I had an interesting exchange the other day in regards to whether a client should invest in a website redesign or a domain name upgrade to increase website traffic.

We’ll focus on website redesigns for now with more on domain name upgrades to come. We’ll also address what both have to do with increasing website traffic.

Typically, most business owners that have been in business more than five minutes will tell you to invest your money in a new website redesign in an effort to increase website traffic and drive sales.

And for the right business owner and situation, I do believe this could be very sound advice.

Afterall, a website redesign with a focus on providing intuitive, sound user interface and experience can work wonders in resurrecting and increasing website traffic and search engine ranking when implemented and executed properly.

Aiming to increase website traffic with a perfectly bad website redesign

As for my client, they felt the need to perform a website redesign because they adamantly felt it would increase website traffic.

I’ll admit, their new website, rather new paint job, does have a glimmer to it that the previous website did not.

However, that’s about all I can say positive about the website redesign.  As for increasing website traffic, what traffic?

Truth be told, the company my client hired was just that, a web design and development company.

Because this company could provide eye candy design, my client jumped at the first opportunity to make changes to their website.

Unfortunately, my client did not realize their new paint job would also modify the existing engine, the current website architecture.

Don’t ask a painter to fix an engine or a mechanic to fix a paint job

Let me say that there is nothing wrong with changing the existing website architecture of any website during a website redesign.

However, when you change a website’s architecture without any thought of the damage it will do to current and future search engine optimization (SEO) rankings, then you’ve already lost. And a EXPONENTIAL LOSS at that!

Needless to say my client didn’t consult with SEO professionals during this website redesign.

My client took the company at their word that redesigned pages would be optimized for search engine and rankings would not be harmed.

In defense of the hired company, they did tell the truth and they did perform basic SEO, only not properly.

However, the problem is my client’s website and SEO, as any other website of great age and content with substantial search rankings, is quite a complex matter for a novice or unskilled person.

So now my client has a newly polished website that is pleasing to the eye, yet has lost all website traffic and SEO power in major search engine rankings to bad coding and improper development techniques. Now what?

Who knew the architecture of the website, the engine, would be touched by a company that was only hired to paint the body of the website?

And just like that, the wrong diagnosis has killed a many of websites that had stellar search engine rankings and traffic.

See, my client thought having a new look would increase website traffic. It did, negatively speaking though.

They lost their current level of traffic and search rankings due to a design and development company acting outside the scope of their core competencies. Whoops.

In reality, my client was correct to think that a new website redesign would help. However, I think my client was not asking the right question and this led to a misdiagnosis of their situation.

And because of this, there are many business owners with floundering businesses and websites that should consider and reconsider a website redesign versus a domain name upgrade.

Sometimes a website redesign can do more harm than initially thought when not implemented or executed properly.

In addition, a website redesign can be a moot point due to the domain name the website is developed on.

Just as location is the key for a profitable brick and mortar business, so is a domain to a website.

A great traffic generating domain is one that is a category or industry defining domain.

If you are using your company name or a domain that doesn’t lend itself to being a category or industry defining domain, then you have much to think about.

In short, you are draining yourself branding something that does not naturally generate or increase website traffic. Why do this when you don’t have too?

See, most companies are quick to take the website redesign path because they don’t want to deal with the rebranding of a website on a different domain name.

I totally understand taking such action, but at the same time I don’t.

A domain name upgrade for a company should be treated much like moving into a brick and mortar building.

If your domain name is not lending itself to generating traffic and a domain with a better opportunity for generating traffic is available for you to purchase, then why would you not upgrade your domain name?

Think for a minute. If your brick and mortar store was not receiving traffic based on its location, would you spend the money dressing it up in renovations?

Exactly, this would be a waste of money. The same thing can be said for most companies and their website redesign efforts.

Instead of focusing on the cost-effective solution of upgrading their online location via a premium domain name that lends itself to greater traffic, they opt out to stay at the same location trying inexpensive and ineffective SEO options for lackluster results and the same, if not less, traffic.

And I totally get that most companies want to brand their business with a brandable domain name.

Afterall, I branded my company to be Kickstart Commerce, but I also own and operate RoundRockSEOServices.com, which is a geo domain containing industry-defining keywords.

See my focus is helping companies in Round Rock, Austin and surrounding cities with their SEO needs.

By owning geo and industry-defining keywords for my specific industry, I’m essentially unlocking the door on exponential traffic and business applying the long-held adage of the physical world, “location, location, location”, into the virtual world.

Best option to increase website traffic: Website Redesign or Domain Name Upgrade?

I can’t answer it for you and your business, but I can tell you to weigh all options as you would do if you were investing in a brick and mortar.

After all, we do know you have the best looking building and business located in the wrong place and go out of business just as quick as you entered.

At the same time, you can have the hole-in-the-wall joint of a business in a prime location, and blow the roof off of sales.

In closing, remember that a flawed diamond is more valuable than a perfect brick any day of the week.

Which option would you choose?


Written by Alvin Brown
He's an experienced and passionate serial entrepreneur, founder and publisher of Kickstart Commerce. Alvin possesses a great love for startups dominating their market using profitable digital strategies for greater commerce.