Planning a full website redesign can be a daunting task; there are a variety of features to consider, not to mention messaging updates, design changes, and optimization techniques. However, if you don’t have the time to commit to an entire re-design project, or if you’d just like to quickly spruce up a few things, there are 3 priority items that you should always focus on first:
If you haven’t already made the move to mobile, it’s (past) time. A recent Google survey found that 72 percent of mobile users say it’s important to them that websites are mobile-friendly. B2B websites that are not mobile-friendly are losing sales. In fact, 61 percent of those in the same Google survey said they are likely to leave a site if the site is not mobile-friendly. 40% of those report going to and purchasing from competitor sites.
A mobile-friendly site also helps your overall ranking since Google changed their algorithm in 2015 to boost ranking for sites that are mobile friendly. Furthermore, Google’s next major move is to start using the mobile version of the web as their primary search engine index, an exercise they call “mobile-first.”
Easy Site Navigation
We’ve all been on sites that are frustratingly hard to navigate. In his article for Search Engine Land on how to best improve site navigation, Stoney deGeyter points out that “navigation can make or break your website’s overall performance when it comes to retaining visitors, keeping them engaged and driving them through the conversion funnel.” He further explains that a good navigation not only makes it easy for your site visitors to quickly find what they are looking for, but it also helps search engines effectively index vital important information about your business.
When designing a good navigation keep it simple, consistent and efficient. The easier your website makes it to find information, the longer visitors will stay on your site, so a simple navigation that remains consistent no matter what page a visitor is currently on is best. Additionally, you want to make sure that your navigation is efficient, allowing visitors to find what they are looking for with the fewest clicks possible so they don’t lost interest and leave for another site.
Content first means determining the copy and other elements you may be using to present your business and brand, such as imagery and videos, BEFORE starting the design process. Your content is your most important website feature so it’s important to think about your content and how it needs to be accessible to the customer before you consider design elements. You could have the most beautiful site in the world filled with designer bells and whistles, but if your content doesn’t provide any value to the user, you won’t be successful. The purpose of your website’s design is to present your content in a meaningful, engaging way. So it starts first with the content.