This article originally appeared in the November 2012 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY.
Many of our readers, like me, are being bombarded daily by redesign offers from “Web design/SEO experts.” The communications say your site is outdated, your Google (News - Alert) ranking is low, we can improve your SEO results, etc.
Of course, the people sending these messages are generally clueless as to your organization’s actual goals or targets. Plus, major changes in website designs can initially have negative results requiring extensive fine-tuning, so don’t be too quick to reach for the phone.
First, review your initial web/SEO program plan. Determine if you’re meeting your organization’s goals and keep the adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” in mind. If your top priority is to generate leads, limit your focus to lead generation. Don’t be distracted by comments that the site is dated or that a competitor just updated its site with a new look. Your competitor’s redesign may look flashy, but its lead flow could have decreased by 50 percent and be a total disaster.
Remember that priority number one is lead generation – not winning design awards.
If you are a vendor or service provider with an established reseller channel, your design requirements and goals will be totally different from a company selling direct. Resellers have already committed to your products and programs. They don’t need showy new screens or sales pitches. Resellers just want to quickly locate the information they need, and a familiar site is much easier to navigate.
Therefore, priority number one is an easy-to-navigate site that changes progressively over time.
Certainly, sites need updating. Utilizing SEO specialists and Web designers, as I do, is also recommended, but careful thought must be applied before making changes. TMC (News - Alert) is one of my greatest resources and an excellent example of how to undertake site redesign.
In July, TMCnet Online Community Sponsors received notification of a pending redesign and the rationale behind the adjustments. Priority number one for TMC has always been the value it provides to its online communities and TMCnet’s organic ranking on major search engines. The site was generating 70 million page views per month, but industry changes, including new search engine algorithms, convinced TMC it was time for a redesign.
The new TMCnet is even easier to navigate and retains a familiar feel but is better organized to highlight the most important assets and elements built into the site. Take a look at a priority number-one success.
Max Schroeder is senior vice president of FaxCore Inc. (www.faxcore.com) and managing director of the DPCF.
Edited by Braden Becker