Want a new website but worried you would lose your current Google ranking? In this article, we detail best SEO practices when redesigning a website.
No doubt you’ve seen ads from the likes of Wix, 1 & 1 and Squarespace, that demonstrate the fun you’ll have, building your new website, not to mention how easy it’s going to be. After all, it’s pretty much only a case of uploading a logo and ‘poof’ like magic it’s in the header, perfectly sized and looks great straight away. Of course, there are a few more steps, such as dragging your super cool images into place, rewriting the ‘Loren Ipsum’ headline, then clicking “publish” and you’re all set.
The truth is, creating an excellent website that converts visitors into customers and also tells your story is a lot more strenuous than that.
It is likely you’ve had some success with your current site, but you want it to rank higher. Maybe you’re expanding your product range or services, or want to take your business in a new direction. Perhaps your old site isn’t responsive and looks terrible on mobile.
Whatever the reason, perhaps going back to the drawing board is just what your business needs right now.
Before starting the design for website 2.0, there’s a long list of factors you need to consider carefully.
For any site to be successful, you will need to, first of all, perform an SEO audit on your current website; this will ensure you don’t lose any existing traffic, therefore, protecting your search engine ranking. It will also provide a springboard to boost future opportunities. Neglect this, and you could be spending money building a site that looks the part but wallows in search engine wasteland.
So, what are the essentials regarding SEO?
Find out how good (or poorly) the SEO performance is for your current site.
The last thing you want to do is undo any good work done previously. You need to protect the elements of your site that do a successful job SEO-wise. Look at your traffic or rankings of a particular page or section that does well on Google, as those pages may not need a complete overhaul.
Furthermore, you will want to strategise your 301 redirects; these are the links from your previous site’s URLs, that need redirecting to your new one. Employing a complete 301 redirect strategy will ensure you don’t fall completely off search results or lose the rankings you already have after you launch your new website.
Focus on your users’ experience (UX) and creating great content for your new website
Of course, you know your business, what it does and how your customers can benefit from it. However, getting that across to your online users is not easy.
Building purposeful pages is crucial to any successful website. You’ll need to make sure every page of your new website is mapped out with clear purpose of what the page will serve. Pages need to be created, with a menu structure based on how a user will interact with the site.
There’s no doubt you will have to either rewrite or get current content rewritten, just be careful not to over-engineer it; keywords need to be placed and flow naturally, also content should be clear and not full of industry jargon. New design and page layouts don’t necessarily mean going back to square one, with a thoughtful approach you can reuse what you already have on your new website.
Enhance performance with regular maintenance
After the launch, you’ll soon realise you do not have a perfect website. As the weeks and months pass the flaws will appear; as a result, you will know what works and what doesn’t. There is no such thing as a perfect website on launch, expect this, understand it’s a part of the process. We outlined why maintenance is the key to website success in a previous article.
Embrace Google Analytics, for the reason that it will explain what’s happening on your site and what new search terms you need to incorporate. Furthermore, investigate your competitor’s performance and regulate your content to keep the momentum going.
So before you make any final decisions regarding your site, take the time to speak with us. We can build your website and manage your ongoing maintenance and SEO needs. We love helping businesses increase traffic, moving them up rankings, and generating them more commercial opportunities.