There are many reasons why it can be a good idea to redesign your website. If a site is not currently mobile friendly, then redesigning it is a must in order to earn or retain a good Google rank and reach hundreds of millions of smartphone internet users. Perhaps your website runs too slowly and needs to be upgraded, or maybe the target audience has changed, and a new design is needed to appeal to your potential customers.
Unfortunately, when you redesign your website, it almost always results in a temporary loss of traffic. The following tips can prevent this loss of traffic from becoming permanent and enable your business to reach an even larger audience than before.
Know if it is Worth it to Redesign your Website
There are a number of questions you will need to ask yourself when redesigning your website. These are:
- Will this new design appeal to the right target audience?
- Is the new design mobile friendly?
- Will the new design load faster than the old design?
- Will the new design boost the website's standing in Google in the long run?
If the answer is no to any of these questions, then you may want to consider your plan to redesign your website. Creating a new website design isn't just about making a website look nice; it's about gaining traffic and sales.
Analyze Your Analytics
When you redesign your website, it doesn't mean throwing everything out and starting from scratch. Switching over to a new URL, for instance, can cause massive confusion both for your customers and for Google. It is a step that is best avoided unless absolutely necessary. Deleting content from your site also harms your standing in Google unless the content was poorly written and/or duplicate content.
To know what to keep and what to get rid of, take a close look at your website's Google Analytics page. It will show you important information such as:
- Which pages or posts bring in the most traffic
- Which pages or post have the highest ROI
- Which pages or posts have the lowest bounce rate
Ideally, you will want to keep the content that works intact while changing content that isn't as effective as it should be.
Additionally, experts recommend leaving Google Analytics on even when the website is being redesigned. The stats may not look as good as they used to but you will gain valuable information about how potential customers are interacting with the newer portions of your website. You can then use this information to tweak your website redesign plans as needed.
Inform Your Audience
It can be confusing for your audience to come to your website one day and find that it is either brand new or in the midst of an upheaval. Give people advance warning that you will be redesigning your website at a particular time and explain why you are doing so. Share some of the new features and amenities you hope to provide on your new website to get people excited about your redesign plans. It's also a good idea to ask your visitors for their opinions on different redesign ideas you may have.
Technical aspects of website redesign are important. Failing to pay attention to technical issues can result in penalties, loss of keyword rank and other problems that can be difficult if not impossible to fix. Following are some of the most important technical aspects to focus on when redesigning a website.
You can lose valuable traffic and search engine standing by failing to redirect traffic from old URLs to new ones. Every time you change the link to any website page you will need to manually redirect the old URL to the new one.
Update and Submit the New XML Sitemap
An XML sitemap makes it possible for search engines to crawl your website in an effective manner. You will want to update and submit the new sitemap immediately after redesigning a website so Google will know what your site has to offer.
Check for Missing Meta Tags and Descriptions
Meta tags and Meta descriptions are effective tools that tell search engines what your website is about. Check your new website manually for tags and descriptions that are either missing or no longer accurate.
The decision to redesign your website should never be made in a hurry. Take the time to consider the possible implications and make detailed plans to avoid permanent loss of traffic. It is also a good idea to work with an expert in the field who can give you honest feedback and the technical help you need to keep your Google rank even after some aspects of your website have been changed.
Brandgy specializes in this field; we not only offer top of the line website design services but also handle offline marketing, content marketing, branding and more. Get in touch with us to take advantage of the personalized help and assistance we can provide and improve your website today!