So what can you do?
One of the services our company provides is a strategy evaluation and website audit.
To understand how successful your site is performing we need to have a better understanding of what the site is supposed to be accomplishing. In our article about developing a user-centric content strategy instead of SEO we discuss defining goals for your site, both what you want to get out of your site, but also what you want your visitors to accomplish in your site. These goals typically need to funnel to something, preferably a task that aids in your business's capture strategy for new client/customer acquisition, but they could also be goals like "increase overall site traffic to earn more advertising revenue". You can learn more about Goals, Events, and Goal Conversions in this article.
An exampleUsing these goals, combined with an evaluation of the site and the site's Google Analytics, it's possible to determine the performance metrics. For instance, if advertising revenue based on page views is a goal, and the site is only getting 2.5 pages per visit, then strategies to lengthen user sessions need to be developed. How can we lengthen those sessions?
- Create navigation categories for the contents of the site to enable reading by subject
- Add "read recommended" or "read related" content functionality
- Enable thumbnail and summary functionality on long listing pages
These are just examples, but these are all modifications that could easily be applied to a site without needing an overhaul.
The Larger PointBut the larger point is this: you need to be able to quantify how the site is performing and what key metrics to use to determine the success (or failure) of your website. It is only once you have this information that you can truly strategize to improve those metrics, or if that's not possible with the current setup, begin undertaking the strategic steps necessary to redesign your site with those goals in mind.
Keeping all of this in mind, the decision to renovate or overhaul comes back to that most important of acronyms: ROI. How much will each cost, and based on the goals that you are looking to achieve and the costs to achieve them, what is the return on investment.