If you’ve been in business any length of time you probably have a website. It doesn’t matter whether your company is large or you operate a small, home-based business, almost every business owner understands the value of having a website. Most people will research your company online before they make a significant purchase, especially if you are selling a high-value product or service. Alternatively, should you sell impulse purchase items, you may not need a website. For example, if you sell icy cold cans of drink at the beach it’s more important to market your product physically in the right place at the right time. For everyone else read on……

The quality of visitor interaction and experience with your website influences whether or not they’ll buy from you. The larger the perceived risk and the larger the investment, the more likely people will invest a significant amount of time researching before committing to a purchase.

If you currently have a website, regardless of its performance, it will eventually require some changes. These changes can vary from a simple design facelift, to a significant overhaul.

A complete website redesign may be necessary for three reasons:

  1. Your company has gone through major changes. If you’ve made some significant shifts in your brand, product or service it’s likely you’ll need to create a new look and feel for your website.
  2. Your website is outdated. If your website no longer has up-to-date information or works on old technology, then it could be time for a brand-new website.
  3. Your website is no longer getting traffic, leads and sales. If little or no new business is coming through your website, it’s the perfect time for an overhaul since you have very little to lose.

There’s good reason to avoid a complete overhaul if you can. Website redesigns can be risky, time-consuming and expensive, especially for large-scale businesses that have already invested significant resources in optimising their websites. A redesign could mean throwing away years of incremental gains in user experience and site performance.

Small business owners may not have the resources to take on this process in the same way big business does. However, small business owners have many advantages in this area that large companies don’t.

There is a smarter, more streamlined approach to improving your website

In my latest e-book “Small Business, Big Impact Websites”, we review what large companies typically do when it comes to User Experience (UX) research. We take a look at how small businesses and start-ups can produce similar results on a shoestring budget—and fast! Although UX research for the small business owner requires some educated guesses and assumptions, the e-book explains how to minimise these risks.

I anticipate most people who will read through this e-book will be selective in what strategies to implement and that’s completely fine. You’re the business owner, and you call the shots. It isn’t a step-by-step formula that requires precise execution in order to produce results. Your specific circumstance will determine what to do now and what you can save for the next version of your website.

I highly recommend you do the research yourself and hire external parties to work on implementing your website redesign. You need to know if your web team is focusing on the most important aspects of your website UX. By doing the research yourself, you won’t be misled by a fast-talking agency executive. This e-book shows you what aspects of your website you should focus on. Whilst many areas of web design and development yield minimal improvements, collectively, they produce a far better outcome.

Finally, in the e-book I walk you through common UX research processes for website redesigns, including the role of each process and what it generally entails. I’ll also give you some hacks and shortcuts that are more suitable for small businesses and start-ups with limited budgets, such as the following:

  • Understand common research processes
  • Improve your evaluation process to be time-efficient
  • Produce results similar to companies with big budgets but at a fraction of the price.

A website redesign isn’t without risks

A complete website redesign is a risk for large businesses due to the significant investment made to enhance their website UX. Complete website overhauls may result in disastrous consequences. If that happens, they not only waste the money and time invested to make those changes, but also the incremental gains they’ve acquired over the years.

For a large corporation to rebuild their website, many challenges arise: A marketing team may need to overcome challenges before starting work, gathering evidence to convince stakeholders of the need for a website redesign; high-level stakeholders may need to be convinced that reworking the website is necessary. Such conversations are often challenging and time-consuming.

Meanwhile, the marketplace continues to evolve, as does the way people interact with websites. By the time the CEO gives the nod, the website changes they have approved may already be outdated.

If you’re a small business owner, you have one huge advantage over your larger-scale competitors. Your size makes you nimble. Unlike a marketing team working for a big business, you don’t have to jump through so many hoops to implement the changes your website needs. You’ll be more hands-on in the business and understand it in a real-world setting. Therefore, you’re more capable of adapting to new trends and seizing new opportunities quickly.

I encourage you to download “Small Tweaks, Big Impact Websites” today to find out more about the User Experience (UX) hacks that could work for your website.