Websites come and go. One cannot simply be too attached to a particular website design. There comes a time that it may be really necessary that you think of redesigning your website. Redesigning a site should not just be a decision that you wake up in the morning and take. There must be reasons that drive you into making that decision.
However, it is important to note that you have somehow put an effort in one way or another to improve the rankings of your website through some search engine optimization strategies. Do you let all that go to waste? You might even have chosen to invest on content marketing for your website. How do you just forget about that and move forward. That is a loss that you should never be ready to accept.
Internet marketing is a very costly investment and therefore it is in the best interest of the website owner to save every dollar they have put on the website. The links that you have built over the months or years have greatly contributed into improving the authority of your website. It will be no use to redesign your website if the process will have an overall negative impact on your online visibility.
However, if you choose to do it the right way, site redesign can be the best decision that you have made in a long time. There are always great results that are seen when you choose to redesign your site. Expert web designers understand the significance of SEO and internet marketing and therefore, while they choose to give the brand a better face, they will also ensure to keep around the authority that the brand commanded before.
Top 6 Reasons for Redesigning your Website
There are very many reasons that you can choose to change the face of your website. If you are a solo site owner, you usually arrive at this decision faster but in the case of a corporate there has to be clear reasons why you would wish the face of the brand needs to change. Relevant departments would need to give out real reasons why they think it is about time to move on from the old website and give users a new experience.
So what are these reasons that can drive one to make the decision of redesigning an old website? Technically, there are a few reasons we are going to look at. All these reasons are in the best interest of the brand. Other reasons may as well apply but these are the top reasons why you need to redesign your website.
Change the general look and feel of your site.
When was your site designed? What technology did you site use? Is your site pretty to look at? How about your competitor, how do their websites compare to yours? Do you think you are still in the game? These are among the questions you need to be asking yourself.
Nobody wants to stay long on ugly websites anymore. Technology has advanced and maybe even your competitors are offering something better to look at. The content might all be the same but if your competitors are offering it on a better platter, you might be losing on a lot of website visitors and consequently, a lot of customers.
Maybe it is now time to catch up with the latest trends in web design and give your website the modern look and feel that your visitors are looking for. This also plays well for the search engines. If you update your website with the latest trends, it even becomes easier for search engines to crawl your site and you will be amazed on how positively this will impact your rankings.
Make Customers Fall in Love with the Brand
In business, trust is a very important thing. Above all things, you should always be fighting to earn the trust of your customers and potential customers. This will help you remain relevant in the game. A site redesign is always seen as an effort of improving the brand.
Why don’t you want to improve you brand after all those years? Don’t you have a budget for developing the brand? Well, your competitor does. A website redesign must never be seen as a cost but an investment on trust. Not only will the redesign offer you something better but win the hearts of your customers as well.
You are not where you were when you Started
As a brand grows, so should the website. You website is a direct representation of your brand online. It is more like the office that potential clients walk into only that this is on the internet.
Maybe when you are first starting up an office, all the employees sat in one big room and some sharing tables. While the brand grows, you will find that you may need to partition the room and buy more tables. As time goes by, the executives may need to have a more private office. You may even need to relocate to a bigger office so that you can accommodate the rising number of employees or the increasing number of clients walking into the office for inquiries.
The same happens to your website. You can never design the perfect website for the future. You may need several changes to accommodate new needs by the brand. All major sites including even Facebook have been seen over the years to undergo a few changes to allow certain new functionalities. Do you still think your website is perfect and can stand the test of time? Think again because your ignorance to accept change may be costing you new clients.
Improve your Website’s Conversion Rate
Do you have a website and you have zero sales from online? There must be something that is not working somewhere. The first instinct is because your website has no authority online and that might be because you have not yet invested in internet marketing for your brand.
However, I am very certain that if you contact internet marketing experts, one advice that they will give you is to redesign your website. You website may require a facelift so that it can be more appealing to visitors and encourage them to either make enquiries or buy products.
Internet marketing is very important for your website but the marketing all starts with the website itself. It has to be designed in a way that sells. You will be astonished how a website redesign can have almost immediate effects on the conversion rate.
Better Engagement with Visitors
There are things that may spark a website redesign especially if you want to increase the relations that you already have with the visitors. For instance, your marketing team may have thought that it can be a great idea to introduce reviews on the website so that it can help improve you brand.
Such modules may be very difficult to integrate with an old system and therefore it might be time to let go the old design and offer a brand new thing that will make integration of these modules better and easier. You may want to add videos or make it easier for users to share your content on different platforms. These tasks should not only be easier for the visitors to accomplish but also for the site owner to manage especially if you are not all techy.
