Do You Need a Website Redesign to Improve Generic Ranking?

You may need a website redesign if your site has never gained much traffic, you suddenly lost keyword ranking, you want to update the banner and layout, or the focus of your business has changed. Some design features can deter ranking by not being search engine friendly, like having too much information in images instead of text. A sudden drop in ranking can have many causes as I will explain below.

Google Algorithm Penalties

If your keyword ranking dropped suddenly it may be due to a new Google algorithm such as Google's Panda or Penguin updates. Panda penalizing sites for over-optimization of content on your web pages or using your main keywords too often in internal links on your website. This may require a website redesign to eliminate over-optimization of keywords. The Penguin update is based mostly on getting too many backlinks focused on your main keywords instead of your brand or domain name. The key to correcting this problem is to either get offending links removed or get a lot more links using your brand name.

Your Own Website SEO is Lacking

If you are not using your main keywords in strategic places then competitors may be able to out rank your site, however you also have to be careful to not over-optimize your keywords.

testimony GLS new home pageGJS old home page

"Lori is great to work with. She put all the ideas I had rolling around in my head and created a beautiful site. She took the time to explain everything I needed to know about making my website rank higher." Jeff Lumia, Geoffrey James salon, NJ.

Competitor Has a Better SEO Ranking Strategy

Sudden changes in ranking can also be caused by your competitors being more aggressive with SEO updates on their websites, gathering backlinks or getting more involved in social networking.

Mobile Websites Rank Higher

BatsBirdsYard mobile website

Mobile friendly websites are now usually ranking higher in search engines (all other factors being equal), so if your website isn't easily viewed on tablets or a mobile phone as well as a desktop you may want to consider a mobile website redesign. Google recommends the responsive mobile method which means there is only one website which adjusts for different size screens depending on the device being used.

Websites that have already been redesigned for mobile devices often see an increase in ranking and traffic. Google is now using the mobile version of your website to index your pages so it's important to get that done as soon as possible. Check out the Mobile Website Design Portfolio for sites I've already designed for mobile using the responsive method.

No SSL (Security Certificate)

Another factor that can hold back generic keyword ranking on a website is if your site hasn't been upgraded to a SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), which encrypts all data when people send you an email or fill out a form on your website. Google's Chrome browser now inserts a warning in the location bar when a site isn't set up for SSL, which may deter visitors and cause a very high bounce rate (see below). All internal links on the site need to change as well as off-site links like Google Search Console and social networking sites like Facebook. I have a list of over 40 items that need to be checked or changed for an upgrade to SSL and the same with a website redesign.

chrome browser warning re no SSL

No Call to Action

Some websites neglect to include a phone number or email or other means to contact the site owner so they can gain more information. Most people will leave a website instead of searching for a contact page. If this problem occurs on your website this information will need to be included in a website redesign for any page that people might want to contact you for more information.

Page Speed Too Slow

A website that takes more than 3 seconds to load may cause visitors to leave and look elsewhere for what they are searching for and Google usually demotes ranking on pages that too slow. Reducing file size, avoiding code bloat, optimizing the images, installing browser cache dates and gzipping the page contents can all reduce page load time and should be incorporated into any website redesign.

Confusing Navigation

Unless your navigation is easy to use and all your pages are listed in the menu then people may not be able to find the page they are looking for. If you have a lot of pages then adding a search feature with a new website redesign can help eliminate that problem.

Technical Issues Can Harm Ranking

HTML code standards get upgraded every few years and some html tags and attributes get deprecated when that occurs. For instance it used to be ok to use a font tag but now that needs to be placed in a CSS file, and the same with using an align or center tag, and using tables to set up a web page. CMS Programs, Website Builders and WordPress are some of the worst offenders. Check your website with the W3C validator to see if it has any errors. Also see other technology blockers that can prevent good ranking in search engines. A web page will no longer validate with deprecated code and it may not display correctly in modern browsers either unless the site undergoes a website redesign.

A Small Sample of Websites Redesigned by Lori

(Run your mouse over the images to see the original)

jagbits new home pageJagbits website redesign of old home page RubesRubes new home page website redesign youdodj new home pageYouDoDJ  new home page redesign

Redesign Prices

Most of the time spent on a website redesign is usually taken up in setting up a custom layout of the home page. Once that is done a template can be set up for the inner pages and then data can be entered into the template quickly. The price for a website redesign varies widely depending on how many pages, how many images, lists, tables full of data, videos, custom designed graphics and other features that will be included in the layout. One page websites are often ignored by search engines and they also deter ranking potential, therefore they are not a good idea. See the rates page for more information on website redesign pricing.

Hand coded HTML used on all web pages.
No templates or WYSIWYGs used here.

How Lori Redesigns Websites

Lori hand codes all html websites, so no there is need for her to pay extra for WYSIWYG, CMS or Website Builder programs which keeps her costs down. This also means that the websites she designs have no code bloat and load faster than most websites of the same size built on programs like Wordpress and she can read the code if there is a problem with validating the code. Lori is also a graphic designer so she can set up graphic buttons and edit images if needed.

Fill out the Web Design Quote Form for pricing, or call Lori at 509-397-6000 or send an for more information.

You may need a SEO analysis report before a website redesign if your website has drastically dropped in rank, to determine the problems that are preventing higher keyword ranking.

order an Seo Analysis Report

Also see the Plan to Redesign a Website for list of
changes that are usually made when redesigning a website.

Lori Eldridge
Copyright © 8-23-04, Updated 1-13-19
All Rights Reserved.