The What And The How Of A Website Refresh

Anabeth McConnell Anabeth McConnell
January 16, 2023   |   6 min read time
Topics: website design

Updating your website doesn't have to mean a full redesign. A website refresh is a process of reviewing your existing site and identifying areas for improvement that may include some design enhancements, updating copying, or adding/removing sections as needed. It is a great way to rejuvenate a site’s appearance, attract more visitors, and increase user engagement. Don’t just consider a website refresh to be a cosmetic change, but also an opportunity to evaluate and improve on the existing website experience.

Is It Time For A Website Refresh?

A website refresh can be a great way to reinvigorate your online presence, but it’s important to consider the timing of when it’s necessary. Some questions to ask yourself when considering a website refresh are:

  • Is your site appealing?
  • How are your conversions? Are you getting an adequate amount?
  • Does your website look outdated and/or boring?
  • Is your messaging clear?
  • Do you have outdated content that needs to be updated?
  • Do you need to adapt your website to newer SEO standards?

If your site is boring to you, it’s probably boring to your website visitors. If your conversions have decreased, your messaging is unclear, you have content that needs to be updated, and your SEO/keywords need to be improved, you are likely needing a website refresh.

What’s The Difference Between A Website Refresh And A Redesign?

A website refresh is a process of updating content, improving the look and feel of your existing website, and making minor changes to your existing website infrastructure. This process can be done in pieces and can include updating page copy, creating or replacing images, or tweaking the underlying code. A website refresh is usually completed with minimal disruption to the website’s functionality, is easy to implement, and is generally inexpensive.

A website redesign, on the other hand, can be more costly and is akin to going back to the drawing board. It involves a complete overhaul of the website. This means reworking the website’s structure, look, and feel. It may also include changes to the website’s code and content. 

A website redesign is far more disruptive than a website refresh and can take significantly more time and resources to complete. Typically a redesign is done if there’s a change in your target audience or service offerings, or your user is experiencing a poor website journey.

Benefits Of A Website Refresh

A website refresh can be hugely beneficial for a business. A visually appealing, user-friendly website will help to increase visitor engagement, as users are more likely to stay on your site and explore what you have to offer. Updating an older website with modern design elements and features such as improved navigation will improve the overall user experience; this in turn can lead to increased conversion rates since visitors are able to find relevant content quickly and easily.

Your business can also benefit from new technologies that may not have been available when your existing site was created. Things like responsive mobile design or integration with social media platforms all add up to a better digital presence for your business.

How To Refresh Your Website

Analyze Your Existing Site

The first step in refreshing your website is to analyze its current performance. This includes looking at factors such as page speed, user engagement, and SEO ranking. You can use tools like Google Analytics or other analytics software to review the data collected from your website

Perform A Content Audit

To perform a content audit, start by looking at what content is currently on your website. Take note of any areas that may need improvement, such as outdated information or lack of originality. Be sure to look for any gaps in the existing content, too; Are there any questions your leads are asking during the sales process that your site is not answering? 

You can also take a look at your competitors’ SEO. Are they using keywords that are allowing them to rank higher than you?

Re-Evaluate Your Navigation and Site Hierarchy

When you re-evaluate your navigation and site hierarchy, you help ensure that visitors are able to find the information they need in a timely manner. 

Should you add new sections or reorganize existing ones? Maybe you can move some less important links to the footer.? If you aren’t sure, you can also use A/B testing and heat maps, so you can see how users interact with the new layout so that further improvements can be made if necessary.

Also keep in mind that when viewed on smaller devices such as tablets and smartphones, the navigation needs to be adjusted accordingly.

Test Your Website On All Browsers and Devices

Testing your website on all browsers and devices is essential when refreshing your website. It’s important that the design and functionality of your site are consistent across web browsers, operating systems, and mobile devices. The testing process allows you to identify any compatibility issues so they can be addressed before going live with your refreshed website. 

Review Your Analytics Data

Analytics provide valuable insights into user behavior and can help you identify areas for improvement. Reviewing the data will allow you to see which pages are getting the most traffic, what users did on each page, where they exited or dropped off, and more. You can also use this information to determine what content needs updating or changes that should be made in order to increase conversions and engagement with visitors.

By looking at these metrics regularly, you will have a better understanding of how well your website is performing overall as well as gain insight into how users interact with it so that further improvements can be made over time.

Conduct A Competitor Analysis

Conducting an analysis of your competitors involves researching who your competitors are, what they offer, and how their websites compare with yours in terms of design, content, and usability. By analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of each site you can determine how best to differentiate yourself from them as well as create a more competitive offering for customers. 

Review Your Call To Action Buttons

When refreshing your website, it is important to review the effectiveness of your call-to-action buttons. Take a look at where they are placed on the page and whether or not they stand out against other elements on the page. Which buttons are getting the most clicks?

It’s also important to be sure that all links associated with each button are working correctly and have been updated if necessary, as well as make sure that any tracking codes associated with each button have been added, so you can measure how many people click through from the website to complete their desired action. If you need to, you can also try A/B testing different button text.

Design Refresh

A design refresh involves looking at the overall layout of the site, as well as any page elements such as image, text, colors, fonts, and other visual elements. By assessing these aspects of the website design you can identify areas that could be improved to create a more contemporary look and feel. 

You may also want to update certain features or add new ones like integrated social media buttons or animation effects for added interactivity. 

Enhance User Experience

When enhancing your user experience, make sure that all content displayed on the site is fresh and relevant. Ensure that navigation through the site is intuitive so that visitors can easily find what they need without getting confused or frustrated. You should also incorporate visuals into the design in order to draw attention and engage visitors more effectively. 

Ask yourself if adding a chatbox or including a knowledge center that houses webinars, workshops, and guides is a good idea, too.

Once you’ve completed your enhancements, you can test out any new features or functions before launching them live so as not to disrupt existing processes.

Key Takeaways

Remember to take it one step at a time. A website refresh, just like any other project, can go as far as you want. 

Refreshing your website doesn’t have to be an all-encompassing, time and money-consuming project. Small changes can easily spruce up the look of your website without sacrificing too many resources; however, if you feel that a complete redesign is necessary for your business needs, it may be wise to reassess exactly what you need. Going for a refresh when a full redesign is needed could cost more in the long run. 

It is important to plan ahead. Refreshing your site every new year is a good practice. Polishing your looks, usability, and content will help ensure that your site is always modern, and user-friendly, and reflects what you and your business are really about.

Is your website due for a refresh? Let us know!

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