As a creator or product owner, you have to make a conscious effort to keep your website relevant. You must also avoid certain pitfalls that come with your business' long-term online presence.
There are many reasons why you should update your website sooner than later. Here's a few:
- Stay relevant in your industry and stay ahead of competitors
- Take advantage of the information and resources currently at your disposal
- Implement a simplified and proven approach that takes the user's experience into account
First of all, don't be complacent when it comes to your website. It's true that nothing is perfect, but at the same time, we should always be striving for better. That doesn't mean you need a ton of wholesale changes that roll out so fast they make your customers' heads spin. We're talking about focused and informed strategies to improve usability and customer retention.
In addition to being proactive with website updates, we can't stress enough the importance of staying current in your industry. As a product owner, you must be aware of all the trends and changes taking place with customers, competitors, and the marketplace.
Another reason to consider a website refresh is because you (as the business owner) already have most of the resources and information necessary to get started. And it begins with data analysis. All of those numbers you've been collecting as far as website traffic, engagement, conversions, retention, etc., should be put to work for you. Once you've analyzed your metrics to identify strengths and areas of improvement, you can take actionable steps to make your website better.
For example, the numbers might show good organic traffic on your landing page but a drop-off later that includes poor conversion rates. In this case, look at your signup and onboarding procedures to see what can be streamlined and clarified so that potential customers don't fall into the Abandonment Gap before officially signing up.
Or maybe you find that you have user interface problems and need to step up your design game for certain devices (Android vs. iPhone) or web browsers (Firefox vs. Chrome). You won't know until you dig deep into the data.
But whenever you're executing a website redesign, it's crucial to set realistic goals. This allows you to minimize the risk of failure while boosting your chance of success. As you continue to set and meet new goals, it will only help build your confidence and success going forward.
Another reason to refresh your website is to keep your customers happy. A happy customer will keep coming back for more, which leads to improved customer retention rates online. So how do you keep people engaged with your website? Comply with traditional UX standards (text, graphics, layout, etc.) and best practices while being constantly aware of your site's usability heuristics.
It should be easy for users, new and returning, to solve a problem by completing specific tasks through your website. If the navigation or wording or layout gets in the way of the users' task, that's a big problem. But there's hope because of UX professionals and UX strategy, which is designed to balance business goals with the users' needs.
The final reason to audit and refresh your website is because practice makes perfect. Once a website's metrics and usability factors have been investigated, the real changes can begin. This step includes an iterative approach to planning and redesigning an interface, which may include sketching, mental modeling, wireframing, and prototyping.
It's a comprehensive approach to developing website updates that is based on illustration, explanation, and verification through user testing. Iterative design also leaves room for collaboration and refinement, so that any one change can be tweaked until it's ready to go live for the users' enjoyment.
3Digit is a small agile product design shop based outside of Baltimore, MD. We focus on designing user-centered digital products for mobile and web applications, as well as physical prototyping for early-stage startups and entrepreneurs. Our approach relies on research and rapid prototyping to help businesses turn their ideas into reality.