Most business owners see a website redesign project as a huge burden. Not only do you need the capital to invest in a new site, but you also need a marketing strategy. In fact, a great marketing strategy & fantastic website design WILL increase website traffic and, better yet, convert into customers.
In this article I will break down some of the most common mistakes business owners and website developers make when they redesign a website. Your SEO ranking, or organic ranking, can plummet significantly if the right steps are not taken. With that said, I will also outline a few easy steps to avoid a search ranking disaster. Let’s jump right into it.
- Website content is written to fool search engines. Never create website content with the aim of ranking for certain keywords. Trust me, this strategy does not work. Keep in mind, your content should always answer a question.Google has the question your website has the answer. Redesigning a website gives you the opportunity to improve your site and fix what’s broken. Research is key in creating high quality website content which in return will increase conversion.
- Don’t go for the cheapest. Going for the cheapest web design estimate can be enticing. Don’t do it! There’s a reason why full service digital marketing agencies charge what they charge. Always make sure to ask for a complete breakdown so that you know exactly what you are paying for. In most cases, inexpensive website design companies lack the experience and professional labour. Here’s a tip, ask for a complete Work Breakdown Schedule that outlines every detail of a project. Also, make sure to ask for the pre-launch checklist. This checklist will provide you insight as to how your new site will go live.
- Redirect your old landing pages to their new counterparts. This is essential to ensure you don’t lose your current ranking status. Redirecting old sub pages allows search engines to re-crawl your website with ease. To do this you need to add 301 Redirect links to your new site. There are a few free WordPress plugins that allow you to do this. Have your old website’s sitemap.xml file handy as guidance.
- Make sure your website has a hierarchical structure. Each page, sub page or landing page should have a specific purpose. With that said, your entire site should follow a strict hierarchy. For example, one of our landscaping clients in Kelowna was looking at redesigning their website. Their current landscaping website only had 5 pages; 1 main page and 4 sub pages. The websites’ organic traffic was not that great and the bounce rate was quite high. All 5 pages were listed as primary pages, or parent pages, within the XML sitemap. Ideally, your sitemap should have parent or primary pages and sub pages listed underneath them.
- Your image ALT text tells the story. Image alt text is probably one of the most important tasks when developing a website. In most cases this task is skipped to save time. However, it does impact your search engine optimization efforts significantly. In fact, search engines cannot determine what an image is without reading the alternative text tag.
- Internal Linking. Internal links refer to the links within your website. The more internal linking the better, right? Not quite. Your internal links should strategically link to information related to the link. For example, in my case, a great internal link would be web development or content marketing. Or, better yet, design and development services. As you can see all these words are linked to other sub pages within my site. This allows the user to navigate to that topic if they really want to.
I’ve sat down with multiple business owners, CEO’s, marketing managers or CFO’s in the past. The number one question I always get is: How do we increase our website traffic? or, What can we do to increase our overall website conversion?
To answer these questions we need to understand the fundamental breakdown of what actually generates web traffic or website conversion. Gaining website traffic is essential to any website. However, having a high conversion rate or low bounce rate is crucial.
The primary focus of any business or organization’s website should be user experience and the information. Your website should be informative, yet your content should be easily accessible. I’ve personally helped Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Kelowna clients drive more traffic to their website by honing in on their target demographic and creating content based on that audience.
Why do people need a website redesign after some time?
The answer to these questions greatly depends on the success of your current website and the overall user experience. Technology is constantly changing. A great example, in the last 5 to 7 years how many mobile phones have you owned? We upgrade our phones because they slow down.
Same goes for your website. The way we designed and developed websites 2 years ago is completely different today. Why? because we got better at it. Today, websites are faster, more efficient and some are diving into artificial intelligence.
In most cases, a successful website redesign is measured based on the increase of organic traffic and the overall conversion rate. Keep an eye on your bounce rate. Ideally, your bounce rate should slowly but surely decrease. The longer people stay on your website the lower your bounce rate.
Measuring the success of any new website does take time, it’s not something that happens overnight. Your industry, competitors and target marketing greatly impacts the success of your new website.
Absolutely! However, it should be done right. The primary focus of any website redesign should be; how can my website visitor get to the information they want as quick as possible. Questions to ask yourself:
- Are you proud of your current website design? Are you excited to show it off to friends and clients? In my experience most business owners are not satisfied with their website. If you not excited or proud of your website then why should your potential customer be?
- Does your website have empty spaces or unaligned text? This is a big one! Most website designs lack proper alignment or consistency in overall spacing. Or worse, have large amounts of empty space. I call this an “uncooked” website. A great website design has perfect alignment, space or padding consistency and each and every single pixel has a purpose.
- Are you keeping a close eye on your Google Analytics? Google Analytics is extremely powerful. It will show you whether or not your website is doing what it’s suppose to do.
Hopefully these questions will give you some insight about when it’s the right time to redesign your website. When it is time, we recommend outsourcing your design and development to a professional company. Why? because A) companies like Ullaco Corp have the experience and B) your time is better spent doing what you do best. Just like you are the expert in your field, we are the experts in ours.
Overall, increasing your conversion rate should be the primary focus of any website redesign project or ongoing search engine optimization strategy. Search results highly depend on what your website is made of.