Now and again we all get a little tired of our website and feel it needs a spruce up, revamp and re launch. Tweak this, move that, add this page remove that page…
You MAY be about to make some of the biggest SEO mistakes. Read this first…
1. Google Analytics
Whether you are doing the revamp yourself or are using a designer to do it for you make sure you are using the same Google Analytics tracking code. You have just spent the last 2 years online, monitoring your web stats, monitoring keywords and tweaking to get yourself on the first page of Google and if you do not use the same account code you are about to lose all that lovely data and the ability to compare how your old site fairs up against your new sparkly version.
Top Tip – Keep your analytics in a separate account, if a developer or designer says you MUST have it with them they are telling a big porky. You can add them as a user or administrator to the account so they have access and can monitor on your behalf.
2. Take a Ranking Check
Before you make any changes to your site make sure you know where you sit in the SERPs for your keywords and phrases. There is nothing worse than being on page one for your top phrase, only to make what you thought were great changes to your site make you slip off of page one, leaving you scrabbling and racking your brains as to what has gone wrong.
Top Tip – Take the ranks of your kewyords then look at your site as it is currently. Where are those keywords? In copy, Title tags, descriptions. products? Make sure you do as little to them as possible at this stage until the new design is up and running.
3. Can you be contacted easily?
One element you must look at in any revamp is where are your contact details? Are they easy to view? Make sure you place your phone number and email address above the fold (header preferably) so anyone landing on your site doesn’t have to click on every page or even the contact page only to find no details. Not everyone wants to use a contact form to send an enquiry. Make it easy and you will be suprised how your conversions will pick up.
4. Redirect, Redirect, Redirect!
I cannot stress this enough! If you make changes to a URL name this changes instantly and will see you dropping out of the Search Engines rapidly until your new URL is indexed. Take for example yourdomain.com/how-to-seo and you change it to yourdomain.com/diy-seo. You were ranked on the first page for “how to seo” now when people click on that link in a Search Engine they will get a 404 page not found – eeeeek. Using a 301 redirect you need to redirect those visitors to the new page (as well as the search engines). More information on 301 redirects and how to set them up on your server.
If you can’t do it hire someone who can, but make sure you stress this to your web developer when undertaking the revamp, it should be an automatic process BUT I have known developers in the past who haven’t even considered it.
5. DON’T Change your Title Tags unless you KNOW what you are doing
At least not until the new site is up and running and had time to settle.
Keep all the page content, Title Tags and Meta Descriptions the same when doing your revamp. Again another SEO boo boo is when you change them at the revamp stage to an entirely different set of keywords either because you were told to or you thought it a good idea at the time.
Your website ranks in Search Engines because of many different on page factors, one of them being the Title Tag of each individual page. If you remove key phrases from the tag and replace them with others, expect to drop out of rankings for that keyword pretty quickly. Of course if you KNOW that this phrase/keyword isn’t benefiting your site in anyway then this point is debatable! You can only realise the benefits of any keyword and phrase once you have analysed your Analytics data for conversions and visits.
Do you have any top tips? Been caught out by any of the above? Please leave a comment below 🙂 Happy Revamp!