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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 14th, 2010
    Question Opinions on (re)design: traffic, bounce rate and conversion
    Hello all,

    I am running a website for 2 years now. Started as a blog that features mainly reviews, I expanded the content to "other topics for the same users".

    I have between 70-100k visitors a month and I want to grow

    I am thinking of a redesign and I am for two things:

    1) organize my content better: now all content has the same weight on the homepage but I want to give the reviews better visibility and organization (that's what we do best) and leave the side content there, but not make it "king"

    2) achieve a more professional look. I think I have a good looking blog, but it's still a blog - some identity but not much different than 1,000,000 other blogs out there

    So here are my questions:

    - Can I risk losing traffic? (mainly organic through SEO)
    - Will consumers trust me MORE or LESS if I redesign more "professional"? what i mean is... now I look like a guy with a blog that makes detailed reviews of a product he knows well. I convert ok. If I change the look and make it look like it's a professional website, will consumers lose some of the trust they have or actually be more reassured by a more professional look?
    - what do you think of services like 99designs and designcrowd?

    Any first hand experience with this?

    thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    April 6th, 2006
    This is tough one.. having been through redesigns myself, you never really know what the outcome will be...

    You have to look at your current layout - what is effective & ineffective about it..? How are the click-throughs..? What are the most popular pages.. both internally, and from the search engines. You want to protect the high-converting pages. The rest you can play around with...

    If you're using one of the popular CMS apps (Wordpress, for example), you can always do a soft launch of a new template, which will allow you iron out the bugs. I did this myself a couple of months ago, and it worked out quite well.

    If the main content of the site is your own commentary, I would want to keep a homegrown "vibe" in place - I agree that something TOO slick and professional could give the site a more impersonal feel. You can also rearrange sidebars & content without a redesign.. I would definitely experiment with placement.

    I'm not sure I've helped. There is no right or wrong answer, but I have found "spring cleaning" a site usually does provide some benefits. I'm unfamiliar with the services you mentioned, as I do my own website work (with the exception of logos), but someone else may have some experience with them.

  3. #3
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 5th, 2005
    Park City Utah
    Let me know if you want a review of the actual site and I can move this conversation here:

  4. #4
    Newbie CoolMaster's Avatar
    Join Date
    August 26th, 2011
    Computer Land
    Hi trienthusiast,

    I really do hope that you find a way to solve your issue, it is a hard one to address.

    I personally think that in the long run it would be beneficial to redesign your site to go along with the expansion and i don't think you readers will mind since it's the content that brought them in the first time.

    The hardest thing is the change of identity, from a blogger to a more sophisticated site owner you can not predict the crowds reaction.

    I would get my site reviewed and get the best design ideas for the situation.

    Hope you the best,


  5. #5
    Join Date
    July 2nd, 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by trienthusiast View Post
    now I look like a guy with a blog that makes detailed reviews of a product he knows well.
    Isn't that what you want?

    The question is if a site redesign would bring you more money. It probably won't get you more visitors, but it might get you a higher conversion rate. You need to decide if it's a better use of time to go for more people, or a higher conversion rate.

    You say you have 70-100k people/month. How many months have you had those visitor numbers? Are you not able to grow through marketing any more?

    You could try A/B testing. Google website optimizer allows this. I've never used this tool myself, but it might help.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 14th, 2010
    thanks everybody for the replies.

    I had some time to think about this and I think that I wanted the website to look more professional more for "ego" reasons rather than for business reason.

    I still think I want to redesign, but it needs to be with my reader in mind. So, i want to keep a "homemade" feel but with great legibility and possibly some more brand identity and easier navigation to and from the pages I want.

    this thinking about design actually gave me a great opportunity to think about my content in general and where to focus my efforts, also marketing efforts.

    now - another question for you. what are review sites you really like ? on a SEO point of view... if i make the review in a tabbed format (editor review, user reviews, image gallery, specs, price comparison) will every tab be a different html page (for bots crawling/indexing?) or will only the first tab be picked up?

    AND can you suggest a good designer? I am looking through hundreds of websites and portfolios but I trust you abestwebber best... i am not so convinced going the crowdsourcing route but am open to suggestions.

    thanks again!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    July 2nd, 2011
    Glad we could be of help.

    Unfortunately, I don't use review sites much (I've heard too many stories about fake reviews and they always seem to be so busy & not have many reviews).

    Never worked with outsourced designers, sorry.

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