If your website has recently been suffering in terms of performance, you may be considering a few different approaches for helping remedy this. Two of the most common options within the SEO and online marketing world for websites dealing with these concerns: Either redesigning the website itself, or taking part in a process known as CRO, or conversion rate optimization.
At SEO Werkz, we’re here to provide a comprehensive range of private label SEO services, including CRO services, web design and numerous others to assist your site if your performance metrics have been lagging recently. What goes into either redesigning your website or performing robust conversion rate optimization services, and which of these approaches should you take? A hint: The answer to this last question depends in large part on your specific needs and the issues you’re facing, though there are definitely more situations where CRO is beneficial than the other way around. Here’s a primer on everything you need to know.
Website Redesign Basics
First off, let’s go over the basics of both these methods so you’re aware. A website redesign, as the name suggest, represents a total overhaul of the website from the ground up, including your layout, content, graphics and often even the platform the site is hosted on.
Now, that doesn’t mean a web redesign has to be overly complex. While some of these jobs will definitely involve some detailed work, there are also other processes that will take much less time, but offer great results. A redesign offers you the opportunity to align the website with various new products or information, or to change and update your branding. It’s also a great chance to optimize your site for mobile users, who are a larger and larger portion of web visitors with each passing year.
CRO, or conversion rate optimization, is a method of continuous testing for your site that’s often a preferable alternative to redesigning the entire site. It involves performing an analysis on the current site, then tweaking and changing elements – before testing the site in halves, with half of visitors seeing the new page setup while half see the old one.
Using this method, you will be able to gain tons of valuable information on the two different options. The “winning” page will be found by tracking the highest number of conversions, and then you will be able to implement the new page if appropriate. Meanwhile, the CRO process does not stop here – it continues on a regular basis, allowing you frequent opportunities to upgrade the site without changing it too broadly.
Our next several sections will go over some of the important factors to consider when choosing between these two options.
Basics and Setup
When it comes to setup, time factors and related themes, CRO is almost always the simpler and more straightforward process. There are some fairly limited forms of website redesign to consider, sure, but even the most bare-bones redesign will still take more time than a standard CRO setup and test. For a redesign, you will need to produce new content, an updated layout and potentially several new graphics, at the minimum.
One common reason for going with a redesign rather than CRO, however, is to obtain a new platform to host the site on. This is often due to issues with mobile responsiveness, where a new platform would be much more robust.
Cost, Acquisition and Related Factors
Here are some of the general setup, cost and acquisition factors to keep in mind when choosing between these:
- Time and labor: Redesign is the more labor-intensive method by far, while CRO is less time-consuming – and will often have a really strong impact despite taking much less time and effort.
- Cost: Web redesign is also the more costly of the two methods, especially up-front. CRO is highly cost-effective over time.
- Timing: Web redesign is meant for sites that are badly out-of-date in several areas and need multiple forms of assistance to catch up with today’s trends; CRO, on the other hand, involves incremental changes made over time.
- Traffic restrictions: One limitation of CRO is that it requires relatively high traffic to test – for some sites on the lower end, this can be a small issue. There are no traffic restrictions for a website redesign, however.
- Rankings and bounce rates: Initially, upon redesigning your site, your search rankings may drop while Google algorithms adjust to the new site. CRO, on the other hand, is designed specifically to fight against bounce rates and keep your rankings in good shape even while you tweak the site to improve it.
From a broader perspective, a redesign is about starting fresh – while CRO is about improving your current product. Many redesigns allow you to format a completely new user experience and layout, adding features you never had before for a major upgrade. CRO, meanwhile, is meant for sites that are generally in good shape, but just need some minor attention in distinct areas – plus decisions driven by data – to improve the site. There will rarely be major user experience changes with CRO.
Making Your Choice
So how do you choose between these if your site is having some performance issues? By evaluating the factors we’ve gone over above, plus speaking to quality SEO professionals like ours. We’ve advised numerous past clients on which of these is the best approach based on the issues your site is having – are they systemic issues that affect multiple pages and even hit on platform concerns? If so, we may recommend a redesign, plus assist with it. But if your site is only having problems in a few smaller areas, we’ll likely advise you targeted CRO, which we’re also happy to assist with.
For more on any of our CRO or other SEO services, speak to the staff at SEO Werkz today.