Updating your website?

Want to update your website or move it completely over to a new platform? Then this Big Tip if for you…

There are four distinct phases you need to get your head around before making fundamental changes to your website.

  • Metrics
  • Planning & Designing
  • Implementation
  • Monitoring and Measuring

But the first rule is “Don’t Skip The Steps!”. If you already have traffic coming to your website and you are already ranking for some of your target keywords, then pay very careful attention to your current website structure and in-coming links.

Even with all the talk of Google being ultra-smart in understanding what your website is about, it still boils down to website structure/content and back-links.

Metrics: First gather all you appropriate metrics from Google Analytics & Google Webmaster Tools. Use a Third Party back-link checking program/service to gather information on all your back-links and where they are and where they point to.

Planning and Design: What content do you want to keep, what to trash or re-hash. What new pages are you going to add. Use the data you gathered to understand what your current visitors are doing when they get to your website and where they go within the site.

Understand you “visitor-flow”. You will need this so that you can make a better website.

Use an expert web designer who understands both the aesthetics of good web design but also the need to be optimised for the search engines and user “experience”.

Implementation: Getting the site built and tested (from a user view-point) will always take longer than you expect. There will be changes and revisions along the way but remember it’s all about your visitors/customers experience, they need to have a painless time on your site otherwise they will click away and never return.

Monitoring and Measuring: This is critical, a long term view is needed together with a commitment to keeping on top of your website. Creating a website is not a set-‘n-forget process. You need to be monitoring how your visitors behave on your website.

Here are some articles that will give you a grounding on more specific areas you need to consider before updating or migrating your website.

http://www.fourthsource.com/search-marketing/seo/seo-site-migration-checklist-301-redirects-15835

http://www.1918.com/ultimate-website-migration-checklist/

http://moz.com/blog/web-site-migration-guide-tips-for-seos

If you need to talk to an expert then to help you get a clearer idea on what might be needed for you, visit http://www.seothatworks.co.uk/

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