How A Web Site Re-Design Went Wrong: Lessons For You

On our Small Business Technology Tour I have a session led by Jennifer Shaheen, Technology Therapist that’s all about email marketing, web sites and blogs. It’s telling the audience that they do not have to be afraid of doing traditional online marketing, even though their peers are fixated on social media.
Web sites, in particular, are still such an important part of the online marketing a small business needs to thrive online.
They NY Times writes about how a growing business re-designed their web site and made some pretty bad mistakes:
In 2004, Mr. Downs made the decision to re-launch his site with an updated look. He redesigned the site from top to bottom but made several critical mistakes. He created all new URLs for his pages. As a result, the old URLs that had generated high placements on Google were lost. On top of that, he failed to do any search-engine optimization on the new pages he created. He lost all of his old S.E.O. and had no new S.E.O. to generate placements on the major search engines. “I had my second-generation site analyzed for S.E.O. friendliness and found out that it basically scored a zero,” Mr. Downs said. “From 2004 to 2009, my site was, to put it mildly, S.E.O. unfriendly.” The site continued to generate traffic but mostly because of a Google AdWords advertising campaign that cost about $60,000 a year. (Read the full article here)
The lessons learned from this story are to carefully consider every aspect of your new web site and ensure you are working with a web developer who knows what they are doing.
I don’t fault Mr. Downs for this web site problem, but the web designer. They should have ensured his web site was SEO friendly even with the change.