Republished: February 6, 2019
Just like you can tell an automobile was designed and built in a certain decade by looking at it, the same goes for a website. Design trends have evolved. Technology has advanced. And people can tell when they look at an outdated site. So, why are you letting the primary digital marketing tool for your healthcare organization live in the past?
If you think you're in need of a website redesign, you probably are. But before you start considering fonts and colors, take a look at what visitors to your site don't see — your analytical data.
To continue the car metaphor, if something is wrong with your sedan, a mechanic needs to understand what's broken before attempting to fix it. Without checking under the hood (looking at the analytics), you could end up with a shiny new fender and muffler covering up an engine that still doesn't run well. In website terms: is your SEO up-to-date, are your copy and images engaging, are your marketing campaigns driving consumers down the best path, are you converting visitors to patients?
So, here's how you know it's time for a website redesign:
Your Site is not Mobile Friendly
It's been over a year since Google announced that they'll give more credit on their ranking algorithm to sites that are mobile-friendly. This isn't just Google trying to keep you on your toes. Visitors who can't view your site easily get frustrated and leave, causing your conversion rates to drop. Worse, most mobile users won't wait more than three seconds for any site to load. If your website is too slow, visitors will abandon it and go to the competition's site.
Your Bounce Rate is High
A good indication of your site's effectiveness is your bounce rate, which is the percentage of clicks where only one page has been visited before someone leaves the site. Maybe the page a consumer lands on doesn't connect with the campaign or search they came from, maybe the site is just unattractive, maybe your content is unclear or lacking — there are a variety of reasons people bounce.
You Have No SEO
You could audit your site using an online SEO tool to uncover any on-page SEO issues, but depending on how big the problems are, fixing them retroactively may not be a big enough change. Your best bet is generally to use a CMS with built-in SEO rules and checks, to give you a solid base of SEO best practices to build on.
Your Site is Confusing
A confusing or complicated site will not engage the user and will actually have the opposite effect — driving prospectives away. Healthcare consumers want to understand who you are, what services you offer, and how to find you or schedule with you quickly, otherwise they'll leave.
Your Site Isn't Converting
The point of your primary digital marketing tool is to attract and retain patients. Your website should be the primary lead source for your organization. If you're not seeing conversions in actual dollars and cents, consider a redesign.
Bad User Experience
If you're facing a multitude of issues associated with bad user experiences like a high bounce rate, low page depth, or short retention time on site, the underlying problem could be bad user experience. If users are frustrated with page speed, you may not need a redesign, but instead, invest in speeding up your site. If users can't figure out how to navigate from one page to another, a redesign is in order.
Your Brand and Business Focus have Changed
If your website doesn't reflect your brand, mission, or primary service lines anymore, or if you've added additional facilities, procedures, etc. that aren't listed on your site, you need a redesign. Growth over time is only natural, but growth also means your website needs to adapt. Examine your organization's current goals, and if your current website can't help you move toward them, you may need an update. Your site should be a reflection of the current state of your organization.
If your site is simply old, with an outdated look, it likely doesn't have good SEO, organic content, videos, or up-to-date functionality. Most old websites are built on non-friendly platforms, which limit them in adding content quickly. Changes have to go through a developer, and it takes a lot more time to update. A CMS built for speed in marketing, where you can add and delete content in minutes, makes a redesign worth your while.
By keeping an old website you may be missing out on leads, organic SEO, Google ranking, and call-to-action conversions, and your Google Adwords campaigns won't be as successful as they could be. In today's digital age, web presence is everything. An out-of-date site can cost you business. Simply refusing to go mobile can keep you from reaching thousands, and not properly using functions like social platforms can keep your brand in the dark ages.
Take a look at your competitors. Are their sites engaging and easy to use? Do they show more social engagement or rank higher in search?
If the answer is yes, it's time for a website redesign.
Want to learn more about healthcare website redesign? Download our white paper, 5 Steps to Rock Your Website Redesign.