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How to: prepare for a website redesign | Bitlab

How to: prepare for a website redesign

by Esther Tyreman / Website Design

Change is an inevitable part of a business and, at some point during operation, it will become necessary for you to redesign your website to suit the changing needs of your business. Rest assured, your competitors will be redesigning their sites to appear more professional or provide a better user experience. The low-budget, basic site that you designed when you started will no longer be able to compete.

In a world where customers spend millions online every year, your website needs to properly maintained and updated as well as being fit for purpose. However, you can’t just expect to carry out a redesign overnight and have it working successfully, careful planning will eliminate the risk of impacting your organic traffic, rankings and conversions.

Analyse your current performance

 Changes are only worthwhile if you can monitor their impact, to do this you will need something to measure against. So, before you begin your redesign analyse every aspect of your website that drives sales or leads along with customer behaviour. This will give you a good understanding of which parts of your site are effective, which are not performing as you would expect and how your visitors behave on your site. A lot of traffic doesn’t necessarily mean a lot of customers so analyse phone calls from search, contact form completions, downloads of resources and any other form of conversion.

Page Deletion

When carrying out a redesign you may have to make the decision to delete a page, and this can cause serious problems if you don’t plan ahead. You should always review your analytics before making the final cut, you may think that a page is not useful but it may be a page that is driving traffic or conversions, deleting a page can cause a drop in traffic and maybe even cause problems with your organic ranking so it’s not a decision to be made lightly.

Applying a 301 redirect to a deleted page will help to maintain some of the link value but before removal, you should consider the quantity and quality of inbound links to a page. If a page has no links or a small number then it may be considered for deletion but you need to assess the value of these links. You may only have one, but it may be from a high authority site, like a national newspaper or industry journal and that is a link worth keeping.

If a piece of content is attracting a lot of traffic but has no inbound links, then you have the flexibility to move this to another page. It’s important that you make decisions based on the analytics and data rather than opinion. There may be a piece of content that you think is not that strong but if it is pulling in traffic and generating conversions then it is doing its job.

Think about your users

Most redesigns begin based on users’ needs. The advancements in technology mean that visitors are now using mobile devices to look at your site and so your site should be responsive and mobile friendly to account for the increase in mobile traffic. A redesign gives you the opportunity to fix any issues that you may have found with your original site, page speed may seem insignificant but in an increasingly impatient world, a speedy site is more important than ever (read our blog about improving page speed). Relevant content will help to generate high-quality traffic, continue to regularly update your site with latest company news, how to guides or industry news to keep visitors informed.

Your website is one of the most important resources that your business can have. It generates new custom and engages existing clients. Done properly, a website can help to improve profitability and expand your business but done incorrectly and you can seriously damage your reputation and your brand. If you want to find out how you can improve your website, get in touch with our expert team on 0330 041 4564, use our contact form or drop us an email at info@bitlab.co.uk.

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