If you are a business owner, having a well-designed and SEO-optimised website is essential to ensure you’re reaching your target customers in the right way.

More than just an online presence, your website serves as a key engagement tool and a driver for business growth. It needs to be responsive, fast and provide a seamless user experience.

Factors like mobile-friendliness, loading speed, user experience, and accessibility aren’t optional – they’re fundamental to your website’s success.

While the visual aesthetic of your website is important, its functionality plays a crucial role too, especially when it comes to SEO – so your website’s design is critical.

Read on to find out what the top 10 indicators are that your website may need a redesign to improve its performance – and boost the success of your business.

1. It’s not mobile-friendly

If you’re running a business in the UK, your website needs to work well on mobile devices. Here’s why:

  • Google uses the mobile version of your site for indexing and ranking – this is known as mobile-first indexing. If your site isn’t optimised for mobile devices, it won’t rank as high in the Google SERP as it might have otherwise. Responsive web design is recommended as this displays the content differently based on the screen size.
  • Mobile users want an intuitive experience – this means using text that is easy to read, images that load correctly and navigation that works well on a small touchscreen. If you have forms, they should be accessible for mobile users.
  • It’s important to keep visitors on your site. If your website doesn’t perform well on a mobile device, users are likely to go elsewhere.

2. It’s slow to load

Visitors will be more likely to leave if your website takes too long to load. According to Google, 53% of visits are likely to be abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load, and one out of two people expect a page to load in less than 2 seconds.

Site speed is one of Google’s ranking factors, so a slow-loading website can result in fewer of your pages being indexed, limiting your site’s visibility.

To check your site speed, you can use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix. These tools also offer insights on how to boost loading speed.

Improving your site speed might involve simple changes such as reducing the size of your images. It may also involve more complex tasks such as looking into your site’s code or changing your hosting service.

3. It looks outdated

Having a modern website tells your users that your business is current and responsive to their needs. Remember, first impressions count – your website can be the first interaction potential clients have with your company. A dated design might make them question the quality of your products or services. A poorly designed website can also affect your SEO, impacting your visibility and reducing organic traffic.

When it comes to web design, signs you might need a refresh include:

  • Cluttered pages
  • Inconsistent typography
  • Low-quality, dated images
  • A non-responsive design that’s not accessible on mobile.

4. It offers a poor user experience (UX)

An intuitive site layout and easy navigation are central to a good user experience (UX). If your website falls short in these areas, people might struggle to complete their tasks, leading to lower conversion rates.

This is important because search engines like Google use user interaction data to gauge the quality of a website.

Common UX issues include non-responsive design and slow loading times. Also consider whether your site is:

  • Complex or frustrating to navigate – is the site layout confusing?
  • Unclear in terms of signposting and section headings
  • Intrusive – does it have pop-ups or other distracting elements?

Improving UX goes beyond just cosmetic changes – it’s about creating a user-friendly design that reduces bounce rates and increases conversion rates, ultimately boosting your site’s performance and SERP ranking.

5. You have a high bounce rate

The bounce rate represents the number of visitors who leave your site after viewing only a single page. It highlights user engagement levels and a high bounce rate typically suggests users aren’t finding what they need or are struggling to navigate your website. A high bounce rate can point out to search engines that your website is not satisfying user needs.

Several aspects can lead to a high bounce rate, so think about what could be preventing people from staying on your site for longer.

If your bounce rate is high, consider changing any or all of these elements. A user-friendly design that helps users find what they’re looking for can increase engagement and keep visitors on your site longer.

Think about:

  • Boosting site speed – If this is too slow, your visitor will leave before their page has even loaded.
  • Streamlining navigation – Can people find what they want, when they want it?
  • Revisiting your site’s layout – Do you need a refresh to look up to date?
  • Ensuring your website works on mobile phones – Users will expect to look at your website wherever they are.

Lower bounce rates and higher user engagement can improve the amount of organic traffic your site receives and help you rank higher in search engine results.

6. You have low conversion rates

If visitors to your site aren’t taking the next step you are hoping for – for example, making a purchase or subscribing to a newsletter – this will be reflected in low conversion rates.

Your website’s design has a significant part to play in conversion optimisation and the following design elements could help you convert visitors into customers.

