Revamping your website is going to have a number of unique challenges that differ from completely migrating the website to a new URL. Regardless of the situation, there needs to be a focus on not losing previously generated search engine rankings. Some companies may thrive on online leads, which makes moving the URL a terrible idea and redesigning the more ideal move. Web design trends do change over time, which is something all businesses must consider.
Redesigning Your Website
Migration to a new URL is going to take a significant amount of work down the line as backlinks built could be completely lost. Reaching out to publishers and websites you haven’t worked with for years to change a few backlinks is a major hit or miss. Some will want to charge for the new backlink, especially if your new website doesn’t have great search engine metrics. The amount of money that some businesses invest in link building is staggering, so the migration of your site could lose thousands of dollars in money previously spent.
Here are tips you can follow to make sure your redesign doesn’t result in lost rankings and marketing dollars:
Establish Website Metrics and Past Performance
Getting all of the data on website performance from your old website is imperative. Otherwise, you will not be able to tell if the website is attracting more traffic or yielding more leads. Important metrics to look into include the following:
- The total number of visitors that are coming from search engines and which search engines they are visiting from
- The keywords that the website is ranking for
- The conversion rate, leads and calls that the website drives
- The number of pages that the average visitor views when visiting the website
- The total number of pages that are indexed by major search engines
Keep Track of Changes on Page URLs
If any of your URLs changed for one reason or another, this needs to be tracked. Page URLs can also change when switching a website from HTML to a content management system (CMS) like that of WordPress. Establishing redirects helps keep a visitor on the site and avoid instances of them clicking off when they reach a 404 page.
Ask Current Customers To Be Testers
Current customers can be a huge resource when launching a new website. With fresh eyes, these customers (or even prospects) can point out any issues that a designer might have overlooked due to being so involved in other areas of the project. A few main points that need to be considered are:
- What are the main goals of the website? Some site owners want to sell directly from the website, while others, like healthcare providers, want a site visit to lead to a phone call to set an appointment. Another aspect to think about is if the design of the website aligns with the goals set. Each section of the website can have different goals, whether it is to sell, educate or provide contact information.
- Is the content on the website concise and easy to navigate? The content should be quality and succinct to keep the attention of the visitor. The color scheme should make the copy easy to read.
- Does the website work well on mobile devices? The amount of mobile traffic is increasing annually, and you do not want to alienate this entire demographic as potential customers.
Search engine optimization (SEO) needs to be a priority in web design since you want the website to have the largest possible reach, and this is done by showing up high in search results.
Title tags or title links should be the first thing taken care of when there are new pages. Meta descriptions that include keywords are also important.
Images need to have alt text so the images become searchable as well. H tags should be used wisely because they make content and pages easy to understand. Find a web designer with a background in SEO to handle these areas of the redesign.
You should also perform outreach to sites you have worked with in the past to change author bios or other information. You would be surprised how many backlinks can be regained through this outreach. Even changing profiles can allow a new website to generate backlinks nearly immediately.
Launching the New Website
Once the website has been launched, you need to take care of the following:
- Make sure you have done all of the 301 redirects.
- Make sure any changes from HTTP to HTTPS are noted in Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
- Check the website in incognito mode to make sure the correct pages are populating and directing to the right page.
- Check for page loading times; you can use tools like GTmetrix.
- Announce the new website via a press release, mention it in the company newsletter and blast it on social media.
Revamping Your Content Marketing
The right content marketing strategy combined with a new website can work wonders. The following tips help ensure that your content marketing campaigns continually generate results:
- Try various types of content, including video and podcasting, to see the return on investment (ROI) and engagement on each.
- Consistently publish content on the company blog that educates visitors in a number of ways about products or services.
- Use social media to promote content. This can easily be automated to post on multiple platforms at one time. Engage with comments to create a sense of community among followers.
- Do appropriate keyword research before creating content and make sure all posts are tagged. The right tagging makes a difference in SEO.
- Create content based on data. There are plenty of tools that show which pieces of content created the most engagement.
Make Sure Your Brand’s Voice Is Consistent
Implementing a style guide across the content team is important. Some companies are forced to utilize freelancers to generate their content. This happens when they’re looking to build a ton of backlinks. The ability to stay consistent across all content projects is the lifeblood of sales.
Content that has to do with sales, like a pitch deck or pricing guide, needs to be high-quality, as well. The last thing any business owner wants is losing a sale due to their sales materials being low-quality. The right sales copywriting can impact conversions, whether you are sending out email blasts or monthly newsletters.
Hosting a podcast can be a wonderful way to create in-depth content at a reasonable price. It can cost hundreds of dollars to have a guide written on a specific topic. Listeners are what ultimately matter, so the guests you invite to be a part of the podcast should be relevant to your target audience.
Expanding your podcast’s reach to those who follow a specific person in the industry can also be a smart move. The right guest can help a newer company legitimize itself in a specific business space. Transcribing the podcast is also important to make the podcast searchable. Finally, take the time to plan out the podcast with topics that you know listeners are interested in.
The days of creating subpar content with a clickbait title to generate true results are gone. People have been desensitized to outrageous headlines that fail to live up to the hype. Basing your content marketing strategy on quality and data is the only way to succeed in today’s landscape.
And there you have it – the best practices when relaunching your website and revamping your content without losing your established rankings and audience.