Several weeks ago we posted an article here titled, “How to destroy your search engine rankings in a month.” This article is a follow up on a former client’s slide into internet obscurity.
First off, you should know we worked with this client for years. Last year the management of the company changed hands and the new leadership made the decision to have their website work fully internalized through a sister company. The new website designer works in house full time with our former client. We were advised that they’d be taking a new direction and wanted to use their staff to redesign and deploy a new web presence.
We fully understood their needs with the transition. Unfortunately, their new web developer still has a little to learn about retaining the SEO work that was already done. In fact, in the end 3 years worth of keyword building and business growth have gone right out the window. Take a look at the simple graphic below.
From nearly 1000 keywords to almost zero
Spring of this year we were contacted by the new website developer. He explained that he would be doing a total rebuild of the website from the ground up. The new leadership wanted to create a new online presence that reflected their core values, and differentiate themselves from the former business leadership. Understandable when business staffing transitions take place. Unfortunately, not paying attention to the words you use can be very costly.
The graphic above shows the past year with the business, and it’s number of keywords. Over time the business was growing its search base. And during the transition to the new website we went from nearly 1000 identified search terms to almost zero in a few short months. Their search traffic was completely obliterated as well.
Why you should select a well rounded development team
There’s more to your online presence than a pretty page with some images on it. Words mean so much. And words added to a website with SEO in mind can help you reach a larger audience. Rebuilding your online presence to reflect changing times / management / products is fine, so long as you keep an eye toward your online visibility as well. Unfortunately for this former client, only the design and layout of the site was on their new developer’s mind. Actually reaching their client base was not in mind at all.
In the case of this website redesign attention was only paid to “the look” of the website. And the results show through in the two images above. The new website looks “cool”, but the content does not help get the business found. And a flight school needs to reach potential students in order to grow the business. If potential students search for flight schools in Arizona, they will no longer find this business on Google page 1.
Note: We’re not throwing this website under the bus. Rather we’re using it as an example of what can happen when you only pay attention to only one facet of your online presence. In the case of this website, visual design was the priority of the new developer. Content was ignored. Getting in touch with the flight school was ignored. And social outreach was ignored. In the end, a business that was receiving 8-10 inquiries per week from potential students (that’s a huge number of contacts for a flight school) has now dropped to 0 online contacts per week.
Before you redesign your online presence, ask yourself:
- How will this impact my current site traffic?
- Why are we re-designing the site? What doesn’t it do today? Is this about aesthetics, or outreach?
- How does social media integrate with our online presence?
- Can a redesign increase our outreach?
- What is the goal of our online campaign?
If you need help with these questions, please feel free to contact us here at RLC Design.