Redevelopment of websites is a critical time for getting all technical SEO requirements exactly right.
The results of negligence in this area can be catastrophic and developers not taking into account Google’s many demands at this time will cause negative results.
This can range from a significant drop in website visitors to complete removal from search results.
On the positive side, if you get all of the elements right and you tidy up errors and problems then the new site will get away to a healthy start with growth in most cases able to be measured very quickly.
Here are the key areas we focus on during redesign or redevelopment.
The best way to begin this process is to start with an audit of your current website. This will enable us to identify any causes for concern that need correcting during the development process.
URLs must be clean and easy to follow. No special characters, no capital letters, no dynamic elements, dashes not underscores. And they should follow an intuitive structure that shows where on the site the user is.
This is one that many developers ignore. There is a tendency to use heading tags simply to adjust font style and size. Whereas heading tags are a lot more strategic. There should be only one H1 heading on any page and H2s and H3s need to follow a useful content hierarchy and structure.
This is the big one. And is the major cause of problematic launches. A full map of all indexed URLs needs to be created and every URL needs to be analysed and managed. Has it changed? Does it still exist on the new site? Is the URL symptomatic of duplication issues?
Many content management systems have duplication issues right out of the box. These are caused by categories, archives, author archives, tags and other taxonomies. This needs to be systematically corrected.
Intuitive navigation is very important for both SEO and User Experience. What are the key conversion channels? How do we channel visitors to where they want to get in an efficient, frictionless way?
Content needs to check a lot of boxes for correct optimisation. We will check each of the pages to ensure you are getting maximum benefit from each.
We often see sites launched with missing metadata. This has a dramatic impact on search visibility. The audit will inform us on the current quality of metadata and from this we can adjust where necessary and make sure that no pages are missing this important element.
Open Graph tags tell the various social media platforms how to display your content. How many times have you seen content shared on social media sites with no image or the incorrect one? (Some really prominent sites are guilty of this). These tags allow us to choose the correct title, the correct description and the correct image.
When someone types an incorrect URL or there is a Not Found error there needs to be a custom 404 page that lets the visitor know they are still on the same site and gives clear prompts on how to find what they are looking for.
These are the final checks that must be completed before we can give the OK to Go Live. Losing analytics data is a common problem and you can’t measure success if you do not have the data. Has the developer correctly added the 301 redirects? Is the robots.txt correct? (You don’t want to accidentally block the search engines). Is the noindex tag ready to be removed? Is the content all in place?
If you would like to discuss how we can enhance your website development project contact us here.
You are spending a lot of money on your new website so why would you risk a negative result. Let us take the worry out of this process for you.
Unfortunately, we see a lot of dysfunctional websites out there and in many cases our first contact with new clients is due to disappointing performance of a new site.
Are you having trouble understanding what your developer means? Let us cut through the jargon and explain in simple terms that you can understand.
Yes, these happen way too often. Sometimes a very cool new design trick can have massive implications for your website results.
It is much easier to check all the boxes before you launch a new website than it is to try to fix problems and recover your valuable search engine positions after the fact. Google’s algorithm is quick to demote but can be frustratingly slow to regain lost ground.
We engaged Mike & the team at HPE to assist with the launch of a new website at short notice and from the first initial meeting through to today we have been impressed with the responsiveness and depth of knowledge that HPE has provided our company. We highly recommend them.
Hugh McGaveston – Sales Manager