Is A New eCommerce Website Design Possible Without Killing SEO? YES
Preface: All names and industry terms have been deleted to keep the identity of the said business owner confidential. This is a true story of a Business Owner destroying his online business on accident.
Positive Reasons for am eCommerce Overhaul
As more and more markets make the transition to the online marketplace a lot of the more seasoned eCommerce stores will begin an online overhaul. This overhaul will include Branding and a Re-Design of their outdated website. This is definitely the right decision but executing a redesign can become very very expensive if done incorrectly. In some cases this can cause a site to disappear from the SERP cause a loss in the tens of thousands.
One of the most common issues that I see when a talented web designer executes his new product is a lack of foresignt while creating a new site structure that is dissimilar to the old structure providing traffic and sales.
Naive Business Owner with Good Intentions
Meet Brad... Brad is a manufacturer and eCommerce superstar dominating his industry without much seo expertise. After hearing about upcoming google updates that might affect his business and a want to stay ahead of upcoming competition he contacts a web designer. This web designer is fantastic! He creates great work but doesn't know a thing about seo. Brad has 3k link from different forums, blogs, articles and industry websites praising his products and linking to some of the more popular items in his ecommerce store. These links help Brad corner the market, create natural traffic and make him an authority in the industry. These links also help brad rank on search engines because this is a very strong metric.
The web designer created a fantastic website and updated the old website in a timely manner. 3 months later Brad returned from vacation in the bahamas to realized his phone has stopped ringing completely and his new website is generating absolutely no traffic or sales. Brad begins to freak out!! Little does he know that he now only has 2k links to his website and he is no longer an industry leader because of a instant drop in links, mentions and referring traffic.