When your website evolves, there is a huge amount of both risk and opportunity. It's a bit like trying to walk along a very thin fence; soon, you will fall, but which way?
This guide aims to outline what you need, who to call and a checklist of things you need in place to make a success of this process.
What's all the fuss about?
There are many simple ways Google can be blocked from your new website altogether. We've seen it happen more often than you'd think!
Businesses are very good at looking inward and trying to project themselves, rather than looking outward and providing solutions to customer problems.
It's one thing creating 'redirects' when URLs change from your old website to the new one, but it's another to have a full customer journey strategy for SEO.
We get contacted a lot when a new website goes live and traffic plummets. Sometimes it's a quick fix, other times it's a long road to recovery. It's best to get it right the first time.
There is a key opportunity to get the code and content of your new website right the first time. You're essentially starting with a blank canvas.
Failing to take this approach will cost more money to update and change the new website, after you've already paid for most of it to be built once.
Here are a few initial pointers on where to start with getting your strategy right.
Keywords (words or phrases your customers type into Google) are the keys to your entire marketing strategy of 'getting found'. General keywords like 'handbags' or 'houses' tell you a lot about customer, where a keyword such as 'red vegan leather handbag' will have a very different sort of shopper.
Your entire website should then follow your learnings from this exercise.
We've got our keywords, now we need to see where the current website is doing well and falling short. The new website should look to continue any current success and plug gaps where there is a need.
The SEO team should be involved in some specific key points of the operation. These include sitemap, wireframes, design, development, pre-launch, launch day and then the post-launch campaigns kick in.
You need to be tracking keywords, traffic, conversions and the types of customers you are acquiring. If you can't prove the new website has been an SEO success story, you're unlikely to get continued investment into growing this channel.
So use it as an opportunity to re-think who you are, who your customers are and how you intend to reach them.
Some of our top learnings over the years
Ensure every party / team includes the key moments when they need to be involved
Gather insights and opinions, looking at multiple platforms before choosing which is right for you
Always make sure you have an overflow budget for great added extras
Once you've launched, you should have a range of activities ready to go live and build long term growth
We hope you found this guide useful