A website redesign can be a complex project with many moving parts. Every department of an organization has an opinion on how the website should look and feel. In today's post we will look at six common redesign mistakes and why you should work with your team to avoid them at all costs.
Flash - Google's ability to crawl Flash has improved, but your redesign should still use Flash sparingly. Beyond limiting the effectiveness of your Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Flash can make it difficult for users to navigate your site. Focus your attention on using white-space and adding remarkable content . Visitors will be able to self-select the content that fits them best and this will lead to increased conversion rates for your website. For an example of how Flash can ruin the user experience before it ever begins, check out this site .
Too Many Images - If you run a small business website, your goal should be a redesigned website that promotes conversion . Adding too many images to your design can take away from the content and make it difficult for the user to find the compelling offers that you worked hard to create. When you do use an image, be sure to add an image Alt Tag, which helps Google associate a keyword with your image.
Load Time - Slow loading pages are less likely to be crawled or visited frequently by users and search engines alike. Google has made it clear that they are taking load times into consideration with the launch of Site Performance in Webmaster Tools, which you can see a screen shot of below.
The goal of any search engine is to return the most accurate search results in the least amount of time. You can analyze the speed of your website here.
Lack of Compelling Offers - Redesign projects can get bogged down in the nitty gritty details of SEO. While it's important to follow SEO best practices, it's also important to think about the true goal of your site - generating leads. At the beginning of your redesign process gather your team together and determine the offers you want to include on the home page of the new site. Ideally, you will have various offers that speak to visitors in different stages of the sales funnel .
Complicated Navigation - Complicated navigation makes it difficult for Google and your visitors to find information. The screen shot below shows a site with two navigation bars, this type of setup makes it difficult for users and search engines to browse and consume the content within the site.
Search engine spiders spend a limited amount of time crawling your website, make that time count by placing all of your content near the top of your navigation where it can be found quickly.
Dyanmic URLs - Dynamic URLs are less SEO friendly than static because they do not include targeted keywords but instead include characters such as: ? = &. While Google can crawl dynamic URLs, static URLs give you control over the keywords that appear in the URL structure. Static URLs can also lead to increased click-throughs from search results because users can read the URL and know what the page is about before clicking.
Let's look at an example of a Dynamic URL: http://www.example.com/index.php?id_sezione=360&sid=3a5ebc944f41daa6f849f730f1 .
Here is a static URL: http://www.apple.com/ipodtouch/what-is/ipod.html .
The dynamic URL is less appealing to users and to Google. Here is a blog post regarding the differences between Dyamic and Static URLs from Google's perspective.
In your experience what are some other website redesign tactics that should be avoided?