You Probably Don’t Need a New Website – You Just Need SEO
If the idea of redesigning your website — or starting over from scratch with a brand new site — is putting an uncomfortable pit in your stomach or making you feel anxious, I’m here to tell you: it’s going to be okay.
You need a good website that functions both for your users and for your business. So if your website isn’t driving the results you want, you need to think about how you can improve it.
While there are times when a new website is a good idea, it’s a big expense and time commitment. So how do you know if it’s time to redesign your website?
Let’s go over some common problems you might have with your website, and whether or not they mean you need a new site or just search engine optimization (SEO).
Your competitors are showing up higher on search engine results than you.
Remember that line from that one baseball movie set in Iowa? “If you build it, they will come.”
Here’s the truth: Just because you build your business a website doesn’t mean that search engines are going to find it or send users to it.
Want some good news? A good SEO strategy helps more people find your website — and is also highly cost-effective.
SEO stands for search engine optimization, after all. By identifying and creating high-quality content on your site using the keywords your customers are using when they search, Google will trust your website more and rank you higher on their search results pages.
Good SEO also includes optimizing your current pages, navigation, URLs and more to make your website as user friendly and accessible as possible — both for people and for search engines.
The one downside to SEO is that it doesn’t happen with a snap of your fingers. It takes time to build your online presence and build authority with Google (that old analogy of thinking of it like a marathon, rather than a sprint), but the investment is well worth it.
Starting over with a new website won’t help your search authority. It actually could hurt it, since it takes time for Google to crawl and index your site. There are times when a new site is necessary, but if your only concern right now is ranking and you don’t have other site issues, start with SEO.
Your website takes a long time to load.
A slow website is probably one of the worst experiences for anyone on the internet.
It’s not only frustrating for you as a web user, but it actually means fewer people will actually go to your site. More than 40 percent of internet users will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.1
People (and Google or other search engines) care more about speed than having all the fancy forms and pretty graphics on your site. While they may look cool, they add load time to your site — and every second a site takes to load means up to a 7% reduction in conversion rate.1 2
So do you need a new website if your site loads slowly? It really depends. A good SEO strategy can help you streamline your website, compress and optimize images, and create a better, faster experience for your users.
There’s a limit to what SEO can do for load times — sometimes there are other factors that make your site load slowly — but good SEO is usually easier (and cheaper) than building a new website. And we are happy to help you identify issues with your current website and web provider and get those fixed.
You have a high bounce rate or people don’t spend much time on your site.
If you look in your analytics and see people are leaving your site after only visiting one page or are spending only seconds on your site, that’s a sign your website might not be giving people the experience or answers they want. However, it doesn’t mean you need to start over with a new site.
A note here: having a high bounce rate isn’t necessarily bad. It depends on the page intent. Is the page one where you want people to fill out a form? That might have a high bounce rate, as people fill out the form and then leave. However, if you have a lot of pages with a high bounce rate or people spending 10 seconds or less on them, poor site usability may be to blame.
Good SEO is all about improving the experience of users on your site, answering their questions and giving them easy next steps. It’s also about bringing in more quality visitors to your site who are more likely to convert.
If you create quality content that gives a user (and Google) what they’re looking for, you’ll keep people on your site, make your users happier, and ultimately increase your conversions. If you’re struggling with low time on site or want to decrease your bounce rate, SEO can help.
Your site isn’t responsive (a.k.a. mobile friendly).
Cell phones are an important part of everyday life — and most of your users are probably accessing your site on a mobile device. Having a mobile-friendly site is a must-have today.
So can SEO help? It depends. Some of the same things a good SEO strategy will do for your site — optimizing images, implementing on-page SEO best practices and making pages more accessible — can help.
However, there’s only so much SEO can do for you if your website is older or the template your website uses is simply not meant to work on any screen but a desktop.
Your business has outgrown your site.
You probably know the answer here. Whether your brand has updated colors and design, or you simply need to do more with your website than you can right now, a redesign or brand new website is probably a good idea.
However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about SEO. A new website can actually hurt your SEO if you don’t set it up properly. And even if you set up your site well, SEO isn’t just something you can set and forget about.
SEO is a long game, after all. A good SEO strategy involves making small tweaks and improvements over time, based on continuous research and analysis of your user behavior. So even if you do need a new website, if you want it to succeed, consider how you’re approaching your site’s SEO.
Done correctly, SEO can lower customer acquisition costs and increase your ROI. It helps you spread your message further and grow your revenue — and we’re all about helping our customers succeed.
Learn more about how we approach SEO here at 9 Clouds — and contact us to see how our SEO services can help your business.improve your seo with 9 clouds