When Should I Redesign My Website

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When you design your first website for your business, you are excited and anxious to to start your online journey.  After you have had your website for a few years, you learn an abundance of information in preparation for your websites redesign.  The lifespan on technology is about 2 years, although that does not mean you should redesign your website every two years.  Lets take a look at a couple reasons to redesign your website, specifically SEO and internet marketing.

wire mesh case study web redesign

SEO Implications Of A Website Redesign

If your website is not structured well and you are having trouble gaining rankings in search engines, a website redesign may help you gain significant rankings if executed well.  Search engines change algorithms many times per year in an effort to provide better results to users.  As the search engines change, many times you have to maintain your site to keep up.  If you are not maintaining your website on a regular basis, monthly at minimum, then you are falling further and further behind the curve.  If you started out with mediocre results and have not made significant improvements, your rankings will continue to fall.

There are a few items to look for on your website that can help you determine if a website redesign would have significant SEO benefits.

Pretty URL’s

Pretty URL’s, sometimes referred to as “permalinks”, are important for a few reasons.  For one, they help confirm to the user what the page it about.  If the URL has the phrase the user is searching for in it, they are more likely to click on it.  Second, a pretty URL with the keywords in it confirms to search engines that the content is really about those keywords.  And third, it makes the URL easier to remember to users.

Pretty URL with keywords:
http://www.blackbeardesign.com/logo-designer-company-atlanta/

URL with variables instead of keywords:
http://www.heritagecandles.com/items.cfm?SubCatId=19

Structured Pages

Check to see if your page is structured well, such as H1 or header tags for the title of the page, “p” or paragraph tags around the body copy and H2,H3 and so on as you work down the page.  You can check this in Google Chrome by right-clicking on the title on your page and selecting “inspect element”.  You can do this for each element on your page to test and see if it’s structured correctly.

When Do I Need To Redesign My Website?

 

code h1

Also make sure you have a well written meta title and meta description.  The best way to tell if your not familiar with code is to Google a term that will pull up your page or put the page URL in the search box and see what result shows.  If it doesn’t make sense, then it’s most likely poorly written.

Google search results website redesign

Old Content & Technology

If your website was built with an old technology such as FLASH, then you really don’t need to read any more of this post.  FLASH is not viewable by search engines and FLASH is not viewable on mobile devices. The growth of mobile browsing is outpacing desktop browsing quickly.  If your site has any FLASH on the page whatsoever, I would suggest, at minimum to replace it with some other technology.

As far as content, if you have not changed your content in a couple years, refreshing content would be useful.  Like technology, business also changes.  Your content that was accurate a couple years ago might be a little outdated due to improvements in your services or business.

Internet Marketing Implications Of A Website Redesign

If you’re not currently running any internet marketing campaigns, planning your website redesign with campaigns in mind  is very important.  If you are currently running marketing campaigns, this is not only very important, it is imperative. What does that mean you may ask?  It all leads to a couple key concepts, landing pages and URL’s.

Landing Pages

There are best practices when it comes to landing page design.  Whether you currently utilize landing pages or not on your current site, work them in on the redesign.  Landing pages are laid out a little differently than your main website.  Best practice on a landing page suggest content on the left, form on the right and no navigation as you would normally expect.  This gives the user a single action on the page, which studies suggest increase conversion rates.

Landing Page Redesign

URL’s and Redirects

When redesigning a website, you have an opportunity to make your URL’s pretty as mentioned above.  An important and mostly overlooked item to watch for when updating your URL’s would be your current advertising campaigns and SEO.  Extra effort should be made to map all of the old URL’s from your old site to the new URL’s on the new site.  When you redirect all of the old URL’s, you will want to use a 301 redirect to keep your SEO efforts at maximum and any penalties at a minimum.

Where Do I Start With A Website Redesign

Research is going to be your best friend with a website redesign.  You have a website with current data and you have clients or customers you could interview.  The other part of the equation is to find a professional web development company that you are comfortable with and that has the experience to take into consideration all the moving pieces to make your web redesign process a success.

We offer a free website redesign kit that will arm you with information and an asset checklist to help you prepare for the next step in your internet marketing efforts.

website redesign

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