Changing your website design can sometimes be well worth it, sometimes be a wrong move and other times be a big waste of time. How do you know if it is the right thing to do? I’m definitely not here to tell you I know the exact answer, but I’ll definitely fill you in on what we did to decide it was time.

  1. Ask your customers for suggestions to improve your site. If you find customers having a hard time getting around or quite a few make comments about the look and feel, it might be that time to either improve or redesign.
  2. Track the traffic and conversions. If you notice you’re getting one conversion with thousands of visits, there is something that can be improved to convert a higher percentage and a new design could be the trick.
  3. Compare your site to other sites within your market. I compare it to my senior year in high school when I was looking around at all of my friends hair styles one day during lunch and realized I was the only one sporting a mullet. At that point, I realized it was time for a redesign of my hair. If your site is the mullet of your market, stop feathering it and try a younger, more hip style.
  4. Read up on new technologies and see if there is a more proficient way to display your content. For example, designing with tables is a thing of the past and CSS is now the cool kid on the block.
  5. My last tip is a simple, but great idea. Ask a family member, friend or business associate that has no idea what your website does and have them to go through and make notes about parts they find confusing or difficult. This might cost you a case of beer or maybe a few bucks, but it is well worth it. As a webmaster, what might be trivial to you, could be the most complicated task to a typical visitor of your site.

As Matt mentioned in the previous post, we recently launched a new front end of our website. All of the suggestions above were used and it all pointed to the fact our old website just sucked. And to prove the differences between our old site and our new site, I pulled our tracking info we have for the month of May ’07 compared to the month of June ’07. We launched our new site on June 1st.

This first screen shot is for the month of May. You will see we had a fair amount of “pay per click” traffic over the month.

May Pay Per Click Conversions

Now this next screen shot is for the month of June. Our new design was up and running on June 1, so this is our PPC conversions after we chopped the mullet off. Traffic is pretty much the same, but notice the conversion numbers:

June PPC Conversions

So in summary, if you currently sport a mullet, I am not saying it doesn’t work for you. I’m just suggesting maybe you ask your friends how it looks and if they understand it. Oh yeah, (a shameless plug) make sure you notice the conversion rate of our LinkWords program. It is our highest conversion percentage of all marketing techniques we use.