After some time, any website needs a redesign. However, it’s not that easy to change the visual and technical components to which users become so accustomed. Actually, the redesign is one of the greatest challenges any company faced with. So what to do? Maybe to leave things as they are?
Of course, you can try “to break even,” but within the time the ratings will gradually decrease. Sooner or later, any design becomes boring and cannot bring traffic anymore. The audience needs something new, and this “new” must be a splendid up-to-date website design. So how to redesign the site and do not lose position in search results? Where to begin?
Before taking any steps, you have to decide on what you want to get in the end. If you only need to change the color scheme, create a logo, or replace the cap, then there’s nothing to worry about: at maximum, you’ll lose a certain number of subscribers who don’t like the introduced changes. However, disgruntled people are the reality of life – you just have to accept this fact.
Another matter, when you’re changing the whole website, including the displacing of blocks, adding new elements and removing old ones, fixing the code, etc. In this case, the consequences may be unpredictable.
Not to be trapped, you have to understand the two main points which are the base for any website redesign:
- The need of smoothly co-working of the whole team – from designers to developers. For example, SEOs can do some significant improvements which are our of designers’ competence, and vice versa.
- Consecutive and unhurried launch of a redesigned website. Please don’t spoil the design just because you want to speed up the process. Ask the readers what they think about the newly redesigned elements. Probably you get a lot of answers that will help take right decisions.
The Reasons to Redesign Your Website
- Obsolescence. Some time ago a website had a great design, but now it looks outdated and needs to be updated to match the current fashion trends and continue to position the company as a modern and progressive.
- Poor initial design/ turnabout. After a certain period of time, the company understood the need for high-quality design. Changing the opinion on the basis of new experiences and knowledge is quite natural. If you are not sure how you want your website to look like, check out the examples of good designs at www.designcontest.uk/.
- Changes in the company’s activity (a new market, quality, activity, etc.).
The main purposes of the redesign are to reflect the current views of the company, to emphasize new developments, to improve the self-presentation of the brand, to reach a new level of communication with customers. Over time, the social position of the company changes, its structure and customer service develop; therefore, to meet the requirements of the time, you have to regularly update the corporate identity, leaving behind unwanted items or, what’s better, replacing them with fresh and relevant ideas.
What is Worth Attention when Redesigning a Website?
It all depends on your needs, imagination, and possibilities. Do not limit yourself to changing the appearance. After the design is updated, it must become more understandable, attractive, and memorable. But to be honest, much depends on the purpose of the project. If the main goal is to increase the number of page views and time spent on the site, then you should pay special attention to navigation and internal linking; if want to increase CTR of ad units, then they must get the most favorable places on the website.
What Should You Do When Redesigning a Website
- Keep things going. When visitors come to the site and see that the page is under development for a few weeks, they: a) don’t visit this page for the specified time; b) may forget your website or go competitors.
- Reassess the semantic core and optimize the content. Retain keywords that bring you organic traffic and test new ones that are potentially profitable. Experiment a little bit, and you’ll have a great chance to move up the position of the website in SERPs.
- Maintain the original URL structure. If you change the URL structure of the page, you lose a huge amount of traffic going from external links. The biggest mistake you can make with the redesign is to change the URL of the page without 301-redirecting it. In most cases, URL structure changes. The main reasons for this are CMS change, change in business direction, and badly-thought URL structure.
- Create a new sitemap (HTML and XML. If you move some content to another location, the sitemap helps the user to find it.
After you run a website, you will need to allow indexing in robots.txt and add your new site to Google Webmaster Tools.
The redesign will allow your business to keep up with the times, corporate goals and consumer expectations. The timely done redesign will help to maintain or adjust the company’s image, as well as to attract new visitors and keep the interest of loyal buyers. Website redesign is a good way to start a new stage in the life of the company, to emphasize the transition to the new values or advanced level of quality.
Once you released the design, you’re in a new and very important stage: traffic and rankings monitoring. Keep an eye on analytics immediately after you launch the redesigned version. Your goal is to find everything that reduces traffic (various errors, the inconvenience of use, irrelevant keywords, etc.).
Each site passes a stage of organic traffic fluctuations during the redesign. It is natural. If you follow the tips above, you will make these fluctuations softer. Take advantage of the redesign and bring something new to the market!
Bio: Brian Jens is a designer who loves blogging. That’s why you can find a lot of his works online. Being a part of DesignContest team, Brian combines his creative and technical sides to please the public with fresh research. Feel free to send Brian the bright ideas you have: who knows, maybe it is your topic that will be covered next?