. And when it doesn’t work for them, you can be sure they will never come back. Many small business owners and ecommerce store owners know this, yet they keep trying to “manage” their stores and websites.

If you’re one of those people, how long do you want to continue managing that? More importantly, how do you know when your website needs a professional redesign? When do you decide that managing your website, yourself, isn’t worth it anymore? The following “symptoms” are clear indicators that your website needs a complete overhaul.

Outdated Websites with Old Designs

We’re sorry, but no one can tolerate old designs anymore. In graphic designers’ parlance, “those designs suck”. Doubt that? How come you’re no longer wearing jerry curls? Once upon a time, they might have been cool but times have changed. The same goes for something that’s even more important than your looks -- your website, which should be a huge part of your revenue. If you think that baggy jeans don’t work anymore, why in the world would you “assault” your visitors’ eyes with gaudy website designs that are so 1990?

Do yourself a favor: go take a look at your competitors’ websites. If they’ve upgraded their designs, it’s time to do the same to yours. A modern or contemporary website design portrays to your visitor that you’re serious and can be trusted, and keeping it fresh sends the message to watch for new goods and services. An old-looking one simply tells them to be wary.

High Bounce and Lower Conversion Rates

If lots of people are visiting and leaving within seconds of arriving at your website or they aren’t responding to your call to action, be it signing up for your newsletter or not making any purchases, the fault may lie with your website design.

This is particularly true if the content on the site or ecommerce store isn’t bad. These two things will not only affect your sales and revenue, they affect your rankings on the search engines, resulting in decreased search engine visibility.

Poor Navigational Flow

Is it easy for people to find what they need on your website? Or do they have to spend a lot of time looking for an item? If it’s the latter, then you need to completely rethink your navigational structure.

Your website should be designed in such a way that people can easily find whatever they need within seconds of searching for it. Of particular interest is your search bar. Never make the mistake of relying on Google’s own search bar. You should instead create your own custom search bar designed specifically to display results in your website’s database.

Poor Shopping Cart Experience

If people cannot what they want as soon as they want it, you will miss out on a ton of money. You see, people are no longer patient. A broken shopping cart or an unpleasant experience will result in potential customers abandoning the shopping cart and leaving in droves for your competition’s stores. They may, in fact, go to more effort to do so than it would take to work around the problem they encountered on your site.

Don’t let this happen. Use proven shopping cart platforms like those provided by FastSpring to enhance their shopping experience and minimize the number of hoops they have to jump through.

Some other excellent reasons for a website redesign include not being mobile-friendly or optimized for mCommerce, too many broken links resulting in error 404 pages, difficulty in updating your website’s or store’s content, and slow web site loading speeds to mention a few. By the time your customers encounter these problems, you're already past the point where you needed a professional solution.

Author Bio: 
Oscar King is a freelance writer and small business operator who offers advice and solutions to the problems faced by businesses in the digital age.

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