Did you know that by redesigning your website you can stand to double or even triple your website traffic? Well, it can – but only if you do it right. Website redesign is one of the easiest ways to add new life to an old brand while improving it’s existing SEO to increase visitors to your website.
Today, I’m going to show you the many benefits of redesigning your website and side step the traps that come with it.
BENEFITS OF A WEBSITE REDESIGN
Website redesign is probably one of the most overlooked activities for a company and I can understand why. For starters, most companies already have a (functional) company website and the mantra of “It ain’t broke, don’t fix it” holds true. But did you know the benefits far outweigh the effort?
If you don’t have a business website yet, what are you waiting for? A well designed website is VITAL in today’s digital world. Contact us to get started.
IMPROVEd BRANDING AND REPUTATION
An old website will likely contain old design elements such as outdated graphics and design. This will hurt your branding in the long run. A new, rejuvenated website adds excitement and vitality to your business. Your company has a bad reputation? The fix could very well be a new website redesign to show your customers the new, better you.
IMPROVED CONVERSION AND SALES
By redesigning a website, you can improve its usability and functionality that can lead to improved conversions and sales.
IMPROVEd WEBSITE SPEED
Old websites tend to be run on old software which can really hamper the speed of your website. Speed is a major technical deciding factor on how well your website ranks on search engines like Google and Bing. Any website that loads under 3 seconds will experience significant site abandonment.
Old websites often have outdated security measures which can lead to vulnerabilities to viruses and hackers. Redesigning a website completely will patch those security loopholes with updated software, allowing you the peace of mind to grow your business.
Is it easy for your customers to find what they’re looking for on your website? If not, a website redesign will increase its usability so users can easily use it. Usability is directly correlated to conversion rate meaning more leads and sales in the long term.
How website redesign affects SEO and website TRAFFIC
By improving the above website attributes such as website speed, security, and mobile responsive usability, you are sending signals to search engines that you are a trustworthy and effective source to your customers which will inevitably improve your SEO and search engine rankings.
An improvement in search engine rankings will lead to more online traffic which in turn creates more opportunities for your business to grow.
SIGNS YOU NEED TO REDESIGN YOUR WEBSITE
Truth is, you may not need to redesign your website. Take Berkshire Hathaway’s web design (The 3rd most valuable company on earth and owned by Warren Buffet for those of you that don’t know) for example, it may not look flashy and dated but it serves its purpose.
Berkshire Hathaway’s main intention is not to sell you a product or service over the Internet so it can get away with doing very little. As long as people can find what they need when they visit their website. Furthermore, the ‘average’ person will not visit their website.
However, MOST companies will not be able to get away with such a simplistic and outdated design.
Apple, for example, will have its brand tarnished if it went for such a simplistic website.
Even Berkshire’s other numerous subsidiaries, you will realise, do not have the simplistic design as its parent company.
The main things to ask when considering a website redesign are:
- Does it serve its purpose?
- Will it provide the information your clients are searching for in a fast and effective manner?
- Does it portray the image your company currently wants your visitors to see?
TECHNICAL SIGNS YOU NEED A WEBSITE REDESIGN
The below are reasons for a visitor to leave a website. How many are you guilty of?
- Slow loading
- Non responsive
- Bad navigation
- Outdated design
- Poor content structure
- Obtrusive use of video/audio
Speed is a major contributor to SEO rankings. All things being equal, a faster loading website will have priority placement over a sluggish website on search engines such as Google and Bing. This is because websites that load slow experience significant visitor abandonments.
You are in dire need of a new website redesign if your website loads longer than 3 seconds.
To check how your website speed measures up, enter your website address on Google pagespeed insights.
NON MOBILE RESPONSIVE WEBSITE
People’s patients are getting thinner. Outside of a slow loading website that gets abandonment, the next one is non mobile responsive website.
What is a non mobile responsive website? It is when you have to manually adjust your phone screen in order to get the website to behave the way it should.
A mobile responsive website renders on all screen sizes so you get the optimum experience whether you’re on a desktop PC or a mobile phone.
If your client can’t find what they’re looking for in under 3 clicks, you may have navigation problems. Bad navigation leads to user frustration which in turn leads to user abandonment.
Bad navigation should be a reason to redesign your website though not always completely.
IT LOOKS DATED
If you’re in a business where appearances are important, then a dated website will not give you the image you want your customers to see.
Believe me when I tell you, you’ll know when your website looks dated. This is because while you’re browsing the internet, you will undoubtedly notice the many advancements and trends in design that popular websites use and you should be able to instantly tell that your website is lacking a little something.
If you really don’t know if your website looks dated or not, simply ask the least tech savvy person you know and ask them to take a look at your current website. That will give you your answer.
