Website redesign isn’t just an aesthetic exercise in terms of visual elements and user experience. What really counts is what value you add to your users.A great website redesign will have visual appeal, good user experience, and will give you cohesive information that is easily accessible and understandable. The flip side to this is good visibility. Aesthetics will not work if your users aren’t even able to find your website when they are looking for it. And if they cannot intuitively navigate through the pages of your website and easily understand what information it has to offer, it really doesn’t matter how beautiful it looks. Form and function needs to be intact for your website to be completely useful to your users.Let’s help you understand what really goes on under the hood and why we are stressing so much on function more than just form. Search Engine Optimisation – something that is the less glamorous side to the online space, but one of the keys to successful online presence and recall – is what we are going to tell you about. It is something that you cannot afford to ignore. Here are 5 hand-picked mistakes that you must avoid during your next website revamp.1) Not thinking about SEO from the startSearch Engine Optimisation cannot be an afterthought, because making changes to your website once it is designed and developed can mean major work and may lead to sub-optimal optimisation. Architecture and navigation can have a major impact on SEO rankings and it is a good plan to involve the dedicated SEO team right from the beginning.
2) Not doing an audit of your existing siteWhile redesigning your website, don’t miss out on gaining insights on the kind of content and the pages that are already getting traffic. Make a benchmark and gather the information. This will help you at a later stage to plan your redesign according to the SEO needs. The points that you need to consider are:
- Number of visits/visitors/unique visitors (monthly average)
- Top performing keywords (in terms of rank, traffic, and lead generation)
- Number of inbound linking domains
- Total number of total pages indexed
- Total number of pages that receive traffic
As a standard operating process at Langoor, in addition to the above metrics, we also gather and use website heat-map data from CrazyEgg for important pages and use them as inputs towards UX and design of the new page.So, in conclusion, review which pages on your website have incoming links, which have the best page-rank and what keywords on your pages drive traffic and conversions. Keep your website redevelopment team informed and make sure important pages are not removed or deleted with the new layout.
3) Not setting up 301 redirectsA 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another. Whether you’re switching domain names, restructuring your URLs , or consolidating content as part of your website redesign, setting up 301 redirects is crucial to ensuring any “SEO juice” from your old URLs gets transferred to your new URLs. This is part of the standard operating process at Langoor when we take up website revamp projects.
4) Failing to consider your URL structureRestructuring your URLs according to the relevance of the page and the content on the page is a very important step to take. If your URL is littered with irrelevant mentions that are misaligned to the content on your page, you should definitely consider a restructure.
5) Not implementing responsive designWe need the website to cater to the different devices which the users will be accessing your website with. Responsive web design is Google’s preferred configuration for mobile-optimised websites. It is the best bet to deliver a great search and browsing experience to your users. With responsive design, all of your website’s URLs are the same across all devices, and they all serve up the same HTML code. With responsive design, the only thing that changes across devices is the styling (which is controlled by CSS). This configuration makes it easier for Google to crawl your pages and retrieve your content. Responsive design is not only about adapting the desktop content on to the mobile, but it is also about keeping in mind the User experience to keep only the most relevant content on the screen. Langoor has vast experience in responsive design and UX and we believe in going the extra mile to getting the right experience across the various devices.
So if you are contemplating on refreshing your web presence or coming up with a new digital strategy ,you should to talk to our experts at Langoor to help you with your digital strategy.
This blog post is an adaption of the HubSpot's whitpepaper on the same topic