Statistics show that more than half of all small businesses operating in the United States have a website. Even if your business has a website, though, you may want to change the design. Whether it’s to rebrand your business, modernize your image or simply attract more visitors, there are countless reasons for redesigning a business’s website. With that said, however, you should consider the following before jumping into a redesign project.

#1) Mobile Compatibility

With more people now using the Internet on smartphones than desktops, businesses must design their websites to be compatible with mobile devices; otherwise, they’ll lose a substantial amount of traffic. When designing your website, check to make sure it’s compatible on mobile devices. Google offers a free-to-use testing tool that you can access at https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly. Simply enter your site’s URL and it will reveal whether it’s compatible on mobile devices.

#2) Links

You should also consider whether or not the new design will affect your links. Assuming you only change the actual design, it shouldn’t affect your links. But if you change the domain name or URL structure of your site, it can. Changing to a new domain, for instance, means all of your existing links pointing to your site — both internal and external — will no longer work. While you can update internal links to the new domain, most external links must be redirected (unless you have access to the site on which they are posted).

#3) Local Search Optimization

If your business relies on local walk-in traffic, you should choose a web design that’s optimized for local search. In other words, when someone who lives in or around your business’s geographic area searches for a relevant keyword, he or she should see your website listed in the search results. There are several steps you can take to encourage higher local search rankings, some of which include displaying your business’s name, address and phone number (NAP); making local citations on directories; embedding a Google Maps view of your business on your website; and setting up a Google My Business page.

#4) Tracking

Can you track the results of your new web design? This is paramount in determining whether it’s helping or hurting your business’s marketing efforts. If traffic drops after updating your site to a new design, you may want to consider switching back — or even using an entirely different design. Thankfully, metrics such as traffic, bounce rate, exit rate, etc. are easily tracked using Google Analytics.

#5) Free vs Premium vs Custom Web Design

You typically have one of three options available when redesigning your website: you can use a free design, a premium design or a custom design. Not surprisingly, custom web designs are the preferred choice among most business owners. You have the freedom and flexibility to choose every little detail, all without worrying about restraints.