IT NEEDS CONSTANT PATCHING
If you’re constantly spending your resources to patch your website, it may be more economical to have it redesigned with improved technology and security.
OBTRUSIVE USE OF VIDEO/AUDIO
Having a video or audio that constantly loops in the background can slow down your website drastically and be a frustrating experience for your website visitors.
While this may not be a good enough reason to redesign your website, it’s worth looking into to determine if the benefits outweigh the costs.
YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS A REBRANDING
Redesigning your website is one of the easiest ways to add renewed vitality and energy to your business and boost company morale. It can be used to differentiate your business and its services to your competitors and can often be the reason why a customer chooses one brand over another.
HOW OFTEN DO SHOULD YOU REDESIGN YOUR WEBSITE
This will depend on the variables mentioned previously and your current website design.
If your website was made 5 years ago. It’s worth having a serious look into redesigning it as web design technology and practices have changed a lot since then.
Currently a website redesign every 2 to 3 years is the sweet spot.
However, with newer technology and practices, I suspect website redesigns will be required less and less frequently in the future.
Redesigning your website every 2-3 years ensures you up to date with the latest technology and security.
WEBSITE REDESIGN BEST PRACTICES
In the above, we highlight some of the things that can be gained from a website redesign. However, a lot of things can also go wrong when you’re redesigning your website.
If you’re not careful, redesigning your website can tank your rankings overnight that you may never recover from.
Below are some ways you can make the process a little smoother and prevent:
FAILING TO PLAN IS PLANNING TO FAIL
Planning when to redesign your website is crucial. The idea here is to minimise downtime as much as possible. This means you do not redesign over a live site.
Depending on your website size, you may want to redesign and rollout your website in different stages.
Something that’s absolutely crucial is that you want to keep your SEO that you’ve worked so hard to build up. A bad redesign decision could cost you months or even years of hard work!
WEBSITE REDESIGN WITHOUT LOSING SEO
SEO can take a long time to build up. So it is imperative that you don’t lose it when you are redesigning or migrating your website. The idea of website redesign is to improve and preserve your existing SEO, not to crash it. The following are points to consider to preserve your current SEO while moving or redesigning your website:
- Use temporary domain – Redesign your new website on new temporary domain or subdirectory will minimise downtime and ensure you have everything ready before you switch over.
- Have a spreadsheet of all existing pages URL, title, meta description and pageviews per month should be a minimum. A good program that can make your life easier in this department is Screaming Frog.
- Keep the old site alive a bit longer to refer to if you hit a bump with your new site redesign or SEO reference. Make sure it’s not accessed by crawlers though.
- Keeping things the same – If you have good SEO on your pages, you’d want to keep things the same. Now is not the time to go overboard with drastic changes.
- Update image files – redesigning your website often means modifying and adding new images. It is also a good opportunity to improve SEO by compressing large image files, and correctly labeling every photo and alt text.
- 301 redirects – A 301 redirect sends site visitors and search engines to a different URL than the one they originally typed. A 301 redirect also passes 90-99% of link equity or link juice to the redirected page. For any changes that you just have to make in the URL, you must use 301 redirects.
- Create a new XML sitemap – When launching the new redesigned website, creating a new XML sitemap and re-submitting it to various search engines can speed up the process it gets discovered.
- Links, links, links – you should always check your site for any broken links but redesigning your website can be the perfect excuse to do so. Internal links make your site easier to crawl. Outbound links send a signal to search engines to help them determine the intent and quality of your content while inbound links adds credibility and page rank value or link juice to your website.
- Upgrade PHP – Upgrading your website to the newest version of PHP can significantly boost your website speed and make it more secure.
- Check Google Search Console – Google Search Console has a plethora of tools available to help you with indexing, error discovery and optimising visibility on Google search.
- Check robots.txt – Robots.txt tells search engines what and what not to crawl on your website. Make sure all your important pages are crawlable.
- Monitor rankings and optimisation – To ensure that all your important pages are indexed and crawled and traffic remains constant, you need to monitor your new website, compare it with old data and fix and optimise when needed.
WHAT HAPPENS TO SEO WHEN YOU REDESIGN YOUR WEBSITE
Expect to see a slight dip to your SEO and website traffic in the days after you just switched to the new site. This period is normal for the search engines to recrawl and redirect all relevant traffic.
After that, and if you have taken all the precaution outline above, you should see a steady rise in website traffic no longer than a month of the website redesign.
If your website is showing its age and signs of wear and tear, it’s time to redesign it with a new and improved website.
Don’t be put off by the thought of redesigning your website. It can be time consuming but a well planned website redesign can give your old brand new lease of life and increase your search engine rankings by improving its speed, usability and SEO.