Is it Time to Refresh Your Website?
Let’s face it: all websites need a refresh from time to time.
Although sources suggest a complete redesign of your website every 18-24 months, a refresh is in order more frequently. A full overhaul may unintentionally remove design elements on the website that are successfully working to convert visitors to leads. A refresh, on the other hand, will maintain these elements and essential brand familiarity for frequent visitors. At the same time, refreshed content will give visitors the indication that your brand is engaged and working to bring them up-to-date information.
Some reasons for refreshing your website’s design elements or content might be more obvious than others. Perhaps you’ve recently painted your property or updated the signage, meaning new photos and a new logo are in order. But less obvious motivators like operational changes or shifts in the market could also necessitate a website refresh.
Knowing which business or customer needs indicate that it’s time for a refresh can help you limit changes to those that improve the customer experience, and avoid making frequent updates that confuse more than clarify.
So what might indicate that it’s the right time to make some carefully considered design updates?
When Updating Assets
Updating or adding website assets, like a move-in planner or video tours of your property, means that you’ll want to make these assets accessible on your website. If your website’s navigation is already overflowing with links, or your home page is bursting with long paragraphs with very few headlines, then adding assets may make your website more cumbersome than simpler to use.
If this is the case, you might consider refreshing your homepage layout to ensure these new assets are featured prominently. You can then choose to re-prioritize other information or remove it completely if it’s no longer relevant to your prospects and brand. It’s also beneficial to add fresh copy to your website, as this change will be noticed by search engines.
When Optimizing Your Site to Improve Your Conversion Rate
Not seeing the conversion rates you’d like? Or have they been falling over time? Ask yourself when was the last time you did a refresh of your website. If you have reason to believe that consumer needs have shifted since that last website update, or you have not updated special offers during that time, it may be time to refresh your website.
Perhaps a new shopping mall was recently built near your property. Since this change is relevant to those living nearby, or looking to live nearby, you may feature it in a description of the neighborhood. Or if you cater to students, and school will start up in the near future, you may want to feature a special offer for students on their first month’s rent.
Additionally, simple changes that are in alignment with your brand like copy, images, or primary and secondary colors, all matter when refreshing your website with the goal of improving conversion rates. The ability to isolate these elements and make minor changes over time can increase visitor-to-lead conversions while ensuring you don’t remove elements that deliver a positive user-experience. By making smaller, informed changes and measuring success over time, you can track performance and course correct when necessary.
Though it’s a rare case, updating a property’s name or logo certainly necessitates a website refresh. Maybe you’ve acquired a new property and you want to apply your corporate branding and name to the property’s website. Or you’ve recently completed a remodel and would like to re-brand the property at the same time.
Be careful to only make these website changes in-step with identity changes at the actual property. Making these changes at different times could potentially cause confusion for the consumer who visits your property, then searches for it online. Likewise, it could cause confusion for the searcher who finds it online and then drives by to drop in for a tour.
Balancing the Need for a Redesign with the Cost of a Redesign
Making website updates can be a very expensive project. It’s important to work with your web design partner to determine which resources will be needed to handle these changes in advance. This will mitigate costs and the end result of the project will provide the optimal digital experience for consumers.