Like Me? Follow Me.
I have recently been optimising a client's website that has been with I-COM for several years. The client has a good amount of traffic going to the website and some good rankings for competitive keywords however, when we look at the analytics we can see that the bounce rate is very high. We have looked into ways to combat this and have come up with some solutions, but I believe the design of the site is quite outdated and a re-design will make the website look 'the business', bringing it in line with its competitors.
This got me thinking; we have had this website on the books for some time and optimised it over the years, we have created a user friendly navigation and the client is very happy with how the website is performing, but what is the future for the website? Will its conversions drop off steadily as the current design gets older by the day?
The Dangers The dangers of leaving your website with a stagnant design from the early 2000s or the ancient 90s can have an impact on the new visitors entering your website. Due to the promotion of your website through SEO, PPC, social media and other areas, more people are being made aware of your brand, which could have a major impact if the website looks old and unprofessional. It highlights the need for web design and SEO to work together to build a better website.
If you are aware you are optimising an old looking website and can't really do anything about it, then it can lead to you 'powering through' and over-optimising the website, which is a problem I have seen a couple of thousand, million times before. Don't be sucked into this situation though. This can see you building page after page on a top level navigation and making it very un-user friendly, leading you with a massive navigation. It would be better to build functionality for a subnav or re-design the IA.
The need for integrated marketing agencies has never been so great because of the knock-on effect of every area in the online industry. Talk to your client about the need for a re-fresh, try to convey why it is so important and it will make your job easier, as well as the client's site a whole lot better.
Have you had this issue?I know there are a lot of SEOs who will have had this problem. Have you had an old site that needed an upgrade and it has gone wrong? Another agency designed the website but you are optimising it and they haven't made it search engine friendly? Maybe the client has been after a new design for a long time and thinks that SEO isn't the way anymore and you lost a client? Let us know your thoughts.
We are lucky enough to have a good web design team at I-COM and if we require design work then they can support us in our efforts with clients, however, what if you are just a marketing agency with no web designers, or a freelance SEO and you have been presented with an old website and told to 'get it ranking'?