Hat Trick Blog

Why update your website design?

added on Thursday 2nd June 2016 at 11:21am

Tagged: Advice, Help, SEO, Website Design, Websites

Why update your website design?
In this blog post we are going to look at why good website design is important to your business and website.

The importance of good website design

Let's look at an example of how website design could play out in the real world;

Imagine you are looking for a product, let's say a "massage chair". You search Google (or your other favourite search engine) for "massage chair" and click on the first result that looks promising to you. You are now in the "converting" stage of a website sale, you have made your way onto the website but you have not bought anything yet. The page loads and its old! You dislike the design, it doesn't give off a great trusting or professional vibe - you click the back button never to return again. That business just lost a sale - but don't feel bad!

The advantages of good website design

  • Establishes trust with the visitor
  • Gives the impression of professionalism
  • Makes the visitors life easier
  • Helps boost search engine optimisation (SEO)

Establishes trust with the visitor

It's important to note that even if you do not sell products through your website it is still important to establish trust with your website visitor. For many people, your website is a doorway to your company / brand. If your website leaves a bad first impression with the visitor then they your products, services, brand or anything else with be tarred with the same brush. This means that your website is affecting your companies look to the outside world.

Essentially you want your first impression to be great as this affects the users feelings and their trust. For someone to buy a product or service or even to get in touch with you for more information they need a good level of trust - I know I do.

Gives the impression of professionalism

You want visitors / potential customers to think you are professional and know what you are doing, right? People are incredibly meticulous when researching a product or company service (that you could be offering!).

Makes the visitors life easier

Good website design is not just about making something look pretty, it is also about creating an easy to use and functional website. If the user can't find something and becomes frustrated, then they will more than likely leave.

Helps boost search engine optimisation (SEO)

There are many "background" aspects to website design that you may not necessarily know about, but they can help with search engine optimisation, helping your website rank better in search engines.

  • Responsive / Mobile friendly design - this allows your website to look great and work great on a range of devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop PC's).
  • Speed - A good website needs to be fast as to not keep the visitors waiting (or they will leave and go to your competitors websites).
  • Accessibility - We often forget that there are many web users that suffer from a disability of sorts e.g. difficulty seeing. A good website should take these users into account and try to accommodate them as best it can.
  • Hierarchy - Good design will affect the layout of a website, creating a strong information flow / hierarchy. This helps users visually to understand your website without having to think too much. This can help search engines understand more about your website.
  • Code - When talking about website design, you often think about what you see but you must remember that there is code behind the scenes that creates the page in front of you. Creating a great website requires great and clean code. This means that your website can work across a range of internet browsers, it helps search engines piece together your website and it also means that any future updates or changes are easier and quicker to implement.

When should I update my website design?

The answer to this question will always vary depending on who you ask. We feel that there are a few main key points to take into consideration;

  1. Age - Website design trends are changing rapidly (we believe that every 6 months there are major changes to take into account). Related to age, you may see at the bottom of your website (in the footer area) that it has a copyright logo along with the date, something like this: © 2016. This is great but if your year is not the current year then people will instantly think your website is old and behind. Note: please remember that the date can be coded in to atomically update so take this one with a pinch of salt.
  2. Look and Feel - You will generally know when a website looks dated, it will often have quite a blocky and tabular layout, it will often be of a fixed with to smaller (older) screens. As you move around the website, clicking links and loading images - it will feel slow and un-responsive. You can often visit a few popular websites and possibly some of your competitors website to see what the latest design trends are.
  3. Traffic slowing down - The traffic to your website might be lowering by the week, you may notice that not so many people are filling out the enquiry form. This could be a sign of your website showing its age, not enticing people to contact you or buy your products / services.
  4. You know - a lot of people that we have spoken to often know that their website is looking a bit dated and that it needs some tlc but they may not necessarily have had the time or funds to do something about it. Contact us for a free redesign quote or to talk about some ideas for your websites new paint job - we would be happy to help.

Case Study: BGB Engineering

Having worked with BGB Engineering for 12 years, we have helped them re-design their website 4 times now. This just goes to show that you do not have to have a major redesign ever year. You can see how each redesign replicates the popular trends of the time but with our own flare to make them unique.

Redesign 1 (2004):

BGB Website redesign 1 - 2004

Redesign 2 (2008):

BGB Website redesign 2 - 2008

Redesign 3 (2011):

BGB Website redesign 3 - 2011

Redesign 4 (2016):

BGB Website redesign 4 - 2016

Be wary of who you work with! Don't be accidentally become a sheep!

When it comes to updating your website design please be wary about who you choose to work with - whether it be a large agency or a one man band.

A large factor when looking to redesign your website is cost. If you have a tight budget then you may come across a lot of off the shelf template packages. Many of these templates are modern and have a great design but what if you found out that 3 other local companies are using that same template? That would look incredibly unprofessional and cheap towards people shopping around and doing their homework.

Templates can be changed, colours tweaks, images swapped out and text font changed. Sometimes this could be enough but sometimes you may actually pay for something that is exactly the same;

Home Page

Template package:

Website designed from template:

Secondary Page

Template package:

Website designed from template:

So there you have it, a blatantly copy of a template with very very minor changes. I'm sure that client would have paid hard earned, good money for that website.

Please Note: The images are small and blurred for privacy / security.

Our website design process

Working with us to breathe a breath of fresh air into your website is an easy and fun process! Here's how we like to work;

  1. We look at your website from a design and code point of view to identify and create a list of (what we believe to be) issues with the website. We use this in the design process to help rectify them. This is generally dictated by your audience: who's likely to be using the site; what journey do you want to take them on; what tone of voice should the site have?

    Your opinion is incredibly important in the design process, we work on site with you so that you have a say in every aspect of the design. We're great at communicating your message, but we'll never know your message as well as you.
  2. When you are happy with the design concepts and how the site flows, then we can start to craft your new website through our content managed website system. The build happens on a test url so you can see it taking shape.
  3. Once the website is built and everyone is happy, we can launch it to the world and let them enjoy your brand new website.
  4. Ideally we need to keep making small iterations to the design and build - its best to use the Analytics alongside the design and if needed, use A/B testing to refine the message and calls to action. The beauty of the web over your printed literature is changes and testing can happen in real time, rather than incurring a fresh print run!
Pretty quick and easy process eh? Why not get in touch today for a 'no pressure' chat about your website design needs. You can contact us via telephone on 01476 576 839 or email us on thrive@hattrickmedia.co.uk.

Thank you for reading this blog post, if you feel that it has helped you or had some interesting information then please feel free to share it with your friends and colleagues.