Should I invest in a website redesign for my local business?

Many business owners want to increase traffic to their websites and generate more customers, and one way of doing this is optimize the web pages for better search engine visibility. During our conversation with the business owners about how to get more visitors, we are eventually asked the question "So do you think I should redesign my website?"

Here at Quinte Marketing, because we are a marketing services company instead of being primarily a web design company, we tend to answer this question by saying "It depends". We look at websites from the perspective of whether it brings you more business, instead of simply focusing on having a "cool looking site". If there is historical web traffic data on the site, we would request to see the analytics report first to learn the kind of traffic you're getting and whether visitors are converting into customers.

Now don't get us wrong. We love beautiful websites, and we know that having a professional looking website is very important to getting new customers and growing your business. But we also know that beauty is very subjective, and what looks great to one business owner may look lousy to another. We also know that many local small business owners may not have the budget to do a major redesign of their website, so we try to take all this into consideration before making a website redesign recommendation.

What to know before investing in a website redesign

Our approach to website redesign is to first ask the business owner if he or she is happy with the current website, because sometimes we find that the push for redesigning the website is coming from external sources. We'll ask what the business owner like and not like about the current site. We’ll then look at the analytics to learn if the current website is bringing in new customers, and where the sources of traffic come from. We’ll also look under the hood to see if there are ways to optimize the website to become more visible to search engines without having to spend a lot of time and money on making these changes. And finally, we will ask the business owner whether they wish to have an easy-to-use content management platform so that they can update the content regularly themselves.

Depending on the answers we receive, we will tailor our recommendations to the unique situations of every local business owner. We don’t always recommend a web redesign. For example, for Pet Me Please, a pet care service in Frankford, Ontario, the business owner liked the overall layout of her website, but wanted to update the colours to match her flyers and business cards. Without undergoing a major redesign, we updated her website to match her brand and make it mobile-friendly. We also added web analytics to the site, so we can continue on improving it for search engine visibility.

Sometimes though, a brand new website is required. Below are some situations where we will recommend that a website be redone:

  1. When the business owner has indicated that he/she does not like the look of the current website, we will recommend a website redesign. As a business owner, you have to love the look of your brand, so if the website doesn’t properly represent what your company stands for, it should be updated. There are situations though, where an entire redesign is not necessary, and a simple update to the images and colours used on the website is enough to match the look and feel of the company brand.
  2. When the website was entirely created in Flash, we will recommend that the business get a new website. Most flash websites are not search-engine friendly nor mobile friendly. Of course, it is possible to make the new website look similar to the Flash site, but the underlying pages will need to be updated.
  3. When there is no way to change and update the content, we will recommend that the website be recreated. This situation arises because the website was developed and hosted by another company and the business owner does not have access to the host server at all.
  4. When the website was developed in such a way that it takes more time and money to post regular content updates, we will recommend that the company invest in getting a new website developed using a platform that is easy to use and more cost effective in the long run.

If you are a business owner that is wondering whether you should be overhauling your website, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will help you find the most cost effective way to updating your website and making your company be more visible online. For businesses that don’t have a website yet and wondering how much it will cost to get one, you can read our article on "How Much Does a Website Cost?".