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Site Redesign May Improve Traffic

     
12:21 pm on Feb 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Site Redesign May Improve Traffic [thenextweb.com]
On Feburary 7th, 2011, the entire Gawker Media style changed from a typical one you’d see on a blog to a hipper more programmed feel. The design focused on a top story and then listed out others along the side in a static bar.

Some people called it horrific, some used the word “satanic“. Well all of those negative words about Gawker’s redesign can probably be put to rest.

According to a few tweets from Gawker head honcho Nick Denton today, the network saw a lift of over 10 million monthly unique visitors from this point last year


Here's an example where a site redesign hasn't caused a catastrophe in traffic falls.
12:59 pm on Feb 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Over the years I have redesigned many small business websites including some of my own and I have yet to see any negative effect on traffic. The worst result I have seen is no change. ;)
3:16 pm on Feb 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Here's an example where a site redesign hasn't caused a catastrophe in traffic falls.


People complain about Facebook's annual redesigns, but eventually come around. The key is that you can get away with it if:

A) your site has enough good content to get past the initial hatred
B) you don't desperately need traffic from search engines to stay afloat
3:45 pm on Feb 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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There are many factors in a redesign that could improve traffic:

a) Crawlability which could improve SERPS
b) Ease of sharing through social networks
c) Better navigation causing visitors to look deeper and stay longer
d) Better looking, a.k.a. more inviting

That being said, how do you narrow down which factor helped or hurt.

Marshall
7:53 pm on Feb 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Are we talking about the effects on traffic or usability or what?
10:47 pm on Feb 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Post hoc ergo propter hoc
2:33 am on Feb 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

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"hipper"? Did they really say "hipper"?! Somewhere out there, someone is fishing out the Best Retro Site Design award.

"hipper" doesn't sound like navigation. It sounds like they changed the fonts and colors-- meaning that within a few years they will be forced to change them again when the site begins to look hopelessly out-of-date instead of merely timeless.
1:37 pm on Feb 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I am sure- that when you redesign a website it will bring in more traffic -people will want to discover the changes and I mean - improvement is always good.
2:08 pm on Feb 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

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improvement is always good.


Getting a little off the OP, this is not always true. Depending on the site, certain "improvements" may take regular visitors out of their comfort zone. Newer (improved) is not always better.

Marshall
3:06 pm on Feb 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Isn't "improved" (by definition) always better? ;)
3:26 pm on Feb 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I recently redesigned one of my money websites. Not only did I see a lower bounce rate and higher conversions, but I saw definite increased positioning in SERPs. Though I saw positive results from this redesign I am still on the fence about whether or not to redesign my #1 money website. The design has not been updated since 2004 (AND IT LOOKS LIKE IT). But I am still nervous it could impact us negatively and there is a lot of money riding on this website. What are you suggestions?
4:42 pm on Feb 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

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What are you suggestions?


If you know what aspects of your site are strong, I would suggest leaving them alone, i.e. layout, content, navigation, etc. However, simple improvement like a font or color changes or maybe newer graphics may make a huge difference in it not looking like 2004.

Of course, I'm from the old school of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Marshall
 

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