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The Importance of Regular Website Design Refreshes

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For most businesses and organisations your website is typically the first port-of-call and initial touch point for contact and interaction with your organisation. The age-old adage “you only get one chance to make a good impression” is also very relevant to your website.

We now live in a fast-paced, on-demand, interconnected world where individuals make instantaneous judgements. For example, it takes 0.1 of a second to form your first impression of someone.

Believe it or not, websites are no different with it taking 0.05 of a second i.e. 50 milliseconds for a user to form their opinion and decide whether they should stay or go. In today’s ever-changing world, you need to be constantly monitoring and reviewing your website and its visitors to understand their behaviours, wants, and needs. Frustration and jump-off points must be identified quickly and rectified to ensure that you are providing the best possible user experience. With this in mind, we are going to outline some of the key points we highlight to organisations and businesses on why regular website updates and design refreshes are vital.

Keeping Up with Technological Advancements

Digital technologies are continually evolving with new trends, features, functionalities, and legislative standards such as GDPR constantly arriving or being launched. Updating your website and its design regularly allows you to leverage these advancements to enhance the end user's experience and meet accessibility requirements.

Who would have thought when the first mobile phones arrived that over 55% of a typical website's traffic would come from mobile devices? With there now being a 4.32 billion market of active mobile internet users, your website must be mobile-friendly and device-agnostic and able to respond to different screen sizes. Similarly, recent advancements in content personalisation and AI are allowing the delivery of highly personalised and targeted user experience and taking user engagement to a completely new level.

Maintaining a Fresh Modern Look

Similar to fashion trends, web design trends evolve, what was cutting-edge five years ago can easily look outdated today. Regularly planned refreshes can help your website maintain a modern, sleek aesthetic that aligns with your brand and appeals to your target audience. This is particularly important as a website's design can greatly influence an end user's perception of your organisation. A fresh, modern, on-brand design, conveys a message of innovation and forward-thinking. Remember you have only got 50 milliseconds to make your first impression. So make sure it’s a good one!

Improving User Experience

User experience (UX) is now one of the key factors that play a critical part in determining a website's success. A well-designed website with intuitive calls-to-action (CTA’s) makes it easy for users to find the information they are looking for and facilitates smooth interaction with your organisation. Regular website refreshes allow the addressing of UX issues and the removal of unnecessary clutter, and the streamlining of user journeys and navigation. From experience, this approach leads to improved user satisfaction and engagement, which in turn will boost your conversion and customer retention rates.

Enhancing SEO Performance

Search engines especially Google are constantly updating their algorithms to provide more pertinent search results. They take into account certain design-related factors such as site speed, mobile responsiveness, accessibility, and user engagement levels. Monitoring your website and optimising it regularly for speed and accessibility improvements is a must. 

For mobile devices, the ideal load time is 1-2 seconds. Yet we constantly review websites that take 6 seconds or more to load. Believe it or not, 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load. Updating and optimising your website regularly can help you stay on top of these changes and will ensure that your site performs well in search engine rankings.

Adapting to Changes and Growth

Your website should accurately reflect your organisation in its current state. As your organisation evolves with the introductions of new products or services, entering new markets, or rebrands, your website should evolve along with it. Regular website refreshes allow your organisation to keep its content and design in line with your organisation's current position and goals.

Boosting Trust and Credibility

A website designed, and well-maintained by an experienced web agency/designer can greatly enhance your organisation's credibility. It shows that you're committed to providing quality experiences for your visitors, which can help build trust. On the other hand, a website that's riddled with outdated information, broken links, accessibility issues or design flaws can damage your reputation.

Keeping Secure

Cybersecurity is a growing concern in the digital world, it is therefore imperative that regular risk assessments are undertaken for your organisation and that you proactively plan for how such risks can be effectively monitored and managed. Regular website updates not only give you a chance to refresh your design and content but also to ensure that your site's security measures are up-to-date. This can protect your organisation and your customers from potential cyber threats.

Things to consider when refreshing your Website Design

    • Start by conducting a website audit. This will help you identify areas that need improvement. This can be done in-house or by an external web agency.
    • Set a realistic budget. Website design can be expensive, so it is important to set a budget before you start.
    • Source an experienced web agency/designer. An experienced web agency/designer will be able to help you collate and add to your ideas. An experienced UX designer will naturally know the dos and don'ts. Never undervalue experience.
    • Be patient. Designing and evolving a website is a constant journey. A website is organic and should grow and evolve to meet your organisation's and customers' needs.

 

In conclusion, a website should be constantly evolved and approached as if it is an organic entity. Too often organisations take a build-and-forget approach. The website has been delivered so let's move on. The organisations that win big at digital continually monitor, refresh and grow their website to meet current and existing needs. It's a continuous process that requires strategic planning and execution, but the benefits it brings in terms of user engagement, brand perception, and overall business growth are well worth the effort.

Interested in learning more? Then why not get in touch to have a one-to-one session with one of our experts?

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