Improving your Website Navigation and your on-page SEO
You know your website inside out. You can easily pinpoint where particular content is but is it that easy for your website visitors? Maybe you have awesome content but the way you have presented it on the website is very difficult for users to access so much that they conclude that you do not have what they need and so they bounce.
The same way that you present the content to the online users, how are you presenting it to the bots? Maybe you also have great content but you make it hard for the search engine bots to crawl and therefore you lose out on better rankings as well.
A good website is easy to navigate and both online users and search engine bots can easily access the content they need and therefore it is a win win situation for both of you. The latest trends in web design consider both sides of the equation to ensure that everything runs smoothly for both users and bots.
Points to Consider when Redesigning your Website
You will easily find that when you redesign your website, there will be direct results most of which will be positive if you do it the right way. You site will get more organic traffic as the overall visibility will be improved. There will be more engagement with visitors on your website and the bounce rate will greatly reduced.
So, how to we handle a website redesign the best way considering all aspects of SEO? Here is a 5 step plan that should help you in case you want to redesign your website for better returns.
#1 Know what Keywords you are Ranking for
If your website has been alive for a while and you have been putting up content, then you must be known by search engines for some keywords. There are keywords that you want to rank for and there are keywords that you are actually ranking for.
There are a few tools that can help you in collecting all the relevant keywords to your website. The best keyword tools that you can use to gather this information include the SEMRush, Google Webmaster tools and analytics.
- SEMRush – Ideal for top 10 keywords that you are already ranking for
- Analytics – Identify specific keywords that brought traffic to your site over a long period of time(like 5months)
- Google Webmaster Tools – Provides you with a bunch of keywords that are relevant to your site and this info is under search queries.
All this information you gather from these tools can be exported to your computer for safe keeping. Using these keywords, you can use any software that you use to check the current rankings and how the website is performing on those keywords. For instance, you can put the keywords on SerpBook so that you can even be able to track the performance of the website on those particular keywords even after redesigning the site.
#2 Identify the Best Landing Pages for your Website
This is the second step you need to consider if you want to do an SEO safe website redesign. This step is also rather simple and we will use Google Analytics to identify the top landing pages for your website. Check on Google Analytics and make a list of pages that drove the most traffic to your site.
The earlier list that was made in the step above can also be used in identifying the top landing pages on your website. Now you will have an elaborate list of the landing pages that you might want to keep. In case the redesign has no plan to have any of the pages, ensure that you enforce the 301 redirect to the new pages that you have created. This also applies in case you are planning on having a different URL for particular landing pages.
#3 Workout a Website Structure Plan for the new Website
You have a list of the landing pages and the relevant keywords that you are ranking for already. Now it is important that you make an awesome website structure following these landing pages. You can introduce new pages but ensure that the structure assures better usability of the functionalities on your website.
Inspect the page levels from the top landing page or home page. While you are planning the structure of your website it is important that these page levels do not increase, otherwise it will cause a negative impact. If one of the landing pages was on level 2 in the old website, maintain it at that and not changing it to a level three.
Use Google Webmaster Tools to audit the website’s internal links. Ensure that you note all the internal links that are linking to your different landing pages. It is in your best interest to maintain these internal linking. When you redesigning the website, pay close attention to the anchor texts used in these internal linking and make sure you maintain the same internal linking anchor texts. Make sure you also save the metadata of the different pages in the old site. Maintain these titles and meta descriptions of the pages in the new redesigned website.
#4 Audit your Backlinks before you Redesign your Website
Everyone understands the significance of other sites linking back to your website. This is an integral part of SEO and so why you are thinking or redesigning your website, you need to put the current backlinks that you have on your old website in mind.
How will you go about this? Well, Google Webmaster Tools will also come in handy when it comes to auditing backlinks to your website. Under the Traffic Section on webmaster tools, choose links to view all the backlinks that are linking to content on your website.
There are other very many tools that you can choose to analyze backlinks to your site. You can use any as Google Webmaster Tools can give irrelevant results especially if you website has been alive for years. Note all the pages that are linking to and ensure to maintain the URLs or enforce a 301 redirect.
#5 Take Website Redesigning in a Gradual Manner
Unless there was no SEO effort done on the website and you need a total overhaul, you would want to do redesign in a gradual manner. Take a step as you go. Maybe you can start off with redesigning the blog as you plan to take the website as you go.
Gradual redesign will help you in correcting issues as you go and help you prepare for different unpredictable aspects of redesigning.
All in all website redesign is always a good thing when done right. Do not let the work that you have done in the past for internet marketing go to waste. Take each step to ensure that you save each and every link and you will sure enjoy the fruits of redesigning your website.