Never Redesign Your Website Again – Really!

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CMO NETWORK 

Never Redesign Your Website Again – Really!

So, a design firm is hired, and many heated meetings and design iterations later, a fresh, modern-looking website is launched. Everyone breathes a big sigh of relief and goes back to business as usual… until the next big redesign.

This is how many, if not most, businesses do it, and according to conversion expert Chris Goward, it’s all wrong.

Why? Goward, the founder of conversion optimization firm WiderFunnel and author ofYou Should Test That, explains that website designs that are the products of committees are almost certain to be far from optimal in achieving business objectives – sales, leads, etc.

It’s not just the “committee effect,” long a bane of creative and effective marketing efforts. It’s that even smart people can’t always predict what design, headline, or copy will perform best.

website redesignEvolution, Not Revolution
Who’s the savviest marketer on the Web? My vote would go to Amazon.com, the biggest ecommerce firm by far. When was the last time Amazon launched a major website redesign? I have no idea, but their pages look to me about the same as they did five or ten years ago. Of course, they aren’t actually the same – many changes have occurred over the years.

In my podcast with Goward, I asked him about the “periodic redesign” approach. He commented,

It’s one of the biggest problems I find with companies today and it’s an antiquated process, the whole website redesign thing. That’s the “throw the baby out with the bathwater” approach. Part of my experience comes from the old days when I started in ad agencies and I saw what a terrible job most agencies were doing for their clients online at the time, trying to recreate a TV experience with Flash websites, and so on.

Ten years later not much has changed, there are still agencies out there producing terrible customer experiences by trying to create big idea concepts. That’s how WiderFunnel started, to create something different… thinking about how to measure the improvement that we could make on a continuous basis.

I think that website redesign is the next thing that’s going to fall, because there are so many risks in redesigning a website and doing the traditional “flip the switch” method of switching over to the new design.

Companies are creating thousands and thousands of changes when they do this “flip the switch” method, and they have no idea what impact each of those individual change is having on their end result, their conversion rate, their revenue, their lead generation, or whatever their goal is for their business.

They’re changing their headlines, their imagery, their call to action, their information, all this stuff all at once without any insight into what’s happening. [Edited for readability – listen to the podcast or read the transcript at Episode 13 – Conversion Optimization with Chris Goward.]

Of course, if a big design change is essential, even that can be tested against the current design to ensure that the business outcomes will actually improve.

Are you still seeing the sites you work with making sweeping, untested changes? Or are you seeing more of the evolutionary, testing-based approach? 

Brought to you by Aplus Plastic Box Co supplying all your #plastic storage solutions, Containers, Plastic Boxes, Bins, First Aid Cabinets, Air Tools, Tools and Castor wheels.

 

 

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