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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Why You Should Consider Redesigning Your Website

Have you ever clicked on a search link in Google, taken one look at the website (assuming it loads), and then promptly clicked the "Back" button to start over? You're not alone. According to this infographic, about 4 in 5 people go back and change their search if they don't like what they find the first time around. That means that, with 80% of the people visiting your site will leave if you don't catch their attention in the first few clicks.

There are some other interesting tidbits in this infographic that are worth digesting, too. Apparently 77% of users choose organic links over the paid listings on the page. Have you looked at a Google search page recently? On some searches, you can barely see one natural search result among all the pay-per-click and paid links without scrolling down. Users are more likely to trust the natural search results because they get what they want more often that way. Still, almost two thirds of people click don't go beyond the first page of search results, so our patience is limited when it comes to digging deep for a search. If your site isn't in the first four or five results, you're missing a whole lot of eyeballs. Optimizing for natural search matters just to get noticed online; the look and feel of your site is almost secondary.

And even if people do get to your site, this data suggests that you've only got a short time to hold onto them. If they don't find information that will help them in the first few clicks, Google is just a few clicks backward.

The other interesting thing in here is the frequency with which marketers think a site should be redesigned - hovering around 2 to 3 years or less. This isn't a view of a site as a stable entity; it means looking at your site as a constantly evolving, shifting outlet to the public. And it has to be in order to continue attracting people. Nobody's going to come back to a site if they don't expect to see new content.

What do you think? Should companies be constantly updating their site designs? What are the benefits of keeping things the same?

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