This is dedicated to small and medium-sized businesses that are in the process or thinking about moving to a new site.
What’s your real reason to move the site?
#1 My colleagues told me the site is dated and looks bad
You know which site has always looked bad but nobody would dare to say so? Amazon
There have been people asking themselves ‘why, why Amazon still looks bad?’
Looking bad doesn’t mean isn’t good for users or your business
So that can’t be a good reason. You might say ‘but I need to communicate my brand values’ or even ‘I have high-end products’ and at the end: in almost 90% of platforms you can still convey a sense of ‘high end’ but keeping it simple and clear at the same time.
#2 bad reason: The marketing agency told me so:
“We are sending you quality traffic but your isn’t doing a good job of turning those clicks into sales/bookings/calls”
This could be true … or not. How to know?!
Well, here’s where you’ll need to have some key metrics at hand (no other way to find it out!
Is the traffic coming organically from google converting? (see conversion rates metrics).
Compare those metrics vs paid: if the organic traffic converts at 2% (for example), and paid traffic converts to 0.4%, well then isn’t a website problem: instead, is either the paid channel bringing irrelevant traffic or the paid channel dropping those clicks on the wrong area of your website (or wrong time). You might be able to fix that by creating specific pages for that paid traffic….. But not to embark on a whole new site.
#3 bad reason: concluding the site doesn’t a good job without testing
The key question here is: how would you know the new site WILL do the job? Web designers told you so? But do they know what works and what doesn’t with your business, your customers?
Before deciding to move forward with a site migration/site redesign go ahead and do tests: grab key pages with most traffics and change the copy, change the layout, run heatmaps to see what people do, compare results in Google Analytics… ask yourself “have I made all changes I could on this page? Have I learned the key aspects that aren’t working currently, on this website?
You’d be surprised that most of the issues aren’t related to the design, look and feel
Now, there are legitimate reasons for migrating a site:
- Because is limiting your growth:
- SEO (organic growth)
- Creating better landing pages (sales pages)
- Integrations: you need to use different platforms that don’t play well with your current CMS
- Functionality: you need the site to provide users with a better experience, like adding a better eCommerce functionality, or develop something unique for them that currently, the site doesn’t allow
- You’ve been using the same platform for some years, had good results, and now are exploring ‘what can take me to the next level?’
- Mobile experience: the current site doesn’t allow a custom mobile design/experience
Be careful with:
- Stepping into a new platform that relies on web developers to maintain (anything custom you choose would mean you need to hire someone to do changes… and you’ll do lots of changes)
- If you finally decide to move to a new platform remember to: be minded of what google sees from your site now vs what google will see afterward. Look for ‘SEO tips’ on web migrations
- Moving forward without good reasons (lack of learnings, being pushed by an agency, the looks of it.. etc)
Final words of wisdom:
- It isn’t about the looks: it’s about providing a good web experience for your users
- The easy is to manage, the more limited the site will be
- While limiting, it’s better to have something small and manageable when you start vs something that will consume both time and money
This is the tip of the iceberg and. If you have more questions let’s talk. Don’t waste your time & money.