Site redesigns can strike fear in to the most courageous entrepreneur and small business owner. Small businesses, and especially start ups are running a very lean machine in order to stay in business and make enough profit to survive. Who has time to go through the rigmarole involved with redesigning a website that is already working? One Web Company was in a similar position. A few weeks in to our relaunched site tells the entire story of "Why do I need to redesign my site?".
When One Web Company first started out, we were in the same position as other entrepreneurs. We needed an attractive and functional website. While the main staff at One Web Company could certainly do the necessary work to achieve this, we didn't have time. We were all very busy working on projects for our clients. So, we found a template that suited our needs and built our website.
Website Redesign Decision Background
For 2 years, this website served its purpose, and functioned reasonably well. But as time went along, the site became more dated. The Responsive design started to break down as mobile devices came in multiple dimensions. The site still served its purpose, but after so long, our site was showing its age. We set about creating a new design for the site, and at the same time undertook some content refreshing as well.
Our new site design has been running for about a month or so at this point. When we reviewed our Google Analytics, we were gladdened, but not surprised about the results. On mobile, we have seen a 17% increase in mobile based traffic. Our bounce rate has dropped by 66% and our pages / session has increased by 56%. One interesting thing to note is that due to the architectural changes in the navigation, our average session duration dropped by 12%. While some would argue that this is a bad thing, we view it as a positive. People are able to find what they are looking for more quickly. This has a two fold benefit. First, because People are able to find what they are looking for, they are not on our site as long. Reduced bandwidth and server load helps to make for a speedy site. Second, it is a strong indicator, especially on mobile, that the content itself is easy to read. Both of these points, when combined with the more pages per session and a reduced bounce rate, speaks to ease of navigation and ease of content consumption.
Overall SEO Statistics for One Web Company
Our overall statistics mirror the same statistical information. Our sessions are up 5.71%, Our users are up 6.06%, Our pageviews are up 38.34%, our pages per session are up 30.87%, our bounce rate is down 68.47%. Just as with the mobile report, our average session duration was down by 5.28%.
Our acquisition channels also show that the new site is preferred over our original site. Our organic search results are up 26.71%, and our social referral is up by 62.5%. Our referral traffic is down, but should be rebounding as we have been working diligently on any 404 errors (page not found) with the redirects. We did the top pages according to Web Master tools, but as with all things web, they will continue to trickle in over time.
Reviewing our Search Engine Optimization numbers, we discovered that our numbers have dramatically improved as well. Our impressions - the number of times our site comes up for any given search is up an impressive 283%, our clicks are doing even better, up 318.75%. Our average position in listing is up 34.59%, and our CTR - Click Through Rate is up 9.14%.
The value of In Page Analytics for SEO
Another piece of the puzzle is reviewing your new site in the In Page section of Google. When we redesigned our site, we did a couple of things that are different from most other sites:
- We opted to go with a "Hamburger menu" instead of a full navigation menu for desktops.
- This is a design trend that larger sites all over the world are moving to.
- It makes sense from a design and coding perspective. No more having to decide when to switch to a mobile menu!
- We placed our slideshow "below the fold" in favor of presenting jump boxes for what people wanted to see.
- As you can see from the image to the right, this has been a favorable move.
- One of the discussion points at a recent meeting was what to do about Internet Marketing which has received no clicks.
Webmaster Tools for SEO and Site Redesign
Google Analytics is not the be-all and end-all of reviewing your metrics. You also need to visit Web Master tools and set up your free account if you do not already have one. After you do this, you can get additional information from the Search Analytics section on Clicks, Impressions, CTR and Position. Talk about instant feedback! Below is a graph of how our site has gained traction in Google's Search.
If you haven't previously, we encourage you to take a cruise through Webmaster Tools (WMT) there is some great information there. Make sure you sign up for alerts from WMT! This will give you valuable information on your site, especially if Google finds an issue with your site. To sign up for alerts, log in to your WMT console, then click on the gear icon in the upper right of the screen and select "Search Console Preferences". If everything has been set up correctly in your account, you should have an email dropdown that you can select your email address.
While doing a redesign of your website can be a difficult and scary proposition, when it is done right, you will see an almost instant (that is to say, instant being over the course of a month after launching the redesigned site) results with a boost in both mobile and desktop browsing. If you are thinking of redesigning your website, Check out this article about Finding a Web Design Company is tough! 5 Questions you should ask.
Are you interested in redesigning your website? Or are you interested in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services? It never hurts to find out what it would take to provide your site with a fresh new look.