Do You Need a New Website? Here’s How to Tell
Making the decision to build a new website or invest in a refresh requires a lot more than looking at it. While a visual assessment helps, data points should also be a huge deciding factor. We’ve put together a few ways to determine if you need a new website, plus what you should expect to do after it goes live.
The decision-making process for a new website can break down into three categories.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- User Experience
These categories overlap to some extent, and it’s important to remember that websites function as a whole—so addressing a single site element won’t address all your problems. Enhancing the user experience won’t necessarily improve your SEO. Have a speedy website? It won’t matter if search engines can’t find it. Similarly, even perfect SEO won’t help if the user experience is clunky or the site looks like something from the AOL days.
If you need a clear definition of the terms used throughout this piece, make sure you have our handy SEO glossary open.
Why Design a New Website?
These are the major benefits of a new website, as well as the related signs that a website needs work:
Poor SEO means search engines like Google can’t find your content, which means users won’t be able to find it either. A new website is an opportunity to map out your existing content, analyze content from your competitors and build new pages that reflect all your goods or services to capture high-value traffic.
Optimizing your new website for SEO will help you target specific keywords, reduce keyword cannibalization, rethink navigation and link hierarchy and inform how many pages are created for the new site. By researching keywords, you’ll be able to analyze the quantity and quality of search traffic associated with each key phrase, then group those keywords to use on particular pages. That’s something Oneupweb’s content marketing and SEO team does very, very well.
A new website is also a chance to assess which pages should be displayed in the primary navigation bar as parent pages. Site structure should be shaped by current user behavior flows, ideal crawlability for SEO and bridging the gap to an intuitive user experience.
SEO Signs You Need a New Website
- Not ranking or low rankings for your primary non-branded keyword targets
- Low session count
- Wide ratio of sessions to new users
- Traffic only lands on the homepage
- Pages being discovered but not indexed
- Current website platform doesn’t allow for custom meta data on certain page types
Your website needs to reflect your brand accurately. While it’s expected (and essential!) for your brand to evolve, your digital assets should keep pace. Audiences expect branding consistency; they want your website to seamlessly connect with what they’ve heard, seen or experienced about your brand online or in person. Differences in colors, logos or design elements can be jarring for users. This can impact their behavior and lower their trust in your brand.
Updating your website to jive with your current branding includes:
- Current industry terms
- Consistent brand voice and messaging
- Current on-location, product, staff, and photography
- Consistent logos, typeface and colors.
Learn more about our brand workshop to start from scratch.
While it can be time-consuming, a website refresh is an excellent opportunity to stockpile photography, video, and design elements that can set new standards across all your digital platforms. Creating fixed design and brand rules on your domain can easily be carried over to social media, advertisements and anywhere your brand is represented.
Branding Signs You Need a New Website
- High bounce rate, especially on direct sessions and traffic from organic searches of branded keywords
- Low session duration
- Mixed design standards on different pages, resources downloads, etc.
You’ve dominated the SERP. You’ve wowed users with your branding … but nothing happens. You might have a problem with user experience (UX) that could be fixed with a new website.
UX evaluates how easily your site is to use. It keeps the visitor around until they get what they came for. Excellent user experience is intuitive and helps direct users from a landing page to a conversion as quickly as possible. A conversion is anything that counts as a win for your business, such as:
- an online sale
- a form completion
- a sign-up for your rocking email newsletter
- a phone call
- an email
User experience is an umbrella term that can refer to everything from Core Web Vitals to the often-overlooked ADA accessibility requirements.
User Experience Signs You Need a New Website
- High bounce rate
- Low conversion rate
- A low number of pages per session
- Low 30-day active user counts
- Big discrepancy between mobile and desktop conversion rates
How Do I Know If I Need a New Website? (It Sounds Like You Already Know the Answer)
A new website is a big decision for organizations of any size. Our team would love to help you run through the process, ask and answer questions, brainstorm ideas and be a part of your new website project if you’re ready to get started. Contact our team today.
New Website FAQs
Are you thinking of going big? These are some of the most common questions we get asked by clients when they’re deciding on a new website.
What is the return on investment of a new website?
ROI is a simple equation, but to determine an accurate ROI, you’ll need to assign a value to each conversion or goal completion. For ecommerce, that’s as simple as tracking increased revenue. B2B lead generation might look at total revenue and assign a value of a qualified lead—this will require calculating your average lead-close rate.
However you measure a conversion, the ROI equation is (Increase in revenue – Cost) / Cost.
You may also include goals like improved customer retention, a higher conversion rate, or site engagement metrics like session duration as a part of evaluating your website return on investment.
Are 301 redirects important to a new website?
Oh, they’re critical. Creating a page-to-page redirect list reduces the risk of 404 pages that stop users dead in their tracks and lower your site’s credibility. 301 redirects also ensure users get where they need to go on a new site that may not have a perfect 1:1 correlation between previous URLs and new ones. That page-to-page list gives organizations a chance to find the correct road map for users navigating from out-of-date links.
How long for a new website to get traffic?
Part of the transition to a new website is getting the content indexed with Google and Bing. If you’ve made sure your important pages are indexable and your post-launch SEO checks are good, in most cases, your new site will see traffic within days or a week. Done right, your site should not see a prolonged drop in site sessions after a refresh or migration.
More questions? Get in touch. We’re here to help design, build and launch your new website. Let’s get started.