If you are thinking about re-designing your website, it is important to consider your SEO – Search Engine Optimisation, to ensure any changes you make, do not have a negative impact on web enquiries.
The first thing to do is to revisit your SEO strategy and consider how major changes may affect this. For example, you may have written many blogs on a subject, which include source links back to your webpage. If you decide to remove this webpage completely, when readers click through your blog pages, they will receive error messages instead of the content you wanted to point them to. By mapping your existing strategy, you can ensure that page links are re-directed to the new content.
Secondly, consider your structure. It is important to ensure that any new URLs, page titles and meta descriptions all match up properly, because if they don’t this may affect your Google rankings and key word traffic. This may result in your prospects not finding you when they need you.
Build on what you have
If you have a good flow of high quality web leads, you should protect this. Don’t remove historically important pages, edit them instead and build additional content and links into those key pages.
Understand your site structure
Spend time understanding the flow of traffic to your website and where visitors spend their time. It is worth mapping all the URLs your content points people to, to ensure any changes do not break old links.
It is worth ticking the noindex box to ensure Google does not index your test site pages as you are drafting them, otherwise when you launch you will create duplicate content, which has no value in the eyes of Google.
Test your new pages
Make sure your new content fits with your current SEO strategy. Ensure page titles and meta descriptions contain key words and that they are linked back to key topics as part of your SEO strategy. For example, if you are hoping to be found online as a supplier of hosted telephony, you may have ‘hosted telephony supplier’ as a key phrase or topic. Write blogs and reference back to your hosted telephony page, with a strong call to action. Make sure any new hosted telephony content also links back to source pages and source topics.
Report on your web visitors before and after the process of updating your site, to track your web traffic and web leads. If traffic or leads have dropped, you may need to revisit some of the new content to address this.
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