3 Metrics That Make the Case for Website Redesign

Let’s cut to the chase: Website redesigns are expensive. Unless your site is clinging to a Space Jam era design circa 1993, chances are you’ll need to jump through a few hoops to score that kind of marketing budget. Make the case for a website redesign by gathering three essential sets of site performance data.

1. Start by running a conversion rate optimization (CRO) test for both paid and organic search:

  • What’s your average paid search and display conversion rate?
  • How well does your site convert organic search?

Track the channel trends over time and take note of any outlying spikes or dips in conversions. While it’s tempting to gauge site performance based on industry reports like the 2013 MarketingSherpa SEO Marketing Benchmark Survey below, it’s risky to use these numbers alone as a benchmark:


2013 MarketingSherpa SEO Marketing Benchmark Survey

Although these numbers offer a valuable SEO conversion rate comparison by vertical, it’s impossible to put such stock in industry benchmarks when the definition of “conversion” varies from company to company. In this particular study, respondents defined a conversion as the following:

  • Multiple-field form completion – 49%
  • Online sale completion – 25%
  • Single-field form completion – 10%
  • Other – 17%

Clearly, these varying definitions heavily skew the reported SEO conversion rate average.

So how can you identify the need for a website redesign? We hate to say it, but it depends. Tracking conversion rate by channel over time is a good place to start your evaluation. Identifying those peaks and valleys in performance highlights what works and what doesn’t work for your business.

However, in our experience we’ve found that B2B organic search should convert at 1% or above, while paid search and display should perform at or above a 5% conversion rate. Performance below those benchmarks should signal a red flag for improvement, fast.

2. Now, further evaluate the need for Website redesign by breaking down the channel conversion analysis by offer type.

Strive to compare “apples-to-apples” by evaluating campaign conversion rates by stage of the funnel. As your campaigns most likely feature a variety of offers aimed at converting prospects at various stages of the funnel, you should be prepared to experience higher conversion rates for top of the funnel lead opportunities compared to bottom of the funnel, sales-ready lead opportunities.

That being said, don’t jump the gun by cutting campaigns with low conversion rates without assessing the impact on revenue. For example, let’s say the live product demo with your sales team does not convert as often as the 3-day free trial offer. You might be tempted to cut the demo before learning that offer closes significantly larger contracts than the free trial offer. In this case, the demo offer is worth the extra effort it takes to close.

However, if you notice any patterns where a certain group of pages consistently causes a drop in conversion rate, this may be a fault in design rather than content. Consistently A/B test landing pages to isolate the factor causing a performance dip and develop a website redesign action plan accordingly.

3. Examine your conversion rate data by device: Desktop, mobile, and tablet.

As 65% of online searches now begin on a mobile device, chances are your mobile site traffic is on the rise. It’s now critical to understand site visitor behavior by device.

Despite the undeniable rise in mobile traffic, only 16% of marketers have a developed a mobile strategy. If your marketing team doesn’t currently fall into this group, get started on responsive website redesign now.

Capitalize on this opportunity by evaluating site visitor behavior by device. Are there specific points where mobile user bounce rates spike? If so, these areas are where you should focus your immediate attention. Supporting a mobile friendly UI will undoubtedly move the needle in overall site conversion rate.

Most importantly, if you do have a mobile strategy in place, what kind of performance should you expect? SmartInsights delivered a helpful device comparison of average site conversion rate by device in their Mobile Marketing Guide:


SmartInsights Mobile Marketing Guide Conversion Rate By Device

Note that tablet conversion rate surpassed traditional for the first time in 2013, indicating that users are quickly becoming comfortable with shopping on tablets.

As a rule of thumb, marketers should consistently A/B test and introduce new conversion offers to improve overall conversion rate. The results will be well worth the effort as even slight conversion rate improvement can make a big difference when it comes to bottom line revenue.

Want more actionable redesign tips?


Webmarketing123 Webinar: Critical Warning Signs You Need a Website Redesign

Register now to join our next live webinar “Critical Warning Signs Your Site Needs a Redesign” on Tuesday, March 18th at 10AM PT/ 1PM ET. See you there!