Change is definitely good, but if changes are made that are too drastic or rushed; this can actually harm your website instead of helping it. People like to see updates and changes for the better, but you do not want to confuse them by constantly making major changes that alter their viewing experience when they log onto your website. Take a moment to think about Facebook and when they were talking about making everyone switch over to their Timeline. Many people were saying they would leave and that they wanted to be allowed to stick with the older page style. All aspects of a change must be considered in order to make sure that you, your site and your members will benefit and be happy during the process.
Plan: Do Not Rush Into Anything
If you jump in the moment a new idea comes into your mind, and it is a major website change such as removing pages or completely rearranging them, this can harm your website’s overall performance. You should definitely take some time to think about it before you begin and always make sure you save your work so you can easily take back any of the changes you’ve made.
Test it Out Yourself
Before going live, test out your new page(s) and see if you like the way things have worked out. This is especially important if you are making changes that are going to affect navigation. Be sure to ask yourself a few questions along the way to make sure you have thoroughly thought about the whole process. Do you think these changes are going to help your visitors get around easier? How else will they benefit from these improvements? Will they help in terms of organization? If so, then you may be on the right track.
Ask Your Members/Give Them a Heads Up
Before making changes, it’s always a good idea to let your members know that you are going to be experimenting with different aspects of your site. You may even want to consider coming up with a few ideas as to how to go about mixing up your website and allow your visitors to vote on what it is they would enjoy the most. Since your website’s successfulness depends on those who come to your site, you want to make sure you are keeping them happy and not just focusing on yourself. Do not hesitate to have conversations with them. Not only will this help you make up your mind but it will show them that you care what they think and that your website is about them and for them. So many sites these days are only about monetary gain and people are starting to get tired of it.
Know Where You Traffic Is Coming From
With help from sites such as Google Analytics, you can keep tabs on where your traffic is coming from and which parts of your site receive the most traffic. Take a look at your statistics before you make any changes to your site whatsoever. The reason this is so important is because you may be affecting a large part of your traffic by removing a certain page, or changing a page title (which changes the link). In all honesty, the best time to make such drastic changes is when your site is just starting out and you are still in the process of figuring out exactly how you want your site to be organized. Making these types of changes later on, when you are starting to have a following and consistent traffic coming in can have negative effects on your site’s overall performance, so they must be done with the uttermost care.
Changing Content is Easy and a Must
If you feel your website is missing something, maybe you just need a bit more content. If you’ve noticed your traffic has been dwindling and there isn’t much activity or excitement about your page, it may be time to spice things up with some brand new content. Is there a current event related to your page that you can discuss? This would be a wonderful way to show you are interested in what’s going on in the world and also give you a great chance to have conversations with your members. Let’s face it, a lot of website exist on the internet and people crave personal connection so show everyone that you are human and not just in it for money or attention. Let your personality shine through your work and people will respect you for it.
If you do not have one already, you may also want to create a page on your site where you discuss a bit of your background and feature a picture of yourself. Talk about what made you create the site and what your hopes for the future are. Everyone loves having a face to pin to a company; it gives your site a much more personal touch than a lot of websites today fail to offer.
Keep Your Visitors Interested with Deals and Events
Maybe you’ve already tried making changes to your site, updating things such as your colors, your banner and your general design to create more appeal but things still aren’t looking up. It may be time for you to announce your changes as a way to capture some attention. Simply spreading the word by saying, “Hey, I’ve updated my site” isn’t quite enough. Give people a reason to want to come back and give your website another chance, or a reason to stop by for the first time. You can do this by offering discounted prices on the items or services you sell or have a fun competition for your visitors to take part in. People flock when it comes to giveaways or interactive games they can take part in so this could definitely be the big-break your website so badly needs.
Before You Scrap a Site and Start from Scratch…
If you are considering deleting your website as a whole instead of making changes because you simply feel it would be easier to start over, consider a few things. All the inbound links you have received thus far will have been done for nothing, because the pages they will be linking to are no longer going to exist. Any page ranking and SEO work you have done is going to be completely gone as well and you are going to have to literally start from the very beginning.
A lot of the time simply making changes (even if they are drastic) can work more towards your benefit than completely deleting a site. Make sure you really are ready to give up the site and all the hard work you have put into it before you delete your page. Once your page is gone, there is not going to be any way to get it back. Having your site sitting without any activity for a period of time while you make your decision is a much smarter way to approach the situation than deleting your website too quickly.
Consider the members and traffic that you do have. Are they going to wonder what happened to your site? If there are people who have supported you along your journey, it would be best for you to give them some sort of heads up and allow them to keep in contact with you as you move on to new projects. Post things such as your email address for them to contact you for questions, concerns or suggestions as well as links to your social media pages. Simply deleting you page without a single word can have a negative impact on your reputation and that’s the last thing you need. Word spreads fast on the web and negative comments spread like wildfire compared to words of positivity or praise.
Change is Tough for Everyone, But Can Be Successful
Of course, there are always risk factors involved in having a website. Everything you do has the potential to either improve or hurt your website. At the end of the day, all you can really do is work your hardest to keep your site offering the great things you viewers love, without being stuck in the past. As much as most of us hate change, from time to time, it’s something that must happen. The internet is always changing and so is how things are done so keep that in mind and take it one day at a time. Who knows where your website will take you. That’s the beauty of being in this business; the unknown is quite exciting and you’re bound to learn many things along the way.
Andrew Wheaton is a passionate blogger who’s been blogging since years. He is also an internet marketing specialist and provides tips on how to maintain your website and other relevant information that can prove to be of great help to you.