According to seattle web designer, every 5 to 6 years, your website needs a complete redesign.
Design trends and modern creative elements change over time, and your users are expecting a website design that is up to date, easy to use, and on-par with the common trends.
However, before launching into an intensive redesign of your website, it’s important to understand the challenges that creating a new site will present. It’s not all kicks and giggles, we assure you.
While your new site will look great, it’s important that you are aware of the potential financial dangers of shifting to a new site design.
Basically, your new website might be killing you. And we’re here to explain why.
Danger 1. Drop in Rankings and Loss of Revenue
If you’ve implemented a new website and have experienced a drop in rankings, it is likely due to one of the following reasons:
Reason #1: New Content
Website redesigns usually always dictate a need for new content. While the new content is most likely better, there is a chance that the website is not properly keyword optimized. If this is the case, your new content might not behave as well as your previous content that was roping in visitors over and over. Also, the sudden change in keyword density and keyword variant can throw your indexing for a loop for a time.
Reason #2: Untested Site Design
A new site is completely untested when it comes to conversion rate optimization. (Conversion rate optimization is the science of testing the design of your website to make sure that it’s converting visitors into customers properly.) The new site design might look better, but visitors will undoubtedly respond to it differently. Therefore, it might take some time to tweak the structure or change design elements a bit to create a consistent flow. If you’re not performing CRO testing on your new site, then you might be in for a world of hurt.
Reason #3: Modified Site Structure
If the URL structure of your site was modified during the redesign, then you might have a problem on your hands. The flow of links from other pages of the website might be blocked or, at the least, reduced. Make sure that all links are either updated, redirected, or removed to ensure that your link structure is squeaky clean. If link structures are messed up, that makes a difference to Google’s crawlers. Bad link structures can result in a loss of rankings or a loss of visitors. This translates into a loss of customers and a loss of revenue.
That’s a lot of rain on your new-website-parade.
If you’re running headlong into these difficult problems, you might need to call in some reinforcements. A good inbound marketing agency can help you with quality control – revising your content, testing your site design, and fixing your link structure. If you’re interested in more information about website optimization and inbound marketing, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
The best way to go about implementing a site redesign is to bring an inbound marketing team onto the scene before the redesign occurs. Then, the content writers will be able to carefully update your content while sticking to best practice keyword density standards. Also, a CRO analyst will be able to begin testing your new design right away and weigh in on any design decisions based on his past experience with other sites like yours. Proper link structure optimization should also be incorporated, whether that includes updating, redirecting, or removing certain links. At the end of the day, that will be your best deal.
That way, your new site can actually hit the ground running, rather than potentially costing you.
Danger 2. Broken backlinks reduce referral traffic
Think about that fantastic blog post that you released a couple of months ago. It received a lot of attention, lots of traffic, and was consequently linked to by industry leaders and members.
A website redesign can break backlinks from key sources that had been sending you referral traffic and link juice. If the URL isn’t kept exactly the same, then it’s possible that you’ll be seeing a drop in referral traffic, which in turn, results in loss of important link juice that had been keeping your site at the top of the SERPs. Not good.
If these backlinks are broken, key visitors, potential customers, and google’s crawlers will run headlong into a 404 error (page not found). To keep this from happening, make sure that your URLs are exactly the same on the new site as they were on the old site, especially for the key pages and articles that have been working well to generate traffic from referral links.
A secondary way to fix this problem, however, if your URL structure simply cannot remain the same, is to simply 301 redirect the pages from the old URL to the new URL. While this does lower your ranking potential initially (the first 3-4 months), it will keep your visitors coming from your referral sources and prevent them from immediately bouncing off a 404 error page.
Danger 3. Users Simply Don’t Act Like They Used To
Remember when you went back to that store that you had frequented for years, and the new store manager had completely rearranged the entire layout? While it might have looked better to new shoppers, it most likely threw you for a loop.
Website visitors can respond the same way to redesigns. When the site doesn’t look like they remember it looking, it can make navigation and conversion more difficult for them. Our recommendations to solve this problem are very similar to our advice regarding conversion rate optimization and b2b inbound marketing techniques. You need to make sure that the new site is intuitive and helpful for your visitors, both new and returning. Different isn’t always better, and it’s up to you and your CRO analyst to strike a good balance between the old site and your brand new redesign.
Occasionally, certain website structures lend themselves to incremental changes – little changes over time until you’re able to ease your visitors into the look and functionality of the new site design. Chat with your CRO analyst about this possibility, and see if it might be a good solution for you.
If you can avoid these website redesign dangers, your company, your users, and your wallet will thank you for it. A common theme throughout all of our recommendations is that it’s best to consult with an experienced team to work you through a redesign process without running the risk of experiencing these problems. However, many companies don’t have the resources to hire an SEO expert, content writer, CRO analyst, and a manager who knows how to coordinate the process.
This is where inbound marketing companies, like our team here at Fannit, are able to provide crucial assistance. If you’re interested in inbound marketing services, or would like more information about how we can help you, just give us a call or request a free consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.