  • Impactful calls to action (CTAs) – CTAs serve as signposts for the next steps users should take. To improve conversions, these should be obvious and eye-catching.
  • Navigation – A user-friendly, intuitive design makes it quick and easy for users to find what they are looking for. Streamlining navigation can optimise the user journey, which can lead to a higher conversion rate.
  • A strategic layout – Your layout can lead users towards conversions. Position key messages and CTAs strategically to improve user flow and guide visitors effectively.
  • Quick load time – Optimising your site speed is a vital aspect of design that can directly impact conversions.
  • Mobile-friendly design – If a website design isn’t mobile-friendly this can result in missed opportunities for conversions.
  • Web accessibility – Accessibility is a crucial part of website design, and widening your potential customer base could lead to better conversion rates.

7. It’s not accessible

Web accessibility is about making your website work for everyone.

This extends far beyond legal requirements – it creates an inclusive digital environment where everyone can access information and services.

In the UK, 1 in 5 people have a disability – this could be visual, hearing, motor (affecting fine movement) or cognitive (affecting memory and thinking). There will also be people whose ability to access your website could be affected by their location, health or equipment. So, it’s important to ensure that no one is excluded from accessing your website.

Common barriers to website accessibility include:

  • A lack of alt text for images – Providing alternative text for images helps screen-reading tools describe images to visually impaired users.
  • Insufficient colour contrast – Text and background colours should have sufficient contrast so that those with colour blindness or other visual impairments can read your content.
  • Non-descriptive link text – Using descriptive link text helps users understand where the link will take them. Phrases like ‘click here’ should be avoided.
  • Missing form input labels – Form labels help users, especially those using screen readers, understand what you’re requesting.

When considering a website redesign, accessibility should be a key focus from the start, helping to improve the user experience and create a more inclusive web space.

8. You have low organic traffic

If your website’s design is not structured to allow easy crawling and indexing by search engines, it can negatively impact your visibility in search engine rankings, leading to reduced organic traffic.

So a persistent lack of organic traffic is an indicator that you might need a design refresh.

To improve your SEO and boost organic traffic, consider these design changes:

  • Improve site structure – A well-organised site structure makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your website, enhancing visibility and boosting organic traffic.
  • Enhance page load speed – This can positively impact your SEO and organic traffic.
  • Optimise content with SEO in mind – Including relevant keywords, using meta tags and creating SEO-friendly URLs can make your content more discoverable, improving organic traffic.
  • Focus on user experience (UX) – a positive user experience can lower bounce rates and increase engagement and conversion rates, positively impacting SEO.

9. The branding is inconsistent

Inconsistent branding across your website can impact your business. If your site shows varying styles, colours or disconnected messaging, it may indicate that your branding and website design needs to be reviewed.

A unified branding approach across your site strengthens your brand identity and allows for easy recognition. Visitors are more likely to trust and remember your brand when they see a consistent logo and the same colours and typography. Streamlined branding also contributes to a positive user experience by ensuring predictability and ease of navigation. It can lead to better engagement and longer site visits too, improving your SEO.

To enhance your branding through a redesign, key areas of focus should be:

  • A brand logo – Ensure recurring placement and sizing of your logo across your website.
  • Typography and colours – Follow a defined set of fonts and colours to maintain consistency.
  • Tone of voice – Make sure your brand’s tone and messaging are reflected consistently in your content.
  • Imagery – Use a consistent style of imagery and graphics that align with your brand.

10. Uploading content is a complex process

Updating content on your website should be simple and fast. If that isn’t the case, look into the content management system (CMS) you’re using – A CMS that complicates the content updating process is a clear indicator that a redesign may be beneficial.

Redesigning your website and migrating to a user-friendly CMS for easier content management has several important benefits:

  • Efficiency and control – An efficient content updating process frees up your time for other important tasks and allows changes to be made as and when needed.
  • Better SEO – Regular content updates are a key part of having a high-quality website that ranks well in search. An intuitive CMS makes it simpler to keep your site’s content current, which can help increase organic traffic.
  • Better user experience (UX) – Fresh, up-to-date content enhances UX, encouraging visitors to engage more with your site and potentially boosting conversion rates.

Your business needs to recognise the signs that your website needs an SEO redesign. Make some smart changes, and you could see an increase in organic traffic, brand recognition, conversions, revenue and more.

Discover more about Submerge’s full suite of SEO services.